A Title IX violation or act of sexual misconduct allegation can be jarring. The college admissions game is not for the faint of heart, so when you are accepted, you never imagine your dream of a college degree slipping away under such circumstances. California State University San Bernardino encourages their students to work with attorney advisors, like Lento Law Firm, who will help advocate on their behalf. Attorney advisors work tirelessly to mitigate any negative consequences that might arise from accusations like these. Call our offices today for help.
What Is Title IX?
Title IX is a federal regulation that specifies how all federally funded colleges and universities must manage sexual discrimination and sexual violence on their campus, including:
- Prompt and direct plan of action for sexual misconduct accusations
- Specific and identified personnel who will handle acts of sexual violence
- The standard of evidence should be “more likely than not” or “preponderance of evidence” for Title IX hearings
- Either party wil have equal opportunities to work with an advisor, present evidence and witness testimony, and
- Victims and complainants are protected from retaliation tactics
California State University San Bernardino prohibits discrimination and sexual misconduct. Sexual misconduct includes acts of sexual assault, sexual harassment, intimate partner violence, or stalking. The hope is that by prohibiting these actions, Cal State San Bernadino is creating a safe environment for their community, while also upholding the civil and constitutional rights of their faculty, staff, and students.
What Happens After an Allegation of Sexual Misconduct at California State University San Bernardino?
At CSU, they expect everyone, whether they are a student, faculty, or staff member, to report incidents of sexual violence or gender-based discrimination when they become aware of it. Once the complaint is filed, the Title IX coordinator will review it and set up a preliminary interview with the complainant. Towards the end of the interview, after they have heard the complainant fully, the Title IX coordinator will decide whether a formal complaint is appropriate. There are certain instances here the complainant may decide, after this initial interview, that they do not want to pursue a formal complaint. If this happens, but the Title IX Coordinator believes should be made, they may file it without the complainant. This does not make the Title IX Coordinator a party to the matter, though.
In some situations, a formal complaint can be dismissed. These instances include:
- If the purported conduct was not actually sexual harassment as defined by CSU;
- The act did not happen in an educational program or activity at CSU;
- The act did not happen to someone in the U.S.; or
- When the formal complaint was filed, the complainant was not registered or trying to register in an education program or activity at CSU.
When the formal complaint is made, the Title IX Coordinator will launch an investigation into the matter. The investigator will interview both the complainant and the accused student, gather relevant documentary evidence, and meet with witnesses. At the end of the investigation, they will draft a report and deliver it to both the complainant and the accused student for review and response prior to the formal hearing.
The investigative report and your response will then be delivered to the other party and the hearing officer. During the hearing, you and the complainant will have equal opportunities to present your arguments, evidence, and witnesses, as well as cross-examine each other's witnesses and evidence.
The hearing officer will then decide if the accused student is responsible for a Title IX violation or an act of sexual misconduct. They will also determine any necessary sanctions to impose. At CSU, the sanctions are made on a case by case basis and can include anything from loss of financial aid or scholarships to suspension or expulsion.
Informal Resolution Process at CSU
After the initial interview with the accused student, the Title IX Coordinator may believe an informal resolution process is appropriate and offer it as an alternative to the formal resolution process described above. The informal resolution process is subject to the following conditions:
- Both parties have agreed to participate in the informal resolution process;
- Whatever remedies or sanctions the parties agree to will have the same force as if the Hearing Officer in the formal process decided them;
- Both parties and the Title IX Coordinator will sign the terms of the informal resolution; and
- The terms of the resolution are final and cannot be appealed later.
It is important to remember that the informal resolution process is a voluntary one, you can opt in or out. If the idea of preparing for either a formal or an informal resolution process is intimidating, an attorney advisor can help guide you.
Appealing a Sexual Misconduct or Title IX Violation Decision at California State University San Bernardino
College students are afforded certain due process rights during the grievance process, one being the ability to appeal the hearing officer's decision. Either party can appeal a hearing officer's decision – which means if the complainant appeals, you must be ready to defend yourself a second time.
If you are found responsible for a Title IX violation or an act of sexual misconduct, you have seven calendar days to submit your appeal in writing. Appeals can only be made on the following grounds:
- A procedural irregularity affected the outcome of the case;
- There is new evidence available now that wasn't reasonably available before that might have affected the outcome of the matter; or
- The Title IX Coordinator, Investigator, or Decision Makers had a conflict of interest or bias for or against the complainant or accused student that influenced the outcome of the matter.
Additionally, appeals are final and cannot be appealed further.
How Lento Law Firm Can Help
Both allegations of Title IX violations and other acts of sexual misconduct will cause a wide array of consequences. For instance, if you are found responsible, you might be removed from your dormitory if the complainant also resides there. You might also be forced to resign from Greek life, change study groups, or alter your present class schedule. Additionally, if you are suspended or expelled, those sanctions will be noted on your transcripts, forcing you to explain the issue on every admissions application in the future.
Attorney Joseph D. Lento, and Lento Law Firm, have an unparalleled understanding of sexual misconduct and Title IX violation allegations. They will ensure your future is protected from any negative consequences. Call 888-535-3686 today to schedule a consultation.