At the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) they drafted a Policy Prohibiting Discrimination and Harassment that outlines their procedures that relate to Title IX compliance. RIT does not tolerate discrimination in admissions, academics, employment, or residential life. Policies prohibiting discrimination apply to the administration, faculty and staff, students, and campus organizations. Title IX guidelines were implemented originally at the federal level in 1972. Compliance with these provisions is a requirement for those educational institutions that receive federal education funding.
Types of Potential Violations of Title IX
- Gender Discrimination
- Sexual Assault
- Sexual Harassment
- Sexual Violence
- Dating and Domestic Violence
The leadership at RIT wants to remind those who may be hesitant to report incidents of potential sexual misconduct that efforts are made to protect privacy. Those who wish to anonymously report a possible violation are entitled to do so. This reporting option may be completed through the RIT Ethics and Compliance Hotline by calling (866) 294-9358.
Defining Forms of Misconduct
Sexual Misconduct: These are acts of a sexual nature where a party involved does not freely or voluntarily consent to participate. Examples may include sexual assault or sexual contact or intercourse that is not consensual.
Sexual Harassment: These actions are unwanted and of a sexual nature. Forms of harassment may create a hostile environment that is not conducive to learning. The acts are often deemed as being offensive or intimidating and may be conducted physically, verbally, visually or electronically.
Gender Discrimination: The acts are easily confused with those of sexual harassment; however, this form of action is not sexual in nature. These hostile actions may include gender-based stereotyping or expressions.
Sexual Violence: These actions are also deemed as criminal offenses among all levels of law enforcement. Examples include sexual abuse, battery, rape and more.
Amnesty for Drugs/Alcohol
The central concern to the RIT is that those who are aware of a violation will report it. Victims or witnesses may have been under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time when an incident occurred and may hesitate to make a report. Those who do come forward to make a report will not be subject to the Code of Conduct for violations that relate to the alcohol or drug policies.
Interim Measures and Accommodations
Once the RIT administration is informed of an allegation relating to Title IX guidelines they will respond in a timely manner. Their efforts are designed to be in the best interests of campus safety. Interim measures or accommodations may be ordered when the safety of a victim or reporting party is threatened. An individual may need to have their campus housing relocated. A “no contact” order may be put in place that restricts the parties from communication or any intentional contact with one another. Other measures may include accommodations that relate to transportation or campus employment as well.
When sufficient evidence exists, an investigation will commence. This process is generally a collaborative effort involving the Department of Public Safety and Office of the Title IX Coordinator. The parties involved including the Complainant and the Accused will be interviewed and potentially asked to issue a written statement. Third-party witnesses are also identified and questioned for purposes of acquiring evidence. All relevant data collected is ultimately compiled into a report by members of RIT Public Safety. The investigation period is generally completed within 30 days.
RIT Advocate or Advisor
Both the Complainant and the Accused will be offered an RIT Advocate that may provide assistance and support. Parties may opt to instead choose an advisor that may fill this role and may accompany them to meeting and hearings. It is highly advised that those facing serious allegations retain an attorney for this role.
All parties involved are provided with written notice of the time, date, and location when a hearing is going to be held. The RIT leadership seeks to ensure that hearings are conducted in a manner that is impartial and fair. The evidentiary standard used is the preponderance of the evidence. This is the standard that traditionally applies to civil matters. All parties are afforded the opportunity for presenting relevant evidence. Any witnesses that a party intends to use must be disclosed in writing at least three days prior to the hearing.
Student Conduct Officers may consider certain factors when making determinations regarding potential sanctions or penalties. The student's prior history of violations of the Code of Conduct may have some influence. Some of the commonly imposed sanctions include a period of disciplinary probation, suspension, or expulsion from the institution.
Either party may invoke their right to a decision or ruling These matters are heard by the University Appeals Board and are subject to the same standard of proof. A student who wishes to appeal must notify the Board within three business days. A ruling from the Appeals Board is final.
Those who are found to have committed violations that are violent will have this information documented on their transcripts and included in the RIT's security reporting documents. These notations may indicate that a period of suspension was imposed or that the individual was dismissed from the school. Notations on student transcripts for suspensions may be removed after a one-year period; however, evidence of expulsion will remain indefinitely.
Rochester Institute of Technology Title IX Coordinator Contact
Title IX Coordinator
Rochester, NY 14623
Benefits of Retaining Experienced Legal Counsel
The decision to retain an attorney when facing allegations such as those of sexual misconduct is generally recommended. Sanctions such as suspension or expulsion can dramatically hinder your educational plans. An attorney will help to ensure your rights are protected. They may assist you with drafting effective statements for hearings and being prepared to confidently respond to questions.
An Attorney for Defending Allegations of Sexual Misconduct
Joseph D. Lento is an attorney that will aggressively defend college students in Title IX disciplinary matters. You deserve to make sure that your best interests are considered. We encourage you to contact the office today at (888) 535-3686.