Because of the high quantities of international students from other countries who move to North Dakota to reap the benefits these state colleges and universities have to offer, it isn't unlikely for them to be involved in sexual misconduct cases.
Title IX is a law intended to protect all students from this misconduct, and it also regulates how schools mitigate incidents alleging sexual misconduct. Due to the nature of this law, Title IX policies will affect international students differently than native students, be it that they are an accuser, known as “complainant,” or the accused, referred to as a “respondent.” In fact, certain aspects of this law and its enforcement have been known to marginalize international students and leave them vulnerable.
In this article, I'll explain how international students are uniquely affected by this law.
Understanding Title IX
Title IX of the Education Amendments is a federal civil rights law that protects all students from discrimination based on gender in federally funded colleges and universities. This law covers students regardless of national origin, citizen status, or immigration status.
Sexual misconduct in all of its varieties - sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, etc. - is considered gender-based discrimination under this law. Therefore, under current guidance, institutions are obligated to fairly and promptly adjudicating all complaints alleging this misconduct.
How Sexual Misconduct Allegations Affect North Dakota International Students
Being a respondent in the Title IX process comes with inherent drawbacks. Due to the social stigma sexual misconduct allegations carry, many respondents report that they've been mistreated and neglected by fellow students, peers, staff, and administration throughout the Title IX process for merely being accused of sexual misconduct. This isn't an uncommon phenomenon despite the fact that Title IX endorses that the interests of both parties are to be equally considered and catered to.
But a respondent who happens to be an international student will face a unique set of challenges that could disadvantage them further. Many international students feel alienated throughout the Title IX process, not only due to the nature of the allegations but as a result of being unfamiliar with certain American customs. International students are often less aware of the rights entitled to them and the obligations they're expected to fulfill.
Also, important concepts like evidentiary standards and investigatory procedures must be understood to gain leverage in the Title IX process. Not having a firm grasp on these ideas as an international student can make being a respondent a very confusing situation.
Sexual Misconduct Allegations and Student Visas
International students have a lot to lose in the event that they're found “responsible” for an incident of sexual misconduct. This is because international students are responsible for ensuring their student visa remains effective.
In order for international students to stay in the United States for school, they must acquire a student visa. It only remains effective when international students fulfill certain requirements. Among these requirements is the obligation to maintain a full-time course load, which is equivalent to at least 12 academic credit hours per semester. If an international student is found “responsible” for sexual misconduct, said student's ability to continue their education becomes compromised. A suspension or expulsion can result in an international student losing their visa.
North Dakota Title IX Advisor for Student Defense
As you can see, there's a lot at stake for international students who have been accused of sexual misconduct in North Dakota higher education institutions. A “responsible” finding for this misconduct can delay and ultimately ruin your professional and academic goals.
This is why if you're an international student who is in this predicament and you believe you're innocent, it's imperative you reach out to a legal professional. Attorney Joseph D. Lento has helped students in your situation navigate through the Title IX process and prevail in hearings. He can help you make sense of your situation and give you options that will maximize your chances of a favorable outcome - contact him today online or by phone at 888-535-3686.
North Dakota 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:
- Bismarck State College
- Cankdeska Cikana Community College
- Dakota College at Bottineau
- Dickinson State University
- Fort Berthold Community College
- Jamestown College
- Lake Region State College
- Mayville State University
- Minot State University
- North Dakota State College of Science
- North Dakota State University Main Campus
- Sitting Bull College
- Trinity Bible College
- Turtle Mountain Community College
- United Tribes Technical College
- University of Mary
- University of North Dakota
- Valley City State University
- Williston State 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, New Jersey, and New York, 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 North Dakota and throughout the nation. Make certain your or your student's interests are protected - Contact National Title IX attorney Joseph D. Lento today.