Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Board

Meredith Harper Bonham
Senior Associate Dean of Students/Title IX Coordinator

What should I do if I or a friend have experienced sexual assault?

What is the Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Board?

The Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Board (HSMB) is a group of faculty and staff whose purpose is to help ensure that members of the College community can live and work free from harassment or sexual misconduct. 

To prevent further incidents from occurring, and in keeping with the College's obligations under Title IX, Hamilton employees are required to report incidents of harassment and sexual misconduct. Please contact Meredith Harper Bonham, Title IX Coordinator, at 315-859-4020 or mbonham@hamilton.edu for more information.


Hamilton College prohibits harassment, which is defined as:

Verbal or physical conduct based on a person's race, color, religion, creed, ethnicity, gender or gender identity, age, sexual and affectional orientation/associations, or mental/physical disabilities that is sufficiently severe, pervasive, persistent or patently offensive that it has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with that person's work or academic performance, or that creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working, educational, or living environment, from both a subjective (the complainant's) and an objective (any reasonable person's) viewpoint.

Hamilton College prohibits sexual misconduct, which is defined as:
  1. non-consensual sexual touching,
  2. non-consensual sexual penetration (with a body part or object), or
  3. sexual exploitation (e.g., videotaping sexual acts, engaging in voyeurism).
It's important to note that sexual misconduct is not the survivor's fault.

All members of the College community have an obligation to raise awareness and to prevent sexual harassment and misconduct from occurring at Hamilton. When an incident does occur, resources are available, and the HSMB is available to help.

The importance of consent

Consent is: clear, unambiguous, affirmative, and mutually understood permission and agreement for each level of increased intimacy from holding hands to intercourse. Consent can be taken away at any time.

  • Silence does not mean permission.
  • Consent to some form of sexual activity cannot be automatically taken as consent to any other sexual activity.
  • If the survivor is mentally or physically incapacitated, asleep, involuntarily physically restrained, impaired from the taking of so-called  "date rape drugs," consent is not valid.
  • If one person is incapacitated because of drug or alcohol, consent is not possible.
  • If physical force, coercion, intimidation, and/or threats are used, there is no consent.
  • In order to give consent one must be of legal age, which is 17 in New York State.