Valencia College puts a lot of work into making its students feel as safe as possible—with convenient ways to report sexual misconduct and constant reminders about the importance of doing so. Insofar as this keeps students safe, this is an excellent idea.
Unfortunately, this can also pave the way for false allegations of sexual misconduct. Today, even a misleading allegation can completely ruin a student's future. You need to make sure that this doesn't happen to you. However, the odds aren't exactly stacked in your favor.
Under Title IX, a federal regulation in the United States, all schools that receive government money must investigate all allegations of sexual misconduct in a timely manner or risk losing their funding. This means that Valencia college has an incentive to resolve your case quickly—not necessarily in the best way possible.
That's where we'll be able to help. Let's talk about what you need to know.
What is Title IX?
Title IX is a law that guides how American universities handle sexual assault, violence, and discrimination on campus. With each presidential administration, Title IX receives new rules, guidelines, or interpretations—which can make understanding the ever-shifting nuances of Title IX fiendishly difficult.
Most colleges, in fact, tend to have a Title IX sexual misconduct policy to keep their codes current as well as a secondary, more general sexual misconduct policy to establish a wider set of guidelines. Under Title IX regulations, schools must have certain procedures and resources in place for students and faculty as they work towards a disciplinary resolution. These include:
- Clearly-defined measures for dealing with sexual misconduct allegations (e.g., in the school's written policies)
- A Title IX Coordinator who acts as the first point of contact for sexual misconduct allegations
- Equal access to measures for all involved parties, including advisors, appeals, and evidence throughout the investigative and adjudicative processes
Valencia College's sexual misconduct policies distinguish between cases that fall within the scope of Title IX and those that do not. For example, the school's language notes that in order for a case to fall under Title IX, the sexual misconduct in question “must have occurred within the College's program or activity, and must involve individuals currently participating in the College's educational program or activity.”
However, from the (allegedly) guilty student's point of view, their treatment will likely be similar regardless of the specific policy Valencia College uses to adjudicate.
Valencia College's Title IX and Sexual Misconduct Policies
Valencia College's sexual misconduct policy makes it clear that the school finds the following actions punishable:
Discrimination on the basis of sex. This includes any preference or unlawful distinction to an individual based on the protected status (sex, gender, or other) of an individual.
Harassment. This includes discrimination on the basis of physical, verbal, or other conduct that may be based upon the protected status of an individual that interferes with the rights of that individual (e.g., participation in college studies).
Violence. This includes activities that surround violence, such as stalking, or psychological actions such as threatening and manipulation surrounding discrimination on the basis of sex, interpersonal violence such as rape, domestic, or dating violence, or similar actions.
If Valencia College has any reason—such as an allegation—to believe that one of its students has acted in a way against its code of conduct, it will initiate either supportive measures (e.g., non-punitive remediation) or (much more likely) a formal investigation.
What Happens After an Allegation of Sexual Misconduct at Valencia College?
Once the Title IX Coordinator at Valencia College learns of a student's alleged misconduct, the Coordinator will provide a written notice to all parties concerned. This notice will reference the school's policies, provide details regarding the allegations, and inform all parties that they can have access to a school-provided advisor.
This may seem generous, but your school's advisor will not have the niche experience necessary to help you fight for your rights—and, in a pinch, will always be loyal to your school.
Valencia College will then launch into an investigation to learn what happened, after which the school will invite you to an adjudicative hearing. At this hearing, you will hear the evidence against you, have a chance to state your side of the story, and ultimately learn about your school's disciplinary plans for you. You will have a chance to appeal afterward, but only if you can demonstrate a procedural misstep on the school's part—or if you have new evidence.
This doesn't exactly seem like a process geared for your success. It isn't. And the actual repercussions of this disciplinary process may not even happen for you until long after the event. Having these types of disciplinary marks on your transcript or permanent record can close doors for you in your future. You need to work hard, today, to make sure that that doesn't happen.
Rely on Joseph D. Lento for Your Title IX Sexual Misconduct Case at Valencia College
Your upcoming sexual misconduct case might already feel completely overwhelming. You already feel like the victim of a miscommunication or misunderstanding; now, you have a feeling that your school's disciplinary processes aren't going to end in a great way for you.
Unfortunately, the deck isn't exactly stacked in your favor. Your school has an incentive to take care of your case as efficiently as possible, which may not leave room for due consideration of the evidence supporting your innocence—or allow you enough time to put that evidence to gather! That's where attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm come in.
The disciplinary processes at Valencia college are complex. Attorney Joseph D. Lento has spent years fighting Title IX allegations on behalf of accused students - delving through student codes of conduct, assessing the situations of students across the country, and putting together strategic defenses to protect their futures.
Don't let yourself get in over your head with your sexual misconduct case. Instead, rely on one of the most experienced Title IX attorneys in the country who knows exactly how to proceed with your defense. Call the Lento Law Firm today at 888.535.3686 or fill out our online form to proceed.