The Maryland Institute College of Art, also known as "MICA", has impressive credentials, scoring high on a number of rankings for its extensive programs. Chances are, if you are a student at this school, you are planning on graduating and becoming a force in your desired profession. However, there are many obstacles that could prevent you from achieving your professional goals. Being accused of violating your school's policy - especially violations that include sexual misconduct - can potentially jeopardize all the goals you set.
If you have been accused of sexual misconduct, it is important you understand what you're up against. For the purposes of this article, we will provide a brief overview of the Maryland Institute College of Art's Title IX process.
Title IX Process
This institution aims to resolve complaints of sexual misconduct between 30 and 60 business days of the initial report. This time frame may be extended depending on the circumstances. School authorities will use specific terms to identify all the parties involved in a complaint. An individual who identifies as a victim/survivor of the alleged misconduct will be referred to as a “complainant,” while an individual who has been accused of exhibiting such actions will be referred to as a “respondent.”
Filing a complaint
The Maryland Institute College of Art strongly encourages every member of its community to report any witnessed, experienced or rumored instances of sexual misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator, Deputy Title IX coordinator, the Title IX specialist, the Student Affairs Office, Residence Life, Campus Safety, or Human Resources office. Once the institute receives word of this alleged misconduct, an initial Title IX assessment will be conducted.
Initial Title IX assessment
The first step of the assessment is for the Title IX coordinator or any member of the Title IX team to hold a preliminary meeting with the complainant. The main objective of this meeting is to gain a basic understanding of the nature and circumstances of the complaint. During this meeting a Title IX employee will identify aspects of the misconduct that warrant for the process for the proceed. These factors include the age of the complainant, the use of a weapon, the existence of violence, the disciplinary history of a respondent etc. The next step of the meeting is to provide complainants with information regarding resources, procedural options and interim remedies.
One of the main priorities of the school's Title IX team is to ensure the complainant is safe from retaliation. In order to prevent this from happening and depending on the circumstances, the school may impose specific interim remedies throughout the course of the Title IX process. These remedies include, but are not limited to:
- The implementation of a no contact order
- A mandatory leave of absence
- Restrictions placed onto certain areas of campus or buildings
- Housing reassignment accommodations etc.
The investigation, overseen by the Title IX coordinator, entails two third party investigators interviewing a complainant, respondent, and witnesses to get an in-depth understanding of the alleged misconduct. This is a respondent's chance to present evidence that supports their account of events. Once both sides are heard, the investigators will comprise an investigative reports that determines whether a respondent is responsible or not based on “a more likely than not” (a preponderance of evidence) standard.
If a respondent is dissatisfied with a determination and/or sanction concluded by a school, he or she has the option of an appeal. An appeal is essentially a request for a school to reconsider its decision. However, in order for an appeal to be granted, it must be based on reasonable grounds. The sole grounds for an appeal include:
- There was a procedural error that affected the outcome of a determination and/or sanction
- The sanction imposed is substantially disproportionate to the severity of a violation
- New information that was not available at the time of an investigation is now available, and could considerable affect a determination and/or sanction
Students have five calendar days from the date they received notification of the final determination to submit a written appeal.
Title IX Advisor
Choosing an attorney to occupy the role of an advisor outweighs the benefits of choosing anyone else to fulfill this role. Skilled attorney Joseph D. Lento has helped guide students in your predicament through these processes, and he's well equipped to do the same for you. Contact him today for help.
Title IX violations and Title IX charges can change an accused student's life if not defended against properly and as early as possible during the disciplinary process, and Joseph D. Lento has nearly a decade of experience passionately fighting for the future of his clients 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 Pennsylvania and New Jersey, is admitted as an attorney pro hac vice in state and federal court if needed when representing clients nationwide, and serves as a Title IX advisor to students facing disciplinary cases in Maryland and throughout the nation. Make certain your or your student's interests are protected - Joseph D. Lento can help