Located in Cambridge, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has a total enrollment of more than 11,000 students. The school's Mission Statement includes a commitment to maintaining a “diverse campus community.” This goal is consistent with the federal Title IX provisions, which were implemented to combat problems with sexually-based discrimination in education.
Contacts and Reporting Options
The Title IX Coordinator is located in the Institutional Discrimination & Harassment Response Office (IDHR) at 120 Massachusetts Avenue. There are various other ways of submitting a complaint and resources available.
Understanding Consent and Being Incapacitated
The MIT policies clarify what constitutes consent to engage in sexual activity. Emphasis is placed on ensuring that consent is given willfully and rationally. Those who are significantly impaired from the effects of drugs or alcohol may be considered incapacitated.
Individuals that are incapacitated, such as those who are unconscious or asleep are incapable of giving consent. Students are strongly encouraged to exercise sound judgment and refrain from engaging in sexual activities while under the influence of intoxicating substances.
Role of Advisor
The parties can choose an advisor, who may or may not be an attorney. Advisors function in a largely supportive role and accompany parties throughout the proceedings. MIT will provide a representative to assist parties in interpreting the policies and procedures when requested.
The administration will make “reasonable efforts” to maintain privacy and avoid dissemination of information to those outside of the proceedings. Interim measures may be implemented for the safety of all involved. Measures may include changes in employment, academics, campus residency, and more.
The accused (responding) party that is the subject of an investigation will be provided with a written summary report of all evidence compiled in the investigative process. A designated Chair is responsible for choosing the most appropriate form of resolution, which may include a hearing or another administrative (alternative) resolution. All parties are promptly notified in writing once a hearing is scheduled.
The Hearing Process at MIT
- A Committee on Discipline (COD) is tasked with hearing the evidence, issuing a ruling, and potentially imposing sanctions
- The Chair will initially provide an overview of the hearing procedures and present the allegations
- The complainant and respondent are both invited to deliver opening statements
- Witness testimony is heard and all parties and the COD are allowed to question all witnesses
- The complainant and respondent may issue closing statements
Ruling and Sanctions Imposed
Following a hearing, the COD will engage in deliberations. Allegations are assessed using a preponderance of the evidence standard. If it is determined that the allegations were proven, the COD will deliberate on appropriate sanctions.
Appealing a Ruling
A party seeking to appeal a decision must do so within five business days in writing to the Office of Student Conduct. The grounds for an appeal include:
- New evidence has emerged
- There was a failure to adhere to proper policies or procedures
- The sanctions imposed were not appropriate for the violation(s)
The Chancellor is responsible for making these decisions. Having assistance from an attorney is critical for creating a compliant, effective, and timely appeals document.
Title IX Attorney for MIT Students
Attorney Joseph D. Lento effectively represents students faced with allegations related to Title IX misconduct. The sanctions that may be imposed can severely hinder your future so you must mount the strongest possible defense. Contact the office for additional information today at (888) 535-3686.