Federal law Title IX prohibits sexual misconduct on federally funded campuses. Being accused of sexual assault, sexual harassment, rape, or any other of sexual misconduct at The Fashion Institute of Technology is a Title IX violation that the 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.
In this article, we'll address FIT's disciplinary process and why it's important to retain an attorney-advisor to help you navigate this process.
The Fashion Institute of Technology's Disciplinary Process
Under Title IX, The Fashion Institute of Technology is obligated to adjudicate any cases of sexual misconduct brought to the institution's attention. The Department of Education urges compliant institutions like FIT to respond to these accusations in a manner that is prompt and equitable. If the institution 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.
The following procedures have been adopted by FIT to investigate and resolve complaints of discrimination on the basis of sexual misconduct.
Anyone is encouraged to file a complaint if they witness, experience or hear of an incident involving sexual misconduct. There is no current statute of limitations for filing a complaint at FIT.
Upon the receipt of a complaint, a Title IX Coordinator will consider the following factors in determining whether to pursue an investigation or not:
- Whether the respondent has a history of violent behavior or is a repeat
- Whether the incident represents escalation in unlawful conduct on behalf of the respondent
- The increased risk that the respondent will commit additional acts of misconduct
- Whether the accused used a weapon or force
- Whether the college possesses other means to obtain evidence such as footage, and whether the available information reveals a pattern of perpetration at a given location or by a particular group, etc.
The Title IX Coordinator will meet with both parties to interview them and advise them of their rights. A case file will be created to document all interview summaries, witness statements, and other relevant documents. After the investigatory period, the case file will be distributed to the complainant and respondent, and the respondent will have the opportunity to “accept responsibility” for the charges or request a hearing.
If a respondent doesn't admit responsibility after reading the case file, a hearing will ensue. Both the complainant and respondent will be afforded the opportunity to present to a three-person panel, and evidence will be submitted for evaluation. If there are any witnesses, they will be given a chance to share their version of events also.
After all parties have been given a chance to present, the panel will deliberate and come up with a decision.
Both parties have the equal right to request an appeal of the decision and/or sanction. Appeals must be filed within 10 business days of the receipt of the written decision. They will be heard by a panel. The right to appeal is limited to:
- Procedural affecting the decision or sanction,
- The appearance of substantive new evidence not available at the time of the decision, or
- Excessiveness or insufficiency of the sanction
New York Title IX Attorney
If you've been accused of sexual misconduct at The Fashion Institute of Technology, you can anyone to be your advisor to assist you throughout the Title IX process. It would be in your best interest to an attorney who can help you effectively navigate the process and build a solid defense for you. Contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today at 888-535-3686 for help.