CSM/Title IX - University of New Mexico - Main Campus

If you or a loved one is a student at the University of New Mexico and you are facing claims of sexual misconduct or harassment, you must prepare yourself for the path ahead. Whether allegations are false or have merit, are motivated by misunderstanding, ulterior aims, or something otherwise, too much is at stake to not take the necessary precautions as early as possible in the disciplinary process.

A finding of responsibility can literally have a lifetime of consequences for a student accused of Title IX, and unfortunately, you can depend on your school to consider your interests last. This is one reason, among many, that you need an experienced advocate in your corner to help fight for a fair process and the best possible outcome.

Attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm done just that for hundreds of students facing Title IX charges both in New Mexico and across the United States. The following information will help you best understand and prepare for the path ahead. Although the path can be difficult at times, it can be successfully navigated when you know what you are up against and you have an ally fighting on your behalf.

What Is Title IX?

Title IX is a federal civil rights law passed as part of the Education Amendments of 1972. Title IX protects individuals from discrimination based on sex in educational settings for educational programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance.

In May of 2020, the federal Department of Education changed the regulations regarding Title IX procedures and protocols for all universities and colleges that receive federal funding. The goal of the new regulations, known as the Title IX Final Rule, was to provide a higher level of due process to those parties involved in sexual misconduct investigations on college campuses. To that end, one of the major changes in Title IX procedures was the implementation of a hearing panel and the use of cross-examination between the parties involved with the allegations. Compliance with these new regulations was required by August of 2020

Under the Title IX Final Rule, these educational institutions have the responsibility to implement appropriate measures to investigate any allegations pertaining to violations of Title IX, take prompt action to end any misconduct that took place, remedy the effects of that misconduct, and prevent its recurrence. These Title IX obligations must exist separately and independently from any law enforcement action; the University's internal process has different standards and rules than the criminal justice system.

Role of the Title IX Coordinator at the University of New Mexico

The University of New Mexico has a Title IX Coordinator who has responsibility for the institutional compliance with the University's policies related to sex discrimination. The Title IX Coordinator's primary responsibilities include the following duties and more:

  • Developing, implementing, and coordinating the University's educational programs and initiatives that are intended to educate and support staff, faculty, and students regarding Title IX rights, reporting responsibilities, grievance procedures, and support services
  • Oversight of investigations of reports and complaints
  • Reviewing proposed sanctions for sexual misconduct
  • Supervising training of other Title IX coordinators, investigators, and adjudicators
  • Identifying systematic problems with the process for filing complaints and determining whether changes need to be made
  • Communicating with government agencies and local police to ensure timely reports
  • Ensuring continued compliance with Title IX

At the University of New Mexico, any information concerning alleged sexual violence or sexual misconduct that is shared by an individual with University faculty or staff is required by law to be reported to the Office of Equal Opportunity. Under the University of New Mexico's Title IX policy, all faculty members, teaching assistants, and graduate assistants at the University are considered “responsible employees,” a designation that requires that any report of sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, or sexual violence that is made to one of these responsible employees be reported by that employee to the Title IX Coordinator.

Non-Title IX College Sexual Misconduct (CSM) at the University of New Mexico - Main Campus

The University of New Mexico's policies and procedures for sexual harassment and sexual assault prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex—including gender, gender expression, gender identity, and sex stereotyping.

Sexual harassment is defined by the University as “sexual misconduct, including sexual harassment, sexual assault, stalking, and dating and domestic violence.” Sexual harassment and sexual violence is a form of sex discrimination.

The University of New Mexico encourages any victim of sexual violence committed by a University student or visitor to report the incident to the Title IX Coordinator. If the victim reports the incident and elects to have the Office of Equal Opportunity pursue an investigation of the allegations, then the Office of Equal Opportunity will conduct an investigation and make a determination as to whether the incident is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct. Findings are then submitted to the Dean of Students Offices, which issues disciplinary action.

According to the University of New Mexico's Student Grievance Procedure, the alleged victim and the accused student are both permitted to have an advisor present at any disciplinary proceedings. Both parties are notified in writing of the final determination of the disciplinary proceeding, including any penalties imposed.

What Are the Rights of University of New Mexico Students Participating in the Student Grievance Procedure?

Alleged victims in student disciplinary proceedings have certain rights that are protected throughout the duration of the proceedings, which include: the opportunity to submit a victim impact statement; having past irrelevant behavior excluded from the hearing determination; to be free of retaliation for having made the allegation; right to request that testifying may be done from another location as to be visually screened from the accused; being informed of the nature and source of any evidence used; right to submit evidence; right to suggest witnesses; to be notified in writing as to the final determination and sanctions imposed; to be informed of options for notifying law enforcement authorities both on and off-campus, with assistance from University officials; to be informed of campus resources and interim measures available during the disciplinary process; and the right to appeal a decision of the Student Conduct Officer or the Student Conduct Committee.

What Is the Title IX Process at the University of New Mexico - Main Campus?

At the University of New Mexico, if an individual has experienced sexual harassment, that individual has several options available.

The individual who experienced sexual misconduct or sexual violence makes the decision as to whether they want to participate in an administrative investigation with the Office of Equal Opportunity or file a report with the University of New Mexico police department. Any University faculty or staff member that receives information concerning cases of sexual misconduct or violence must report that information to the Office of Equal Opportunity within 24 hours or as soon as reasonably possible.

The individual may submit either an informal complaint or a formal complaint to the University of New Mexico. In making the determination as to how to proceed with the complaint, the individual may speak with a confidential resource regarding the situation before making a decision. If a formal complaint is filed with the University of New Mexico, then this starts the process of an investigation of the allegation. An informal complaint does not initiate an investigation. If a formal complaint is filed, it may be withdrawn at any time.

What Happens at a Title IX Hearing at the University of New Mexico?

All investigations conclude with a live hearing. Each party involved may have an advocate/advisor present with them during the hearing. All parties are provided with information concerning various campus resources for pursuing an advocate/advisor, and individuals make that decision based on their individual needs. At the hearing, the Hearing Officer may ask questions of both the parties and any witnesses. Advisors may ask cross-examination questions to the other party.

These hearings are restricted to the Hearing Officer, the parties involved, their advisors, the Hearing Coordinator, witnesses who may be present for their portion of the hearing, a sanctioning authority, and others that are deemed appropriate. Hearings are recorded and parties may request to review the recording. The length of the hearings depends upon the complexity of the individual case.

Top-Rated Attorney-Advisor Has Defended Hundreds of College Students Across the United States Against for Sexual Misconduct/Title IX Allegations

College students make many mistakes in these formative years when they take on some independence from their parents. Some mistakes are minor and can be brushed off in the context of being a silly college student. Other actions have serious consequences, such as an allegation of sexual misconduct at the University of New Mexico. Title IX regulations afford protections for the accused and defending yourself against sexual harassment or assault charges can be very difficult. The University of New Mexico's procedures for Title IX complaints is complicated and you can't afford to make any mistakes with your defense of the charge. The wrong outcome will haunt your life for years to come.

Top-rated attorney-advisor Joseph D. Lento of the Lento Law Firm has represented hundreds of college students across the country against Title IX and sexual misconduct allegations, with a long track record of success in achieving favorable outcomes. Attorney-advisor Lento skillfully navigates the sexual misconduct claims process, protects your rights, and builds a tailored defense of the allegations brought against you. To learn more about how Attorney Lento can help your University of New Mexico sexual misconduct case, call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 or contact our firm online.

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If you, or your student, are facing any kind of disciplinary action, or other negative academic sanction, and are having feelings of uncertainty and anxiety for what the future may hold, contact the Lento Law Firm today, and let us help secure your academic career.

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