Title IX is a federal civil right that enforces that any member of an educational institution, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, national origin, or gender identity has the right to be free from being subjected to gender discrimination. It also affirms that this behavior should not go unpunished by colleges and universities nationwide. Higher education institutions that receive some sort of financial assistance from the federal government are in compliance with Title IX, which means that they are obligated to investigate and reprimand students who are found responsible for perpetrating discriminatory behavior.
Some of the most particularly damaging allegations are those concerning sexual misconduct. Once a student is accused of committing actions that fall under the definition of sexual misconduct - sexual harassment, sexual assault, rape, dating violence etc. - their school experience will never be the same. If you have found yourself in this predicament, it's important that you understand all of the forces that you're up against when your case is handled by your school. The processes that you would undergo if you were involved in the criminal justice system for this offense vaguely resemble how schools approach these cases. Therefore, you must prepare to take the appropriate steps to defend yourself. Here is a brief overview of Goldey-Beacom College's Title IX Process.
Title IX Process
Filing a complaint
When a complaint is filed, the person who has experienced the alleged sexual misconduct is known as a “complainant,” while an alleged offender is referred to as a “respondent.” At Goldey-Beacom College, reports can be filed online or directly to a Title IX coordinator.
Once school authorities have received notification of the alleged occurrence, the preliminary assessment will begin. This process consists of hiring two objective and qualified investigators to collect facts by speaking to the alleged victim and/or the accused and draft a report of their findings. If there is no evidence that a violation has occurred, then the complaint will be referred to the Dean of Students and/or the Director of Residence and Student Life. If investigators conclude that a violation of Title IX may have occurred, an official Title IX investigation will be opened.
A formal investigation consists of investigators conduct interviews with a complainant, respondent and any witnesses that may disclose relevant information. This is a very crucial part of the process for respondents, as this is the first time they are allowed the chance to confide their account of the alleged misconduct and defend themselves. Investigation proceedings are typically completed within a span of 60 days of the initial complaint. However, with good cause, this investigative period may be extended.
Using the official investigation findings reported by investigators, a decision will be made at the discretion of the school's Title IX coordinator using the preponderance of evidence. When guilt is determined by this standard of evidence, it means that the evidence proves that it is more likely than not that the alleged sexual misconduct occurred.
Respondents have the option of appealing a decision or sanction. However, this appeal must be based on good reason in the eyes of Goldey-Beacom College authorities. In order for an appeal to successfully be granted, a respondent must prove the following:
- The decision and/or sanction imposed is not appropriate in light of the nature of the Title IX violation,
- There was a lack of evidence of the violation of Title IX, or
- New evidence which was not previously available would have had a significant impact on the final determination/sanction imposed upon the student.
An appeal must be submitted in writing within 10 business days of receiving the Title IX coordinator's decision.
Title IX Advisor
Federal and state laws allow respondents to choose who they would like to accompany them through their school's processes. If you take your educational and professional future seriously, you will select an attorney to occupy this position. Retaining an attorney is the only way to ensure your rights are protected and you're case is presented in the most effective way possible. Skilled legal professional Joseph D. Lento has successfully represented countless students who have been in your shoes. Contact him today for help.
Title IX violations and Title IX charges can change an accused student's life if not defended against properly and as early as possible during the disciplinary process, and Joseph D. Lento has nearly a decade of experience passionately fighting for the future of his clients at universities and colleges throughout the nation. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead, prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. Joseph Lento is a licensed attorney in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, is admitted as an attorney pro hac vice in state and federal court if needed when representing clients nationwide, and serves as a Title IX advisor to students facing disciplinary cases in Delaware and throughout the nation. Make certain your or your student's interests are protected - Joseph D. Lento can help