The state of Pennsylvania is now home to roughly 260 institutions of higher education. Students are expected to comply with a host of disciplinary provisions concerning conduct, academic integrity, and respecting the rights of all those in the community. Most schools allow students that are the subject of an investigation and disciplinary process to choose an adviser that will support and accompany them in these proceedings. It is strongly encouraged that an experienced attorney is retained in this critical role.
Types of Disciplinary Violations
Colleges and universities maintain high standards of academic integrity; therefore, cheating, plagiarism, and other acts of dishonesty are strictly prohibited. Many of these violations involve “collusion” where two or more students conspire. Another example includes altering or falsifying information on applications for admission or benefits.
General Violations of Conduct
Many actions may violate the "general" student code of conduct or behavior. They may involve violating the rules regarding campus alcohol possession or consumption, disorderly conduct, hazing, residential hall violations, and many others.
Title IX Violations
Title IX is a federal initiative that requires all educational institutions to promptly and fairly investigate any complaints related to sexually-based discrimination. Colleges each have a Title IX Coordinator that is responsible for evaluating claims involving obstructing someone's ability to participate in programs or hindering access to benefits based on their gender or sexual orientation. Other violations of Title IX include acts of sexual harassment, sexually-oriented assault, stalking, dating violence, and more.
How Might an Attorney-Adviser Assist in Campus Disciplinary Matters?
Colleges and universities today are increasingly focused on maintaining an impeccable public image and reputation. This results from a very competitive market environment and the way that bad publicity can be rapidly disseminated in our interconnected digital news and social networks. Leading educational administrators seek to maintain high standards for academic integrity and student conduct, along with excellent campus safety.
Schools may be motivated to hold students accountable for acts of misconduct and impose disproportionately harsh sanctions and penalties. Meanwhile, faculty and staff members assigned to manage the student disciplinary process are often overworked and may move hastily through the proceedings without affording those accused with their rights of due process. Having experienced representation will better ensure your rights are well-protected.
Students and their loved ones are often making substantial sacrifices in time and money to pursue post-secondary education. A detrimental outcome such as being suspended or expelled places these goals in jeopardy. Student transcripts typically will contain documentation indicating past disciplinary actions, which can create challenges in being admitted to another school, internship, or graduate or professional degree programs. You are encouraged to promptly speak with an attorney after being informed of the allegations to allow sufficient time for preparation to deliver effective statements and concise responses to questions.
Experienced Representation for Student Disciplinary Actions
Joseph D. Lento is a seasoned attorney that is familiar with assisting college and university students that are accused of misconduct. He works aggressively to minimize sanctions and achieve a positive outcome. Contact the office today at (888) 535-3686.