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 Saint John Fisher College 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 Saint John Fisher College's disciplinary process and why you need an attorney-advisor if you find yourself in this predicament.
Saint John Fisher College's Disciplinary Process
According to Title IX, Saint John Fisher College is required to adjudicate any cases of sexual misconduct brought to the institution's attention. The Department of Education urges compliant higher education institutions to respond to these accusations in a manner that is prompt and equitable. If the school 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.
The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for an initial review of disclosures and/or reports of potential violations of the sexual misconduct policy. The goal of the initial review is to provide an integrated and coordinated response to reports of sexual misconduct. At the conclusion of the initial review, the College will either proceed with an investigation under the disciplinary resolution process or not pursue any further action.
The College will conduct a prompt and equitable investigation to gather information relevant to the determination of whether there is sufficient information, by a preponderance of the evidence, to determine that a policy violation occurred. The investigation will include interviews with all available involved parties, including witnesses and other people with first-hand knowledge. The goal of the college is to complete the fact-gathering portion of the investigation within approximately 50 business days.
Title IX Committee Hearing
A sexual misconduct committee hearing takes place between the respondent, complainant, the hearing committee, and any witnesses with first-hand knowledge of the relevant facts. Hearings are private and closed to everyone except the involved persons.
After all statements are heard, the Committee will review all information presented through the investigation and hearing processes. The Committee does not consider a Respondent's previous findings of responsibility when determining responsibility in the current matter.
Both parties have the right to one level of appeal. Requests for an appeal should be made by completing an Appeal Request Form. The Appeal Request Form must be received within five business days of the receipt of the written notification of outcome letter.
When requesting an appeal, the appealing party must demonstrate in writing that one or more of the following applies to their situation:
- Procedural error(s) that had a material impact on the final outcome
- The sanction imposed was not in keeping with the gravity of the violation
- New information is available now that was not available at the time of the hearing, which may substantially change the outcome
New York Title IX Attorney
If you've been accused of sexual misconduct at Saint John Fisher College, you can choose anyone to be your advisor in 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 for help at 888-535-3686.