Blog

How Title IX Changes are Transforming the Ivy League

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Aug 21, 2020 | 0 Comments

In May of this year, the U.S. Department of Education announced changes to Title IX regulations governing sexual misconduct investigations and hearings in federally funded colleges and universities. The new regulations went into effect on August 14, 2020, giving schools about 100 days to revamp their school-wide Title IX policies and procedures.

Over the summer, colleges across the country have rolled out new guidelines, but one ivy league college is taking a unique approach. Princeton University, an Ivy League college in New Jersey, recently announced that it would implement two new and interrelated sexual misconduct policies. One new policy will comply with new Title IX policies. The second, a University Sexual Misconduct Policy, allows the university to pursue conduct that falls outside of Title IX's narrowed scope. As a result, the university can use one of two sexual misconduct grievance procedures to resolve accusations of misconduct.

What is Title IX?

Title IX is a federal civil rights law enacted by Congress as part of the Education Amendments of 1972 (“Title IX”), 20 U.S.C. §1681 et seq. Title IX initially prohibited federally funded educational institutions from sex discrimination for school admissions, athletics, financial aid, and employment decisions. However, over the last 40 years, Title IX expanded to include sexual assault and harassment, including intimate partner violence and stalking. Title IX applies to all U.S. K-12 schools, colleges, and universities that accept federal funds.

Changes to Title IX Regulations

One of the most controversial changes requires that schools offer hearings with due process protections, including allowing both parties to have an attorney-advisor cross-examine witnesses, including the accuser. Critics argue that this change will prevent victims of coming forward, afraid of being aggressively questioned during a full hearing.

The new regulations also narrow the scope of Title IX sexual harassment investigations, prohibiting schools from investigating misconduct under Title IX unless it rises to a certain level. Sexual harassment is now “unwelcome conduct that a reasonable person would determine is so severe, pervasive and objectively offensive that it denies a person access to the school's education program or activity.”

The changes also narrow Title IX misconduct to conduct that happens on campus or during off-campus events that the school controls, like sporting events or a campus fraternity house.

Narrowing the Reach of Title IX

Some of the changes to Title IX regulations will significantly narrow the scope of incidents that schools must pursue under federal rules. Because of the narrowing application of Title IX, many schools may adopt a two-pronged approach. If Princeton's approach is any indication, many schools may adopt a two-pronged approach to sexual misconduct disciplinary proceedings. While some incidents will no longer fall under Title IX, they still may constitute violations of a school's student code of conduct.

If you or your child face college disciplinary proceedings for sexual misconduct, whether through Title IX or a broader school sexual misconduct policy, you need an experienced student defense attorney to protect your rights. Attorney Joseph D. Lento has handled hundreds of Title IX and other student disciplinary cases at schools across the country. Call the Lento Law Firm a call at 888-535-3686 or contact us online.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Joseph D. Lento has more than a decade of experience passionately fighting for the futures of his clients. Mr. Lento represents students and others in disciplinary cases and other proceedings at universities and colleges across the United States while concurrently fighting in criminal courtrooms in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, and New Jersey. Mr. Lento has helped countless students, professors, and others in academia at more than a thousand universities and colleges across the United States. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, and is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide.

Comments

There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

Contact Us Today!

footer-2.jpg

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 our offices today, and let us help secure your academic career.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations – the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website. In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Berks, Lancaster, Lehigh, and Northampton County. In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County, In New York, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New York's 62 counties. Outside of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance may not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, New York, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.

Menu