Title IX of the Education Amendments is a federal law that prohibits sexual misconduct in federally funded colleges and universities. Being accused of sexual assault, sexual harassment, rape, or any other form of sexual misconduct at the CUNY Graduate School and University Center is a Title IX violation that your school must resolve. If you are found “responsible” for this conduct, you could be exposed to pretty serious repercussions that could jeopardize your plans to graduate.
For the purposes of this article, we'll address the CUNY Graduate School and University Center's disciplinary process and why you need an attorney-advisor if you find yourself in this predicament.
CUNY Graduate School and University Center's Disciplinary Process
According to Title IX, the CUNY Graduate School and University Center is required to adjudicate any cases of sexual misconduct brought to the institution's attention. The Department of Education urges compliant higher education institutions to respond to these accusations in a manner that is prompt and equitable. If the school fails to do so, its federal funding is at stake. Complainants (the reporter of the complaint) and especially respondents (the person accused of sexual misconduct) should understand that their school will approach their case with the utmost seriousness, and each party should follow suit.
Filing a Complaint
Students who experience sexual misconduct should bring their complaint to one of the following campus officials/offices:
- Title IX Coordinator
- Office of Public Safety
- Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs and/or Dean of Students
- Residence Life Staff in CUNY owned or operated housing, including Resident Assistants
The college Title IX Coordinator is responsible for conducting the investigation in a prompt, thorough, and impartial manner. The college Title IX Coordinator shall inform the respondent that an investigation is being commenced and shall inform the respondent of the allegations of the complainant. If there is a written complaint, the respondent shall be provided with a copy of the complaint unless circumstances warrant otherwise.
Following the completion of the investigation, the Title IX Coordinator shall report her/his findings to the College President in writing. Following such a report, the College President shall review the complaint investigation report and authorize such action as she/he deems necessary to address the issues raised by the findings.
The panel will make a determination of “not responsible” or “responsible” based on the preponderance of evidence.
Any party involved may file an appeal to overrule the determination and/or sanction(s). But the grounds of appeal are limited to the following:
- A procedural error occurred that had a direct impact on the outcome
- New evidence has come to light that has a direct impact on the outcome which could not have been discovered by a properly diligent person before or during the original proceeding;
- The sanction is too severe or not severe enough
Students have within five business days of the determination to file an appeal.
New York Title IX Attorney
If you've been accused of sexual misconduct at the CUNY Graduate School and University Center, you can choose anyone to be your advisor in the Title IX process. It would be in your best interest to choose an attorney who can help you effectively navigate the process and build a solid defense for you. Contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today for help at 888-535-3686.