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Title IX Lawyers

By Spodek Law Group | August 9, 2023
(Last Updated On: August 9, 2023)

College Arrests & Title IX Hearings: Title IX Investigations

The process of investigating sexual assault allegations can be exhausting and emotionally draining for everyone involved, whether they’re the accuser or the party being accused. Title IX outlines interim measures that are taken while sexual assault investigations are underway on a college campus. These measures are used to protect students throughout the investigation and ensure that they’re given equal access to the programs and educational activities offered on campus. Interim measures are written specifically to make sure that students can keep living their lives without fear while waiting for investigations to reach a conclusion.

In New York, the Title IX proceedings make interim measures a requirement during sexual assault investigations. As soon as a college or other educational institution is informed that there’s been an incident, they must implement interim measures for the protection of affected students.

Some complainants may request that the administration keep their identity confidential. A complainant may also struggle to cooperate fully with an investigation due to their desire to preserve their anonymity. Even when this is the case, and the school can’t conduct a full investigation into the incident, Title IX still requires that interim measures be implemented as a measure of protection. An experienced attorney can help explain what these measures are, what they mean, and how the proceedings will affect the students involved.

Determining What Interim Measures Are Necessary

Every sexual assault incident and investigation will be different. For this reason, there isn’t a calculated formula regarding the measures that a school should take. Instead, the school administration is meant to use discretion and analysis. There are a number of factors that are evaluated and considered when the school authorities decide what interim measures to implement. If the alleged perpetrator and the complainant have shared dorm space or classes, one interim measure would be for the school to help the complainant change their schedule. Another action would be to remove the perpetrator from a shared dorm building so that the complainant isn’t required to uproot their space.

Ultimately, the school should base the interim measures around the needs and desires of the complainant. To this end, the administration should consider:

  • The specific needs of the complainant
  • How old the students are and whether there’s any age difference
  • The circumstances regarding the sexual assault incident
  • The nature of the sexual violence
  • The level of potential threat to the complainant from the accused, or the threat toward other students and the community on campus

Interim measures are meant to lessen the emotional burden and stress that the complainant experiences during the investigation. The purpose of interim measures is to protect the complainant. Interim measures should never be used to punish the complainant for speaking out, and they’re not meant to be used to protect the alleged perpetrator. If the school needs to decide between the comfort and safety of the complainant or the alleged perpetrator, Title IX prioritizes the complainant first.

Interim Measure Examples

The interim measures that are implemented will be unique to each specific case and its circumstances. However, universities and colleges have outlined reasonable examples of interim measures that can be discussed should there ever be an incident on campus. Every university and college in New York is required to have developed specific grievance procedures in accordance with Title IX. Because each school develops their own unique guidelines, the interim measures can vary widely from campus to campus.

Some common measures that can be implemented and built upon in a number of different situations include:

  • No contact orders that prohibit the alleged perpetrator from contacting or being near the complainant
  • An interim suspension of the alleged perpetrator while waiting for the investigation to conclude
  • Academic accommodations for the complainant including exam schedule changes, class schedule changes, and alternative options for course completion to avoid contact with the alleged perpetrator
  • Hands-on security measures like increased campus security and campus safety escorts
  • Housing accommodations including housing contract changes and help relocating housing
  • Mental health counseling and medical resources
  • Ongoing academic support services
  • Limitations placed on the alleged perpetrator’s ability to access certain portions of campus
  • Assistance with transportation
  • For complainants employed by the college, a voluntary leave of absence without potential career ramifications

Schools should use discretion and work with the complainant when deciding what measures to implement. The complainant will feel safest if they have some autonomy in deciding how they choose to utilize the school’s potential support services.

In situations where the perpetrator suffers negative consequences like forcible housing relocation or an interim suspension, the administration should have a reasonable belief in the reliability and evidence supporting the complainant’s claim.

College Arrests & Title IX Hearings: Title IX Harassment & Discrimination Investigations & Hearings

There are many types of conduct that may be considered criminal and some that may not be when it comes to harassment and discrimination. However, whether you have been arrested for such behavior in a New York college or university, the victim has a right to file a complaint via Title IX. Even if the victim has only brought the matter to the attention of school officials and has not gone to law enforcement, the matter will still be investigated. Usually, the college or university staff will perform its own infestation based on the violations of Title IX, namely, discrimination and harassment. The end result of this is typically a disciplinary hearing that can spell suspension or even being expelled from the school.

Title IX: Prohibiting Sex Discrimination in Education

While Title IX is a very broad article, it prohibits discrimination and harassment in schools. There are a variety of types of harassment that exist. It also doesn’t limit harassment to that which is perpetrated against women and includes everyone. For example, there are many types of sexual harassment that exist, such as that which is based on gender, gender identity or sexual orientation. It doesn’t matter if the harasser is a man and the victim is also a man, or if the harasser is female and harassing another woman. There is no combination that does not apply when pertaining to harassment. If you have committed an assault, rape, made threats or recorded someone else without their knowledge or consent and the matter was sexual in nature or based on gender, the victim has the right to file a Title IX complaint with the school. The result is a thorough investigation, possible disciplinary hearing and suspension or expulsion. In the worst-case scenario, you might even end up arrested.

Title IX: The Investigation

After an official complaint of harassment or discrimination has been filed, the college or university will perform an investigation. You can expect this to be thorough and methodical in nature if the incident was based on gender or has a sexual component to it. The law requires all New York colleges and universities to have a Title IX coordinator. As a result, there is a staff member or school administrator who is given the responsibility of being in charge of investigating such matters. The Coordinator can investigate in any way they wish but is always required to perform an investigation. The process of the investigation can include speaking with the person who made the complaint and having them discuss in detail what happened.

The Title IX Coordinator can also perform the investigation using whatever resources are available at their disposal. This means that if there is video footage of the incident or any students, faculty or any other witnesses to the event, they may be called into play as well. You may also face certain consequences as the investigation is ongoing, such as having to switch dorms, being prevented from having any contact with the complainant and other restrictions. This works much the same as an order of protection.

There may be a concurrent criminal investigation being performed by the District Attorney. Regardless, the Title IX investigation will continue until there is a chance to come to a conclusion based on the evidence. When a college or university is performing an investigation, however, it is easier to come to a conclusion compared with one involving criminal law.

Title IX: The Disciplinary Hearing

As previously stated, by law, a Title IX hearing can end up with you being suspended or even expelled from school. The outcome of the investigation can determine whether your conduct was based on gender, which can automatically result in one of these two things occurring.

Once you are advised of the investigation into you and the incident, you, as the accused, still have rights. Your rights are not higher or lesser than those of the accused. You are entitled to an advisor throughout the process. This person may even be an attorney if you wish to have one. You can also call witnesses who can testify and present evidence in your favor if your advisor approves it. Before the disciplinary hearing is over, you will also get the chance to review all evidence the school has collected. When the hearing starts, you and your advisor will be in attendance and you get the chance to speak, address the allegations against you and ask questions of your own. Once a decision is made in the case, you and the accuser will both receive written notice of the decision.

The outcome of the case depends on a number of factors. You may be found guilty or exonerated, have the ability to attend your classes, be in limited areas with your accuser, suspended or expelled from school. No matter what the outcome, you have the right to appeal.

It’s important to always remember that any arrest or violation of Title IX on school grounds are very serious matters. Although the former is worse due to the involvement of law enforcement, if you are found to be guilty of having discriminated against or harassed someone sexually or based on their gender, it can adversely affect your entire future. You can also suffer dire consequences if you are in school on an F1 visa and be sent back to your home country.

College Arrests & Title IX Hearings: Title IX Harassment & Discrimination Investigations & Hearings

There are many types of conduct that may be considered criminal and some that may not be when it comes to harassment and discrimination. However, whether you have been arrested for such behavior in a New York college or university, the victim has a right to file a complaint via Title IX. Even if the victim has only brought the matter to the attention of school officials and has not gone to law enforcement, the matter will still be investigated. Usually, the college or university staff will perform its own infestation based on the violations of Title IX, namely, discrimination and harassment. The end result of this is typically a disciplinary hearing that can spell suspension or even being expelled from the school.

Title IX: Prohibiting Sex Discrimination in Education

While Title IX is a very broad article, it prohibits discrimination and harassment in schools. There are a variety of types of harassment that exist. It also doesn’t limit harassment to that which is perpetrated against women and includes everyone. For example, there are many types of sexual harassment that exist, such as that which is based on gender, gender identity or sexual orientation. It doesn’t matter if the harasser is a man and the victim is also a man, or if the harasser is female and harassing another woman. There is no combination that does not apply when pertaining to harassment. If you have committed an assault, rape, made threats or recorded someone else without their knowledge or consent and the matter was sexual in nature or based on gender, the victim has the right to file a Title IX complaint with the school. The result is a thorough investigation, possible disciplinary hearing and suspension or expulsion. In the worst-case scenario, you might even end up arrested.

Title IX: The Investigation

After an official complaint of harassment or discrimination has been filed, the college or university will perform an investigation. You can expect this to be thorough and methodical in nature if the incident was based on gender or has a sexual component to it. The law requires all New York colleges and universities to have a Title IX coordinator. As a result, there is a staff member or school administrator who is given the responsibility of being in charge of investigating such matters. The Coordinator can investigate in any way they wish but is always required to perform an investigation. The process of the investigation can include speaking with the person who made the complaint and having them discuss in detail what happened.

The Title IX Coordinator can also perform the investigation using whatever resources are available at their disposal. This means that if there is video footage of the incident or any students, faculty or any other witnesses to the event, they may be called into play as well. You may also face certain consequences as the investigation is ongoing, such as having to switch dorms, being prevented from having any contact with the complainant and other restrictions. This works much the same as an order of protection.

There may be a concurrent criminal investigation being performed by the District Attorney. Regardless, the Title IX investigation will continue until there is a chance to come to a conclusion based on the evidence. When a college or university is performing an investigation, however, it is easier to come to a conclusion compared with one involving criminal law.

Title IX: The Disciplinary Hearing

As previously stated, by law, a Title IX hearing can end up with you being suspended or even expelled from school. The outcome of the investigation can determine whether your conduct was based on gender, which can automatically result in one of these two things occurring.

Once you are advised of the investigation into you and the incident, you, as the accused, still have rights. Your rights are not higher or lesser than those of the accused. You are entitled to an advisor throughout the process. This person may even be an attorney if you wish to have one. You can also call witnesses who can testify and present evidence in your favor if your advisor approves it. Before the disciplinary hearing is over, you will also get the chance to review all evidence the school has collected. When the hearing starts, you and your advisor will be in attendance and you get the chance to speak, address the allegations against you and ask questions of your own. Once a decision is made in the case, you and the accuser will both receive written notice of the decision.

The outcome of the case depends on a number of factors. You may be found guilty or exonerated, have the ability to attend your classes, be in limited areas with your accuser, suspended or expelled from school. No matter what the outcome, you have the right to appeal.

It’s important to always remember that any arrest or violation of Title IX on school grounds are very serious matters. Although the former is worse due to the involvement of law enforcement, if you are found to be guilty of having discriminated against or harassed someone sexually or based on their gender, it can adversely affect your entire future. You can also suffer dire consequences if you are in school on an F1 visa and be sent back to your home country.

College Arrests & Title IX Hearings: Title IX Appeals

Title IX is legislation that outlines ways in which universities must investigate sexual assault allegations, provide protection to students, and address any culture of violence that may lead to sexual violence on campus. Title IX doesn’t require schools to provide an appeals process regarding the conclusions of investigations. With that said, there is a strong recommendation from the Office for Civil Rights that universities implement an appeals process. In keeping with this, the majority of universities offer formal procedures through which students can appeal the decision made following a Title IX investigation. Every school will have a slightly different procedure and process, but many of them have written down the step-by-step process in easily accessible writing.

The process of appeals isn’t unified across campuses, so it can be different among different schools. Title IX doesn’t outline an appeals process or require a school to adhere to certain guidelines. There is just one note in the Title IX legislation regarding appeals. Though appeals are optional, the Title IX legislation states that should a school choose to adopt an appeals process, the policy must be quick, impartially mediated, and have equal consideration for both involved parties. If you’re concerned about the appeals process of your specific university, you can talk to a lawyer who’s experienced with Title IX legislation.

Appeal Requirements for Title IX

A Title IX appeal may be invoked in a college or university that has outlined a specific appeals process. Appeals are usually invoked so that a person can make sure that the investigation didn’t have any procedural errors. An appeal might also be filed if one of the involved parties has new evidence to introduce that could affect the original decision. It’s important to understand that the appeals process is meant to be used in cases where the outcome of the investigation may have been affected by incomplete information or procedural issues.

Some universities might also implement an appeals process for cases in which a perpetrator is found by the administration to be guilty of committing sexual violence. If the perpetrator believes that the penalties they face are too harsh, they can appeal the punishment. Conversely, if the complainant believes that the penalties are not harsh enough, they can file an appeal to have the case reconsidered. The person filing the appeal must be able to make a specific argument for why the punishment is too harsh or not harsh enough, though. If the individual doesn’t like the choice of punishment but doesn’t have a compelling argument for a reconsideration, they generally won’t be able to appeal.

Universities that adopt appeals policies must continue to adhere to Title IX specifications in their procedures. This means that the school must create specified procedures that are codified and written down. The administration will follow them when taking the perpetrator or the complainant through the appeals process. Any appeals process for Title IX decisions must be written with all the other information regarding the school’s grievance procedures for Title IX compliance.

The appeals process cannot be unnecessarily lengthy or complex. It should not be designed to drag a decision out or to be used as a punishment for anyone involved in the situation. Every school must design their appeals process to be speedy, straightforward, and with equal attention to all involved parties. Another vitally important aspect of appeals is that the administrators and counselors who facilitate the process must have professional training in dealing with trauma from sexual violence.

The Panel

Title IX has no codified or required appeals process, which means that schools aren’t required to adhere to certain specifications in their appeals panel. Each university can decide how many people will review the appeal, reconsider the case, and decide whether to uphold the original ruling or not. The only requirement that all university panels must adhere to is that every involved individual has been given specific Title IX training.

Brown University offers an appeal panel that is comprised of three professionals in human resources. One of these people is the vice president of human resources. All three of them have gone through Title IX training and have had training in how to deal with sexual violence and trauma.

Another example would be Pace University, which also has three individuals involved in the appeals process. However, the panel is made up of two university officials who the Title IX coordinator appoints, along with the university provost. Schools like the University of Minnesota have just a single appellate officer who makes the decision of whether or not to uphold the appeal. Single-person panels are often dictated by the provost.

Different Appeals Processes

Different universities will have different specifications regarding the timeline in which appeals can be filed, the information that must be included in an appeal, and circumstances in which appeals cannot be filed.

College Arrests & Title IX Hearings: The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013

President Barack Obama signed the present version of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act into law on March 7, 2013. The present bill is an upgrade to the original Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act that was signed in 1994.

The original 1994 version of VAWA was signed by President Bill Clinton and committed $1.6 billion to investigate crimes of violence perpetrated against women. The law makes it both mandatory and automatic that restitution is imposed against individuals convicted under VAWA. This comprehensive legislature was previously reauthorized in both 2000 and 2005.

Statistics

The unfortunate facts are that one in three women have suffered serious violence at the hands of an intimate partner. The numbers are even higher for women who have been victims of sexual assault, stalking, or some type of physical violence at the hands of an intimate partner. To put an exclamation point on the topic, more than 1,000 women were killed by their past or present husband or boyfriend in 2010.

These stats and the many others are available to make it clear why the need for legislation like VAWA is needed.

The VAWA Purpose

The United States Congress participated in years of drafts and amendments before informing the public of the Law Enforcement and Prosecution Grants that would be made available to states. Provisions for the grants were made under the second chapter of the Safe Streets Act.

The grants are used to support efforts by states, governments of indigenous tribes, local government units to better protect women against violence through the use of law enforcement strategies and prosecutions. The grants are also used to strengthen the available services for women who have been victims of violent crimes. The Office for Violence Against Women was also created to oversee how the grant money is used.

VAWA Grants

The grant program created by Congress has been a major component to the objective of providing support to victims of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, and sexual assault. VAWA grant money is processed through the Office for Violence Against Women and common uses of the grant money include:

  • Training for prosecutors and law enforcement personnel
  • The training, development, and expansion of specialized units of law enforcement that deal with victims of sexual and other abuses.
  • Developing more effective policies and protocols to be used by prosecutors and law enforcement personnel.
  • Development and expansion of services used to benefit victims of sexual and other abuses
  • Development and expansion of systems that facilitate better communication and data collection
  • Developing programs that offer education and preventative methods against domestic abuse and stalking

A number of notable grant programs have been developed in the two decades of VAWA existence. A handful of these grants include:

  • SASP – Sexual Assault Services Program
  • GTEAP – Grants to Encourage Arrest Program
  • LAV – Civil Legal Assistance for Victims
  • Services for Regional Victims
  • Prevention and Youth Programs
  • Tribal and Under served Programs
  • Grants to Combat Violence Against Women

In its 20 year existence, VAWA has saved state government billions of dollars in money for social services to support victims of domestic violence. The bill has also resulted in a better-trained police force that possesses the expertise to deal with cases involving domestic or sexual abuse.

Programs That Benefit Victims of Domestic Violence

In addition to the numerous grant programs that have been started by VAWA, The bill has resulted in a number of services and program initiatives for the benefit of domestic violence victims. These initiatives include:

  • Programs to prevent community violence
  • Funding for services that assist victims in emergency situations
  • Protection for victims who lose their home or place to stay due to domestic violence
  • Federal rape shield protections
  • Services and programs for the benefit of Americans with disabilities
  • Initiatives for women who are immigrants or from diverse ethnic backgrounds
  • Legal aid for victims of domestic violence

The intent of these programs is to provide individuals whose lives have been affected by domestic abuse the resources and legal assistance needed to make themselves whole again.

How a Lawyer Can Help

If you or someone close to you have been affected by domestic violence, you should talk to an attorney that possesses the knowledge and compassion needed to steer you in the direction of the support programs and initiatives that are available to you.

College Arrests & Title IX Hearings: The Clery Act

In 1990, the Clery Act was passed. This act supports Title IX legislation because it promotes community awareness and transparency regarding crimes. The crimes include sexual violence occurring on or around college campuses.

Definition of the Clery Act

The Clery Act is an important piece of legislation that was named for Jeanne Clery. She was a student at Lehigh University who was raped and then murdered in her school’s residence hall back in 1986. The Clery Act is a federal law implemented across all universities and other educational campuses in the US. It requires that every university publishes crime statistics regarding their campus and provide public information about the campus violence prevention programs and safety policies.

All schools must comply with the provisions in the Clery Act if they want to continue receiving federal funding. The United States Department of Education is responsible for monitoring schools and making sure that they’re in compliance with the law.

The Violence Against Women Act, commonly abbreviated VAWA, was passed in 2013. This piece of federal legislation expanded upon the crime reporting obligations outlined in the original Clery Act. Following the implementation of the VAWA, universities are required to also publish reports regarding domestic violence, stalking, dating violence, and sexual assault.

The VAWA requires that a school publishes an Annual Security Report, update and maintain a public log of crime, and notify the community on campus when crimes are perpetrated on campus. Schools are also required to keep records regarding their prior eight years of crime statistics, and to have this information readily available at a moment’s notice.

Clery Geography

The phrase “Clery Geography” is a reference to the areas of college campuses that are specifically covered by the provisions in the Clery Act. There is a slight variety depending on the size of the university and the layout of the campus. As a general rule, though, the following locations qualify to be included in the reports:

  • The college campus, including all the buildings and land owned by the university
  • Any buildings owned by the school, even if they exist off the official campus land
  • Frat houses and sororities
  • Public property and areas near the university campus
  • Remote classrooms off campus
  • Residence halls both on and off the school property
  • Any areas in which athletic events, extracurricular activities, or club meetings are held
  • School parking lots, parking garages, and any other parking facilities

Crime Statistics on Campuses

Based on the legislation in the Clery Act, colleges have to release an Annual Security Report in October of every year. The report has a summary of the past three years of the campus crime statistics. Each report must be made available through a university’s website, and it must have detailed information regarding the dates, locations, and nature of any crimes committed.

Universities are required to publish information about the following types of crimes:

  • Hate crimes
  • Sexual assault
  • Stalking
  • Dating violence
  • Domestic violence
  • Murder
  • Burglary
  • Theft of motor vehicles
  • Arson

One important thing to note is that the statistics are compiled based on crimes that are reported. Not all of the crimes that are reported will result in convictions or even in the pressing of criminal charges. The goal of the report is to determine when and where criminal activity took place, even if the perpetrator will never be held accountable for it in the judicial system.

Campus Safety Policy Disclosure

The security report has more than grim statistics about campus crime. It’s also required to include information about how to report crime to university officials. Each report includes details regarding the specific safety policies and implemented procedures on the campus.

Each campus will have slightly different security measures and safety policies depending on the culture, the size of the university, the history of crime on and around the campus, and the available resources. A school might provide public safety training, offer crime prevention and educational programs, and explain the school’s plans in compliance with Title IX legislation.

Every report must provide the following information regarding campus safety:

  • How the school responds to and investigates crime reports
  • How victims can maintain confidentiality if desired, and whether confidentiality is an option
  • Through what channels and means the school provides timely warnings about recent campus crime
  • How employees and students can access information from the local sex offender registry
  • What standard of evidence is necessary for disciplinary procedures to be implemented
  • How the university compiles and analyzes crime data provided by off-campus student organizations

College Arrests & Title IX Hearings: Sexual Violence

As per Title IX, schools in New York are required to take action when made aware of an incident of sexual violence occurring. The school must take the appropriate steps to investigate the claim in a thorough and neutral manner as well. A student can report the sexual violence incident and request to remain anonymous. At the same time, that student should also be given the respect of staying so. The student who reports the incident may also ask school officials not to take action against the perpetrator or even investigate the matter.

As per the Office for Civil Rights, if a student who reports sexual violence wishes to remain anonymous, those wishes should be respected. However, in some cases, this can be overridden so as to comply with Title XI. However, regardless of whether the school can allow the reporting student to remain anonymous, there is a big obligation by the institution to timely respond to the alleged act of sexual violence. The school must also take measures to protect the victim all throughout the investigation of the incident.

Protecting a Student Reporter’s Confidentiality

If a student reports an alleged incident of sexual violence to a school via Title IX in the state of New York, the school is required to take any steps necessary to ensure that their identity is protected. As a result, the school cannot release the student reporter’s identity and must instead only release information about the incident of sexual violence to the Title IX coordinator and any officials who are participating in the investigation of the matter.

In addition, the school is required to inform the student about whether the subsequent investigation might be limited if certain details are kept confidential. It must also inform the reporting student of any possible situation where taking disciplinary action against the perpetrator might be impossible.

Even if the school cannot include all details of an alleged act of sexual violence or punish the perpetrator, it can still take measures to address these types of situations and prevent others from occurring going into the future. For instance, a college or university can hire additional security on their campuses, train students in sexual violence or change certain policies, such as those regarding harassment based on gender, gender identity or sexual orientation.

Overriding a Student’s Request for Confidentiality

In some situations, it might not be possible for the school to keep the reporting student’s identity confidential. This can be the case even if the student has requested no investigation be performed, has not named the perpetrator or that the perpetrator even be punished. There are certain situations that may prevent the confidentiality of the student reporter. However, at the same time, the institution can still ensure that the student receives a safe environment even if there is no investigation performed.

There are certain things the school must do. One involves evaluating whether the alleged perpetrator of the act of sexual violence is likely to commit further acts against other students. The school must consider the following:

• Whether the perpetrator has a criminal history
• Whether the perpetrator has threatened anyone else with sexual violence in the past
• Whether the perpetrator has a history of actually committing sexual violence
• Whether the perpetrator has had multiple Title IX complaints made against them

The college or university must also consider the age of the victim and whether the sexual violence involved the use of a weapon. This is important when determining whether the school can keep the victim or the student reporter’s identity confidential.

If the school determines it has to override the request for confidentiality, it is still required to undertake measures to protect the student. This can include a number of steps, including changing housing arrangements, changing one or both students’ schedules and even no-contact orders.

Obligations of Mental Health Counselors

As per Title IX, school employees who get reports of incidents of sexual violence from students in New York are considered to be responsible employees. They are also required to report any incidents to the college or university. At the same time, only those employees who hold professional licenses that require them to keep situations confidential are not obligated to report incidents of sexual violence. That includes the following professionals:

• Doctors
• Mental health counselors
• Pastoral counselors
• Social workers
• Therapists

There are additional professionals who do not have to report incidents of sexual violence as per Title IX, such as employees who work at health facilities, women’s centers and victim advocacy offices. Additionally, even those who merely work at the front desk are exempt from reporting these incidents. However, these employees should still provide students with the appropriate resources, medical assistance and counseling. They can even provide victims with information on the policies at school on how to report sexual violence and how to file an official Title IX complaint.

College Arrests & Title IX Hearings: Remedies & Notice of Outcome in Title IX Investigations

College campuses and other educational institutions have a responsibility to protect their students. There are multiple pieces of legislation that codify how to do exactly that. One of these pieces of legislation, Title IX, is a means of helping colleges to conduct thorough and helpful investigations after an incident of sexual violence occurs on campus. Title IX lays down guidelines that require a college to respond promptly to the incident and create measures to heal the sense of decreased safety on the campus. The college must also create a plan to address the ways that the incident has created a hostile environment for students. Schools that don’t implement effective measures according to Title IX requirements are subject to the loss of their federal funding.

Rather than having a formula or a rigid series of steps to follow during investigations, Title IX allows colleges to create informal and unique solutions. Every college is required to have resources and plans available to use as a starting point if a sexual violence incident should occur. Each college’s plans are unique, and the measures taken can vary widely from campus to campus.

One of the most important aspects of Title IX is that the guidelines are meant to protect the complainant rather than the perpetrator. The complainant is often subject to emotional upheaval, feelings of isolation, guilt, shame, and extreme fear about coming forward. These things can severely interfere with the ability to learn and engage in normal social activities.

If a perpetrator is found beyond a reasonable doubt to have committed an act of sexual violence, the school administration must discipline them. However, disciplining the perpetrator isn’t enough to be in compliance with Title IX. The school must also address the specific culture of fear and violence that the incident has caused or unearthed. They have to promote an environment of healing instead of a sense that a problem is solved when the perpetrator is punished.

Complainant Remedies

When a formal lawsuit is brought against a perpetrator of violence, the end goal is for the complainant to receive financial compensation for their suffering. Title IX investigations have a different end goal, though. Rather than providing the complainant with financial compensation, a Title IX investigation must include remedies that ensure that the complainant is able to have equal access to educational opportunities.

A sexual violence incident is a traumatic experience that can severely disrupt the complainant’s life. They may miss an exam or certain important classes following the incident. In these cases, the student should not be penalized academically. They must also be given the resources to make up missed work and catch up on any lessons and lectures they missed.

The remedies available for the complainant will vary depending on the school, the circumstances surrounding the incident, and the desires of the complainant themselves. While having multiple resources available is critical, it’s also critical that the complainant be given full autonomy in which measures they choose to utilize.

Some common remedies that can be adjusted for many different circumstances include:

  • The provision of academic support, victim advocacy, mental health, and medical resources
  • A no contact order being implemented to keep the perpetrator away
  • Adjusting living arrangements and class schedules so that the complainant and the perpetrator do not have to share space on campus
  • Allowing the complainant to switch classes, withdraw from classes, arrange their exam schedule based on their needs, or retake a course that they began performing poorly in after the assault without suffering financial or academic consequences
  • Giving the option of having a security guard escort the complainant to and from different areas on campus, or having a more discreet security patrol keep an eye on the complainant’s dorm room to make sure no trouble is caused
  • Letting the complainant know they have a right to file a police report and press criminal charges against the perpetrator

Notice of Outcome

When an investigation is finally concluded, Title IX requires that the school give both the perpetrator and the complainant a written notification regarding the outcome. The notification will detail whether the school found compelling evidence of the incident, what remedies are offered through Title IX, and whether any sanctions will be imposed upon the perpetrator.

In addition, the notice is required to outline any steps that the school is taking to promote healing and reduce hostility in the education environment. There should be active plans to keep similar incidents from occurring on campus again. One important note is that the perpetrator’s notice should not include any information about the remedies that the complainant is being offered.

Title IX also requires that schools implement campus-wide remedies following a sexual violence incident, so there must be a written plan regarding this.

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