The New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) in Newark was originally founded in 1881 as the Newark Technical School. The total enrollment of the institution is roughly 11,400. The institution's leadership is committed to fostering an environment with a “high level of ethics and honesty” and maintains accountability for disciplinary violations. They have policies for “adjudicating offenses” and imposing sanctions on violators.
Retaining the Assistance of a Student Rights Attorney
Those attending colleges and universities and their families are often making large sacrifices to pursue an education. These include considerable commitments of time and financial resources. When a student has been accused of an act of disciplinary misconduct they may potentially place their educational goals in jeopardy.
Students should always retain an experienced student disciplinary attorney promptly after being made aware of allegations. Why is the timing of particular importance? Busy administrators may rush to conclude disciplinary proceedings before the end of a semester or other deadlines or otherwise may rush to judgment when much is at stake.
The accused student also may wish to keep the process moving forward in hopes of relieving anxiety associated with a pending outcome. One critical aspect of your defense is being well-prepared. You should be ready to effectively respond to questions and to deliver clear statements.
An experienced attorney will assist you in clearly interpreting the school's specific policies and guidelines. All applicable evidence should be reviewed and scrutinized. Your attorney may engage the appropriate administrators in negotiations that may result in a mutually acceptable resolution.
Student Rights Attorney
Most institutions allow all parties to disciplinary actions the right to choose and be accompanied by an advisor. Having a lawyer function in this capacity is critical to the potential outcome. He or she will better ensure that your rights to due process are protected.
There are three general categories of disciplinary violations that exist in post-secondary educational settings. These are “general” disciplinary violations, acts of academic misconduct, and those related to federal Title IX guidelines.
Title IX Matters
All educational institutions are responsible for maintaining compliance with Title IX. This was one of several Education Amendments in 1972 implemented by the U.S. Department of Education. The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is currently responsible for enforcement and ongoing guidance.
The purpose of Title IX is to protect against types of sexual discrimination. It may apply to institutional admissions, accessing benefits, athletic participation and more. Schools that fail to comply with these guidelines risk losing eligibility for federal education funding. Title IX may be violated through various actions.
Sexually-based harassment may be verbal or nonverbal and include appeals for sexual favors or other advances. Acts of sexual violence are prohibited. These are physical acts against a victim that has not given consent to participate. Examples include acts of sexual assault or coercion. Gender-based harassment may occur through inappropriate slurs or stereotypes.
The Sexual Misconduct Policy for Students contains the institutional policies related to Title IX. These policies apply to students, staff member faculty, vendors, visitors, and others. It will also apply to NJIT programs or activities that take place at off-campus venues.
General Disciplinary Issues
At NJIT, the Dean of Students and Office of Campus Life has created a Code of Student Conduct. This contains the expectations for student behavior and addresses “general” disciplinary violations.
General violations may include underage possession of alcohol or possession of controlled substances. Hazing is also strictly prohibited. This type of misconduct in campus settings is most likely to involve athletic teams, fraternities, and sororities. A victim of hazing may be a prospective member that is subjected to degradation or humiliation.
Those who reside in campus housing such as residence halls must adhere to certain rules contained in the Residence Life guide. Underage students may not possess or consume alcohol on the premises. Student housing may not be used for commercial purposes. Students are also prohibited from smoking in the buildings or tampering with fire safety equipment.
The NJIT has developed a University Policy on Academic Integrity. The guidelines are separated into categories of cheating, fabrication, and plagiarism.
Acts of cheating may include:
- Looking at another student's answers during an exam
- Using or possessing unauthorized materials during an exam including written materials or electronic devices
- Unauthorized communication during an exam using a phone or similarly connected device
- Having another individual take an exam on your behalf
- Taking an exam on behalf of another student
- Having unauthorized possession of an exam or other materials that belong to a faculty or staff member
- Presenting a term paper or project for credit that was created by someone else
- Conspiring with others to commit acts of academic dishonesty
- Selling copies of exams or papers
Acts of fabrication may include
- Intentionally creating false information such as reference sources
- Deliberately adding non-existent citations to a bibliography
- Altering data or findings to conform to your results
- Altering incorrect answers once an exam was returned to you
Acts of plagiarism may include:
- Submitting any work prepared by someone else as one's own without references or citations
- Directly copying text from another source without references or quotations
- Having another person create a paper or project that you then submit for credit
Sanctions and Penalties
Academic institutions have some flexibility in how they manage their disciplinary proceedings. The underlying goal is to decide whether the allegations were proven. If proven, the student may be suspended or dismissed from the school. Most schools have some type of appeals process for those who are the subject of an adverse ruling.
Another potential longer-term concern is that information relating to disciplinary action may exist on a student's records or transcripts. This can pose potential problems for those seeking admission to another university or entry into a graduate-level program.
Student disciplinary violations may also involve criminal charges from campus police or other agencies of law enforcement. The Lento Law Firm has many years of experience in handling these criminal matters also.
Attorney Represents Students in Disciplinary Actions at Colleges and Universities in New Jersey
Joseph D. Lento is a lawyer that will effectively advocate for the rights of students faced with disciplinary or criminal allegations. He is well-versed in these proceedings and will develop a comprehensive defense strategy to protect your future. Take action today by contacting the office at (888) 535-3686 for assistance.