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 Manhattan 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 Manhattan College's disciplinary process and why you need an attorney-advisor if you find yourself in this predicament.
Manhattan College's Disciplinary Process
According to Title IX, Manhattan 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.
All members of the College community, including students, staff, faculty, vendors, and visitors who experience, witness, or hear about sexual misconduct, including sexual harassment and sexual assault, are encouraged to immediately contact the College's Title IX Coordinator.
During an investigation, the Title IX Coordinator will ask for written statements and other documents or evidence that might help them understand exactly what happened. Such evidence can include text messages, Facebook or Instagram posts, photos, voicemails, emails, or items of clothing. Both parties may exclude any prior sexual history with persons other than the parties involved in the current conduct process.
A Hearing Officer will be chosen based on the parties involved and the nature of the allegations. At the hearing, complainants and respondents will have an opportunity to submit further evidence prior to the hearing and will be afforded the opportunity to review this additional evidence before the start of the hearing. After all testimonies have been heard, the hearing officer will make a determination based on the preponderance of evidence, that is more likely than not that the alleged conduct occurred.
Resolution and Appeal
Both the complainant and the accused have the right to appeal to the outcome of the hearing officer's determination of responsibility and/or sanction. An appeal may be made in only certain limited circumstances, as follows:
- a party believes a procedural error substantially impacted the original finding or sanction;
- a party has substantial new evidence that was not available during the investigation or hearing and which would substantially impact the original finding or sanction; or
- a party feels that the sanction is substantially outside the scope or guidelines set by the Manhattan College Community Standards and Student and Faculty Code of Conduct.
Requests for an appeal must be made in writing, including the grounds for appeal, and be received by the Title IX Coordinator within 5 business days of receipt of notification of the hearing officer's decision.
New York Title IX Attorney
If you've been accused of sexual misconduct at Manhattan 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.