Each year in the U.S. thousands of college and university students participate in the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC). Students that are admitted to these programs are eligible for scholarships and other benefits to pay for their college education. In exchange, these students commit to a defined period of military service and are eligible to become a commissioned officer in their branch of service.
The Army, Navy, Air Force, and National Guard all have ROTC programs at Iowa colleges and universities. Some of the advantages that are available to these students are as follows:
- The ROTC coursework does qualify for academic credit
- The Army ROTC program offers full scholarships to qualified students
- Qualified Army ROTC students may receive $1,200 per year for books and expenses and a “tax-free monthly stipend”
- Current members of the National Guard or Army Reserve may qualify for a Simultaneous Membership Program
Understanding Title IX
The U.S. Department of Education implemented Title IX in 1972 to address sexually-based discrimination in educational institutions. Institutional compliance is necessary to maintain eligibility for federal education funding. Sexual discrimination may occur when someone is denied entrance or access to programs or benefits based on their gender or sexual identity.
Among the most serious violations of Title IX are acts of rape, battery, and other acts of violence committed against the will of a victim. These involve victims that have not given consent or are incapable of giving consent to participate in sexual activity.
Acts of sexual harassment are also strictly prohibited. These may be verbal or nonverbal and create a hostile educational environment for the victims. This harassment may involve promoting false stereotypes or making slurs based on someone's gender or sexual orientation. Other types of violations may be committed by making inappropriate sexual advances or unwelcome requests for sexual favors.
Standards of Proof and Possible Sanctions
Title IX violations are generally assessed by applying a “preponderance of the evidence” standard. Federal guidelines were recently extended to allow for using a “clear and convincing evidence” standard also. Both of these are lesser standards than “beyond a reasonable doubt” that applies to criminal cases.
When the allegations are substantiated, the student will likely be suspended or dismissed from the institution. Those students participating in an ROTC program are also likely to face subsequent disenrollment proceedings. Students that are ousted from the program will have their eligibility to become a commissioned officer retracted.
Students that are subject to disenrollment may be required to complete their active-duty military commitment and to repay their scholarship monies. These financial ramifications can be significant, as the government has ordered reimbursements in the range of $150,000 in the past.
Why Retain a Student Rights Attorney?
All parties involved in Title IX proceedings are permitted to select an advisor to support them in hearings and other proceedings. This also applies to those in the ROTC disenrollment process. When a student is made aware of allegations, they must promptly consult with a lawyer. This timing will allow sufficient time to prepare your defense. Your attorney will assist in preparing you to deliver clear statements and effectively respond to questions.
Seasoned Defense Advisor for ROTC Students in Iowa
Title IX attorney Joseph D. Lento has many years of experience representing students facing accusations of violating Title IX, those subject to ROTC program disenrollment, and other challenges. He will advocate for your right to due process and work diligently on your behalf to obtain a favorable outcome. Contact the office today at (888) 535-3686.
Iowa colleges and universities where Joseph D. Lento can help as your or your ROTC student's Title IX advisor during investigations, hearings, and appeals include, but are not limited to, the following schools (schools in bold have Army, Navy, and/or Air Force ROTC programs or are affiliated with schools where students can take ROTC classes):
- AIB College of Business
- Allen College
- Briar Cliff University
- Brown Mackie College Quad Cities
- Buena Vista University
- Central College
- Clarke University
- Coe College
- Cornell College
- Des Moines Area Community College
- Divine Word College
- Dordt College
- Drake University
- Eastern Iowa Community College District
- Ellsworth Community College
- Emmaus Bible College
- Faith Baptist Bible College and Theological Seminary
- Graceland University Lamoni
- Grand View University
- Grinnell College
- Hamilton Technical College
- Hawkeye Community College
- Indian Hills Community College
- Iowa Central Community College
- Iowa Lakes Community College
- Iowa State University
- Iowa Wesleyan College
- Iowa Western Community College
- ITT Technical Institute Cedar Rapids
- ITT Technical Institute Clive
- Kaplan University Cedar Falls Campus
- Kaplan University Cedar Rapids Campus
- Kaplan University Council Bluffs Campus
- Kaplan University Davenport Campus
- Kaplan University Des Moines Campus
- Kaplan University Mason City Campus
- Kirkwood Community College
- Loras College
- Luther College
- Maharishi University of Management
- Marshalltown Community College
- Mercy College of Health Sciences
- Morningside College
- Mount Mercy University
- North Iowa Area Community College
- Northeast Iowa Community College Calmar
- Northwest Iowa Community College
- Northwestern College
- Palmer College of Chiropractic Davenport
- Saint Ambrose University
- Simpson College
- Southeastern Community College
- Southwestern Community College
- St Luke's College
- University of Dubuque
- University of Iowa
- University of Northern Iowa
- University of Phoenix Des Moines Campus
- Upper Iowa University
- Vatterott College Des Moines
- Waldorf College
- Wartburg College
- Western Iowa Tech Community College
- William Penn University
All students must be extremely mindful when accused of sexual misconduct at their college or university; ROTC 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 ROTC 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 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 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 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 ROTC student's academic future and future commission and military career is at stake. 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 students facing sexual misconduct investigations, disenrollment proceedings,and disciplinary cases in Iowa and throughout the nation. Make certain your or your student's interests are protected - Contact National Title IX attorney Joseph D. Lento today.