Title IX of the Education Amendments is a federal law that prohibits sexual misconduct in federally funded colleges and universities. Being accused of sexual assault, sexual harassment, rape, or any other form of sexual misconduct at Bard College is a Title IX violation that your school must resolve. If you are found “responsible” for this conduct, you could be exposed to pretty serious repercussions that could jeopardize your plans to graduate.
For the purposes of this article, we'll address Bard College's disciplinary process and why you need an attorney-advisor if you find yourself in this predicament.
Bard College's Disciplinary Process
According to Title IX, Bard College is required to adjudicate any cases of sexual misconduct brought to the institution's attention. The Department of Education urges compliant higher education institutions like Clark University to respond to these accusations in a manner that is prompt and equitable. If the school fails to do so, its federal funding is at stake. Complainants (the reporter of the complaint) and especially respondents (the person accused of sexual misconduct) should understand that their school will approach their case with the utmost seriousness, and each party should follow suit.
Any member of the Bard community, or guest or visitor, who believes they have been subjected to sexual misconduct is encouraged to report a complaint to the Title IX Coordinator. The College recommends that complaints are reported promptly to ensure safety, obtain medical care, and to preserve evidence to assist the response of law enforcement and/or the college.
The Title IX Coordinator conducts a preliminary inquiry, where the Coordinator will facilitate the following actions:
- Ascertain whether the complainant wishes to pursue an institutional investigation under these procedures, and discuss with the complainant and concerns or barriers to participating in any investigation and resolution process under this policy
- Inform all parties of their rights afforded under the Student Bill of Rights
- Inform the complainant about other resources and support services, both on campus and in the community, and how to request or contact such resources, etc.
The Title IX Coordinator will then decide whether or not there's a reason for a complaint to move to the next phase of the process, which is the institutional investigation.
The College is supposed to investigate and adjudicate reports of sexual misconduct in a thorough, reliable, impartial, and timely manner. Institutional investigations are conducted by trained investigators who are designated by the Office for Gender. Both parties may submit evidence and identify witnesses to the investigator, who has the discretion to determine the relevancy to the investigation. Evidence offered for the purpose of providing information about a party's character, general disposition, or qualities will generally not be considered relevant.
The investigator will issue a written report of findings to the adjudicator. The investigator's report will discuss the evidence submitted and the investigator's opinion as to whether or not the preponderance of the evidence supports a determination that the responding party is responsible for violating the College's sexual misconduct policy.
Once the adjudicator has reviewed the investigative report and determined the outcome, the adjudicator will share the outcome with the Title IX Coordinator, who will then simultaneously notify both parties in writing of the outcome.
Any appeal must be submitted in writing within five (5) business days from the date of the outcome notification. The grounds on which an appeal may be based are:
- Procedural that substantially impacted the outcome;
- New evidence that was unavailable at the time of the investigation and could substantially impact the outcome; and/or
- Sanction substantially disproportionate to the outcome.
New York Title IX Attorney
If you've been accused of sexual misconduct at Bard College, you can anyone to be your advisor in the Title IX. It would be in your best interest to choose an attorney who can help you effectively navigate the process and build a solid defense for you. Contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today for help at 888-535-3686.