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 Houghton 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 Houghton College's disciplinary process and why you need an attorney-advisor if you find yourself in this predicament.
Houghton College's Disciplinary Process
Under Title IX, Houghton 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.
Reporting an Incident
Any individual who has experienced sexual misconduct while participating in a Houghton College-sponsored program, or who is aware of a community member who has been harmed by such a violation, is encouraged to notify an authority. A Houghton College student or employee who wishes to report an incident may choose one or more of the following options:
- Discuss the incident confidentially with Houghton College professionals or off-campus resource persons who by law can maintain confidentiality and can assist in obtaining services
- Report the incident to a Houghton official who can offer discretion, sensitivity, and privacy
- Contact the Title IX Coordinator
- Report the incident to local or New York State Police for the initiation of a criminal investigation
Upon receipt of the complaint report, the Title IX Coordinator will initiate a formal investigation. The investigation will involve interviewing all parties, including witnesses, and comprising an investigative report.
The Title IX Coordinator, along with other trained officials will make a determination of “responsible” or “not responsible” based on the preponderance of evidence standard and the investigative report.
All requests for a final appeal must be submitted in writing to the Title IX Coordinator or designee within five business days of the delivery of the determination. Either party may appeal, but appeals are limited to the following:
- A procedural error or omission occurred that significantly impacted the outcome of the Hearing or the sanction imposed;
- New evidence, unknown or not reasonably available during the investigation or Hearing, that could substantially impact the original finding;
- Review of whether sanctions imposed are substantially disproportionate to the severity of the violation.
New York Title IX Attorney
If you've been accused of sexual misconduct at Houghton 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.