When you first enrolled at NYU, you likely didn't ever expect to be the subject of a sexual misconduct investigation.
If you've received word that the university is investigating allegations against you, it's time to get serious—because these allegations are serious. Whether the accusations are true or not, whether there was a misunderstanding or not, any disciplinary action NYU takes against you could follow you throughout your entire professional career.
Why? Being the subject of a sexual misconduct investigation can be a mark against your reputation—and your reputation will go before you, opening doors or closing them. That's why now is the time to be proactive about your investigation and NYU's adjudicative processes. Now is the time to get educated about Title IX, your school's sexual misconduct policies, and your strategy to pursue a successful outcome.
Here's what you need to know.
Title IX: A Brief Overview
Every United States university that receives federal funding must uphold Title IX - a federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex. Included in Title IX's prohibitions are certain types of sexual misconduct.
Title IX has undergone several different updates in recent years; with each presidential administration, it seems that the law receives a new interpretation. In order to accommodate the fluctuating regulations that accompany Title IX, many universities have adopted a two-policy system. Schools that choose to do this may have one Title IX policy that governs everything enforceable under Title IX, and another more general college sexual misconduct policy that allows them to adjudicate any other punishable behaviors in the way they see fit.
NYU, Title IX, and College Sexual Misconduct
NYU’s Sexual Misconduct, Relationship Violence, and Stalking policy details prohibited behavior as well as the action that the school will take to resolve all allegations of inappropriate or dangerous behavior. First of all, this policy makes very clear the actions that NYU considers punishable as sexual misconduct. These actions include:
- Sexual harassment
- Unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature
- Sexual assault
- Dating violence
- Domestic violence
- Stalking, including cyber-stalking
- Any sexual contact without consent
- Distributing lewd photographs or other media without consent
- Sexual exploitation
- Exposure to another (without consent)
- Exposing another than STI without warning or foreknowledge
- Administering drugs or alcohol to another in order to take advantage of them in a sexual way
This is an incomplete list of punishable actions. Ultimately, any action of a sexual nature that causes one person to make an allegation against another will merit investigation from NYU under Title IX. As such, even if the allegations are the result of a misinterpretation, a miscommunication, or an understanding, you need to take them seriously. NYU certainly will.
What Happens After a Title IX Allegation at NYU?
Once NYU receives information regarding an accusation of prohibited conduct, NYU will provide supportive measures to both the complainant—or the accuser—and the respondent. The respondent will also receive a written Formal Complaint to notify them of the accusation NYU is investigating. These supportive measures may include counseling, escort services, rescheduling courses, making differing living assignments available, or other non-punitive, non-disciplinary forms of support to allow all parties to retain access to their education while NYU completes its investigation.
NYU will then gather as much information as possible regarding the nature of the alleged event. To do this, they may speak with witnesses, look at the past records of all involved, and take other measures to reach a decision on what happened to prompt the accusation. If the university determines that the accused has indeed acted in a punishable manner, the university will proceed to its usual disciplinary measures as documented in its Student Conduct Procedures. NYU will typically offer the accused a short period of time in which they may appeal the school's decision, but it's only recommended that the student does so if new information has come to light.
The consequences that a student accused of sexual misconduct may face are stark. These punitive measures may include:
- A written warning
- Formal censure from the university (and a note on the student's transcript)
- A no-contact directive
- An educational assignment
- A mandatory health referral
- Restitution due to the victim of the student's alleged behavior
- Restriction of privileges
- Residential probation
- Study away site probation
- Residence hall reassignment
- Deferred suspension from university housing
- Suspension from study away site
- Dismissal from housing
- University disciplinary probation
- A permanent or temporary transcript notation
- Suspension from the university
- Expulsion from the university
This list of consequences may seem stark. However, they don't even begin to describe what's truly at stake for you in your sexual misconduct proceedings. If you apply to any internships, further academic opportunities, jobs, scholarships, or anything in the future which requires a reference or a transcript, the decision-makers and committees awarding those opportunities can learn about your alleged sexual misconduct. This could close many doors for you in the future.
It's your job now to make sure that this doesn't happen. You need to take care of this now, before it spirals out of control. Teaming up with a student defense attorney is the best way to work to protect your future.
Joseph D. Lento Can Guide You Through NYU Title IX or Sexual Misconduct Disciplinary Proceedings
If you or your New York University student has found themselves mired in weighty misconduct accusations, it's easy to feel like you've got nowhere to turn. To make matters worse, scary, unsettling things might be happening every day. You're getting tersely-worded documents from your school. Your friends may have shunned you. You might be losing interest in your schoolwork because you have no energy after worrying about your upcoming hearing.
That's where the Lento Law Firm can help. Joseph D. Lento is a smart, seasoned student defense attorney who has spent years providing strong legal strategies for students in need. He's helped students across the nation pursue favorable outcomes in difficult situations, and he can do the same for you.
Interested in help with investigations, hearings, or assistance with appeals? Don't hesitate to reach out to the Lento Law Firm at 888-535-3686 or contact us online today.