Located in the Pomona Valley area of Los Angeles County, Claremont McKenna College (CMC) maintains an undergraduate enrollment exceeding 1,300 students. The administration fosters a community that is “broadly diverse.” This commitment is consistent with the federal guidelines outlined in Title IX that require institutions to properly handle allegations of sexually-based discrimination.
Title IX Administration at Claremont McKenna College (CMC)
The Title IX Coordinator at CMC is located in the Office for Diversity and Inclusion on the 2nd floor of the Heggblade. There are also several Deputy Title IX Coordinators located in the Department of Human Resources and the Administration and Compliance Office. Complaints may also be submitted anonymously over the phone or online.
Advisory Support for Parties at CMC
The reporting party (Claimant) and responding party (Respondent) are permitted to select an Advisor and an optional Support Person. The Grievance Procedures differentiate these two roles. Advisors may assume a more active role in hearings, as they may ask questions and cross-examine witnesses and parties.
The Grievance Procedures explain that “legal counsel is permitted to serve in the role of an Advisor.” The Support Person is restricted to a passive role in hearings. Parties may only have one individual functioning in each of these roles.
CMC: Type 1 Formal Title IX Procedures
- Type 1 Procedures are applicable for complaints that are less severe compared to Type 2
- This is appropriate when the sanctions that are likely to be imposed do not include suspension or expulsion
- An “internal or external” investigator is responsible for creating a formal Investigation Report
- The Investigation Report will contain a summary of allegations, evidence, and facts that are being disputed
- A Sanctioning Officer then issues a ruling based on the Investigation Report and parties wishing to appeal this decision must do so within five days.
CMC: Type 2 Formal Title IX Investigation Procedures
- Type 2 Formal Procedures are appropriate for cases when the alleged conduct is likely to result in either a suspension or expulsion from the institution if proven
- All matters involving allegations of “non-consensual sexual intercourse” or other physical acts of misconduct are subject to Type 2 procedures
- The appointed Investigator may seek assistance from professional experts that are independent when such expertise is necessary.
- The Title IX Coordinator will also appoint a Hearing Officer that is responsible for hosting a meeting (hearing) that will be conducted impartially
- The Hearing Officer is responsible for determining which evidence or questions are relevant to the case
Hearings at CMC
Following the completion of the Final Investigation Report, a hearing is scheduled with all parties being notified in writing. Hearings are not open to the public. Parties may be permitted to remotely participate in the hearing using videoconferencing or another form of technology. All parties must submit any questions that they wish to ask before the hearing for approval.
The Claimant is first asked questions by the Hearing Officer. The Claimant's advisor may also then ask the Claimant questions. The Respondent's advisor may then ask the Claimant questions. This same format of questioning is also used once the Respondent is called.
The Claimant and the Respondent are both permitted to deliver a closing statement. Their advisors also are permitted to deliver a closing statement before the hearing is formally ended. A transcript of the hearing is available to the parties. The Title IX Coordinator and the Hearing Officer will deliberate for no longer than seven business days.
The parties will receive a written explanation of findings and any sanctions that will be imposed. CMC does allow for either party to appeal a ruling. During the appeals process, the sanctions are temporarily postponed until a final ruling is issued.
Penalties Which May Be Imposed
Schools are tasked with imposing sanctions that are reasonable based on the nature of the violation(s). In most cases, the student will face suspension or dismissal from the institution. Many colleges notify the parents of students involved in these matters.
Grounds for Appeal
Either party may appeal a decision within five business days. This must be submitted in writing to the Chief Civil Rights Officer or the Dean of Faculty for Faculty Respondents. There are only two grounds for an appeal. Appeals must either assert that a procedural error was made in the process or that new relevant information has become available. Having assistance in this process from an experienced attorney is strongly suggested.
Importance of Securing Legal Representation for Disciplinary Matters
Students that face allegations of violating these provisions should consult with an attorney. Those in pursuit of a college education have often made significant sacrifices toward achieving this goal; therefore, having experienced representation is warranted.
In most cases, all parties involved in disciplinary matters can choose an advisor. Your attorney will ensure that the school's specific provisions are interpreted and that your rights are protected. He or she may also accompany you to hearings and other related events.
Student Rights Advisor
Your attorney may approach the university administration in efforts to negotiate a mutually acceptable resolution. After becoming aware of such allegations, students must promptly consult with a lawyer, as further delays may limit the amount of preparation time.
In today's highly competitive scholastic environment, leaders at colleges and universities are well-aware of the importance of maintaining a positive image and reputation. This may create a tendency for the administration to hastily approach these matters. This haphazardness may result in a process that does not fully consider the rights of the accused.
Representation for Claremont McKenna College Students
Have you been accused of violating Title IX provisions related to sexual misconduct at a college or university? Attorney Joseph D. Lento aggressively advocates for clients facing these allegations. Contact the office today at (888) 535-3686.