Located in the northwestern region of the state, Edinboro University was founded back in 1857. The student enrollment now exceeds 4,800 students. The leadership of the institution maintains high standards for academic performance and conduct. The disciplinary procedures seek to “maintain order, protect the campus community, and protect the good name of the University.”
Benefits of Retaining a Student Rights Attorney
Students enrolled at colleges and universities and their families are commonly making large sacrifices to pursue an education. These may consist of significant commitments of time and financial resources. Students that are being accused of disciplinary misconduct may potentially place their educational objectives at risk.
Students should promptly consult with an experienced student disciplinary attorney after becoming aware of any allegations. Why is this timing so important? Overworked campus administrators may hurry to resolve disciplinary proceedings before the end of a semester, term or another deadline.
In the meanwhile, a student that is accused of wrongdoing may also be motivated to resolve the proceedings. This may stem from a desire to alleviate the anxiety involved potentially adverse outcome looming. Your attorney will be very valuable in your preparation. You will be better prepared to deliver concise statements and to effectively respond to questions
A skilled student rights attorney will also assist your defense by clearly interpreting the school's unique policies and procedures. All evidence that is presented must be assessed and scrutinized. Your attorney may participate in discussions with the appropriate administrators in efforts to negotiate an amicable resolution.
Student Rights Attorney
All parties involved in disciplinary matters are generally permitted to choose an advisor for support who will accompany them to hearings. This is a role that should be filled by an attorney to create a favorable outcome. Your attorney will ensure that your rights to due process are acknowledged.
There are three categories or types of disciplinary violations that exist in college and universities. These include “general” disciplinary violations, acts of academic dishonesty or misconduct, and those that potentially violate federal Title IX guidelines.
Understanding Title IX
All U.S. schools are responsible for maintaining compliance with Title IX. This was an Educational Amendment implemented in 1972 by the U.S. Department of Education. Current responsibility for guidance and compliance is assigned to The Office for Civil Rights (OCR).
Title IX seeks to prevent all forms of sexual discrimination. Acts of discrimination may occur in institutional admissions, access to benefits, athletic participation and more. A failure to comply with these provisions can result in a loss of eligibility for federal education funds. Title IX violations may occur in several ways.
Sexual harassment describes verbal or nonverbal acts that may include appeals for sexual favors or other advances. Acts of sexually-based violence are also prohibited. These are physical actions committed against a victim that has not provided consent to participate. Examples may include sexual assault or coercion. Gender-oriented harassment often occurs through inappropriate slurs or stereotypes.
The Title IX Coordinator is based in the Office of Social Equity located in Reeder Hall. The established provisions are contained in the University Sex Discrimination and Sexual Misconduct Policy Handbook. The University is committed to “unequivocally prohibit discrimination, harassment, and intimidation.”
When the respondent is a student, the process is managed by the student judicial process. When the respondent is an employee, the process is managed by the Office of Social Equity. The investigation is specifically handled by the Director of Residence Life and Judicial Affairs or another individual that the Vice President for Student Affairs will appoint.
General Disciplinary Misconduct
The Student Code of Conduct contains all provisions about “general” disciplinary violations. Many violations that are “general” are associated with drugs and/or alcohol. Examples may include underage alcohol consumption, unlawful drug possession or using false identification to purchase alcohol. All forms of hazing are prohibited. These may include abusive or degrading acts committed against prospective members of fraternities or those joining athletic teams.
Students residing in college or university housing must abide by a set of rules. Common violations may include extreme noise, smoking or tampering with fire-safety equipment. The more serious violations are likely to result in the termination of eligibility for campus housing.
What is Academic Misconduct?
Acts of academic misconduct are addressed in the Student Code of Conduct and Judicial Affairs Procedures. The provisions strictly prohibit all forms of cheating. Many incidents of cheating occur during an examination. These include using unauthorized notes, copying the answers of another student, and having unauthorized communication.
The University places an emphasis on preventing plagiarism, which is contrary to the core values of the institution. All assignments that a student submits must be original work. The administrator uses plagiarism detection software to identify violations. All sources of information used to complete an assignment must be properly cited or referenced.
The majority of institutions require that the allegations be proven by a preponderance of the evidence. This is a lesser standard than beyond a reasonable doubt, which is used in criminal matters. Recent federal Title IX guidelines now also allow schools the option of using a clear and convincing standard.
Appeals Process at Edinboro University
Those who wish to appeal an unfavorable ruling must do so in writing within 10 days. The grounds for an appeal are as follows:
- University procedures or regulations were not adhered to and impacted a party's ability to be treated fairly
- The sanctions that were imposed may be appealed if they are believed to be “grossly disproportionate” to the violation
- Relevant evidence has emerged that was not available at the time of the hearing
Representation in Criminal Matters
Joseph D. Lento is an attorney that is can effectively defend against criminal charges. Criminal charges may coincide with disciplinary actions when the campus police or local enforcement agencies are involved. He has significant experience studying evidence and creating broad defense strategies.
Students Rights Lawyer for Pennsylvania Colleges and Universities
Joseph D. Lento provides aggressive representation for students facing campus disciplinary proceedings, allegations of academic misconduct, and much more. He is well-versed in protecting the rights of his clients and obtaining positive results. Contact the office today at (888) 535-3686 for additional information.