Recent events at Princeton University shine the spotlight on a disturbing trend plaguing universities nationwide: lack of due process in Title IX cases. Despite unanimous agreement that administrations must intensify efforts to prevent campus sexual assault, speculation and insufficient evidence should not warrant a life-altering punishment for the accused. However, the recent calls for Title IX reform seemingly placed accused students under the bus.
Without transparency, due process, and equity, hearings become inherently flawed processes that punish based on suspicion rather than fact.
University proceedings for Title IX cases deal with campus sexual assault cases swiftly, taking action to protect the accuser from further harm. The well-meaning efforts of these administrations, however, potentially mean that the accused receives little consideration.
Equitable treatment is a must in these cases, regardless of allegations, because they can destroy a student's life. If the accused is innocent, they still suffer from the reputation damage these charges incur.
Effects on Ivy League Students
In Title IX cases at Ivy League schools as well as other institutions throughout the nation, administrations can err on the side of caution by preventing the accused from accessing campus grounds during an investigation. The hearing processes must consider that an allegation of abuse is not concrete evidence of its occurrence. If a student is innocent – and multiple students are – they still must face the consequences of an action they did not take.
Ivy League students pay thousands of dollars and spend considerable time and effort maintaining their grades in highly competitive academic environments. As with all schools, Princeton University places Title IX hearing findings on a student's permanent records. If students want to pursue graduate degrees, apply for a professional license, or apply to particular jobs, they must disclose these records. Students who don't receive due process and fair, equitable treatment in Title IX investigations are at risk of lifelong repercussions for unfounded allegations.
Hiring a Title IX Attorney
Title IX hearings are significant events for students and school administrations, especially if they become highly-publicized cases. Students have the right to contact a Title IX attorney to help defend against allegations and attend the hearing.
Even if students believe that they have enough evidence to disprove the charges against them, not all administrative processes are fair. Without the support of a Title IX attorney well-versed in identifying procedural flaws, students are under the mercy of panels that come to premature conclusions.
With the amendments made by former Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, accused students have better protections to ensure an impartial investigation and hearing process. No student should be intimidated into silence, especially when allegations against them are baseless.
Campus sexual assault is a severe charge that upends the life of the accused, even when innocent. Attorney Joseph D. Lento understands what's at stake and works with the accused to fight for their rights and receive the justice they deserve. He has handled numerous Title IX cases at Princeton University and at other Ivy League schools, including representing a complainant at Princeton who faced allegations of her own, and he understands what is needed to ensure a fair process and a favorable outcome. Call the Lento Law Firm today for a discreet conversation about your case at 888-535-3686.