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 Canisius 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 Canisius College's disciplinary process and why you need an attorney-advisor if you find yourself in this predicament.
Canisius College's Disciplinary Process
Under Title IX, Canisius 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 Canisius College 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.
Filing a Complaint
An individual can report a Title IX complaint to a University employee or a Title IX Coordinator. Complaints are to include the names of the people involved, the names of witnesses, a detailed description of the alleged conduct, when and where the conduct occurred, and relevant evidence of correspondence (text messages, emails, social media etc).
There is no statute of limitations with respect to filing a complaint of an alleged incident. However, complainants are encouraged to report a violation as soon as possible.
Upon receipt of a complaint, the Title IX Coordinator will conduct an initial assessment to determine whether the allegations in the initial report(s), if true, would constitute a violation of school policy.
If it is determined that there could be a potential violation of school policy, the complaint will be resolved informally or formally. Most sexual misconduct cases are solved formally.
Formal Investigation and Resolution Proceedings
During the course of an investigation, a third-party investigator will:
- Give the respondent proper notice of the complaint and investigation and provide him or her an opportunity to render information
- Interview the complainant, the respondent, and any material witnesses
- Gather all relevant documentary and/or physical evidence
- Complete the investigation in a timely manner, without unnecessary deviation from the intended timeline
- Maintain communication with the complainant and the respondent on the status of the investigation and overall process
The preponderance of evidence standard is the required standard for determining whether a policy violation has transpired. Administrators and hearing panels will be charged with rendering a decision, based on the information provided, if the respondent is responsible or not responsible for the sexual misconduct.
Either party may appeal the determination and/or sanction within five business days of the receipt of the determination. An appeal must be based on at least one of the following factors to be considered:
- There was a procedural error
- There is new evidence that was not available at the time of the hearing
- The sanctions are too severe or not severe enough
New York Title IX Attorney
If you've been accused of sexual misconduct at Canisius College, you can choose anyone to be your advisor in the Title IX process. 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 at 888-535-3686 for help.