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 the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry 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 the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry's disciplinary process and why you need an attorney-advisor if you find yourself in this predicament.
SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry's Disciplinary Process
According to Title IX, the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry is required to adjudicate any cases of sexual misconduct brought to the institution's attention. The Department of Education urges compliant higher education institutions to respond to these accusations in a manner that is prompt and equitable. If the school 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
Any person who has witnessed or experienced sexual misconduct of any form is encouraged to file a complaint with the College. The complaint should contain descriptive information about the alleged incident, like the names of the parties involved, the names of witnesses, where and when the conduct occurred, and relevant evidence of correspondence (photos, e-mails, social media, text messages, etc.)
There is no statute of limitations with respect to filing a complaint of an alleged incident. But complainants are encouraged to report an alleged violation as soon as possible.
The Title IX Coordinator will assess whether a formal Title IX investigation will be conducted under this policy; that is, whether the allegations in the initial report(s), if true, would constitute prohibited sexual misconduct in accordance with SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry.
Upon receipt of a report alleging sexual misconduct, an investigation will ensue. The Title IX Coordinator do the following, in no particular order:
- The Title IX Coordinator/Investigator will be assigned to conduct the investigation
- The assigned Title IX Investigator will notify all parties of the complaint if their identities are known, that the College will be conducting the investigation
- The assigned Title IX investigator will meet with the reporting individual
At the conclusion of the investigation, a determination will be made declaring if the respondent is “responsible” or not responsible for said incident.
Both the complainant and the respondent, if a student, faculty member or employee, may file an appeal based on dissatisfaction with the finding of responsibility for a violation (or the lack of such a finding), or with the sanction imposed, or both. The grounds of appeal are limited to:
- A procedural error occurred during the process that had a direct impact on the outcome;
- New evidence has come to light that has a direct impact on the outcome which could not have been discovered by a properly diligent person before or during the original proceeding;
- The sanction is too severe (appeal from respondent), or the sanction is too lenient (appeal from the complainant)
Students must submit an appeal within five business days of the ultimate determination.
New York Title IX Attorney
If you've been accused of sexual misconduct at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, 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 for help at 888-535-3686.