St. Peter's University is a Jesuit institution with campuses in Jersey City and Lyndhurst, New Jersey. The total student enrollment now exceeds 3,200. The student conduct system is managed by the Student Life Staff. The administration will promptly address potential infractions and judicial procedures when “disciplinary action is appropriate.”
Seeking the Assistance of a Student Rights Attorney
Students that are facing allegations of violating disciplinary guidelines may question whether retaining legal representation is appropriate for these matters. With the potential ramifications that can result, an attorney is critically important under these circumstances. Most schools allow parties in disciplinary actions the option of choosing an advisor for support and assistance. An experienced student rights lawyer should be retained to function in this capacity.
Your attorney will closely review and interpret the institution's guidelines and policies. He or she will represent your best interests and ensure your rights are protected. Often these actions will have forms of evidence that must be scrutinized. Your attorney will also accompany you to hearings, interviews, and other events.
Your attorney may engage in negotiations on your behalf to seek an amicable resolution. These discussions may involve administration from a disciplinary office, office of academic integrity, Title IX Coordinator, and others. Students are encouraged to retain counsel promptly after being made aware of the allegations to allow sufficient time for preparation.
Student Rights Lawyer
You have a constitutional right to counsel to help with defending against allegations. Your attorney will work with you on delivering effective statements and responding to questions that you will likely encounter. Overworked campus administrators may hastily move through these disciplinary proceedings. Your attorney will ensure that the process is conducted fairly.
Title IX Matters
Title IX was implemented by the U.S. Department of Education in 1972. It created some requirements for how academic institutions address allegations of sexual discrimination. This measure ensures that no person associated with the institution will be “excluded from participation in, be denied benefits, or be subjected to discrimination.” If a school fails to comply, it may lose eligibility for federal education funds.
Title IX violations may include any of the following:
- Sexual harassment: Acts including inappropriate sexual advances or appeals for sexual favors that create a hostile environment.
- Sexual violence: These may be types of physical harassment committed against an unwilling victim. These actions may victimize someone incapable of granting consent because they are a minor. It also applies when the victim is under the influence of drugs or alcohol or has a mental impairment. Some examples are rape or sexual coercion.
- Gender-based harassment: May include verbal slurs or false stereotypes “based on a student's actual or perceived sex.” This form of harassment often targets those whose sexual identity does not conform to traditional norms.
Schools must designate a Title IX Coordinator. This individual is responsible for ensuring that allegations are promptly investigated and are handled fairly. These matters are taken very seriously in higher education today. Consulting with an attorney is critical for proper guidance and the protection of your rights.
The leadership at St. Peter's “aims to eradicate and strictly prohibits” all forms of sexually-oriented misconduct. The Title IX Coordinator is the Director of Human Resources and the Vice President of Student Life and Development serves as a Deputy Title IX Coordinator.
General Disciplinary Issues
At St. Peter's University, the Student Conduct and Judicial System outline its provisions in the Community Standards and Principles of Student Conduct. Certain forms of conduct are deemed as “general” violations. This is a wide-ranging segment that applies to offenses such as the following:
- Alcohol-related: Underage possession or consumption of alcohol is among the most common. Students will also face disciplinary action for using false identification to purchase alcohol.
- Drug-related: The University remains consistent with state laws that relate to illegal drugs or drug paraphernalia.
- Hazing: All types of hazing are prohibited. These actions most commonly occur among groups or organizations such as fraternities, sororities, and athletic teams.
- Residential misconduct: Those living in college or university housing must adhere to a set of rules. Common violations include exceeding occupancy limits, excessive noise, smoking, etc. Those who violate these rules may have their eligibility for campus housing revoked.
The University Policies and Procedures address issues related to academic integrity such as cheating and plagiarism. These acts of dishonesty are contrary to the core values of the institution. Examples include communicating with others or using unauthorized materials during an examination.
Acts of plagiarism may involve misrepresentation that violates proper academic misconduct. Offenses may involve submitting someone else's ideas or thoughts as if they were yours. All sources of information used should be properly referenced or cited.
The majority of educational institutions summon all parties to a hearing unless some informal resolution is reached. Hearings may involve presenting evidence and witness testimony. Many schools have these matters heard by an individual or panel of individuals.
In evaluating the allegations, the most common evidentiary standard used is “by a preponderance of the evidence.” In Title IX actions, the federal guidelines allow for use of a “clear and convincing evidence” standard also.
Penalties and Sanctions
Students found to have committed a violation by a college or university may face penalties. The two most commonly imposed include suspension or dismissal from the school. The school may document these disciplinary outcomes in student records or transcripts. Students with a record of adverse disciplinary actions may have difficulty transferring to another school or with being admitted to graduate programs.
Legal Representation for Criminal Matters
Joseph D. Lento is an attorney that will also defend against criminal charges. These may be associated with a disciplinary violation where the campus or local police were involved. He has the experience necessary to effectively represent you in both venues
Effective Legal Representation for New Jersey College and University Students
The Lento Law Firm aggressively represents students facing general disciplinary proceedings, allegations of academic misconduct, and much more. He is well-versed in protecting the rights of his clients and pursuing favorable outcomes. Contact the office today at (888) 535-3686 for more information.