Williams College was founded back in 1793 in Williamstown, Massachusetts, and currently has an undergraduate enrollment of roughly 2,000 students. The Title IX Office stands committed to fostering an environment free from acts of sexual assault, harassment and other forms of misconduct. The Title IX amendment was established in 1972 by the U.S. Department of Education to address problems with sexually-based discrimination at all the nation's schools.
Title IX Coordinator and Reporting Options
The Office of the Title IX Coordinator is located on the first floor of Hopkins Hall. Complaints may also be reported to Campus Safety and Security, the Williamstown Police Department, or various other options.
The administration generally will implement a “no-contact” order between the complainant and respondent that prohibits communication. Accommodations may also be established for the safety of all parties and the overall community. Examples include modifications to current campus housing arrangements, academic changes, etc.
Choice of an Advisor
Complainants and respondents may choose an advisor that will accompany them to meetings, hearings, and other proceedings. This individual will function in a supportive role. This individual may not be someone that will be a witness in the matter.
Process of Investigation
The Dean of the College is responsible for designating a trained investigator to address all complaints. The investigation may involve gathering statements, documenting witness testimony, and other evidence. The investigator is responsible for compiling a report summary of all the information that will later be provided to those hearing the matter.
The Dean of the College will select a panel of three trained faculty members to oversee the hearing. Parties must submit any questions that they want to be asked of others to the panel. Questions may be excluded according to the discretion of the panel. The members of the panel will be impartial and free from any conflicts of interest.
Standard of Evidence
The hearing panel will evaluate the evidence and apply a “preponderance of the evidence” standard. This equates to a determination of whether the violation occurred “more likely than not.” The sanctions likely to be imposed for violations of Title IX include suspension or dismissal from the College.
Appealing a Decision
Parties are permitted to appeal adverse rulings. The request for appeal must be made within 15 days to the Vice President for Institutional Diversity & Equity. Appeals are permitted when a party believes that a “significant procedural lapse” or other error occurred during the investigation. An appeal may also be permitted if new evidence has become available.
Students that wish to appeal a Title IX ruling should have experienced legal assistance. The appeals process requires creating a very substantive and persuasive document that complies with the College's guidelines. Your attorney will also closely review the past administrative procedures to ensure you were afforded due process.
Advisory Representation for Students in Title IX Actions
College and university students that face allegations of sexual misconduct should promptly consult with an attorney. The ramifications that can result from a Title IX ruling can dramatically alter your future. You are encouraged to contact the Lento Law Firm today at (888) 535-3686.