Federal law Title IX prohibits sexual misconduct on federally funded campuses. Being accused of sexual assault, sexual harassment, rape, or any other of sexual misconduct at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is a Title IX violation that the school is legally obligated to adjudicate. 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 provide an overview of RPI's disciplinary process and why you need an attorney-advisor to help you navigate this process in these circumstances.
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's Disciplinary Process
Under Title IX, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is obligated to adjudicate any cases of sexual misconduct brought its attention. The Department of Education urges compliant higher education institutions like RPI to respond to these accusations in a manner that is prompt and equitable. If the school fails to do so, its federal 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
Unlike many schools, RPI has no statute of limitations on filing a complaint. This means that a complaint of sexual misconduct may be filed at any time, regardless of the length of time between the alleged misconduct and the filing. How the school strongly encourages individuals to file complaints promptly in order to preserve evidence for a potential disciplinary proceeding. A delay in filing a complaint could compromise the subsequent investigation.
Intake and Preliminary Assessment
Upon the receipt of a complaint, the Case Management Team will conduct an assessment, taking into consideration the nature of the conduct, the complainant's expressed preferences, if any, as to a course of action, and the necessity for any interim measures.
The investigator will conduct the investigation based upon the facts and circumstances reported to the Institute and developed through the course of the investigation, including interviews as feasible and appropriate with the complainant, the respondent, and any witnesses, and gathering other pertinent evidentiary materials to the extent reasonable and appropriate.
The hearing board is charged with conducting a prompt, thorough, and unbiased hearing to determine - based on the preponderance of evidence standard - whether or not the respondent violated the sexual misconduct policy specific to the alleged conduct. If a violation is found, the board will recommend sanctions.
Both the complainant and the respondent will have the opportunity to submit a written appeal to the Case Management Team within 2 business days following the date of the hearing outcome letter. The only grounds upon which an appeal may be based are:
- Procedural: a procedural error occurred that significantly impacted the outcome of the hearing as it applies to the appealing party.
- New information: new information has arisen which was not available or known to the appealing party during the hearing and that could have substantially impacted the original finding or sanction(s) has it been available at the time.
It's important to note that dissatisfaction with the outcome of the proceeding is not grounds for an appeal.
New York Title IX Attorney
If you've been accused of sexual misconduct at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, you can anyone to be your advisor to assist you throughout the Title IX process. 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 at 888-535-3686 for help.