Title IX of the Education Amendments is a federal law that prohibits sexual misconduct in federally funded colleges and universities. Being accused of sexual assault, sexual harassment, rape, or any other form of sexual misconduct at Siena College is a Title IX violation that your school must resolve. If you are found “responsible” for this conduct, you could be exposed to pretty serious repercussions that could jeopardize your plans to graduate.
For the purposes of this article, we'll address Siena College's disciplinary process and why you need an attorney-advisor if you find yourself in this predicament.
Siena College's Disciplinary Process
According to Title IX, Siena College is required to adjudicate any cases of sexual misconduct brought to the institution's attention. The Department of Education urges compliant higher education institutions Siena College to respond to these accusations in a manner that is prompt and equitable. If the institute fails to do so, its federal funding is at stake. Complainants (the reporter of the complaint) and especially respondents (the person accused of sexual misconduct) should understand that their school will approach their case with the utmost seriousness, and each party should follow suit.
Filing a Complaint
Complaints of sexual misconduct may be made verbally or in writing to the Title IX Coordinator. The complaint is to include the names of the people involved, the names of witnesses, a detailed description of the alleged conduct, when and where the conduct occurred, and relevant evidence of correspondence (text messages, emails, social media, etc).
There is no statute of limitations with respect to filing a complaint of an alleged incident. However, complainants are encouraged to report a violation as soon as possible.
Upon receipt of a report of alleged sexual misconduct, The College's Title IX Response Team will conduct an initial assessment within 72 hours. The ultimate goal of this assessment is to provide an appropriate and coordinated response to reports of sexual misconduct.
The assessment will consider the nature of the report(s), any witness statements obtained, the safety of the individual and of the campus community, and the Reporting Party's expressed preference for resolution in determining the appropriate course of action to eliminate the conduct at issue, prevent its recurrence, and address its effects.
At the conclusion of the assessment, the report will be referred for informal resolution or formal resolution. Most sexual misconduct allegations are handled formally.
Upon receiving information about an alleged violation of school policy, the Title IX Coordinator will meet with the complainant, respondent, and/or reporting witnesses to conduct an investigation. An investigation typically entails interviewing these parties and taking or receiving statements. An investigation is to be completed within 30 business days.
Once an investigation has ended, an investigation report, including a summary of the complaint, a summary of the response of the respondent, statements and evidence obtained during the investigation, and prior settlements or substantiated complaints against the respondent.
If, based on this finding, the respondent admits responsibility, they will be sanctioned and the case will close. However, if the respondent denies responsibility, the Title IX Coordinator will convene a review panel.
The Review Panel
A three-person review panel will determine whether it is more likely than not that the facts established to constitute a violation of this policy.
If a complainant or respondent disagrees with the decision and/or sanction(s), he or she may make a formal written appeal to the Title IX Coordinator. This appeal must be submitted within three business of the decision and/or sanction.
New York Title IX Attorney
If you've been accused of sexual misconduct at Siena College, you can choose anyone to be your advisor in the Title IX process. It would be in your best interest to choose an attorney who can help you effectively navigate the process and build a solid defense for you. Contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today at 888-535-3686 for help.