There are a number of procedures that are carried out once an institution receives notification of alleged sexual misconduct under Title IX. When a complaint is submitted, the school's main concern is to ensure that a complainant and the campus community is safe from potential retaliation. One of the initial methods of prevention is to immediately implement interim measures in these circumstances.
Interim measures are guidelines that limit the interactions between the parties listed in a complaint. Schools have wide discretion in regard to the extent of the measures that are taken to maintain a safe and secure learning environment. Depending on the situation, schools have subjected accused students to a wide range of measures, including housing and residency reassignments, changes in work schedule, class schedule alterations, the imposition of a no-contact order, restrictive access to certain areas of the university, and even a suspension.
Although on the surface interim measures are a logical response to a complaint, they pose serious issues for accused students. Respondents have reported being forced to abide by measures that are so drastic that they become disruptive. They also claim that the impact of these measures resemble that of a punishment. In an environment where accused students are supposed to be presumed innocent until proven guilty, drastic interim measures convey a paradoxical message.
The reality is, that interim measures are put into place with little (if any) consideration of the effects that may have on an accused student's life. In these processes respondents are coaxed to avoid certain areas of campus, not attend classes they need to graduate, move to another dorm room or residency, or be asked to not step foot on campus altogether for a period of time due to a mere allegation.
For respondents who have a genuine belief that they're innocent, interim measures are a major inconvenience. Your whole college life is uprooted over allegations that may be untrue or exaggerated. Many times respondents make the mistake of violating these measures by confronting an alleged victim out of frustration, or attempting to talk to them to sort things out. This is a bad idea. In the minds of many, you already did what you were accused of. Violating school policy will only validate their preconceived notion of you, and incriminate you. Instead of acting trying to contact an accuser or acting on impulse, you should be making preparations to defend yourself.
Student Defense Attorney Helping Clients Nationwide
Unfortunately, some parts of your school's process may not be fair. If you wish to protect your rights and level the playing field, hiring a student defense attorney is a must. National Title IX attorney Joseph D. Lento has dedicated his entire career to helping students accused of sexual misconduct overcome their charges, and prevail in Title IX investigations, hearings, and appeals in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and nationwide. He can do the same for you. Contact him today for help.