Title IX of the Education Amendments is a federal law that prohibits sexual misconduct in federally funded colleges and universities. Being accused of sexual assault, sexual harassment, rape, or any other of sexual misconduct at Alfred University is a Title IX violation that your school must resolve. If you are found “responsible” for this conduct, you could be exposed to pretty serious repercussions that could jeopardize your plans to graduate.
For the purposes of this article, we'll address Alfred University's disciplinary process and why you need an attorney-advisor if you find yourself in this predicament.
Alfred University's Disciplinary Process
According to Title IX, Alfred University is required to adjudicate any cases of sexual misconduct brought to the institution's attention. The Department of Education urges compliant higher education institutions like Alfred University to respond to these accusations in a manner that is prompt and equitable. If the school fails to do so, its federal funding is at stake. Complainants (the reporter of the complaint) and especially respondents (the person accused of sexual misconduct) should understand that their school will approach their case with the utmost seriousness, and each party should follow suit.
Filing a Formal Complaint for Potential Disciplinary Action
Any individual may initiate a complaint by reporting to a Title IX Deputy Coordinator. Complaints are to include the names of the people involved, the names of witnesses, a detailed description of the alleged conduct, when and where the conduct occurred, and relevant evidence of correspondence (text messages, emails, social media, etc).
There is no statute of limitations with respect to filing a complaint of an alleged incident. However, complainants are encouraged to report a violation as soon as possible.
Investigation of a Complaint
Upon receipt of a complaint and a desire by the complainant to move forward, the process will begin. The investigation will be conducted by a team consisting of two members of the Grievance Resolution Committee (GRC) and a member of the Public Safety Office. The investigation process generally includes interviewing the persons involved, including witnesses, and gathering and considering relevant evidence.
The hearing will be led by a 3-person panel, who will facilitate statements made by each party and a questioning period for clarification. When all statements are heard and all questions are answered, the panel will make a determination based on the preponderance of evidence.
Both the complainant and the respondent, if a student, faculty member or employee, may file an appeal based on dissatisfaction with the finding of responsibility for a violation (or the lack of such a finding), or with the sanction imposed, or both. The grounds of appeal are limited to:
i. A procedural error occurred during the process that had a direct impact on the outcome;
ii. New evidence has come to light that has a direct impact on the outcome which could not have been discovered by a properly diligent person before or during the original proceeding;
iii. The sanction is too severe (appeal from respondent); or the sanction is too lenient (appeal from the complainant)
Students must submit an appeal within 7 business days of the determination to the Office of Student Conduct.
New York Title IX Attorney
If you've been accused of sexual misconduct at Alfred University, you can anyone to be your advisor in the Title IX process. It would be in your best interest to choose an attorney who can help you effectively navigate the process and build a solid defense for you. Contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today for help at 888-535-3686.