Thousands of international students move to Oklahoma every year to reap the benefits of the United States higher education system. In turn, they better Oklahoma state campuses by diversifying them and contributing a fresh, valuable perspective to these academic environments. Title IX policies are applicable to international students just as much as they are to students who are native Oklahomans. This is the case for international students whether they are accusers, known as “complainants,” or the accused, referred to as “respondents.”
Title IX allegations can warrant serious consequences for any student accused of sexual misconduct. However, international students must be aware of how Title IX policies can specifically affect them.
Understanding Title IX
Title IX of the Education Amendments is a federal civil rights law that protects all students from gender-based discrimination in federally funded colleges and universities. This law covers all students regardless of national origin, immigration status, or citizen status. Sexual misconduct in all of its forms - sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, etc. - is considered gender-based discrimination in accordance with this law. Therefore, under current guidelines, institutions are required to promptly and fairly adjudicate all complaints alleging this misconduct.
The Effects of Sexual Misconduct Allegations on Oklahoma International Students
Being a respondent in a case involving sexual misconduct already comes with inherent drawbacks. For example, some respondents report being treated differently than complainants despite the fact that Title IX endorses that the interests of both students are to be equally catered to.
But being a respondent who is an international student comes with unique challenges. International students may experience alienation, not only due to the nature of the Title IX system but as a result of being unfamiliar with certain American customs. Many international students may not be aware of the expectations, rights, and obligations bestowed upon an accused student. And for international students who may not understand concepts like the burden of proof and investigatory procedures in the Title IX process and hearings, being accused can be a very perplexing situation.
Sexual Misconduct Allegations and Student Visas
The reality is that international students have more to lose than native students when accused of sexual misconduct.
In order to attend school in the United States, international students must acquire a student visa. International students must fulfill the requirement of maintaining a full-time course load (equivalent to at least 12 academic credit hours per semester) in order for the visa to remain effective. Accusations of sexual misconduct do have the potential to bring your education to a temporary or permanent screeching halt depending on the circumstances. The bottom line is that sexual misconduct allegations can result in an international student losing their visa.
Oklahoma Title IX Advisor for Student Defense
The stakes are incredibly high for international students accused of sexual misconduct at Oklahoma schools. A responsible finding will derail your academic and professional plans immensely. If you're an international student who believes that you are innocent and you're seeking help, it's important 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 increase your chances of a favorable outcome- contact him today at 888-535-3686.
Oklahoma 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:
- Bacone College
- Brown Mackie College Tulsa
- Cameron University
- Career Point College
- Carl Albert State College
- Connors State College
- DeVry University Oklahoma
- East Central University
- Eastern Oklahoma State College
- Family of Faith College
- Hillsdale Free Will Baptist College
- ITT Technical Institute Oklahoma City
- ITT Technical Institute Tulsa
- Langston University
- Mid America Christian University
- Murray State College
- National American University Tulsa
- Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College
- Northeastern State University
- Northern Oklahoma College
- Northwestern Oklahoma State University
- Oklahoma Baptist University
- Oklahoma Christian University
- Oklahoma City Community College
- Oklahoma City University
- Oklahoma Panhandle State University
- Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology Okmulgee
- Oklahoma State University Main Campus
- Oklahoma State University Oklahoma City
- Oklahoma Wesleyan University
- Oral Roberts University
- Redlands Community College
- Rogers State University
- Rose State College
- Saint Gregorys University
- Seminole State College
- Southeastern Oklahoma State University
- Southern Nazarene University
- Southwestern Christian University
- Southwestern Oklahoma State University
- Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology
- Tulsa Community College
- University of Central Oklahoma
- University of Oklahoma Norman Campus
- University of Phoenix Oklahoma City Campus
- University of Phoenix Tulsa Campus
- University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma
- University of Tulsa
- Vatterott College Tulsa
- Western Oklahoma 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 Oklahoma and throughout the nation. Make certain your or your student's interests are protected - Contact National Title IX attorney Joseph D. Lento today.