At the City University of New York's Brooklyn College, they have developed a Diversity and Equity Program. These efforts are for the benefit of the students, staff members, faculty, and guests to the campus. Individuals are given an opportunity to learn in an environment that is free from sexually-based harassment and violence. The College maintains specially trained administrators that will assist victims of sexual assault, stalking, dating violence, and other unwelcome acts that are not conducive to the campus community.
Key Responsibilities for Title IX Compliance at Colleges & Universities
The U.S. Department of Education originally created Title IX guidelines in 1972. These provisions outline the key requirements that educational institutions must adhere to in order to remain eligible for federal education funds. Schools must develop an environment that is free from hostility and the various forms of gender-based harassment. When an institution receives a complaint, they are tasked with responding to investigate in a timely manner. The administration may use sanctions and other remedies to enforce and deter actions that violate the rules relating to gender-based harassment and sexual misconduct.
The City University of New York Students' Bill of Rights
The Student Bill of Rights encompasses all of the expectations regarding matters such as domestic partner violence, sexually-based abuse, and other critical issues. Students have a right to and are encouraged to contact the local authorities when they have been victimized by criminal actions. The College will handle all disciplinary matters in a fair and impartial manner. Those in need have immediate access to counseling and medical treatment. Anyone who reports a potential Title IX violation has a right to not encounter forms of retaliation. All those involved in campus disciplinary actions have a right to have a personal advisor and any disciplinary rulings may be appealed.
What are examples of sexual discrimination? Such actions involve unfavorable or disparaging treatment based on an individual's gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, and more. Individuals should not be treated differently based on any of these factors.
Allegations of Sexual Misconduct at Brooklyn College
The standards and practices involved in Title IX disciplinary matters are distinct from and not intended to replicate those of legal civil or criminal actions. The process is exclusively concerned with whether the conduct of the accused “more likely than not” violated federal guidelines. The burden of proof used to make the determination is the preponderance of the evidence standard.
Understanding Affirmative Consent
Parties engaged in sexual activity must give proper consent. This consent is acknowledged through words or actions that reflect a willingness to participate. Consent must be given knowingly and voluntarily. Consent may not be given if an individual in incapacitated. Examples of incapacitation may include being heavily intoxicated, asleep, unconscious, or restrained. Consent may not be obtained as a result of physical force, threats, or intimidation. Prior consent may be withdrawn at any time amid a sexual encounter.
After receiving a complaint of sexual misconduct, the administration may impose interim measures as needed for the safety of all parties. The most commonly used protection is that the parties are subject to a “no contact” order. This order prohibits intentional communication or contact between adverse parties, similar to restraining orders that are sometimes used in legal criminal actions.
All complaints received by the Title IX Coordinator are responded to promptly. Written notification will be presented to the accused party and this document will summarize the allegations. The designated College staff will begin gathering evidence by interviewing those involved and any witnesses.
Role of the Advisor
The parties all have the right to be accompanied by an advisor. This individual will attend meetings and hearings with the party. An attorney may be retained to function as an advisor. The advisor is supposed to act in a support role and is not permitted to issue statements at hearings, answer questions on behalf of a party, or act as a witness.
Due to the often sensitive nature of these proceedings, all hearings are closed. If an accused party concedes responsibility for the alleged violations, they are afforded a chance to present their version of events and may have some input regarding potentially appropriate sanctions. When the respondent disputes the allegations the hearing coordinators will begin introducing facts and testimony. Parties will be permitted to present additional facts and information during this process.
Sanctions and Penalties
In considering the sanctions, the College may assess the character of the accused and their past record of disciplinary action. For violations of a serious nature, a suspension may be imposed or expulsion from the University. Students accused of violent crimes will have a notation added to their transcripts.
If a party wishes to appeal a decision it must be done in writing within a period of 15 days. The only acceptable grounds for an appeal are as follows:
- Evidence suggests that written policies or procedures were not properly adhered to
- Impactful new evidence has emerged
- The sanctions imposed are believed to be excessive based on the violation(s)
CUNY Brooklyn College Title IX Coordinator Contact
Title IX Coordinator
Patricio Jimenez, Esq.
3118 Boylan Hall
Brooklyn, NY 11210
How Would I Benefit From Legal Representation?
Student accused of Title IX violations must recognize the potential severity of the sanctions that may be imposed. Today's colleges and universities are increasingly focused on minimizing their costs that relate to staff and faculty than ever before. Often busy administrators managing these disciplinary matters feel pressure to reach a resolution. Under these circumstances, it is possible that they may inadvertently operate with minimal regard for the rights of the accused.
Student Title IX Defense Attorney at CUNY Brooklyn College
Attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm have spent years representing students at New York colleges and universities facing Title IX violations, as well as those engaged in the many other types of campus disciplinary action. Aggressive legal representation includes being well prepared for hearings and able to make highly impactful statements. Having experienced counsel may significantly benefit the outcome and consequences. Please contact the office today at (888) 535-3686 for details.