It can feel incredibly overwhelming when you find out you have been accused of a Title IX violation or an act of sexual misconduct. What steps do you take next? How do you defend yourself? These are both great questions for an attorney-advisor. At the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, students are encouraged to get the guidance of an attorney-advisor at every step of the grievance process. Attorney-advisors, like those at Lento Law Firm, have the passion and unmatched experience to guarantee you the best possible outcome for your case. Call Lento Law Firm today.
What Is Title IX?
Title IX is a federal regulation that requires all federally funded colleges and universities to maintain certain standards when managing sexual discrimination and sexual violence accusations on their campus. These requirements include:
- Clear and immediate procedures for sexual misconduct allegations
- Designated personnel to handle instances of sexual violence
- In Title IX hearings, the standard of evidence should be “more likely than not” or “preponderance of evidence”
- Both parties involved should have access to the same procedures – advisors, appeals, and presentation of the evidence
- Retaliation protection
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro is committed to providing an educational environment free from gender-based discrimination and sexual misconduct. They define sexual misconduct to include retaliation, sexual assault, sexual harassment, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking.
What Happens After an Allegation of Sexual Misconduct at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro?
When the university receives the initial complaint of a Title IX violation or sexual misconduct, the Title IX Coordinator will meet with the complainant. During that meeting, they will determine if emergency removal measures are required and whether a formal complaint should be filed. In some cases, complainants may choose not to file the formal complaint, but if the coordinator believes there is still enough preliminary cause to file one, they will do it themselves. This does not make them a party to the hearing, though.
Additionally, during that meeting, the Title IX Coordinator might determine that an informal resolution process is appropriate. Informal resolution processes are voluntary, meaning you or the complainant may leave them at any time. If the informal resolution process is unsuccessful or one of the parties elects to leave, the matter will be moved back onto the formal grievance process tract.
The formal grievance process requires the Title IX coordinator to launch an investigation. The investigator will evaluate the complaint and begin interviewing both the accused student and the complainant. They will also begin to gather any relevant evidence and witnesses. A copy of the investigator's report, including all the evidence and witnesses they've uncovered, will be distributed to the complainant, the accused student, and the Title IX coordinator.
During the formal resolution and grievance process, both parties will have an equal opportunity to present their arguments, evidence, and witnesses, as well as cross-examine the other side's witnesses and evidence. Only after both sides have been heard fully, the hearing decision-maker will determine if the accused student is responsible for a Title IX violation or act of sexual misconduct. They will also determine any necessary sanctions.
Possible sanctions might include:
- Written reprimands
- Required training
- Changes to work or housing assignments
- Increased monitoring
- No contact orders
Appealing a Sexual Misconduct or Title IX Violation Decision at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro
At the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, both parties have the right to appeal the decision-maker's judgment. Generally, appeals must be made within three days of receiving the written determination and can only be made on the following grounds:
- There was a procedural error or lack of adequate due process that affected the outcome
- There is new evidence available now that was not reasonably available during the hearing or investigation that might affect the outcome of the matter
- The Title IX Coordinator, the investigator, or the decision-maker had a conflict of interest or bias for or against the complainant or accused student that affected the outcome of the matter
The Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor, the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, and the Vice Chancellor for Business affairs have fourteen days after receiving your appeal to issue their decision. They will either uphold the decision of the formal grievance process, modify it, or dismiss the case entirely. Whatever their decision, it is final and cannot be appealed further.
How an Experienced Attorney-Advisor Can Help
Allegations of Title IX violations or acts of sexual misconduct can have serious, long-term consequences outside of the sanctions imposed by the decision-maker. For instance, if your on-campus housing is revoked, you will have to find other accommodations. This can be quite hard mid-semester, especially if you are a first-year student without transportation. Additionally, these kinds of changes could mean giving up playing intramural sports, finding new social circles, and joining different study groups. They effectively withdraw any autonomy you had on campus. Suddenly, the excitement of being away from home and growing up seems very isolating, potentially causing mental health issues.
Further, if you are found responsible for committing a Title IX violation or an act of sexual misconduct and the university decides to suspend or expel you, you will have to clarify their existence on your transcripts for future admissions interviews. This is especially true for anyone hoping to attend law school or pass their character and fitness test for bar admission. Attorney Joseph D. Lento and Lento Law Firm are skilled attorney-advisors who work tirelessly to mitigate any negative consequences you might experience. They have the passion and fighting attitude to guarantee you the best possible outcome for your case. Call 888-535-3686 today to schedule a consultation.