The University of California at Berkeley was founded in 1868 in the San Francisco Bay Area. The total student enrollment exceeds 42,000. The Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination (OPHD) is responsible for maintaining compliance with federal Title IX guidelines for addressing sexual discrimination. They are committed to maintaining a community that is “free of discrimination, harassment, exploitation, or intimidation.”
Contacts and Reporting Options
The University has a system-wide Title IX Coordinator in addition to several Deputy Title IX Coordinators and related staff. There are a host of options for filing complaints.
The University requires that each person must affirmatively consent to engage in sexual activity. This consent must be provided consciously and voluntarily. A person may revoke consent at any point during sexual activity.
Possible Alternative Resolution
Once the Title IX Officer begins to assess the allegations, he or she may deem the matter to be appropriate for an Alternative Resolution. This option requires agreement from both the Complainant and Respondent. It is not appropriate for cases with allegations of sexual assault. Often a resolution between the parties will be reached using a third-party mediator.
Right to Choose an Advisor
All parties may choose an advisor to be present at formal proceedings for providing guidance and support. The advisor may not be a party that is a witness or otherwise involved in the matter.
Overview of Investigative Procedures
The University is committed to ensuring that the investigation is conducted fairly. The Complainant and Respondent will be afforded equal access and time to identify witnesses, ask questions and submit relevant evidence. The investigator will meet with both parties independently.
Hearings are presided over by a trained Hearing Officer that may be a University employee or independent contractor. A Hearing Coordinator assists the Hearing Officer with scheduling, notifications, and other administrative tasks. These individuals will be free of any bias or conflict of interest in the matter.
Parties should present questions intended to be asked of the other party in writing before a hearing. The parties may be physically separated from one another during hearings. Parties may be permitted to remotely participate in hearings through videoconferencing or similar technology.
The Burden of Proof and Sanctioning
The allegations are assessed using a preponderance of the evidence or “more likely than not” standard. This is the burden of proof typically seen in civil actions. Respondents that are determined to have violated Title IX guidelines are likely to be suspended or dismissed from the school.
Grounds for Appeal
Those seeking to appeal a ruling must do so in writing within a 10-day period. The grounds for an appeal include:
- A procedural error occurred during the process that influenced the outcome
- The ruling made for the violation was “unreasonable based on the evidence”
- That the sanctions imposed for the violation are disproportionate to the severity of the violation(s)
Respondents are strongly encouraged to initially retain an experienced attorney to serve in the advisor role. This is even more important when pursuing an appeal. Your attorney will better ensure the content of your written appeal is effective and compliant with the procedure.
Lawyer for Students in Title IX Actions at UC Berkeley
The Lento Law Firm has been effectively defending the rights of students in Title IX disciplinary actions for many years. There are potential long-term ramifications that can hinder your future. Contact the office for additional information at (888) 535-3686 today.