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 Keuka 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 Keuka College's disciplinary process and why you need an attorney-advisor if you find yourself in this predicament.
Keuka College's Disciplinary Process
According to Title IX, Keuka 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.
Any member of the community, guest or visitor who believes that school policy has been violated should contact the Title IX/Equity/AA Coordinator or a member of the ERP to report sexual misconduct.
A complaint is to include the names of the people involved, the names of witnesses, a detailed description of the alleged conduct, when and where the conduct occurred, and relevant evidence of correspondence (e-mails, text messages, social media, photos, etc.).
Following receipt of notice or a report of misconduct, the Title IX/Equity/AA Coordinator will determine if there is a reasonable cause to believe school policy has been violated via a preliminary inquiry. This inquiry is typically one to three days in duration. This inquiry may also serve to help the Title IX Coordinator to determine if the allegations evidence violence, threat, pattern, predation and/or weapon, in the event that the complainant has asked for no action to be taken.
Once the decision is made to commence a formal investigation, the Title IX Coordinator will appoint investigators to conduct the investigation. Investigations are conducted expeditiously, normally within 10 business days. The investigators will typically take the following steps:
- Meet with the complainant to finalize their statement
- Commence a thorough, reliable and impartial investigation by developing a strategic investigation plan, including a witness list, evidence list, intended timeframe, and order of interviews for all witnesses and the respondent
- Provide complainant and respondent with a written description of the alleged violations
- Complete the investigation promptly, and without unreasonable deviation from the intended timeline
- Share the findings and update the complainant on the status of the investigation and respondent's decision on the finding, without undue delay
The Title IX Coordinator will refer the investigation findings to one of the non-voting panel chairs. A hearing will soon commence after the investigation. At the beginning of the hearing, the investigator will present the report, and then evidence from both sides will be presented at the hearing. After hearing all sides, the three-panel members will deliberate in a closed session to determine whether the respondent is responsible or not responsible for the policy violation in question.
All requests for appeal consideration must be submitted in writing to the Title IX Coordinator within three days of the delivery of the written determination of the hearing panel. Any party may appeal the findings and/or sanctions only under the grounds described below:
- A procedural error or omission occurred that significantly impacted the outcome of the hearing
- To consider new evidence, unknown or unavailable during the original hearing or investigation, that could substantially impact the original finding or sanction. A summary of this new evidence and its potential impact must be included
- The sanctions imposed fall outside the range of sanctions the College has designated for this offense and the cumulative record of the respondent
New York Title IX Attorney
If you've been accused of sexual misconduct at Keuka 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.