Harvey Mudd College was first established in 1955 in Claremont, California. One of the school's core principles involves promoting “diversity at all levels.” This goal is consistent with the federal Title IX guidelines. Title IX was an educational initiative that requires all institutions to adopt formal procedures for addressing complaints of sexually-based discrimination.
Reporting Options at HMC
The Title IX Coordinator's office at HMC is located in Platt Campus Center where complaints may be submitted in person. There are a host of other reporting options, many of which will protect anonymity. The Project Sister Hotline is available 24 hours per day. The House of Ruth also offers support services for victims of sexual violence.
Understanding the Concept of Affirmative Consent
Concerning Title IX, consent refers to whether each party engaging in sexual activity has affirmatively and consciously agreed to participate.
HMC's provisions explain that all parties must have a “clear and mutual understanding.” Consent must be freely provided and may not be obtained through intimidating or coercive acts. California law states that minors are unable to legally consent to engage in sexual activity with adults.
HMC Responsibilities Upon Receiving Complaints
Those who make a complaint are afforded the following:
- HMC administrators will take the time to listen and consider the wishes of the Claimant when possible
- Complaints will be investigated in a manner that is prompt and free of impartiality
- The institution will put forth an effort to prevent subsequent acts of discrimination or harassment and any potential retaliatory actions
- You will have the right to present evidence and witness testimony
The Early Resolution Process
Claimants are advised of the potential ways that HMC seeks to resolve complaints. Some complaints that do not involve physical acts of assault may be appropriate for early resolution. This process may involve intervention from a third-party to pursue a “mediated or negotiated resolution.”
Mediators often are members of the HMC staff or faculty, a student affairs representative or an individual department manager. If the parties agree to proceed in this manner and a resolution is reached, disciplinary sanctions may be avoided. If a mutually acceptable resolution is not reached, the matter will proceed to the formal process.
The Formal Resolution Process at HMC
The majority of serious complaints of sexual misconduct will be subject to a formal process of resolution. All parties may choose a support person (advisor) that may accompany them throughout the proceedings. HMC attempts to conclude the investigations within 60 days.
HMC administrators may implement “interim remedial steps” when needed for the safety of the parties and the community. All evidence and relevant information compiled during the investigation are summarized in a written report. Parties will have the opportunity to review the report and challenge or seek clarification of the facts.
HMC will typically summon the parties to an “investigative review meeting” before a “decision-making panel.” The panel will evaluate the allegations using a preponderance of the evidence standard. Once a ruling is made, either party may pursue an appeal.
What is the Role of a Title IX Lawyer?
Students or parents of a college or university student should take action when facing allegations of disciplinary misconduct. Those who pursue post-secondary education are often making substantial commitments of time and resources. Institutional leadership today takes acts of sexual misconduct very seriously.
These disciplinary proceedings can result in an abrupt alteration of your plans. The majority of schools allow for all parties in these matters to select an advisor for general support and assistance. A student rights attorney should be chosen to function in this capacity. A seasoned lawyer will better ensure your school's procedures and rules are properly interpreted and will be an advocate for your rights and best interests.
Your attorney will independently analyze all evidence and potentially challenge its credibility. This individual will also attend hearings, interviews, and other proceedings with you. Your attorney may engage in negotiations on your behalf. These discussions may involve the Title IX Coordinator or other designated campus administrators.
Any request for an appeal must be made in writing within five business days. The administration will promptly review any requests for an appeal. The complaining party will also be notified in writing and may have input. Decisions are made by the Vice President for Administration of Finance or the Chair or Vice-Chair of the Board of Trustees.
Harvey Mudd College Title IX Attorney
The Lento Law Firm will relentlessly protect the rights of students in Title IX matters, cases involving academic misconduct, and more. You are encouraged to contact the office today at (888) 535-3686 for more information.