Rowan University was founded in 1923 in Glassboro, New Jersey and now has a total enrollment of more than 18,000. The Office of Community Standards formally presents the “standards of behavior expected within the University community” to new students. The University will not hesitate to “issue sanctions as appropriate and necessary” to prevent acts of “disruptive behavior.”
Why Retain a Student Rights Attorney?
Those pursuing a college education are committing many years of time and large financial resources. Those who commit disciplinary violations jeopardize their future goals.
Having an experienced student rights attorney will better ensure that the institution's specific guidelines and policies are correctly interpreted.
He or she serves as an advocate for the protection of your rights. These disciplinary proceedings may involve evidence that your attorney may evaluate and challenge.
An attorney may accompany you to interviews, hearing and other events. An attorney may engage in discussions regarding potential negotiations that can result in a mutually acceptable resolution. These parties may often include representation from offices such as academic affairs, residential life or the Title IX Coordinator.
Student Rights Lawyer
Accused parties are entitled to constitutional rights in student disciplinary proceedings. At most institutions, the provisions allow for all parties involved in these matters to choose an advisor for support. You should retain experienced legal counsel to function in this role. Another key reason for having assistance from an attorney is to ensure you are prepared.
Your attorney may work with you to develop highly impactful statements and effective responses to questions that you are likely to be asked. Overworked campus administrators could potentially move hurriedly through these proceedings without adhering to policy or affording the accused their right to due process.
Student Rights Lawyer
In some cases, students and their families take these allegations too lightly. It may not be until the proceedings are in motion before it becomes clear that the outcome may have significant long-term consequences. Promptly consulting with an attorney is very important once a student is initially informed of the allegations.
Types of Disciplinary Actions
Three types or categories of disciplinary action may occur at colleges and universities:
- “General” disciplinary matters
- Those associated with academic misconduct or acts that violate standards for academic integrity
- Potential violations of federal Title IX guidelines
Title IX Matters
Title IX was a federal amendment established in 1972 by the U.S. Department of Education to address concerns related to sexually-based discrimination in educational institutions. Acts that potentially violate Title IX include sexual harassment, sexual assault or gender-based discrimination. Administrators must strive to allow everyone equal access to programs, benefits, and activities regardless of their gender or sexual identity.
Institutions must develop written policies that outline their program of Title IX compliance. Failures in adherence may result in losing eligibility for federal funding to education. Complaints are to be promptly investigated and handled in an equitable manner that is free from possible conflicts of interest.
At Rowan University, the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) have an Associate Vice President that serves as the Title IX Coordinator. The program of Title IX compliance is contained in the Student Sexual Misconduct and Harassment Policy. It prohibits any “form of sexual violence, harassment or exploitation.” Allegations are investigated and may be proven according to a preponderance of the evidence standard.
General Disciplinary Issues
The Vice President for Student Affairs at Rowan University created a Student Code of Conduct. There are many types of “general” disciplinary violations. Violations may be drug or alcohol-related. Examples include underage possession or consumption of alcohol or possession of controlled substances.
Hazing is another form of serious misconduct that also is prohibited by the New Jersey Criminal Code. Rowan University defines hazing as when actions are made or conditions are created that poses a risk of “bodily harm or mental or physical harassment, intimidation, or bullying.”
It also may involve instigating someone to violate institutional policies or the law for the “purpose of initiating, promoting, fostering, or confirming any form of affiliation with a student group or organization.” Hazing on college campuses is most common among fraternities, sororities, and athletic teams.
The Office of Residential Learning and University Housing implements rules and policies related to those living in student housing. Some of the common violations relate to making excessive noise during “quiet hours” or using the premises for commercial purposes or solicitation. Other prohibited acts include possession of weapons, illegal drugs, and anything that creates a risk of fire.
The Office of the Provost created an Academic Integrity Policy that explains their standards and expectations. These violations are classified as being acts of academic misconduct, cheating, fabrication, and plagiarism. These acts of dishonesty and do not conform to the institution's basic values.
Cheating may occur by improperly aiding another student in completing an assignment. Receiving or giving assistance to another person during an examination is strictly prohibited. This also applies to the use of unauthorized notes, devices or other materials during an examination.
Plagiarism is universally recognized as being grounds for serious disciplinary action in education. Acts may involve using someone else's ideas or words in an assignment for credit. All such sources of information should be properly referenced or cited. This applies to “word-for-word” information as well as material being paraphrased.
Those found to have committed serious violations are likely to face suspension or dismissal from the institution. Also, most schools make transcript notations of these infractions. This can cause problems if applying to another institution or graduate school program.
Disciplinary matters could coincide with criminal charges, such as from a campus police department. This creates the possibility of having a criminal record. Attorney Joseph D. Lento has a wealth of experience as a criminal defense attorney and can assist you both inside and outside of the courtroom.
Lawyer for Representation in College and University Disciplinary Matters
Those facing allegations of disciplinary misconduct at their college or university should take prompt action. It is important to secure aggressive representation with a firm understanding of these proceedings. The Lento Law Firm defends the rights of students in these actions. Contact the office at (888) 535-3686 today.