There are thousands of college and university students in the U.S. that enter into agreements with the government known as the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) each year. These participants are eligible to receive tremendous benefits such as scholarships that pay for their college education. ROTC students are also committing to a set period of military service and are eligible to become a commissioned officer in their branch of service.
Students at schools in North Dakota can participate in ROTC programs offered by the Army, Air Force, and National Guard currently. Some of the key benefits that participants may enjoy include the following:
- ROTC coursework generally qualifies for academic credit
- ROTC programs through the University of North Dakota offer college scholarships to students preparing for their high school graduation
- The Army ROTC program has full-tuition scholarships available
- Students that qualify may receive a monthly stipend of more than $400
What is Title IX?
Title IX was implemented in 1972 to address sexual discrimination at U.S. educational institutions. Compliance is necessary for schools to maintain eligibility for federal education funding. Rape, battery, and other acts of violence that are committed against the will of a victim constitute serious violations of Title IX. These victims have either not granted consent or are incapable of legally providing consent to participate in sexual activity.
Sexual harassment is also strictly prohibited. These acts may be committed verbally or nonverbally. The victims may be subjected to a hostile environment stemming from unwelcome slurs or false stereotypes. Other forms of harassment include making inappropriate sexual advances or unwelcome requests for sexual favors. Discrimination may occur whenever someone is denied entrance or the right to participate based on their sex or gender identity.
The Burden of Proof and Possible Sanctions
Violations of Title IX are typically evaluated in a hearing that applies a “preponderance of the evidence” standard. Recent central guidelines were modified to allow for using a “clear and convincing evidence” standard also. Both are lesser standards than “beyond a reasonable doubt” that applies to criminal cases.
When allegations are proven, a suspension or dismissal from the institution will be imposed. For ROTC students, they also will likely face subsequent disenrollment proceedings. Once ousted from the program, students are no longer eligible to become a commissioned officer. Also, they may be ordered to complete their active-duty military commitment and repay their scholarship and other monies received. These financial ramifications can be substantial, as the government has ordered reimbursements in the range of $150,000 before.
Benefits of Retaining a Student Rights Attorney
All parties to these actions are allowed to select an advisor to support them in Title IX hearings and other proceedings. This rule also applies to those in the ROTC disenrollment process. Any students that are notified that they are the subject of such allegations should promptly consult with a lawyer. This will allow for ample time to prepare your defense. Your attorney will ensure you are ready to make clear statements and effectively respond to inquiries.
Established Defense Advisor for ROTC Students in North Dakota
Title IX attorney Joseph D. Lento has the experience needed to strongly represent students facing allegations of violating Title IX, those subject to ROTC program disenrollment, and other challenges. He strives to protect your right to due process and will work diligently to obtain a positive outcome. Contact him today at (888) 535-3686!
North Dakota 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):
- Bismarck State College
- Cankdeska Cikana Community College
- Dakota College at Bottineau
- Dickinson State University
- Fort Berthold Community College
- Jamestown College
- Lake Region State College
- Mayville State University
- Minot State University
- North Dakota State College of Science
- North Dakota State University Main Campus
- Park University
- Sitting Bull College
- Trinity Bible College
- Turtle Mountain Community College
- United Tribes Technical College
- University of Mary
- University of North Dakota
- Valley City State University
- Williston State College
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 North Dakota and throughout the nation. Make certain your or your student's interests are protected - Contact National Title IX attorney Joseph D. Lento today.