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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.