The U.S. Army established the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) within the provisions of the National Defense Act of 1916. There are now roughly 1,700 colleges and universities that have ROTC programs for the branches of the military. Students who are accepted into these programs are eligible for scholarships; however, they must comply with the rules and requirements of both their school and the military.
All students at U.S. institutions may potentially be accused of violating federal Title IX guidelines about sexual discrimination. If these allegations are proven, the student is likely to be suspended or dismissed from the school. When these students are participating in ROTC programs they may be subsequently faced with disenrollment for also breaching their military contracts. Under these circumstances, students must seek assistance from an attorney that is well-versed in this realm of legal practice.
What is Title IX?
The U.S. Department of Education implemented Title IX in 1972. It required that all schools establish and maintain written guidelines for handling accusations of sexually-based discrimination. Schools that fail to maintain compliance risk losing eligibility for federal education funding. Each school designates a Title IX Coordinator that creates the process of investigating claims, making rulings, and potentially imposing sanctions and penalties.
Sexual discrimination may occur in various ways. One example is when someone is excluded from participation or denied access to benefits based on their gender or sexual identity. Title IX also prohibits sexually-based harassment such as acts that promote false stereotypes or involve unwanted sexual advances. Very serious forms of harassment may be violent such as in incidents of sexual assault.
Title IX Process and Standards of Evidence
When the evidence supports allegations, school administrators will summon all parties to a hearing. Here, the accused may issue statements and witness testimony and other evidence is heard. All parties involved in these matters are entitled to choose an advisor that will lend support and accompany them throughout the proceedings. It is critical to choose an experienced attorney to serve in this role.
The majority of schools will evaluate the allegations using a “preponderance of the evidence” standard. Recently, Title IX guidelines were expanded to allow schools to also opt to use a “clear and convincing evidentiary” standard.
Possible ROTC Disenrollment
Students in ROTC programs that commit Title IX violations are also potentially subject to the disenrollment process, which is summarized in U.S. Code §2005. Some of the adverse consequences that may be imposed include:
- The student's eligibility for receiving an officer commission may be rescinded
- They may be ordered to repay the government for financial benefits received such as tuition and scholarships
- An order may be imposed requiring the student to complete “active enlisted service” in their branch of the military
How Your Attorney May Assist You
A student rights attorney can be a tremendous asset in terms of preparation. For example, you will be prepared to confidently issue statements and effectively respond to questions. Your attorney will independently analyze all of the evidence to potentially identify weaknesses or inconsistencies. He or she will work diligently to ensure you are afforded due process and that you are treated fairly.
Representation for Oregon ROTC Students Facing Disenrollment for Violating Title IX
ROTC students that are the subject of these disciplinary actions may see their long-term plans abruptly shattered. Joseph D. Lento is a Title IX attorney that will aggressively protect your rights and pursue a positive outcome. Contact his office today at (888) 535-3686 for assistance.
Oregon 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):
- Blue Mountain Community College
- Central Oregon Community College
- Chemeketa Community College
- Clackamas Community College
- Clatsop Community College
- Columbia Gorge Community College
- Concordia University Portland
- Corban University
- DeVry University Oregon
- Eastern Oregon University
- Everest College Portland
- George Fox University
- Heald College Portland
- ITT Technical Institute Portland
- Klamath Community College
- Lane Community College
- Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts Portland
- Lewis & Clark College
- Linfield College McMinnville Campus
- Linn Benton Community College
- Marylhurst University
- Mount Angel Seminary
- Mt Hood Community College
- Multnomah University
- New Hope Christian College
- Northwest Christian University
- Oregon Coast Community College
- Oregon College of Art and Craft
- Oregon Institute of Technology
- Oregon State University
- Pacific Northwest College of Art
- Pacific University
- Pioneer Pacific College
- Portland Community College
- Portland State University
- Reed College
- Rogue Community College
- Sanford Brown College Portland
- Southern Oregon University
- Southwestern Oregon Community College
- The Art Institute of Portland
- Tillamook Bay Community College
- Treasure Valley Community College
- Umpqua Community College
- University of Oregon
- University of Phoenix Oregon Campus
- University of Portland
- University of Western States
- Warner Pacific College
- Western Oregon University
- Willamette 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 Oregon and throughout the nation. Make certain your or your student's interests are protected - Contact National Title IX attorney Joseph D. Lento today.