Massachusetts Title IX Advisor for LGBTQ+ Students

More than 180,000 students are enrolled as undergraduates at colleges and universities in Massachusetts. These and most educational institutions across the U.S. are tasked with maintaining compliance with federal Title IX guidelines. This was a civil rights amendment first established in 1972 by the U.S. Department of Education that governs sexually-based discrimination.

Ongoing enforcement and guidance are provided at the federal level by the Office of Civil Rights (OCR). All institutions designate a Title IX Coordinator who established written procedures outlining how any complaints of sexual discrimination are handles. Schools have some latitude in creating their provisions. The disciplinary proceedings are supposed to be fair and free from any conflicts of interest.

Possible Institutional Exemptions

Some educational institutions are afforded an exemption from Title IX. This may apply to schools affiliated with a religious group whose beliefs are not consistent with the provisions in Title IX. For example, many organizations may not offer training programs for ministry leadership roles to women because these roles are reserved for men based on their tenets.

Examples of Violations

  • Acts of sexual harassment such as appeals for sexual favors or other advances made verbally or otherwise
  • Sexual violence such as rape, battery, coercion or other acts perpetrated against an unwilling victim
  • Gender-based harassment such as threats that create a hostile educational environment
  • Preventing or denying access or participation in academic programs, athletics, or other school activities based on gender or sexual orientation

LGBTQ and Title IX

Students that self-identify as being either lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning or queer (LGBTQ) now account for approximately 10% of total postsecondary enrollment. Federal regulators have specifically addressed how issues such as gender identity and sexual orientation relate to Title IX. In a statement, they recognized that the protections do extend to "claims of discrimination based on gender identity." Schools are to "remedy sexual violence regardless if based on a student's actual or perceived sexual orientation."

LGBTQ Students Facing Allegations of Misconduct

Those in the LGBTQ community have traditionally been subjected to stereotypes and forms of discrimination in group settings. When an LGBTQ student faces accusations related to sexual misconduct they may feel isolated and uneasy regarding the disciplinary process. Fortunately, most institutions do allow all parties to select an advisor that may provide support and assistance amid these proceedings.

Advisory Role

Many institutions restrict those serving as an advisor from actively participating in a hearing or other proceeding. For example, they may be unable to speak directly on behalf of the party. Having an attorney act in this advisory role can be very beneficial. You will be much better prepared to deliver statements and respond to questions that will be asked.  As importantly, an experienced advisor  will be an advocate for an accused student and will protect an accused student's interests through all stages of the process including during the investigation, if a hearing is convened, and if an appeal becomes necessary. 

Disciplinary Process

The most commonly employed evidentiary standard is by a preponderance of the evidence. Federal guidelines now also allow for using a clear and convincing evidence standard. Those found to have committed violations may face difficult sanctions such as being suspended or expelled.

Advisory Representation for Students in Massachusetts Accused of Title IX Violations

Joseph D. Lento is an experienced attorney that will assist students in facing these allegations in Massachusetts. He will work diligently on your behalf to ensure your rights are protected. You are encouraged to promptly contact the office today at (888) 535-3686.

Massachusetts 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:

  • American International College
  • Amherst College
  • Anna Maria College
  • Assumption College
  • Babson College
  • Bard College at Simon's Rock
  • Bay Path College
  • Bay State College
  • Becker College
  • Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology
  • Bentley University
  • Berklee College of Music
  • Berkshire Community College
  • Boston Architectural College
  • Boston Baptist College
  • Boston College
  • Boston University
  • Brandeis University
  • Bridgewater State University
  • Bristol Community College
  • Bunker Hill Community College
  • Cambridge College
  • Cape Cod Community College
  • Clark University
  • College of Our Lady of the Elms
  • College of the Holy Cross
  • Curry College
  • Dean College
  • Eastern Nazarene College
  • Emerson College
  • Emmanuel College
  • Endicott College
  • Fisher College
  • Fitchburg State University
  • Framingham State University
  • Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering
  • Gordon College
  • Greenfield Community College
  • Hampshire College
  • Harvard University
  • Hellenic College Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology
  • Holyoke Community College
  • ITT Technical Institute Norwood
  • ITT Technical Institute Wilmington
  • Laboure College
  • Lasell College
  • Lawrence Memorial Hospital School of Nursing
  • Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts
  • Lesley University
  • Longy School of Music
  • Marian Court College
  • Massachusetts Bay Community College
  • Mass