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Creating a Collegiate Sexual Misconduct Survey: A Not-So-Simple Initiative

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Apr 19, 2021 | 0 Comments

It can be difficult, in today's day and age, to know precisely what the definition of sexual misconduct is. Sure, your college's student handbook should have a list of illicit actions—but that rarely covers every possible action. Students who are looking to stay on the straight and narrow sometimes have only vague information or unhelpful definitions to deal with.

For Connecticut students, those definitions could get more complicated before they clarify. The state legislature is considering a bill that would ask CT college students to complete anonymous surveys surrounding their sexual conduct every two years.

Proposed Sexual Misconduct Survey Seeks to Gain Information About Campus Safety

As a result of this initiative, Connecticut colleges would have up-to-date information about the state of sexual violence on their campuses. The bill also provides for comprehensive reports stemming from these surveys as well as alcohol-and-drug-related amnesty to students who honestly report sexual assaults. This lenience is part of a wider attempt to ‘foster a safer, more welcoming environment for survivors of sexual assault' - regardless, perhaps, of any other related misconduct.

There are those who think that the two-year timeframe would impose undue strain on administrations, for, perhaps, a lackluster result. As the Title IX Coordinator at Yale University noted, surveys every two years would take a lot of time. One year to build a high-quality survey; another year to analyze and build an adequate response—and, by then, it's already time for the next survey. While the general idea received a lot of support, several CT private colleges have asked for modifications. Many seek flexibility in terms of data collection. Others wanted control over the type of survey questions that their students would have to answer. For example, many CT colleges currently have an every-four-year campus climate survey that asks about other sensitive issues in addition to sexual misconduct - for example, diversity and equity.

What Exactly Constitutes Student Sexual Misconduct? (Hint: It's Complex - and It's Changing)

One thing we can glean from the conversations surrounding this proposed legislation is that, perhaps, there's a reason that we still can't agree on a specific, universal definition of misconduct. Every college is different - and the quickness with which campus cultures change makes it difficult to pin down consistent definitions of untoward behavior even in a two- or four-year period.

If this seems frustrating, it's because it is. The fluidity of the concept of sexual misconduct leaves a lot of room for you to merit punitive measures, now or later, for seemingly-innocuous actions or long-buried incidents. As a young college student with a bright future before you, this can create a lot of stress that you don't need.

If you have any misconduct in your past that you need to deal with, it's much better to do that now, before definitions change or too much time passes. That's where the Lento Law Firm comes in. Allow us to help you protect your future from questionable missteps you've made in your past.

Call an Experienced Sexual Misconduct Defense Lawyer Today

Joseph D. Lento has unparalleled experience defending the reputations of students who need to protect their futures. He can guide you through your school's confusing and potentially unfair disciplinary proceedings and help you work towards a successful outcome. He can also work towards ensuring due process and a favorable outcome for you. Contact the Lento Law Firm at 888-535-3686 today for more information.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients nationwide. Mr. Lento represents students and others in disciplinary cases and other proceedings at colleges and universities across the United States. Mr. Lento has helped countless students, professors, and others in academia at more than a thousand colleges and universities across the United States, and when necessary, he has sought justice on behalf of clients in courts across the nation. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide, and he can help you or your student address school-related issues and concerns anywhere in the United States.

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