Title IX of the Education Amendments is a federal law that prohibits sexual misconduct in federally funded colleges and universities. Being accused of sexual assault, sexual harassment, rape, or any other form of sexual misconduct at Hartwick College is a Title IX violation that your 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.
For the purposes of this article, we'll address Hartwick College's disciplinary process and why you need an attorney-advisor if you find yourself in this predicament.
Hartwick College's Disciplinary Process
According to Title IX, Hartwick College is required to adjudicate any cases of sexual misconduct brought to the institution's attention. The Department of Education urges compliant higher education institutions to respond to these accusations in a manner that is prompt and equitable. If the school 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.
A member of the College community who believes that they have experienced or are experiencing any form of sexual misconduct should speak to someone for help or advice. All members have the right to make a report to Campus Safety, the Title IX Coordinator, or a Responsible Administrator.
Investigation of Complaint
If a report appears to allege a plausible violation of this policy, the College will conduct an investigation. The investigation will be performed by appropriately trained persons. An investigation usually involves interviews of the people involved, including witnesses, and gathering and reviewing relevant evidence. At the conclusion of the investigation, the investigator(s) will complete a written investigation report, which will include a summary of the facts discovered during the investigation, an assessment of the credibility of the complainant, respondent and/or witnesses.
A hearing officer will be appointed to review the investigatory report and make a determination. The standard for decisions in disciplinary hearing proceedings is a preponderance of the evidence, meaning that it is more likely than not that a violation of this policy occurred.
Both parties may file an appeal with the Title IX Coordinator. A written appeal, based on one or more of the grounds listed below, must be made within three business days of the receipt of the decision letter and must clearly and fully set forth the evidence to support each identified ground of appeal which the appealing party is asserting. The grounds for appeal are limited to:
- Procedural error that is alleged to have had a direct impact on the outcome, or
- New evidence that has come to light that could have a direct impact on the outcome and which was not available before or during the investigation and/or hearing process, or
- A claim that the sanction(s) imposed is/are substantially disproportionate to the severity of the violation.
New York Title IX Attorney
If you've been accused of sexual misconduct at Hartwick College, you can choose anyone to be your advisor in the Title IX process. It would be in your best interest to choose an attorney who can help you effectively navigate the process and build a solid defense for you. Contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today for help at 888-535-3686.