Sexual assault is a pervasive problem in colleges and universities. If you haven't been living under a rock the past few years, you've read the stories and you've seen the statistics.
Due to the high quantities of international students from other countries who move to Wisconsin 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 specifically affected by this law.
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, regardless of national origin, immigration status, or citizen status.
Sexual misconduct in all of its forms - sexual assault, sexual harassment, 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.
How Sexual Misconduct Allegations Affect Wisconsin International Students
Being a respondent in the Title IX process comes with inherent disadvantages. 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.
Wisconsin Title IX Advisor for Student Defense
As you can see, there's too much at stake for international students who have been accused of sexual misconduct at Wisconsin colleges and universities. Being found “responsible” for this misconduct can delay and ultimately ruin their professional and academic plans.
This is why if you're an international student who believes you're innocent and you're seeking help, it's imperative you reach out to a legal professional. 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 online or by phone at 888-535-3686.
Wisconsin 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:
- Alverno College
- The Art Institute of Wisconsin
- Bellin College
- Beloit College
- Blackhawk Technical College
- Bryant and Stratton College Glendale
- Bryant and Stratton College Milwaukee
- Bryant and Stratton College Wauwatosa
- Cardinal Stritch University
- Carroll University
- Carthage College
- Chippewa Valley Technical College
- College of Menominee Nation
- Concordia University Wisconsin
- DeVry University Wisconsin
- Edgewood College
- Fox Valley Technical College
- Gateway Technical College
- Globe University Appleton
- Globe University Eau Claire
- Globe University Green Bay
- Globe University La Crosse
- Globe University Madison East
- Globe University Madison West
- Globe University Wausau
- Herzing University Brookfield
- Herzing University Kenosha
- Herzing University Madison
- ITT Technical Institute Green Bay
- ITT Technical Institute Greenfield
- ITT Technical Institute Madison
- Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College
- Lakeland College
- Lakeshore Technical College
- Lawrence University
- Madison Area Technical College
- Madison Media Institute
- Maranatha Baptist Bible College
- Marian University
- Marquette University
- Mid State Technical College
- Milwaukee Area Technical College
- Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design
- Milwaukee School of Engineering
- Moraine Park Technical College
- Mount Mary College
- Nicolet Area Technical College
- Northcentral Technical College
- Northeast Wisconsin Technical College
- Northland College
- Northland International University
- Ripon College
- Saint Norbert College
- Sanford Brown College West Allis
- Silver Lake College of the Holy Family
- Southwest Wisconsin Technical College
- University of Phoenix Madison Campus
- University of Phoenix Milwaukee Campus
- University of Wisconsin Colleges
- University of Wisconsin Eau Claire
- University of Wisconsin Green Bay
- University of Wisconsin La Crosse
- University of Wisconsin Madison
- University of Wisconsin Milwaukee
- University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
- University of Wisconsin Parkside
- University of Wisconsin Platteville
- University of Wisconsin River Falls
- University of Wisconsin Stevens Point
- University of Wisconsin Stout
- University of Wisconsin Superior
- University of Wisconsin Whitewater
- Viterbo University
- Waukesha County Technical College
- Western Technical College
- Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College
- Wisconsin Lutheran 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 Wisconsin and throughout the nation. Make certain your or your student's interests are protected - Contact National Title IX attorney Joseph D. Lento today.