More than 20,000 college and university students are now participating in the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) programs in the U.S. These programs involve making a military service obligation in exchange for scholarships and other benefits. In Connecticut, Army ROTC programs are currently available at the University of Connecticut and the University of New Haven. Yale University offers a Navy ROTC program and roughly six institutions also offer Air Force ROTC.
Understanding Title IX
Educational institutions in the U.S. are tasked with Title IX compliance to maintain eligibility for federal funding. Title IX was a civil rights amendment implemented in 1972 by the U.S. Department of Education to prevent and investigate allegations of sexually-based discrimination. Institutions designate a Title IX Coordinator that creates and maintains written procedures for investigating and equitably ruling on these matters.
Discrimination may involve preventing or impeding someone's participation in activities or access to benefits based on their gender or sexual orientation. Sexual harassment is prohibited by these provisions such as acts of promoting false stereotypes or making unwanted sexual advances. Violent physical acts including sexual assault are also deemed as harassment and may have criminal implications. These victims have not given consent to partake in sexual activity or are incapable of giving consent due to age, incapacitation or mental deficiency.
All parties to Title IX disciplinary actions can choose an advisor that will function in a support role. It is important for students facing accusations to retain legal representation that is familiar with these actions promptly. Timing may be important to ensure you are sufficiently prepared to issue concise statements and respond effectively to questions. An effective student rights attorney will use a comprehensive approach that may involve engaging in discussions to negotiate a favorable resolution on your behalf.
Title IX and ROTC Disenrollment
The evidentiary standard that is most commonly used in proving allegations is “by a preponderance of the evidence.” When these allegations are proven, students are likely to be suspended or expelled from the school. ROTC students will consequently face the disenrollment process for breaching their written agreement with the government.
Disenrollment will result in a loss of eligibility to become a commissioned officer. Students may then be held responsible for repaying the financial benefits they have received and be obliged to serve in active duty. The branches of the Army, Navy, and Air Force each have written provisions that relate to the disenrollment process. Your attorney will also be critical in this process to protect your right to due process.
ROTC Disenrollment Process Basics
- All investigative measures and rulings are overseen by a “board of officers or investigating officer”
- All students have the right to “appear personally before the board or officer”
- The Secretary of the Military Department may use its discretion in imposing active-duty service and repayment sanctions
Experienced Defense Advisor in Connecticut for ROTC Students
Students that are participating in an ROTC program have a clear plan for their future. These goals can quickly be disrupted by allegations of a Title IX violation and the likely subsequent disenrollment. Joseph D. Lento is a Title IX attorney that will produce an effective defense strategy in these matters. Promptly contact the office at (888) 535-3686 for assistance.
Connecticut colleges and universities where Joseph D. Lento can help as your or your ROTC student's Title IX advisor during investigations, hearings, and appeals include, but are not limited to, the following schools (schools in bold have Army, Navy, and/or Air Force ROTC programs or are affiliated with schools where students can take ROTC classes):
- Eastern Connecticut State University
- Central Connecticut State University
- Southern Connecticut State University
- Western Connecticut State University
- University of Connecticut
- Asnuntuck Community College
- Capital Community College
- Charter Oak State College
- Gateway Community College
- Housatonic Community College
- Manchester Community College
- Middlesex Community College
- Naugatuck Valley Community College
- Northwestern Connecticut Community College
- Norwalk Community College
- Quinebaug Valley Community College
- Three Rivers Community College
- Tunxis Community College
Federal-Level Military Academy
- United States Coast Guard Academy – (exempt from Title IX and the Clery Act)
Private Colleges and Universities
- Albertus Magnus College
- Connecticut College
- Fairfield University
- Goodwin College
- Hartford Seminary
- Holy Apostles College and Seminary
- Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts
- Mitchell College
- New England Baptist College
- University of New Haven
- Paier College of Art
- Quinnipiac University
- Rensselaer at Hartford
- Sacred Heart University
- St. Vincent's College
- Trinity College
- University of Bridgeport
- University of Hartford
- University of Saint Joseph
- Wesleyan University
- Yale University
- Lincoln College of New England (formerly Briarwood College)
- Lincoln Technical Institute
- Post University
All students must be extremely mindful when accused of sexual misconduct at their college or university; ROTC students in particular, however, can have even more concerns at all stage of Title IX proceedings because the stakes are higher yet – When first contacted by their school's Title IX office, when a sexual misconduct investigation begins, when facing a hearing or an appeal, or when seeking further recourse by filing a Title IX complaint with the Department of Education Office of Civil Rights when necessary. For ROTC students who are facing a Title IX case and their families, it is critical to take the necessary precautions as soon as possible, including having an experienced attorney advisor, when accused of sexual misconduct. Unfortunately, some students, not being as familiar what is at stake and also their rights in the process, will mistakenly believe that if they "just explain what happened," everything will work out. Title IX cases can be won, but students and their families must recognize, however, that achieving a favorable in a Title IX case requires a dedicated and intensive approach best handled by a professional who has a track record of successes in the Title IX disciplinary arena.
Fighting passionately for the future of students at colleges and universities throughout the nation for over a decade, Joseph D. Lento knows how important it is to mount the strongest defense because he understands that an ROTC student's academic future and future commission and military career is at stake. 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, New Jersey, and New York, 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 sexual misconduct investigations, disenrollment proceedings,and disciplinary cases in Connecticut and throughout the nation. Make certain your or your student's interests are protected - Contact National Title IX attorney Joseph D. Lento today.