Each year in the U.S. there are thousands of post-secondary students who enter into a contract with the government known as the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC). Participants can expect to receive tremendous benefits such as scholarships that pay for their college education. These students are also committing to a defined period of military service and are eligible to become a commissioned officer in their branch of service.
Schools including the University of Nebraska, Creighton University, Chadron State College, and others offer the ROTC curriculum in Nebraska. Some of the benefits that are available to these students include:
- All Army ROTC coursework qualifies for academic credit
- Participants may qualify for two, three or four-year scholarships
- Some students may be eligible for 100% paid tuition
- Many participants will qualify for “monthly living allowances”
What is Title IX?
Title IX was implemented by the U.S. Department of Education in 1972 to address concerns related to sexually-based discrimination in education. Compliance is necessary for schools to maintain eligibility for federal education funding. Acts of violence including rape and battery committed against the will of a victim are among the most serious violations of Title IX. These victims are those that have not granted consent or are incapable of consenting to participate in sexual activity.
Acts deemed to be sexual harassment are also prohibited, which may be verbal or nonverbal. Examples include creating a hostile learning environment by promoting false stereotypes or making slurs. Others involve unwelcome sexual advances or inappropriate requests for favors. Acts of discrimination involve denying entrance or the right to participate based on the victim's gender or sexual orientation.
The Burden of Proof and Possible Sanctions
Alleged violations of Title IX must generally satisfy a “preponderance of the evidence” standard. Recently, federal guidelines were expanded to allow for using a “clear and convincing evidence” standard. Both of these are a lesser standard than “beyond a reasonable doubt” that applies in criminal cases.
The investigation of the complaint will generally culminate in a hearing. If the student is found to have committed a violation, they will likely be suspended or dismissed from the school. Students participating in ROTC will also likely to face subsequent disenrollment proceedings.
Those ousted through disenrollment will be ineligible to become a commissioned officer. These individuals may also be required to complete their active-duty military commitment and to repay their scholarship monies and other benefits received. These financial consequences can be substantial, as the government has previously ordered reimbursements in the range of $150,000.
Benefits of Retaining an Experienced Student Rights Attorney
All parties subject to Title IX actions can typically choose an advisor to support them in hearings and other proceedings. This also applies to those in the ROTC disenrollment process. Students who are notified that they are the subject of a complaint should promptly consult with a lawyer to allow adequate time for preparation. Your attorney will prepare you to make concise statements and effectively respond to questions.
Seasoned Defense Attorney for ROTC Students in Nebraska
Title IX attorney Joseph D. Lento has many years of experience representing students facing allegations of violating Title IX, those subject to ROTC program disenrollment, and other concerns. He will diligently protect your right to due process and work on your behalf to obtain a favorable outcome. Contact the office today at (888) 535-3686 for assistance.