Student sexual misconduct is traumatizing. For all involved, it causes immeasurable damage. If your University of Chicago student faces sexual misconduct charges, your entire family is likely confused, hurting, and wondering what might happen next.
There is a lot at stake in your child's case. The University of Chicago takes sexual misconduct very seriously. Even though your student has the right to a fair trial, the University may subconsciously side with the victim or overlook some of your student's rights. You must not allow this to happen. A sexual misconduct allegation could ruin their bright future before it properly begins.
By working with an experienced Title IX and sexual misconduct lawyer, you may be able to mitigate the consequences of your student's misconduct case. However, it's important that you begin as early as possible.
The University of Chicago and Recent Title IX Updates
In mid-2020, the United States Government announced updates to Title IX that narrow the events litigable under the law. Many universities responded by introducing two sexual misconduct policies - one to catch all events that fall under Title IX, and another for everything else.
The University of Chicago is one such institution. They have a Policy on Title IX Sexual Harassment and a Policy on Harassment, Discrimination, and Sexual Misconduct. Regardless of these distinctions, the allegations for sexual misconduct and the general process by which the University of Chicago manages investigations and adjudications remains the same.
The University of Chicago's Equal Opportunity website makes it clear that sexual misconduct is a very widely ranging accusation. Under the umbrella of the term, ‘sexual misconduct' exist several more specific definitions, including:
- Sexual assault
- Unwanted touching
- Persistent unwelcome comments, emails, or pictures
- Unwanted sexual advances
- Requests for sexual favors
- Sexually-directed remarks or behavior despite rejection
None of these actions or any other instances of sexual misconduct are permissible at the University of Chicago. Their policy states that sexual misconduct “may violate the law, does violate the standards of our community, and is unacceptable at the University of Chicago.”
As such, the University encourages all students who experience or see sexual misconduct to report it to the Title IX Coordinator, whose contact information is listed clearly on the Equal Opportunity website.
Due Process at the University of Chicago: Title IX and Sexual Misconduct Resolution Procedures
After one student (or the complainant) brings a sexual misconduct complaint against another, the school notifies the Associate Dean of Students or the Associate Provost for Equal Opportunity. The complainant will then have a meeting with either of these persons to discuss the initial information of the complaint, as well as standard university procedures for resolution.
The complainant will submit a formal statement in writing detailing the complaint. The University of Chicago will review the details, determine if the alleged infraction violates University policy, and if so, notify the other involved party (known as the respondent) by email.
If you or your student have received such an email, you have five business days to meet with the Associate Dean. In that initial meeting, you will receive information about the complaint against you, as well as information about what may happen next. First, you'll write a formal responding statement to the complaint against you. It's a good idea to make this statement as detailed and compelling as possible. It's also a good idea to make sure that you have legal support at this time to review the documents you write, sign, and receive.
As a result of these initial processes, the University of Chicago will decide to adjudicate via an Administrative Resolution or a Committee Resolution. The administrative process involves meeting and mediation; the committee resolution will look more like a typical formal due process, with fact-finding missions, investigative procedures, and a formal hearing.
After the Committee Resolution has taken place, the University of Chicago will make an official determination regarding guilt. The University will also issue recommendations for sanctions. If the school finds you guilty, you will have to comply with any penalties they recommend.
Alternatively, you do have recourse to request a review of the proceedings within fifteen days of receipt of the Committee's final decision. However, you should only do so if you have new information or if you have proof of a procedural irregularity in your disciplinary process. Your lawyer will help you put together this information in a compelling way.
The Consequences of Sexual Misconduct at Caltech
Very likely, one of the first thoughts you had after you found out about the sexual misconduct charge was what this might mean for your student's future. The University of Chicago Disciplinary Systems clarifies what your student can expect in terms of academic penalties. They include:
- A Warning: The school generally reserves this lighter sanction for Administrative Resolutions. It consists of a written notice. It will go in your student's permanent record and, if necessary, can help determine further sanctions for subsequent violations of policy.
- Disciplinary Probation: While under probation, your student will continue to enjoy the same privileges of any student at the University (unless the Committee decides otherwise). The University will, however, observe them for additional misconduct.
- Disciplinary Suspension or Expulsion: In the case of particularly egregious policy violations, the University of Chicago may deem it necessary to separate the student from the school - for a time, or permanently.
- Loss of Privileges or Discretionary Sanctions: The Associate Dean also has the power to simply reduce privileges or impose activities such as community service or compulsory mentoring.
Clearly, there's a lot at stake for your student. Finding a good lawyer is the best way to help your student avoid these consequences, which could have long-ranging impacts on your student's future.
Joseph D. Lento is a Highly Skilled, Capable Sexual Misconduct Advisor
If your student faces sexual misconduct charges, you need experienced help, and you need it now. Fortunately, you're in the right place. Joseph D. Lento is ready to bring years of expertise to help you and your student successfully move past a Title IX or sexual misconduct case. He has worked aggressively to represent students across the nation, bringing sexual misconduct cases to a favorable outcome and protecting students' rights - and their futures. He can do the same for you and your family. For more information about Joseph D. Lento and our services, reach out to the Lento Law Firm at 888-535-3686 or contact us online.