The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh (UW Oshkosh) aims to provide a positive teaching, learning, and working environment for all members of its community. To support this mission, it prohibits sexual misconduct. UW Oshkosh takes all forms of sexual misconduct seriously and will not hesitate to investigate complaints.
If you are a UW Oshkosh student accused of sexual misconduct, you should know that you have a lot at stake. You could end up with harsh sanctions—including expulsion. You should consider consulting with a student defense attorney-advisor if you are in this situation.
Sexual Misconduct and Title IX at UW Oshkosh
UW Oshkosh is part of the University of Wisconsin System (UWS) and must therefore abide by state laws concerning Title IX policies. The specific legislation dealing with Title IX is UWS 17 Wis. Admin. Code. UW Oshkosh also has two of its own policies to address sexual misconduct:
- UWO Interim GEN 1.2(5) Sexual Misconduct Policy
- UWO GEN 1.2.(4) Discrimination, Discriminatory Harassment, and Retaliation
UW Oshkosh's Sexual Misconduct Policy applies to university-sponsored and supported activities held both on and off-campus. It also applies to all students while they are on campus. Students are held accountable to the policy for off-campus actions if:
- The alleged conduct would constitute a serious criminal offense, regardless of the existence of any criminal proceedings
- The alleged conduct presented or may present a danger or threat to the health or safety of self or others
- The alleged conduct is part of a pattern of behavior that seriously impairs the university's ability to fulfill its teaching, research, or public service missions
The policy also applies to all other members of the university community.
The Sexual Misconduct Policy at UW Oshkosh follows Title IX procedures and relies on the Title IX complaint process to resolve accusations of sexual misconduct at the university. Wisconsin legislation, however, expands upon the definition of Title IX to include acts of sexual misconduct that Title IX does not cover.
What Is Considered Sexual Misconduct at UW Oshkosh?
According to UWS 17.151, the following conduct is subject to disciplinary action in sexual misconduct cases:
- Sexual harassment
- Sexual assault
- Statutory rape
- Dating violence
- Domestic violence
- Sexual exploitation
The UW Oshkosh Title IX and Sexual Misconduct Process
The sexual misconduct disciplinary procedure that UW Oshkosh follows for students accused of sexual misconduct is in UWS 17.152 - 17.156. The legislation covers reporting, the investigation, the hearing, and appeals.
Formally, the Title IX process cannot begin until there is a complaint. The person alleging sexual misconduct committed against them (the complainant) must be the one to submit a formal complaint. The university's Title IX Coordinator may submit it on their behalf in some cases. When the Title IX Coordinator receives a complaint, they must investigate it to determine if it should be dismissed or not.
If the complaint meets the Title IX requirements and the Title IX Coordinator feels that the formal disciplinary process should go forward, the investigation starts.
During the investigation, the Title IX Coordinator or their appointee may speak with both parties (the complainant and the respondent), interview witnesses, and gather evidence. Before preparing a final investigation report, which will be used for the hearing, both parties have a chance to review the investigator's findings and submit a written response. Once the investigation is over, the process moves to the hearing.
The complainant and respondent will attend a hearing before either a single decision-maker or hearing committee. During the hearing and throughout the entire process, both parties also have the right to have an advisor with them, and that advisor may be an attorney. Both the complainant and respondent can question adverse witnesses, present information, call witnesses, and speak on their own behalf at the hearing as well.
Once the hearing has ended, the decision-maker or committee will make a determination and provide the rationale for it. They have 14 days to decide after the hearing is over. They also have the right to impose a sanction if the respondent is found responsible for sexual misconduct.
UWS 17.154 and 17.155 allow for two levels of appeals in the student sexual misconduct disciplinary process. The first is an appeal to the university chancellor. Either party may appeal the decision within 14 days of receiving it. The chancellor then has 30 days to review the appeal and may either sustain the decision, return it for further consideration, or invoke a remedy of their own. This decision is considered final unless a student wants a discretionary appeal from the Board of Regents.
After the chancellor has made a decision about the appeal, students have 14 days to submit a written request for review to the Board of Regents. If the Board grants the appeal, it will review it and issue its own decision. There is no further appeal beyond the Board of Regents.
What's At Stake for Students Found Responsible for Sexual Harassment at UW Oshkosh?
The disciplinary sanctions that may apply to students found responsible for sexual misconduct at UW Oshkosh are listed in UWS 17.085:
- Written reprimand
- Denial of specified university privileges
- Payment of restitution
- Educational or service sanctions
- Disciplinary probation
- Imposition of reasonable terms and conditions on student status
- Removal from a course in progress
- Enrollment restrictions
A Student Defense Attorney-Advisor Can Help
When you're facing a serious sexual misconduct accusation, things can spiral out of control quickly. With the help of an attorney-advisor, you can prepare yourself for your hearings and meetings with university administrators, gather evidence, and contact witnesses. An advisor with experience handling sexual misconduct and Title IX cases can guide you through the process, so you don't feel so overwhelmed.
Joseph D. Lento has helped college students across the country with sexual misconduct cases and will help you defend your rights with your school. If you want to protect your education, contact Lento Law Firm by calling 888.535.3686.