Bowdoin College was founded in 1794 in Brunswick, which is located in southwestern Maine. The current student enrollment has grown to slightly over 1,800 students. The school's mission includes maintaining a “diverse and inclusive campus community.” This goal is consistent with the federal Title IX guidelines that require all educational institutions to address any complaints that involve sexually-based discrimination.
Title IX at Bowdoin College
Those who have experienced or witnessed incidents of sexually-oriented discrimination should make a report with the Director of Gender Violence Prevention and Education. These complaints may be made through the Online Reporting application or in-person in Room 119 of Dudley-Coe.
Defining Consent at Bowdoin College
The Student Sexual Misconduct and Gender-Based Violence Policy explains that those who participate in sexual activity must have given effective consent. This may be demonstrated with words or actions and may not be the result of coercion. The procedures are consistent with state laws of the legal minimum age for giving consent.
The policy prohibits “taking advantage” of someone who is incapacitated. Being incapacitated refers to a victim that is physically or psychologically unable to exercise rational judgment. This may include those under the influence of alcohol or drugs that are “blacked out” or asleep.
Bowdoin Student Rights
The provisions contain a set of rights that are always afforded to parties involved in these actions as follows:
- The right to make contact with agencies of law enforcement
- Access to resources on and off-campus with confidentiality
- The right to file a report anonymously
- To a safe and equitable Alternative or Formal processes of resolution
The Role of Supporters and Advisors
Bowdoin College allows all parties to select individuals to function as a supporter and an advisor. Both are permitted to accompany the party during “any part of the process.” Students that are the subject of allegations of misconduct are always encouraged to retain a seasoned student rights attorney to function in the advisory role.
Use of Independent Investigators
Complaints are forwarded to an independent and trained Investigator that will conduct interviews and review evidence. The Investigator is a neutral third-party that may work with law enforcement to gather evidence when needed.
Potential Sanctions Imposed at Bowdoin College
The sanctions that may be imposed are to be appropriate based on the “nature and severity” of the violation. Any history of violations may be considered. These typically include being suspended or dismissed. Students subject to these penalties may consider appealing an adverse ruling with assistance from an experienced attorney.
Either party may appeal a decision to the Student Appeals Committee within a five-day period. The Committee is composed of three individuals who will convene in a meeting that is facilitated by the Dean of Students. The grounds for an appeal are that an error in procedure occurred or that newly uncovered information has been discovered that may have impacted the outcome.
How Will a Title IX Attorney Help?
An experienced lawyer is best-suited to properly interpret the particular policies of each school. Although there are some commonalities in all institutional guidelines, the administration has some flexibility in drafting provisions. Your attorney will also analyze the evidence and may provide a fresh perspective that identifies inconsistencies or weaknesses.
Your attorney will provide you a tremendous benefit in terms of preparation. He or she will work to better ensure that you are ready to make effective statements and to respond to questions that you will likely face.
Your attorney may also consider engaging in negotiations on your behalf. The administration may be receptive to options that will resolve the matter amicably, which also may result in a favorable outcome for the accused.
Title IX Lawyer for Bowdoin College Students
Joseph D. Lento is an attorney that provides effective representation for students facing allegations of sexual misconduct related to Title IX. He strives to protect the rights of all clients and to pursue positive results. Contact the office today at (888) 535-3686 for further assistance.