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 Mount Saint Mary 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 Mount Saint Mary College's disciplinary process and why you need an attorney-advisor if you find yourself in this predicament.
Mount Saint Mary College's Disciplinary Process
Under Title IX, Mount Saint Mary 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.
Reporting and Response
Individuals wishing to report incidents of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and/or stalking have the right to pursue more than one reporting action. You could contact the Director of Counseling, the Director of Campus Ministry, or a Counselor.
The complaint should describe the relevant dates, times, places, names of persons involved, and the nature of the alleged event, as well as the names and contact information of any potential witnesses.
A college official who is trained in interviewing victims of sexual assault will talk to the complainant, the respondent, and any witnesses to gather facts and preserve evidence.
Student Conduct Hearing
The Director of Human Resources shall chair a hearing board that includes a faculty member and an administrator/staff member, chosen from a pool of trained individuals. They will be responsible for conducting the student conduct hearing. After all statements are heard and questions are answered, the board will deliberate and come up with a determination.
Both complainant and respondent shall be notified concurrently in writing of the outcome of the hearing within a reasonably prompt timeframe after receipt of the complaint.
Both parties have a right to appeal the determination and/or sanction(s). An appeal panel will review the appeal request(s). An appeal must be made based on at least one of the following grounds:
- A procedural error occurred during the process that had a direct impact on the outcome
- New evidence has come to light that has a direct impact on the outcome which could not have been discovered by a properly diligent person before or during the original proceeding
- The sanction is too severe (appeal from respondent), or the sanction is too lenient (appeal from complainant)
Students must submit an appeal to the Vice President for Students within six business days of receipt of determination.
New York Title IX Attorney
If you've been accused of sexual misconduct at Mount Saint Mary College, you can choose anyone to be your advisor in the Title IX process. Since this is a religious institution, the rules are a bit different from public schools. Therefore, 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.