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 the Polytechnic Institute of New York University 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 NYU's disciplinary process and why you need an attorney-advisor if you find yourself in this predicament.
Polytechnic Institute's Disciplinary Process
Under Title IX, Polytechnic Institute at NYU is required to adjudicate any cases of sexual misconduct brought to the institution's attention. The Department of Education urges compliant institutions like the Polytechnic Institute to respond to these accusations in a manner that is prompt and equitable. If the institute 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.
Filing a Complaint
Complaints of sexual misconduct may be made verbally or in writing to the Title IX Coordinator. The complaint is to include the names of the people involved, the names of witnesses, a detailed description of the alleged conduct, when and where the conduct occurred, and relevant evidence of correspondence (text messages, emails, social media, etc).
When a complaint is filed, the College will take immediate and appropriate steps to investigate or otherwise determine what happened and work to resolve the matter promptly and equitably. As part of the assessment, the Title IX Coordinator will do the following:
- Assess the nature and circumstances of the report
- Address immediate physical safety and emotional well-being needs
- Discuss the complainant's expressed preference for the manner of resolution and any barriers to proceeding
- Notify the complainant of the right to contact law enforcement in order to file criminal charges, decline to contact law enforcement, or seek an order of protection
- Notify the Complainant of the right to seek medical treatment, including the importance of preserving evidence
- Assess for pattern evidence or other similar conduct by respondent etc.
It is after this assessment that the Title IX Coordinator will determine whether the circumstances warrant proceeding to an investigation.
An investigation entails that all parties and relevant witnesses are interviewed, and a finding of facts will be compiled.
A hearing will give the complainant, respondent, and witnesses a chance to tell their side of the story in front of an adjudicator. A questioning period will also be held for clarification. Once all statements have been heard and all questions have been answered, the adjudicator will determine whether there is sufficient information, by a preponderance of the evidence, to support a finding of responsibility for a violation of the policy.
The Complainant or Respondent may appeal the determination to the NYU Sexual Misconduct Appeal Panel within five (5) business days. Grounds for an appeal are limited to:
- A material procedural error
- previously unavailable relevant evidence that could affect the outcome; and/or
- the sanction being substantially disproportionate to the violation
New York Title IX Attorney
If you've been accused of sexual misconduct at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University, you can anyone to be your advisor in the Title IX process. It would be in your best interest to an attorney who can help you effectively navigate the process and build a solid defense for you. Contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today at 888-535-3686 for help.