Iowa now has 62 postsecondary institutions with an enrollment of roughly 152,000 full-time students. These and the majority of U.S. schools are required to comply with Title IX federal guidelines. First implemented in 1972 by the U.S. Department of Education, Title IX serves to stop sexually-based discrimination in educational institutions.
Schools are responsible for establishing a written program regarding how complaints of sexual discrimination are handled. Federal oversight is the responsibility of the Office of Civil Rights (OCR). Schools that fail to maintain compliance may lose eligibility for federal educational funding.
What Constitutes a Violation Under Title IX?
- Acts that involve treating an individual or group differently from others based on their sex or perceived sex
- Having different eligibility requirements for entry to programs, activities, aid or benefits based on someone's gender, sexual orientation, etc.
- Verbal or nonverbal sexually-based harassment
- Acts of sexual assault including rape or dating violence
- Behavior that is intimidating, offensive or otherwise creates a hostile educational environment
- Providing support or assistance to an agency or organization that partakes in sexual discrimination
Handling Complaints of Sexual Misconduct
Schools designate a Title IX Coordinator that is responsible for compliance. After receiving a complaint, the designated administrators are to respond promptly by initiating an investigation. Investigations commonly involve reviewing the evidence and interviewing witnesses. Federal guidelines emphasize that this process is to be conducted impartially and free from any biases.
Those who are faced with allegations should be provided adequate time to respond. Schools may offer informal options for resolution such as mediation. Many institutions hold hearings where all parties are present.
What is an Advisor?
Those involved in Title IX proceedings are typically able to select an advisor to assist and support them during the process. Based on the written guidelines, this individual may be restricted from active participation in meetings or hearings. Students often benefit significantly from retaining an experienced attorney to serve in this role.
People who self-identify as LGBTQ now comprise approximately 10% of the overall undergraduate enrollment in the U.S. LGBTQ students have traditionally been marginalized in group educational settings. When an LGBTQ student is accused of sexual misconduct, they may feel isolated and uncertain of how to proceed. In these situations, retaining experienced legal representation to serve as an advisor is encouraged. An attorney that is familiar with these proceedings will ensure you are prepared and that your rights are protected.
Ruling on Violations
Schools may assign responsibility for deciding these matters with the Title IX Coordinator, other administrators, a hearing panel composed of students and/or faculty, and others. For a violation to be proven, the evidence must satisfy either a preponderance of the evidence or clear and convincing evidence standard. Both are a lesser standard compared to beyond a reasonable doubt that applies in criminal actions. An experienced attorney-advisor can help level the playing field during the investigation, at a hearing when convened, and during the appeals process when necessary.
Those who commit violations may face a host of possible sanctions. Some of the most common penalties include suspension or expulsion from the institution. Most schools offer a process for appealing a ruling.
Attorney Represents Students in an Advisory Role in Title IX Disciplinary Proceedings
Those who are faced with allegations of violating their school's Title IX policies may face harsh sanctions or penalties. Joseph D. Lento is an attorney that understands these matters and will provide effective advisory assistance in Iowa. You are encouraged to contact the office at (888) 535-3686 today.
Iowa colleges and universities where Joseph D. Lento can help as your or your gay or lesbian student's Title IX advisor during investigations, hearings, and appeals include, but are not limited to, the following schools
- AIB College of Business
- Allen College
- Briar Cliff University
- Brown Mackie College Quad Cities
- Buena Vista University
- Central College
- Clarke University
- Coe College
- Cornell College
- Des Moines Area Community College
- Divine Word College
- Dordt College
- Drake University
- Eastern Iowa Community College District
- Ellsworth Community College
- Emmaus Bible College
- Faith Baptist Bible College and Theological Seminary
- Graceland University Lamoni
- Grand View University
- Grinnell College
- Hamilton Technical College
- Hawkeye Community College
- Indian Hills Community College
- Iowa Central Community College
- Iowa Lakes Community College
- Iowa State University
- Iowa Wesleyan College
- Iowa Western Community College
- ITT Technical Institute Cedar Rapids
- ITT Technical Institute Clive
- Kaplan University Cedar Falls Campus
- Kaplan University Cedar Rapids Campus
- Kaplan University Council Bluffs Campus
- Kaplan University Davenport Campus
- Kaplan University Des Moines Campus
- Kaplan University Mason City Campus
- Kirkwood Community College
- Loras College
- Luther College
- Maharishi University of Management
- Marshalltown Community College
- Mercy College of Health Sciences
- Morningside College
- Mount Mercy University
- North Iowa Area Community College
- Northeast Iowa Community College Calmar
- Northwest Iowa Community College
- Northwestern College
- Palmer College of Chiropractic Davenport
- Saint Ambrose University
- Simpson College
- Southeastern Community College
- Southwestern Community College
- St Luke's College
- University of Dubuque
- University of Iowa
- University of Northern Iowa
- University of Phoenix Des Moines Campus
- Upper Iowa University
- Vatterott College Des Moines
- Waldorf College
- Wartburg College
- Western Iowa Tech Community College
- William Penn University
Approximately 10% of college students in the United States identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans, or questioning according to studies and LGBTQ+ students should not feel alone when accused of sexual misconduct. As importantly, they should they not face such burdens alone or without the necessary support and guidance.
The reason LGBTQ+ students should not go through the Title IX process alone is because, as with all students accused of sexual misconduct, Title IX allegations and charges can change an accused student's life if not defended against properly and as early as possible during the disciplinary process. It is critical to have a dedicated and experienced advocate when facing a challenge in life and Joseph D. Lento has more than a decade of experience passionately fighting for the future of LGBTQ+ students at universities and colleges throughout the nation. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead, prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. Joseph Lento is a licensed attorney in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York and serves as a Title IX advisor to students facing Title IX and disciplinary cases in Iowa and throughout the nation. Make certain your or your student's interests are protected - Contact National Title IX attorney Joseph D. Lento today at 888-535-3686.