Graduating from college is a huge accomplishment that many students have dreamed about since they were young. Some students have known which college or university that they wanted to attend before they even got to high school, and when they got there, they dedicated their time to maintaining good grades and/or sharpening their skills in sports to be accepted into the school of their dreams. But once accepted, there are a number of obstacles that one may face that can hinder them from the ultimate goal of attending a higher education institution: receiving a college degree. One of these obstacles is being accused of violating a school's policy.
Allegations of a school violation - especially one that involves sexual misconduct - have the ability to single handedly ruin your college experience. Not to mention, that if you are found responsible for this behavior, it could jeopardize your professional and educational career also. This is why it's important that students take full advantage of the resources they have when undergoing their school's processes. Having a clear understanding of how your school will approach this case, and knowing what to expect can help level the playing field in a system that tends to cater to accusers. Here is a brief overview of Capitol Technology University's Title IX Process.
Title IX Process
Filing a complaint
The process is kicked off when a person, employee of the institution or third party files a complaint alleging sexual misconduct. In the midst of the process, there will be several terms used to characterize each party in a case. An individual who identifies as a victim/survivor of the alleged misconduct is known as a “complainant.” When necessary, the school will sometimes take on the role of a complainant. Any individual or organization that has been accused of violating school policy is known as a “respondent.” Once a report has been filed listing these terms and detailing the alleged misconduct, the process will proceed.
This is the portion of the process that is intended to determine if it was likely that there was a violation of school policy. A Title IX coordinator will speak with a complainant and assess specific factors of the alleged misconduct to come to a decision. These factors include a respondent's history of exhibiting such behavior, if there was violence, if there is a pattern etc.
If there is sufficient evidence that a violation could have occurred, a ”thorough, impartial, and reliable” investigation will be conducted. This entails interviews featuring complainants, respondents and witnesses who may know relevant information. Once all necessary responses and facts have been gathered, investigators will submit a report with findings and recommendations to the Title IX coordinator.
The findings will be forwarded to the respective Vice President, Provost, of Law School Dean for disposition. If school authorities conclude that it is more likely than not that a violation occurred (preponderance of evidence), than a respondent will be found responsible for the misconduct and sanctions will be imposed.
If the findings conclude that there was no violation of Title IX, there will be no further proceedings.
If a respondent is dissatisfied with the determination and/or sanctions decided by an institution, he or she has the option of appealing, or asking the school to reconsider its decision. However, in order for an appeal to be considered, it must contain good reason, or reasonable grounds. These grounds consist of the following:
- A procedural error occurred that significantly impacted the outcome of an investigation
- New evidence that was once unavailable throughout the process has surfaced that could substantially impact a determination and/or sanction
- The sanctions imposed or substantially disproportionate to the severity of the violation
- Evidence of bias of investigators
Respondents have five business days from the final determination to file an appeal.
Title IX Advisor
Federal and state allows you several options when it comes to choosing an advisor. However, the benefits of selecting an attorney to occupy this role drastically outweigh the benefits of choosing anyone else. Skilled legal professional Joseph D. Lento has successfully guided students who have been in your shoes through these processes, and he can do the same for you. Contact him today for assistance.
Title IX violations and Title IX charges can change an accused student's life if not defended against properly and as early as possible during the disciplinary process, and Joseph D. Lento has nearly a decade of experience passionately fighting for the future of his clients at universities and colleges throughout the nation. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead, prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. Joseph Lento is a licensed attorney in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, is admitted as an attorney pro hac vice in state and federal court if needed when representing clients nationwide, and serves as a Title IX advisor to students facing disciplinary cases in Washington, D.C. and throughout the nation. Make certain your or your student's interests are protected - Joseph D. Lento can help.