Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) programs provide college scholarships and other benefits for those who assume an obligation for military service. Primary ROTC programs in Rhode Island are available at the University of Rhode Island, Brown University, and Providence College. Several other schools established “partnership networks” that also allow their students access to this curriculum. Participants must comply with the rules and regulations of their school and/or the military or face potentially adverse consequences.
About Title IX
Title IX was created by the U.S. Department of Education in 1972 in efforts to ensure that sexual discrimination is properly addressed in educational institutions. Schools that do not comply may lose funding eligibility. Many of the provisions have evolved in response to court decisions and have been clarified by the Secretary of Education. Due to this volatility, accused students should seek legal representation that is active in this realm of legal practice.
Some examples of how Title IX violations may be committed include:
- Sexual violence: May include acts of sexual assault. The victims have not given consent to participate in sexual activity or are legally incapable of giving consent. This incapability may stem from the age of the victim, being under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or intellectual impairment.
- Sexual-based harassment: These actions place the victims in a hostile learning environment. Examples include unwelcome sexual advances or appeals for favors.
- Gender-oriented harassment: May involve verbal abuse and intimidation. The perpetrator may promote false stereotypes or make slurs that are “based on a student's actual or perceived sex.”
U.S. Code (§ 2005) General Military Law Regarding Training and Education
ROTC Students enter a written contract that specifies the educational requirements to be completed and a defined military service commitment. Those who fail to complete the educational requirements are subject to compulsory active-duty service. Those who fail to satisfy the active-duty commitments or requirements are subject to “repayment provisions.” This applies to all financial assistance including tuition, fees, supplies, and more.
Branch of Service
ROTC Disenrollment Provisions
Training Command Instruction 1533.2A
ROTC Instruction 36-2011
Role of an Advisor in Title IX Process
The school administrators investigate claims of misconduct. If evidence exists, all parties are called to a hearing and may choose an advisor that will support and accompany them. Having seasoned legal counsel is this role is critical for independently reviewing all evidence and preparing the accused student to deliver concise statements and effectively respond to questions.
Your attorney may open up negotiations with the administrators regarding potentially amicable resolutions. Allegations must be proven by either a “preponderance of the evidence” or a “clear and convincing” evidentiary standard. If allegations are proven, sanctions including suspension or dismissal from the University are likely.
The Disenrollment Process
Acts of misconduct under Title IX also breach the ROTC agreement. This may result in disenrollment from the program. Disenrollment disqualifies the student from becoming a commissioned officer. Each branch of the military has written procedures outlining their process and your attorney will be very important to aid in your defense and protect your rights.
Advisor Defends ROTC Students Facing Disenrollment Actions in Rhode Island
Joseph D. Lento is a Title IX lawyer with the necessary skills and experience to represent ROTC students in disenrollment actions. He understands the potential consequences and will work diligently on your behalf. Contact his office at (888) 535-3686 today.
Rhode Island 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 University
- Bryant University
- Community College of Rhode Island
- Johnson & Wales University – Providence
- Naval War College (exempt from Title IX and the Clery Act)
- New England Institute of Technology
- Providence College
- Rhode Island College
- Rhode Island School of Design
- Roger Williams University
- Salve Regina University
- University of Rhode Island
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 Rhode Island and throughout the nation. Make certain your or your student's interests are protected - Contact National Title IX attorney Joseph D. Lento today.