Thousands of international students move to Arkansas every school year to reap the benefits of the United States' secondary education system provides. In turn, these students better state colleges and universities by diversifying them and adding a fresh, valuable perspective to these academic environments.
Federal law Title IX is applicable to native Arkansas student just as it is to international students. This is the case with international students who are labeled as accusers, known as “complainants,” and the accused commonly referred to as “respondents.”
Title IX policies can have serious consequences for any student accused of sexual misconduct. However, international students must be aware of how Title IX policies specifically impact them.
Understanding Title IX
Title IX of the Education Amendments is a federal civil rights law that protects all college and university students from gender-based discrimination, regardless of national origin, immigration status, or citizen status. Sexual misconduct can be constituted by the commission of many actions, including sexual assault, sexual harassment, and dating violence. Sexual misconduct falls under the umbrella of gender-based discrimination under this law. Therefore, under current guidelines, institutions are required to adjudicate all complaints alleging this misconduct fairly and promptly.
The Effects of Sexual Misconduct Allegations on Arkansas International Students
The experience of being a respondent in sexual misconduct cases without the additional factor of being an international student already comes with its inherent drawbacks. For example, many respondents report being treated less favorably in comparison to complainants despite the fact that Title IX endorses that the interests of these parties are to be equally catered to.
But being a respondent who happens to be an international student comes with unique issues. International students may experience feeling completely alienated, not only due to the nature of the Title IX process but as a result of being unfamiliar with certain American customs. Some international students may be uninformed about the rights they're entitled to, the obligations they're bound to, and the expectations upheld by the institution. And for international students who may not fully understand concepts like evidentiary standards and investigatory procedures entailed in Title IX hearings and processes, being accused can be a very confusing situation.
Sexual Misconduct Allegations and Student Visas
The reality for international students is that they have more to lose than native students when accused of sexual misconduct.
To study in the United States, international students must acquire a student visa. For this visa to remain effective, international students must fulfill the requirement of maintaining a full-time course load, which is equivalent to at least 12 academic credit hours per semester. Accusations of sexual misconduct can bring your education to a temporary halt depending on the circumstances, or a permanent halt due to expulsion - which can happen if an international student is found “responsible” for said misconduct. Overall, sexual misconduct allegations can lead an international student to lose their visa.
Arkansas Title IX Advisor for Student Defense
The stakes are incredibly high for international students facing accusations of sexual misconduct in Arkansas. They can be suspended or expelled from school due to a “responsible” finding, which could put their student visa in jeopardy. If you're an international student who believes that you're innocent and you need help, it's imperative you reach out to an attorney. Attorney Joseph D. Lento of the Lento Law Firm can help you make sense of your situation and give you options that will maximize your chances of a favorable outcome - contact him today at 888-535-3686.
Arkansas colleges and universities where Joseph D. Lento can help as your or your international student's Title IX advisor during investigations, hearings, and appeals include, but are not limited to, the following schools:
- Arkansas Baptist College
- Arkansas Northeastern College
- Arkansas State University Beebe
- Arkansas State University Main Campus
- Arkansas State University Mountain Home
- Arkansas State University Newport
- Arkansas Tech University
- Black River Technical College
- Bryan University
- Central Baptist College
- College of the Ouachitas
- Cossatot Community College of the University of Arkansas
- Crowley's Ridge College
- East Arkansas Community College
- Ecclesia College
- Harding University
- Henderson State University
- Hendrix College
- ITT Technical Institute Little Rock
- John Brown University
- Lyon College
- Mid South Community College
- National Park Community College
- North Arkansas College
- NorthWest Arkansas Community College
- Ouachita Baptist University
- Ozarka College
- Philander Smith College
- Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas
- Pulaski Technical College
- Remington College Little Rock Campus
- Rich Mountain Community College
- South Arkansas Community College
- Southeast Arkansas College
- Southern Arkansas University Main Campus
- Southern Arkansas University Tech
- University of Arkansas
- University of Arkansas at Little Rock
- University of Arkansas at Monticello
- University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
- University of Arkansas Community College Batesville
- University of Arkansas Community College Hope
- University of Arkansas Community College Morrilton
- University of Arkansas Fort Smith
- University of Central Arkansas
- University of Phoenix Little Rock Campus
- University of Phoenix Northwest Arkansas Campus
- University of the Ozarks
- Williams Baptist College
All students must be extremely mindful when accused of sexual misconduct at their college or university; international students in particular, however, can have even more concerns at all stage of Title IX proceedings because the stakes are higher yet – When first contacted by their school's Title IX office, when a sexual misconduct investigation begins, when facing a hearing or an appeal., or when seeking further recourse by filing a Title IX complaint with the Department of Education Office of Civil Rights when necessary. For international students who are facing a Title IX case and their families, it is critical to take the necessary precautions as soon as possible, including having an experienced attorney advisor, when accused of sexual misconduct. Unfortunately, some international students, not being as familiar what is at stake and also their rights in the process, will mistakenly believe that if they "just explain what happened," everything will work out. Title IX cases can be won, but international students and their families must recognize, however, that achieving a favorable in a Title IX case requires a dedicated and intensive approach best handled by a professional who has a track record of successes in the Title IX disciplinary arena.
Fighting passionately for the future of international students at colleges and universities throughout the nation for over a decade, Joseph D. Lento knows how important it is to mount the strongest defense because he understands that an international student's academic and professional future and Visa is on the line. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. Joseph Lento is a licensed attorney in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, is admitted as an attorney pro hac vice in state and federal court if needed when representing clients nationwide, and serves as a Title IX advisor to international students facing sexual misconduct investigations and disciplinary cases in Arkansas and throughout the nation. Make certain your or your student's interests are protected - Contact National Title IX attorney Joseph D. Lento today.