The Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program was initiated by the U.S. Army in provisions related to the National Defense Act of 1916. Nationally, there are now roughly 1,700 post-secondary institutions that have ROTC programs for the various branches of the military. Students who are admitted to these programs are required to comply with the documented rules and requirements of both their school and the military.
Title IX pertains to sexual discrimination. These are potentially serious allegations that a student may face because they violate federal guidelines. In addition to possibly being suspended or dismissed from their school, ROTC students also may be subject to program disenrollment for breaching their military contracts. Students faced with these potentially significant consequences must quickly seek assistance from an attorney that is well-versed in this unique realm of legal practice.
About Title IX
The U.S. Department of Education implemented Title IX in 1972 as part of an amendment. Title IX provisions require that all schools establish and maintain written guidelines related to how accusations of sexually-based discrimination are handled. Schools that fail to comply will risk losing eligibility for federal education funding. Each school designates a Title IX Coordinator that facilitates the process of investigating, making a ruling, and potentially imposing sanctions and penalties.
Violations may occur in various ways. An example is when someone is barred from participation or denied benefits based on their gender or sexual orientation. Title IX forbids sexual harassment such as acts that promote stereotypes or involve unwelcome sexual advances. Harassment may escalate to acts of violence with potential criminal ramifications in incidents such as sexual assault.
Process and Burden of Proof
Most schools will host a hearing where all parties may issue statements and hear witness testimony. Accused students should retain an attorney to accompany them to all proceedings in an advisory role. Most schools will assess alleged violations based on whether they are proven by a preponderance of the evidence standard. In Title IX actions, schools can also choose to use a clear and convincing evidentiary standard.
Potential ROTC Disenrollment
If an ROTC student is found to have committed a Title IX violation they will then enter the disenrollment process. U.S. Code §2005 outlines the potentially adverse consequences such as the following:
- Loss of eligibility for receiving an officer commission
- Be obligated to repay the government for financial benefits received such as tuition and scholarships
- Be ordered to complete “active enlisted service” in their branch of the military
Importance of Having Legal Representation
Your attorney will be extremely beneficial in your preparation. You should be well-prepared to issue statements and respond to inquiries in a hearing. He or she will closely review the strength of all evidence to potentially identify weaknesses or inconsistencies. Your attorney will work to maintain your right to due process and fairness.
Advisor for ROTC Students in New Mexico Facing Disenrollment for Violating Title IX
Students in ROTC programs that are the subject of disciplinary action may have their long-term plans shattered. Joseph D. Lento is a Title IX defense attorney that will strive to protect your rights and pursue a positive outcome. Contact the office today at (888) 535-3686 for assistance.
New Mexico 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):
- Brown Mackie College Albuquerque
- Central New Mexico Community College
- Clovis Community College
- Computer Career Center
- College of Santa Fe
- Eastern New Mexico University Main Campus
- Eastern New Mexico University Roswell Campus
- Eastern New Mexico University Ruidoso Campus
- Institute of American Indian and Alaska Native Culture
- ITT Technical Institute Albuquerque
- Luna Community College
- Mesalands Community College
- National American University Albuquerque
- National American University Rio Rancho
- Navajo Technical College
- New Mexico Highlands University
- New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
- New Mexico Junior College
- New Mexico Military Institute
- New Mexico State University Alamogordo
- New Mexico State University Carlsbad
- New Mexico State University Dona Ana
- New Mexico State University Grants
- New Mexico State University Main Campus
- Northern New Mexico College
- San Juan College
- Santa Fe Community College
- Santa Fe University of Art and Design
- Southwest University of Visual Arts Albuquerque
- St John's College
- University of New Mexico Gallup Campus
- University of New Mexico Los Alamos Campus
- University of New Mexico Main Campus
- University of New Mexico Taos Campus
- University of New Mexico Valencia County Campus
- University of Phoenix Albuquerque Campus
- University of the Southwest
- Western New Mexico 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 New Mexico and throughout the nation. Make certain your or your student's interests are protected - Contact National Title IX attorney Joseph D. Lento today.