There are now 43 colleges and universities across New Mexico with an annual enrollment of more than 124,000 students. U.S. schools must comply with Title IX provisions. This amendment was implemented in 1972 and contains guidelines and procedures regarding sexually-based discrimination.
Schools must establish written policies and procedures to address the way that complaints of sexual discrimination are handled. Overall central enforcement is the responsibility of the Office of Civil Rights (OCR). Schools that fail to adhere to Title IX provisions may be deemed as ineligible for further federal education funding.
Schools may exercise some discretion in drafting their Title IX procedures. Institutions will designate a Title IX Coordinator that is responsible for promptly investigating complaints. The investigation process often involves interviewing witnesses and gathering other evidence.
Schools may choose to assess the allegations using a preponderance of the evidence or clear and convincing evidence standards. Many allow for alternative or informal attempts at a resolution such as through mediation. Most schools implement an appeals process; however, there is no requirement that one be made available
Maintaining Fairness and Equitability
The administrator is tasked with evaluating the evidence and reaching a finding. All “rights and opportunities” made available to one party must be made available to others. The accused party is also to be afforded sufficient time for preparation.
Examples of Sexual Discrimination
- Sexual harassment: May include various forms of unwanted sexually-based conduct. Examples include requesting sexual favors, making advances, and other acts made verbally or nonverbally.
- Sexual violence: These include physical acts including rape, sexual battery or coercion. It may involve victims that are unwilling or unable to legally give consent.
- Discrimination may occur by preventing or denying access or participation based on their gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation. This may apply to institutional admission, educational program entry, athletic participation, and more.
- Other prohibited acts include those that intimidate or stereotype victims based on their gender and create hostility within the educational environment
Title IX and the LGBTQ Community
The OCR has clarified in recent years that Title IX protections do apply regardless of an individual's gender or sexual orientation. One example is that the protections apply to discrimination related to “gender identification or a failure to conform to stereotypical notions of masculinity or femininity.”
Allegations Against LGBTQ Students
LGBTQ students now comprise an estimated 10% of total U.S. undergraduate student enrollment. Administrators who investigate allegations are often overworked and may move hastily without considering the rights of accused students. LGBTQ students that face allegations of violating Title IX should consider retaining an attorney with experience in these disciplinary matters.
Having an Attorney in Advisor Role
Although institutional guidelines may limit their active participation in proceedings, having an attorney as your advisor can be beneficial. You will have a better understanding of what to expect in these matters. Your attorney may prepare you to confidently respond to questions and issue effective statements. An attorney will also be able to make certain an accused student's interests and rights are protected during the investigation, if a hearing is held, or if an appeal becomes necessary to challenge any findings and/or sanctions.
Experienced Legal Advisor for Students in Title IX Actions in New Mexico
Are you a student that is the subject of disciplinary actions involving acts such as sexual misconduct at an educational institution in New Mexico? Joseph D. Lento is a lawyer that well-versed in these proceedings and will work to create a positive outcome. You are encouraged to contact the office today at (888) 535-3686.
New Mexico 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
- Brown Mackie College Albuquerque
- Central New Mexico Community College
- Clovis Community College
- Computer Career Center
- Eastern New Mexico University Main Campus
- Eastern New Mexico University Roswell Campus
- Eastern New Mexico University Ruidoso Campus
- Institute of American Indian and Alaska Native Culture
- ITT Technical Institute Albuquerque
- Luna Community College
- Mesalands Community College
- National American University Albuquerque
- National American University Rio Rancho
- Navajo Technical College
- New Mexico Highlands University
- New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
- New Mexico Junior College
- New Mexico Military Institute
- New Mexico State University Alamogordo
- New Mexico State University Carlsbad
- New Mexico State University Dona Ana
- New Mexico State University Grants
- New Mexico State University Main Campus
- Northern New Mexico College
- San Juan College
- Santa Fe Community College
- Santa Fe University of Art and Design
- Southwest University of Visual Arts Albuquerque
- St John's College
- University of New Mexico Gallup Campus
- University of New Mexico Los Alamos Campus
- University of New Mexico Main Campus
- University of New Mexico Taos Campus
- University of New Mexico Valencia County Campus
- University of Phoenix Albuquerque Campus
- University of the Southwest
- Western New Mexico 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 New Mexico 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.