Central Washington University students must demonstrate collaborative virtue toward their classmates, teachers, and school personnel. To advance a university culture of respect, responsibility, and safety, students must understand how their actions and decisions affect others on campus.
Sexual misconduct and Title IX violations often gain the nation's attention, given their nature and the severe consequences they garner. Federal Title IX regulations compel institutions of higher education to address violations quickly and harshly as they put a school's federal funding at risk. However, sometimes colleges and universities misstep their authority and make mistakes in their grievance processes.
Understanding how you or your child may defend themselves in front of a school disciplinary board that seeks to manage sexual misconduct and Title IX offenses through a fast-paced grievance process is crucial. Fighting back can seem intimidating with your academic career on the line, but you can retain skilled guidance.
Central Washington University Sexual Misconduct Policy
As a part of matriculation for students and the employee onboarding process for employees, Central Washington University prohibits all acts of non-consensual sexual actions. Per the school's Response to Sexual Misconduct Policy, the following are considered violations:
- Dating violence
- Domestic violence
- Non-consensual contact
- Sexual assault
Students may believe sexual misconduct is handled almost identically to instances of cheating or academic misconduct violations. Since sexual misconduct falls under federal purview, a school is tasked with addressing the matters in a more formal set of procedures.
Title IX Responsibilities of Central Washington University
Congress passed Title IX as a federal civil rights law prohibiting sex and gender-based discrimination in any educational program or activity receiving funding from the federal government. The guidelines provide the primary means by which colleges and universities correct sexual misconduct and harassment on campus.
Other actions that may be resolved under Title IX include:
- Failure to report Title IX violation
- Promoting a hostile environment
- Quid Pro Quo
Central Washington University considers all student staff, professional staff, faculty, and administration officials, part-time and full-time, "responsible employees." Therefore, if a college employee witnesses an instance of sexual misconduct, they must report it to the school's Title IX Coordinator or risk disciplinary action themselves.
Title IX Investigative, Hearing, and Appeals Processes
Once the school's Title IX Coordinator is made aware of an instance of misconduct, the institution will have "actual knowledge" of the event, thus triggering the Title IX grievance process. Considering Title IX is under federal guidance, most colleges and universities proceed similarly.
Central Washington University conducts its investigation phase as follows:
- The Title IX Coordinator will contact the accuser (complainant) to discuss the allegations and offer supportive resources.
- The Title IX Coordinator will inform the accused student (respondent) through a written notice of allegations, including information given by the complainant. The notice will also include the standard for the investigation and subsequent hearing. The respondent will be apprised of their rights, including the right to be presumed "not responsible" and to choose an advisor to assist them.
- An investigator will be appointed to gather evidence and interview the complainant, respondent, and any witnesses, if applicable.
- The investigator will report the findings to the Title IX Coordinator and both parties, who will have five calendar days to respond.
- If the Title IX Coordinator determines the allegation warrants a hearing, they will notify all parties involved for the hearing to commence no sooner than ten days from submitting the investigation report.
It's crucial that you retain professional advice to assist you through the hearing phase. A student defense advisor will ensure your school's disciplinary body acknowledges your rights. If students decide to hire outside representation, the advisor must file a notice of appearance with the Chair of the Employee Conduct Committee and the Employee Conduct Officer at least five days before the hearing.
The hearing phase will move forward as follows:
- The hearing officer will conduct the hearing and discuss evidence gathered by the investigator, or anything else they determine is relevant and credible.
- The complainant and respondent will make an opening statement to the hearing panel.
- Each party or their advisor will cross-examine the other party and witnesses.
- Members of the hearing panel may question the parties and their witnesses.
- The complainant and respondent will make any rebuttals or closing remarks.
- Led by the hearing officer, the panel will base their determination of responsibility on the "preponderance of evidence" standard, meaning they are more than 50 percent convinced the students committed the alleged misconduct.
Once each party has received an "Initial Order" from the panel—hearing conclusions, supporting statements, and sanctions—they have the right to appeal. Each party must file a written notice of appeal with the President's Office within twenty days of the Initial Order's service. The notice of appeal must explain any disagreements with the hearing panel's decision and what remedy is requested.
Central Washington University's President or its designee will decide the following regarding the Initial Order:
Sanctions for Sexual Misconduct and Title IX Violations
The President's decision is final, and all other appeals are forbidden. Sanctions often require a separation from studies, but students found responsible for sexual misconduct or Title IX violations are frequently expelled from the school.
Central Washington University may impose the following sanctions:
- Conduct reprimand
Dismissed students may be barred indefinitely without the possibility of readmission, including restricted campus access. Issues like these will derail a student's academic career and, indeed, their start to a career. Nevertheless, you can obtain skilled guidance.
How Joseph D. Lento Can Defend You in Sexual Misconduct and Title IX Matters
If you are alleged to have committed sexual misconduct or a Title IX violation at Central Washington University, you need professional assistance. Student defense advisor Joseph D. Lento and his team at the Lento Law Firm have handled student discipline matters involving sexual misconduct and Title IX violations in hundreds of schools across the U.S.
While you may believe a local attorney is your best option, courtroom competency doesn't translate into the finesse needed to negotiate and broker resolutions on behalf of student clients with a school's internal Office of General Counsel (OGC). Joseph D. Lento and his team know how to help college and university officials see positive options serving the student and the school far better than suspension or expulsion. For expert advice, call 888-535-3686 to discuss how your defense can begin or use the online consultation form.