Attorney for East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania Students

East Stroudsburg University (ESU) initially was established as East Stroudsburg Normal School back in 1893. The current enrollment now exceeds 7,000 students. The student disciplinary process is largely dictated by the PA State System of Higher Education. Specifically, they follow the Student Disciplinary Due Process Requirements.

Ways That a Student Rights Lawyer Can Assist

Post-secondary institutions today are increasingly focused on their reputation. This is the result of a very competitive landscape and the ease with which negative information is circulated. They seek to maintain high standards of academic integrity and excellent campus safety.

Many administrators are increasingly pressured to hold students accountable for any violations. This can result in disproportionately harsh sanctions and penalties being imposed. These administrators are often overworked and may move hastily through the conduct proceedings without affording you due process.

University administrators are typically permitted to use their discretion in developing their disciplinary procedures and processes. There may be variations in the investigative process, the format of hearings, and more. Having a seasoned attorney to properly interpret your school's unique guidelines is very important.

Students and their loved ones are sometimes making significant sacrifices in time and money to pursue post-secondary education. An adverse outcome such as being suspended or expelled from the school may jeopardize these goals. In some instances, students and their parents may not initially realize the potential long-term consequences that can result.

It is strongly recommended that you choose an attorney that is familiar with this realm of practice. This should occur promptly after being informed of the allegations to allow ample time for preparation. Most schools do allow parties to select an advisor for support. It is important to have a lawyer function in this capacity. You will be better prepared to deliver effective statements and responses to questions.

Your attorney may potentially recognize opportunities to engage in discussions with administrators to negotiate a favorable resolution. Having legal representation will increase the likelihood that these lines of communication may exist. Your attorney may also accompany you to formal interviews, hearings, and other proceedings.

Student Rights Attorney

Student disciplinary matters typically fall into three different categories. These include “general” disciplinary violations, acts of academic dishonesty or misconduct, and violations of federal Title IX guidelines.

Understanding Title IX at ESU

All U.S. educational institutions must comply with federal Title IX guidelines. This was a civil rights amendment originally introduced in 1972 by the U.S. Department of Education. The provisions prohibit all forms of sexually-based discrimination. Failing to properly adhere to Title IX may result in losing eligibility for federal funding. Ongoing information, guidance, and enforcement are handled by The Office of Civil Rights (OCR).

Colleges are tasked with designating a Title IX Coordinator who creates written procedures outlining how complaints are managed. Institutions are afforded some flexibility in creating their processes. One key is that fairness is maintained for all parties.

Title IX violations may involve impeding or otherwise precluding anyone's right to partake in programs or activities based on their gender or sexual orientation. Title IX also forbids acts of sexual harassment. These actions acts may occur by promoting false stereotypes, making unwanted sexual advances, and more.

Physical sexual violence such as assault is also deemed as a form of harassment. Here, the victims that have not given consent to participate in any sexual activity. This is also applicable to victims that are debilitated or cannot legally give consent.

The University will promptly “address acts of sex-based discrimination, harassment, or gender violence (collectively referred to as sexual misconduct).” This is executed through education and “identifying clear reporting requirements, investigating all alleged violations of policy, and as appropriate, disciplining members of the community found in violation.”

The Title IX Coordinator at ESU is located in the Office of Counseling and Psychological Services. In emergencies, individuals are encouraged to call 911 to reach a police dispatcher with Monroe County.

General Disciplinary Matters

Several possible actions that constitute a “general” violation. Some of the most common are as follows:

  • Alcohol-related: Infraction involving underage consumption of alcohol or using false identification to purchase alcoholic beverages.
  • Drug-related: May include unlawful possession of controlled substances
  • Unauthorized solicitation: Using the school's property as a venue to sell or distribute products, services, or information without obtaining permission.
  • Smoking in the school's buildings, residential halls, etc.

The ESU Hazing Prevention Policy prohibits hazing. The University states that acts of hazing are committed knowingly and with intent. These acts are coercive and commonly the victim is being initiated or otherwise admitted to some organization related to the institution. This applies to organizations including athletic teams, fraternities, sororities, clubs, and more.

In addition to being a disciplinary violation, hazing is a crime. Consent is not an acceptable defense in either the campus or criminal processes. The entire organization is potentially subject to harsh consequences when individual members commit these offenses.

ESU's disciplinary provisions emphasized that using technology for prohibited uses will not be tolerated. This includes viewing, sending, or downloading obscene or sexually explicit material. This also applies to communications that involve threats or sexual harassment.

Academic Misconduct

Colleges and universities maintain high standards of academic integrity. Cheating is strictly prohibited. Common examples include having unauthorized communication with others during an exam or using phones or other mobile devices during an exam.

Plagiarism is another common form of academic misconduct at ESU. Students must cite or reference all sources used. Students that fail to give credit to a source may be subject to “failure in the course and for further academic discipline.”

Disciplinary Information Contained in Student Records or Transcripts

The University Policy for the Retention of Records operates in accordance with the requirements of the federal and state government. Unlike academic records, those regarding student disciplinary activity are typically retained for five years.

Criminal Charges

Student disciplinary matters may also coincide with criminal charges involving the local or campus police. Joseph D. Lento has many years of experience defending clients in criminal matters in courts throughout Pennsylvania. You will benefit from having aggressive defense on both fronts.

Attorney Represents College and University Students Accused of Misconduct

For many years now, the Lento Law Firm has defended the rights of students in various types of proceedings. Some examples include allegations relating to sexual harassment, academic misconduct, or criminal wrongdoing.  Contact the office at (888) 535-3686 for assistance.

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If you, or your student, are facing any kind of disciplinary action, or other negative academic sanction, and are having feelings of uncertainty and anxiety for what the future may hold, contact our offices today, and let us help secure your academic career.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations – the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website. In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Berks, Lancaster, Lehigh, and Northampton County. In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County, In New York, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New York's 62 counties. Outside of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance may not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, New York, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.

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