The University of Notre Dame was founded in 1842 in South Bend, Indiana. It is a faith-based educational institution that now has a student enrollment that exceeds 12,000. The University's leadership is committed to fostering an atmosphere of “solidarity.” This commitment is consistent with the federal Title IX guidelines, which are intended to prevent sexually-based discrimination in education settings.
Title IX Reporting
The Title IX Coordinator is located within the Office of Institutional Equity at 100 Grace Hall. Students that wish to make a complaint anonymously may do so using several confidential resources. The Title IX Office at Notre Dame has extensive programming geared toward the prevention of sexual assault in the campus community and significant resources for victims.
Interim Measures in Title IX
The University may impose measures to ensure safety including “no contact” orders that prevent contact or communication between the parties. Other changes may include modifying work schedules, class schedules, and campus housing arrangements. Acts of intimidation or retaliation are also strictly prohibited and subject to enforcement from the Notre Dame Police Department.
Understanding Consent and Drug or Alcohol Impairment
The University guidelines emphasize obtaining proper consent when engaging in sexual activity. Those who are intoxicated from drugs or alcohol may lack the ability to willingly give consent. An incapacitated person is defined as someone who cannot make a “deliberate choice” regarding participation in sexual activity.
Any individual that is unconscious or asleep is deemed to be incapacitated. Those who engage in sexual activity with an incapacitated individual are violating University policy.
Title IX Investigation and Resolution Overview
The University guidelines extend beyond mere acts of sexual harassment, assault, and gender bias. The guidelines explain that dating violence, stalking, and other actions also create an adverse or hostile educational environment. The investigations are designed to be impartial and fair.
Possible Alternative Resolutions
Some cases may be voluntarily resolved through alternative methods that do not result in severe disciplinary sanctions such as expulsion. One method involves mediation, which is facilitated by a third-party that is geared to reaching a mutually acceptable solution or agreement. Cases involving allegations of sexual assault are not considered appropriate for this option.
Role of an Advisor
Both complainants and respondents are permitted to choose an advisor, who may or may not be an attorney. The advisor may accompany the party to any hearings or meetings functioning in a support role.
Potential Benefits of Having an Attorney Serve in Advisory Role
Your attorney may prepare you to deliver more concise statements and effective responses to questions in hearings. He or she may attempt to negotiate with institutional administrators regarding potential amicable resolutions. It is important to choose representation that is familiar with this unique realm of practice.
Complainants and respondents may request an appeal. This request must be made via the appropriate online form within seven calendar days. The Vice President for Student Affairs will designate an administrator to handle appeals.
The grounds for an appeal are limited. The party must assert that there were procedural errors made or that new critical information has been discovered. Parties seeking to appeal should proceed with assistance from their attorney to maximize effectiveness and ensure compliance.
Attorney Represents College and University Students Accused of Title IX Misconduct
The Lento Law Firm has protected the rights of students in Title IX disciplinary proceedings for many years now. Contact the office today at (888) 535-3686 for assistance.