Minors on Campus-Reporting Requirements

I. Introduction

Hofstra University strives to provide a safe and welcoming environment for children on our campus.  The University sponsors programs and activities that are designed for or may include children and makes its facilities available to outside groups and organizations that conduct programs that may include children. Hofstra is committed to providing an environment that is safe and secure for all individuals who participate in its programs, including minor children who are not students of the University.  In furtherance of that goal, this policy sets forth reporting requirements for suspected abuse of children.

Although some University employees, as New York State mandated reporters (e.g. registered nurses, mental health professionals, etc.), are required by law to report suspected child abuse and maltreatment, we have implemented these procedures to ensure that we protect minors who are on our campus or participating in University programs and activities by creating an independent duty to report suspected cases of abuse to the University.

The University has numerous policies relating to the protection of Hofstra University students and employees from sexual abuse.  Please refer to those policies for reporting and other procedures.  Policies, such as the Harassment Policy and student policies relating to sexual misconduct may be found at https://www.hofstra.edu/eoe. Additionally, many of the children who come to the Hofstra campus are under the supervision of outside groups, such as schoolteachers, who have separate and independent responsibilities as mandated reporters under New York State law.

II. Definitions

Minor means any person under the age of 18 who is not a registered Hofstra University student or an individual who has been accepted for admission to the University, and who is not under the supervision of a parent, guardian, or other non-Hofstra individuals such as a non-Hofstra teacher accompanying schoolchildren on a field trip to the campus.

Physical Abuse means intentional physical contact with a Minor which is intended to cause, or causes, serious pain or physical injury, including but not limited to punching, beating, shaking, throwing, kicking, biting, and burning, or directing a child, outside the norm of the supervised activity, to perform physical activity which is intended to cause physical injury.   

Sexual Abuse means any illegal or otherwise wrongful sexual conduct with a Minor.

Reporting Person means any University employee or volunteer who, in the scope of their employment or volunteer role, is responsible for the supervision of a Minor, or examines, counsels, or treats a Minor, as well as any University officer, including the President, Provost, and  Vice Presidents. Reporting Persons also include athletics coaches, the Director of Athletics, the Title IX Officer for Student Issues, the Chief Human Resources Officer/Title IX Officer for Employee Matters, Public Safety Officers, the Director of the Student Health and Counseling Center, and the Executive Director of the Saltzman Community Services Center.  

III. Reporting Requirements

All Reporting Persons must notify the Department of Public Safety when they see, know about, or reasonably suspect Physical Abuse or Sexual Abuse of a Minor in the course of their employment or volunteering for the University.  Upon receiving a report, the Department of Public Safety will contact local law enforcement and/or New York State Child Protective Services, as applicable.   When in doubt about whether something should be reported, Public Safety should be contacted.

Mandated Reporters.  Members of the University Community who are considered Mandated Reporters pursuant to New York State law are also required to report suspected child abuse and maltreatment to the New York State Office of Child and Family Services (“OCFS”) Hotline at 1-800-342-3720. 
Exclusions. Physicians, psychologists, licensed therapists, and other clinicians who are NYS mandated reporters and are reporting suspected child abuse or maltreatment to NYS in connection with their clinical care to patients are not required to notify Public Safety of the report if doing so would breach a patient’s legal rights to confidentiality.   The duty to report also may not apply to certain confidential communications to members of the clergy or others in cases where a recognized legal duty of confidentiality applies. 
When making a notification, the Reporting Person should provide the following information to the best of their knowledge:

  • Name of the alleged victim(s)
  • Name of the alleged perpetrator(s)
  • Time and date of the incident(s) being reported
  • Location where the incident(s) occurred; and
  • Any additional information supporting the suspicion that misconduct has occurred. 

Retaliation against any person who makes a good faith report under this Policy is prohibited. If an individual believes that they are being retaliated against for making a good faith report of suspected Physical or Sexual Abuse of a Minor or because they have assisted in the investigation of a report, they are encouraged to immediately report this to the Office of Human Resources.

IV. Training

The Vice President or Provost overseeing each department in which Reporting Persons are employed or volunteering is responsible for ensuring that such Reporting Persons receive training and understand the reporting requirements contained in this policy.

HU Doc # 13657