If you have been accused of sexual misconduct on your campus, it is important you understand what you're up against. Here is a brief overview of Townson University's Title IX Policy.
Title IX Process
Filing a complaint
Towson University strongly encourages each and every member of its campus community to report any actions that may constitute as sexual misconduct. This includes sexual harassment, sexual assault, rape, dating violence and other predatory behaviors that are considered a violation of the school's policy. Also, much like other higher education institutions, the school has implemented mandatory reporting regulations. These guidelines obligate certain employees of the university, know as “responsible employees,” to report alleged instances of misconduct in all circumstances.
Throughout the duration of Title IX processes, there are several terms that will be used to characterize all of the parties involved in a complaint. An individual who identifies as as a victim/survivor in these cases will be known as a “complainant,” while an alleged offender will be referred to as a “respondent.” Once a school receives word of a complaint, the Title IX process will begin.
When a school becomes aware of sexual misconduct allegations, its main concern is protecting a complainant from being retaliated against. In order to prevent this from happening, the following measures may be imposed:
- Changes in class schedules
- A no contact order barring any communication between opposing parties
- Restrictions placed onto certain areas of campus or buildings
- A mandatory leave of absence
- Housing reassignment accommodations etc.
During an initial meeting, a staff member will meet up with a complainant in a timely fashion to discuss the alleged misconduct. During this meeting, staff will look for certain factors that will indicate whether further action is warranted, or if the process should cease at this point. He or she will use information about the complainants age, the existence of violence or a weapon, a respondent's past disciplinary record and other factors to determine if an in-depth investigation should be conducted.
The investigation is crucial to resolving a sexual misconduct complaint. At this phase of the process, a complainant, respondent, and witnesses who known any relevant information will be interviewed for investigators to gather more information about the alleged misconduct. Once all the appropriate evidence is garnered, investigators will come up with an investigative finding to dictate whether or not school policy was likely violated. If so, a hearing will be scheduled.
At a hearing, all parties involved are given one last chance to present their side of the story, and the evidence to support their perspective, in front of a panel. This panel will be in charge of hearing each side and coming up with a determination of responsibility and recommended sanctions (if appropriate) for a respondent.
If a respondent is dissatisfied with a determination and/or sanction concluded by a school, he or she has the opportunity to request an appeal. However, in order for this appeal to be granted, it must be based on reasonable grounds. The sole grounds for an appeal include:
- The college deviated from its stated procedures in such a way that affected the fairness of a hearing
- The sanction(s) imposed is substantially disproportionate to the severity of a violation
- New information that was not available at the time of an investigation is now available, and could considerably affect a determination and/or sanction
A respondent has between 5-7 business days from the day of a determination to submit an appeal.
Title IX Advisor
Selecting an attorney to occupy the role of an advisor outweighs the benefits of choosing anyone else to fulfill this role. Skilled attorney Joseph D. Lento has helped guide students in your predicament through these processes, and he can do the same for you. Contact him today for assistance.
Title IX violations and Title IX charges can change an accused student's life if not defended against properly and as early as possible during the disciplinary process, and Joseph D. Lento has nearly a decade of experience passionately fighting for the future of his clients at universities and colleges throughout the nation. 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 and New Jersey, 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 disciplinary cases in Maryland and throughout the nation. Make certain your or your student's interests are protected - Joseph D. Lento can help.