Thousands of students from other countries move to South Carolina every year to seize the benefits that the United States higher education system provides. In turn, these students better state campuses by diversifying them and adding a fresh, valuable perspective to these academic environments.
Title IX law is intended to protect international students just like it protects native South Carolina students. This is the case for international students whether they are accusers, referred to as “complainants,” or the accused, commonly known as “respondents. But there are certain aspects of this law and its enforcement that may leave international students vulnerable.
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 impact them.
Understanding Title IX
Discrimination is strictly forbidden on college campuses under federal law. Students are protected from gender-based discrimination, in particular, under Title IX of the Education Amendments. Title IX covers all students, regardless of their citizen status, national origin, or immigration status.
Sexual misconduct falls under the umbrella of gender-based discrimination, and there are multiple actions that constitute sexual misconduct. Some of them include sexual harassment, sexual assault, and dating violence - all of which are prevalent on college campuses. Under current Title IX guidance, higher education institutions are to fairly and promptly adjudicate all complaints alleging sexual misconduct in any of its forms.
The Effects of Sexual Misconduct Allegations on South Carolina International Students
Being a respondent in the Title IX process comes with inherent disadvantages. Because of the social stigma these allegations carry, many respondents report that they've been mistreated and neglected by fellow students, peers, staff, and administration throughout the 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.
A respondent who also 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 concepts as an international student can make being accused a very confusing situation.
Sexual Misconduct Allegations and Student Visas
The unfortunate reality for international students is that they have more to lose when accused of sexual misconduct than native students in the exact same predicament.
In order for international students to remain in the United States for their studies, they must acquire a student visa. This visa 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 this misconduct, said student's ability to continue their education becomes compromised. A suspension or expulsion can result in an international student losing their visa.
South Carolina Title IX Advisor for Student Defense
As you can see, international students have a lot to lose when accused of sexual misconduct at South Carolina colleges and universities. A responsible finding can derail your professional and academic goals. This is why if you're an international student who believes that they're innocent and you're seeking 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 increase your chances of a favorable outcome - contact him today online or by phone at 888-535-3686.
South Carolina 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:
- Aiken Technical College
- Allen University
- Anderson University
- Benedict College
- Bob Jones University
- Brown Mackie College Greenville
- Central Carolina Technical College
- Charleston Southern University
- Citadel Military College of South Carolina
- Claflin University
- Clemson University
- Clinton Junior College
- Coastal Carolina University
- Coker College
- College of Charleston
- Columbia College
- Columbia International University
- Converse College
- Denmark Technical College
- Erskine College and Seminary
- Florence Darlington Technical College
- Forrest College
- Francis Marion University
- Furman University
- Golf Academy of America Myrtle Beach
- Greenville Technical College
- Horry Georgetown Technical College
- ITT Technical Institute Columbia
- ITT Technical Institute Greenville
- ITT Technical Institute Myrtle Beach
- ITT Technical Institute North Charleston
- Lander University
- Limestone College
- Medix School Fortis College
- Midlands Technical College
- Miller Motte Technical College
- Miller Motte Technical College North Charleston
- Morris College
- Newberry College
- North Greenville University
- Northeastern Technical College
- Orangeburg Calhoun Technical College
- Piedmont Technical College
- Presbyterian College
- South Carolina State University
- South University Columbia
- Southern Wesleyan University
- Spartanburg Community College
- Spartanburg Methodist College
- Technical College of the Lowcountry
- The Art Institute of Charleston
- Tri County Technical College
- Trident Technical College
- University of Phoenix Columbia Campus
- University of South Carolina Aiken
- University of South Carolina Beaufort
- University of South Carolina Columbia
- University of South Carolina Lancaster
- University of South Carolina Salkehatchie
- University of South Carolina Sumter
- University of South Carolina Union
- University of South Carolina Upstate
- Virginia College
- Virginia College in Charleston
- Virginia College Columbia
- Virginia College Greenville
- Voorhees College
- W L Bonner College
- Williamsburg Technical College
- Winthrop University
- Wofford College
- York Technical 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 South Carolina and throughout the nation. Make certain your or your student's interests are protected - Contact National Title IX attorney Joseph D. Lento today.