Handling Sexual Misconduct Allegations at the University of Wyoming

Students enrolled at the University of Wyoming must show positive regard toward their classmates, teachers, and college employees. Accordingly, students must understand how their actions and decisions may impact others on campus.

Sexual misconduct and Title IX violations committed on college and university campuses are often seen in the news due to their nature and the long-lasting consequences they cause. Federal Title IX regulations require institutions of higher education to act swiftly and severely as violations put a school's federal funding at risk. Nonetheless, students are often unknowingly caught in the crosshairs as the guidelines of Title IX often fluctuate via political sentiment.

The critical issue is knowing how you may defend yourself against a school disciplinary board that seeks to redress sexual misconduct and Title IX offenses through a fast-paced grievance process. With your academic career on the line, fighting back can seem intimidating, but you have the opportunity to hire professional help. Contact experienced student defense advisor Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm; they understand the nuances of school disciplinary proceedings and can defend your rights when threatened.

University of Wyoming Sexual Misconduct Policy

According to its Student Code of Conduct, the University of Wyoming considers all university employees, part-time, full-time, and student employees, to be "mandatory reporters." Therefore, if a college employee witnesses alleged sexual misconduct, they must report it to the administration or risk disciplinary charges themselves.

The University of Wyoming designates the following as sexual misconduct:

  • Coercion
  • Dating violence
  • Domestic violence
  • Exploitation
  • Non-consensual contact
  • Promoting a sexually hostile environment
  • Sexual assault
  • Stalking

Students may believe sexual misconduct is handled just like instances of cheating or student housing violations. This misconception may lead you into a world of trouble as sexual misconduct is handled under federal purview.

Title IX Policy

Title IX is a federal civil rights law prohibiting sex and gender-based discrimination in any federally-funded education program or activity. The guidelines provide the sole method by which colleges and universities discipline sexual misconduct and harassment.

Instances of misconduct that may also be managed under Title IX include:

  • Bullying
  • Discrimination
  • Failure to report
  • Harassment
  • Quid Pro Quo
  • Retaliation

The University of Wyoming's Sexual Misconduct Policies and Procedures Document for Faculty, Staff, and Students sets forth resources available to university community members. It also establishes procedures for responding to incidents of sexual misconduct.

Title IX Investigative, Hearing, and Appeals Processes

Considering the federal requirements' regulations, colleges and universities have near-identical processes for investigating and disciplining sexual misconduct and Title IX violations. One ubiquitous measure is that all institutions of higher education seek to address the situation as quickly as possible

Under Regulation 4-3, the University of Wyoming lays out the processes by which sexual and Title IX misconduct is handled. The university's "Process A" will commence as follows:

  1. The accuser (complainant) may request either a formal investigation or an informal resolution from the school's Title IX Coordinator.
  2. If the complainant chooses an informal resolution or officials identify health or safety concerns on the part of the complainant or the campus at-large, formal proceedings will be used.
  3. A notice of investigation is sent to both the complainant and the student accused (respondent) within business days.
  4. The investigation is conducted by the Title IX Coordinator or their designee.
  5. Parties and their advisors have ten days to review and respond to the evidence.

In formal proceedings, the Title IX Coordinator will join the University of Wyoming's College Hearing Committee (CHC). Their methods are as follows:

  1. The CHC Hearing Officer will introduce the parties.
  2. The Title IX Coordinator will present the complainant, who may submit any evidence and witnesses.
  3. The respondent may also present evidence and witnesses.
  4. Members of the CHC will conduct a period of questioning.
  5. Either the complainant or respondent may present any rebuttal evidence or closing arguments.

The CHC will determine responsibility for the misconduct based on a "substantial evidence" standard. Within five calendar days, both parties will be sent an official response detailing the CHC's findings, determination of responsibility, and sanctions imposed.

Parties can only file appeals due to a few circumstances. At the University of Wyoming, they include:

  • Procedural irregularities occurred that affected the outcome and findings of the grievance process
  • New evidence emerges that was not available at the time of the investigation or hearing
  • The Title IX Coordinator, the investigator(s), or members of the CHC had a conflict of interest or bias for or against the complainant or respondent

If resolutions are negotiated outside formal proceedings, appeals are prohibited.

Sanctions for Sexual Misconduct and Title IX Violations

As some of the most severe infractions on campus, students found responsible for misconduct face dire repercussions. Punishments often require temporary dismissal, but many a permanently expelled from the school.

The University of Wyoming may impose the following sanctions:

  • Termination from an educational program or a specific school
  • Restitution
  • Suspension
  • Dismissal

Students committing second offenses will be suspended for at least one calendar year, and third offenses will garner immediate dismissal. Although students may appeal, they are often under too much pressure from the investigation and hearing process to mount a sufficient defense.

How Joseph D. Lento Can Help You Remain in School

If you are alleged to have committed sexual misconduct or a Title IX violation at the University of Wyoming, you need professional assistance. Navigating the disciplinary process can be overwhelming, but you can hire a skilled defense team to ensure your rights are protected.

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 does not translate into the finesse needed to negotiate with school administration officials. Moreover, Joseph D. Lento has repeatedly brokered beneficial resolutions on behalf of his student clients due to his valuable relationships with representatives from the school's internal Office of General Counsel (OGC).

He and his team at the Lento Law Firm 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.

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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