The New York City College of Technology provides support and resources for those who have been sexually assaulted, subjected to dating violence, stalking, and other similar adverse actions. The administration maintains counselors and providers of immediate medical care such as a nurse available for those in need. The College is aware that often there is some reluctance to come forward to report these incidents. For this reason, it is important to know that CUNY respects the confidentiality of those who report such allegations.
Title IX Overview
The federal Title IX guidelines were established in 1972 as laws that prohibit sexually-based discrimination at educational institutions that receive federal funds. The rules govern discrimination to ensure equality in the many areas of the institution, which includes admissions, athletics, academics, and more. Title IX does prohibit employment-based discrimination at these institutions. Some of these complaints fall under the responsibility of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is responsible for initiating reviews of compliance among the institutions of higher learning. The OCR strives to ensure these schools are adhering to their requirements for providing fair investigations, having proper means of filing any grievances, and other fundamental rights.
The New York City College of Technology's Student Bill of Rights
The CUNY administration implemented a Student Bill of Rights to outline the rights afforded to those involved in matters such as intimate partner violence, sexual abuse, and other related concerns. Students always have a right to contact law enforcement when they believe it is warranted. The disciplinary process is to be conducted in an impartial manner. Those who come forward to report a potential Title IX violation will not be subjected to acts of retaliation. All those associated with disciplinary matters have a right to have a personal advisor and any rulings made may be appealed.
The College recognizes that harassment has no place in a thriving educational environment. Often gender-based harassment is demonstrated through derogatory statements that pertain to an individual's sexual identity or orientation. Comments may be made of a sexual nature that may include jokes or suggestive statements. Displaying images or explicit written material may also be considered as abusive. Physical harassment that is inappropriate or suggestive is another primary example. These actions may include groping, pinching, or otherwise creating unwelcomed contact.
When complaints of potential Title IX violations are received, the administration has the resources to conduct an investigation. The Title IX Coordinator will work in conjunction with other offices within the College as needed. Both parties will promptly receive written notice that an investigation is underway and this document is to include a summary of the allegations. Investigators may conduct witness interviews to obtain evidence and have the parties submit written statements.
The parties are entitled to select an advisor to provide support and assistance. This individual may be an attorney. The advisor is to maintain a somewhat passive support role during formal processes such as hearings. They are asked to refrain from directly addressing the hearing or providing their own witness testimony.
Hearings related to allegations of sexual misconduct are closed. When the accused accepts responsibility for the alleged violations they may present their version of events and may also suggest potentially appropriate sanctions. Those making allegations have a burden of proof that must be satisfied that is based on the preponderance of the evidence standard. Both sides are always afforded opportunities to present evidence during hearings. Students are not mandated to testify in hearings. The administrators are ultimately tasked with considering all of the evidence and issuing a ruling.
When the accused is found to have violated the rules of conduct the College may impose sanctions that they deem as appropriate. In many cases, these include either a temporary suspension or potentially expulsion from the College. Other penalties included having privileges revoked, such as the opportunity to reside in campus housing or to join certain organizations. A temporary period of disciplinary probation may also be imposed. The finding will be provided in writing to the parties within a seven-day period and it is always subject to a potential appeal.
Parties wishing to appeal a ruling must do so in writing within a period of 15 days. The acceptable grounds for an appeal are as follows:
- An error occurred in adherence to written policies or procedure
- New information or evidence that was not previously available has since emerged
- The severity of the sanctions is excessive for the violation(s)
New York City College of Technology Title IX Coordinator Contact
Patricia A. Cody, Esq.
Chief Diversity Officer and Title IX Coordinator
300 Jay Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Defense Lawyer for Students Accused of Violating Sexual Misconduct Policies
Allegations of sexual misconduct can lead to penalties or sanctions that can radically alter your future educational plans. Those who are accused are therefore encouraged to consult with an experienced attorney as soon as possible upon receiving written notification of the allegations. The U.S. Department of Education has recently made a host of proposed changes to the Title IX guidelines. Some of these pending changes include redefining the definition of sexual harassment and some changes to the standards of evidence. During these volatile times, it is critical that you have proper guidance from someone who has kept abreast on the latest changes throughout the process.
Students or parents of a student attending a New York college or university that has been accused of sexual misconduct are strongly encouraged to consult with legal counsel. Attorney Joseph D. Lento has the experience needed to ensure that your rights are protected in these actions. These matters generally have some time restraints that must be adhered to; for example, those wishing to appeal a decision will generally have only a few days to do so. For this reason, it is critical to retain legal representation quickly! Contact the office today at (888) 535-3686 for a consultation.