Accusations of sexual harassment, sexual assault, rape, or any other of sexual misconduct at Hofstra University is a Title IX violation that the school is obligated to resolve. If you are a student at Hofstra University who has been found “responsible” for this conduct, you could be exposed to serious repercussions that could jeopardize your plans to graduate.
For the purposes of this article, we'll address HU's disciplinary process and why you need an attorney-advisor if you find yourself in this predicament.
Hofstra University's Disciplinary Process
According to Title IX, Hofstra University is required to adjudicate any cases of sexual misconduct brought to the institution's attention. The Department of Education urges compliant higher education institutions like HU to respond to these accusations in a manner that is prompt and equitable. If the university fails to do so, its federal 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 complaint of sexual misconduct should be reported to the Department of Public Safety. Complaints of a potential violation of school policy must be made within 12 months of the most recent occurrence. This deadline may be waived in extenuating circumstances.
After a complaint is filed, an investigation will ensue. Investigations are to be prompt, thorough, and impartial, and they are conducted to determine if further proceedings have been found. Both the complainant and respondent will be provided an opportunity to submit evidence to the investigation. Pieces of evidence include pictures, written or electronic materials, and the introduction of potential witnesses.
If further proceedings are meant to ensue, an informational meeting will be conducted to give both the complainant and respondent information about the charges, their rights under Title IX, and certain options for resolution.
Options for Resolution
Following the informational meeting, there are three possible options for resolution:
- Acceptance of responsibility: a respondent may accept responsibility for the conduct. In these cases, the university will determine the appropriate sanction in response.
- Conciliation agreement: with the consent of both parties, and if deemed appropriate by the university, the alleged incident may be resolved through a conciliation agreement without a hearing or determination of responsibility.
- Hearing: when the respondent denies responsibility or one or both parties request a formal hearing, the complaint will proceed to a formal hearing where it will be determined whether or not there was a violation.
Students have seven calendar days after receiving the decision letter to submit an appeal to the Dean of Students. An appeal can be submitted on any of the following grounds:
- There is new evidence to warrant a new hearing,
- The student's procedural rights have been violated, or
- The severity of the sanction is inappropriate given the details of the case
New York Title IX Attorney
If you've been accused of sexual misconduct at Hofstra University, you can choose anyone to be your advisor in the Title IX process. Because the stakes are so high, it would be in your best interest to choose a legal professional who can help you effectively navigate the process and build a solid defense for you. Contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today at 888-535-3686 for help.