Defense for Sexual Misconduct and Title IX Allegations at CUNY Hunter College

The City University of New York's Hunter College has striven to uphold a supportive learning environment for its students for over 150 years. To that end, CUNY prohibits certain behaviors that could disrupt the campus community, such as sexual misconduct. All CUNY students, employees, and visitors deserve the opportunity to live, learn, and work free from sexual misconduct. CUNY and Hunter College have policies in place that state the rights of students, faculty, and staff, as well as disciplinary procedures for those who violate sexual misconduct or Title IX policies.

CUNY's Title IX administrators take sexual harassment and misconduct seriously, so any person connected to Hunter College who is accused of such actions will face disciplinary action from the school. If you find yourself in this situation and you face an allegation of sexual harassment at CUNY Hunter College, your educational future could be at stake. Consider contacting a sexual misconduct student defense attorney for help.

CUNY Hunter College Sexual Misconduct Policy

Hunter College is part of the CUNY university system and so relies on the CUNY Policy on Sexual Misconduct. The New York “Enough is Enough” law, which established the CUNY Student Bill of Rights, also guides Hunter College's policies on sexual misconduct.

When dealing with allegations of sexual misconduct, CUNY has two procedures. One process applies to non-Title IX sexual misconduct matters, and the other only applies to Title IX sexual harassment. Since Title IX rule changes took place in 2020 and narrowed the definition of sexual harassment, many colleges and universities have adopted two policies. Some institutions find the Title IX violations and grievance procedure too limiting and so supplement the policy with their own sexual misconduct rules. CUNY differentiates between Title IX sexual harassment and non-Title IX sexual misconduct.

Prohibited Conduct Under CUNY Policy on Sexual Misconduct

CUNY considers the following behaviors as sexual misconduct and therefore subject to disciplinary action:

  • Dating violence
  • Domestic violence
  • Sexual assault – contact
  • Sexual assault – penetration
  • Sexual harassment
  • Stalking
  • Title IX sexual harassment
  • Voyeurism

Title IX sexual harassment is conduct on the basis of sex that occurs in CUNY's education program or activity against a person in the U.S., and that satisfies one or more of the following criteria:

  1. CUNY employee conditioning an aid, benefit, or service of CUNY on an individual's participation in unwelcome sexual conduct
  2. Unwelcome conduct determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it denies a person equal access to education
  3. Sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking

CUNY Hunter College: Rights and Procedures for All Sexual Misconduct Matters

The grievance procedure for Title IX sexual harassment complaints is strict, and colleges must follow the applicable policies. For any sexual misconduct that falls outside the Title IX definition and grievance procedure, CUNY applies its own process for non-Title IX sexual misconduct matters, and that process is as follows.

The Title IX Coordinator hears all allegations of sexual misconduct and will determine if the alleged behavior falls within the scope of the Title IX sexual harassment definition. If it does, the matter proceeds as a Title IX case. If it does not, the matter proceeds as a non-Title IX case.

Informal Resolution

All sexual misconduct matters have the opportunity to proceed to an informal resolution rather than formal investigation and adjudication procedures, except Title IX sexual harassment allegations of a student against an employee. Both parties must agree to an informal resolution, and once it's signed, it's binding.


If there's no informal resolution, the matter moves to an investigation and then hearing before an Adjudication Committee. The Committee takes a majority vote to determine responsibility for the alleged actions and may impose a penalty.


Either party can appeal the Adjudication Committee's decision and penalty. They must submit a written appeal to the Title IX Director, who will assemble an Appeal Committee and schedule a hearing. The Appeal Committee's decision on the matter is final.

CUNY Hunter College: Procedures for Title IX Sexual Harassment Matters

If the Title IX Coordinator determines that an allegation falls under the scope of Title IX sexual harassment, they will launch the Title IX grievance procedure, which proceeds as follows.


The Title IX Coordinator will notify the parties and may attempt to resolve the matter informally. If it's not resolved informally, the Title IX Coordinator conducts an investigation and must complete it within 120 days of receipt of the complaint, when possible. They'll interview witnesses who can provide relevant information, as well as review documents and other evidence. The Title IX Coordinator sends a copy of all the relevant documents and materials from the investigation before finalizing the investigative report.


The Title IX Coordinator produces the final investigative report, then schedules a live hearing. Five days before the hearing, the parties and their advisors may review the evidence that the college intends to present at the hearing. Parties can choose an advisor to accompany and represent them at the hearing. The parties or their advisors may cross-examine all witnesses at the hearing as well. The Adjudication Committee hears both parties and makes the determination. If the accused student is found responsible for violating the policy, the Adjudication Committee will impose a penalty as well.

How Legal Representation Can Help

Having more than one process to deal with sexual misconduct at CUNY Hunter College can leave accused students feeling confused or overwhelmed. If you are facing an allegation of sexual misconduct, you may not know how to proceed, how to gather appropriate evidence, or how to defend yourself at your hearing. An attorney specialized in student defense with experience in campus sexual misconduct and Title IX matters can stand by your side and guide you through the process.

Attorney Joseph D. Lento has helped hundreds of students in the CUNY system and across the country defend themselves against sexual misconduct charges at their universities and he can help you protect your rights. Contact the Lento Law Firm today by calling 888-535-3686 to help protect your future.

Contact Us Today!

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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