Title IX of the Education Amendments is a federal law that prohibits sexual misconduct in federally funded colleges and universities. Being accused of sexual assault, sexual harassment, rape, or any other form of sexual misconduct at Union College is a Title IX violation that your school must resolve. If you are found “responsible” for this conduct, you could be exposed to pretty serious repercussions that could jeopardize your plans to graduate.
For the purposes of this article, we'll address Union College's disciplinary process and why you need an attorney-advisor if you find yourself in this predicament.
Union College's Disciplinary Process
According to Title IX, Union College is required to adjudicate any cases of sexual misconduct brought to the institution's attention. The Department of Education urges compliant higher education institutions like Union College to respond to these accusations in a manner that is prompt and equitable. If the school fails to do so, its federal funding is at stake. Complainants (the reporter of the complaint) and especially respondents (the person accused of sexual misconduct) should understand that their school will approach their case with the utmost seriousness, and each party should follow suit.
Filing a Complaint
Complainants and third-party witnesses are encouraged to report sexual misconduct, as soon as possible in order to maximize the College's ability to respond promptly and effectively. The College does not, however, limit the time frame for reporting. An incident does not have to occur on campus to be reported to the College.
Initial Title IX Assessment
Upon receipt of a report, the College, through the coordinated efforts of the Title IX Team will conduct an initial Title IX assessment. The team may include the Senior Associate Dean of Students, the Director of Campus Safety, the Dean of Faculty or designee, and/or a representative from Human Resources.
As part of the initial assessment of the report, the Title IX team will:
- Assess the nature and circumstances of the allegation
- Address immediate physical safety and emotional well-being needs
- Assess for pattern evidence or other similar conduct by the respondent
- Decide if the case is viable enough to proceed
The Title IX team will appoint an investigator to interview all the parties involved - the respondent, the complainant, and witnesses - to compile an investigative finding. The findings will be assessed in the hearing.
The hearing will be led by a panel who will listen to statements made by each party. There may be a questioning period for clarification. When all statements are heard and all questions are answered, the panel will make a determination of whether the respondent is “responsible” based on the preponderance of evidence.
Either party may appeal the determination and/or sanction within five business days of the receipt of the determination. An appeal must be based on at least one of the following factors to be considered:
- There was a procedural error
- There is new evidence that was not available at the time of the hearing or investigation
- The sanctions are too severe or not severe enough
New York Title IX Attorney
If you've been accused of sexual misconduct at Union College, you can choose anyone to be your advisor in the Title IX process. It would be in your best interest to choose an attorney who can help you effectively navigate the process and build a solid defense for you. Contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today at 888-535-3686 for help.