title ix and college sexual misconduct at western governors university

title ix and college sexual misconduct at western governors university

Western Governors University: Providing Access to Quality Education

As a nonprofit institution, Western Governors University (WGU) is committed to providing students with high-quality education through its online, competency-based program. With headquarters located in Salt Lake City, Utah, WGU offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in fields such as business, teaching, information technology, and health and nursing. At WGU, students can progress at their own pace and enjoy a personalized educational experience tailored to their unique learning style. Currently, the university enrolls almost 100,000 full-time online students.

Expert Assistance in Facing Sexual Misconduct Allegations at WGU

Despite being an online institution, WGU has policies in place to address sexual misconduct allegations that may arise from intimate conduct between students. False, exaggerated, and unfair sexual misconduct allegations can be devastating to a student’s academic and professional future. To help students navigate these difficult situations, Spodek Law Group and its founder, Attorney Todd Spodek, offer premier representation.

Why Choose Spodek Law Group?

At Spodek Law Group, we understand that false accusations of sexual misconduct can have severe consequences on a student’s life, including social stigma, loss of scholarships or financial aid, suspension or expulsion from school, and even criminal charges. Our experienced attorneys have represented students facing sexual misconduct allegations at WGU and other institutions throughout the nation. Attorney Todd Spodek and his team are dedicated to helping students navigate the Title IX process and protecting their rights.

Understanding Sexual Misconduct Policies at WGU

WGU’s Equal Opportunity, Harassment, and Nondiscrimination Policy prohibits both Title IX and non-Title IX sexual misconduct. In 2020, the university revised its policy to comply with new Title IX regulations. The revised policy specifically prohibits sexual violence, quid-pro-quo harassment, and hostile-environment harassment. Additionally, the policy extends its prohibitions to non-Title IX forms of sexual misconduct, such as sexual exploitation, cyber-harassment, and cyber-stalking.

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Examples of Sexual Misconduct at WGU

Title IX Sexual Misconduct Non-Title IX Sexual Misconduct
sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking sexual voyeurism, invasion of sexual privacy, taking pictures, video, or audio recording of another in a sexual act without consent, and revenge pornography
quid-pro-quo harassment that conditions university benefits or services on unwelcome sexual conduct prostituting another person, knowingly infecting another sexually transmitted disease without consent, causing or attempting incapacitation of another to compromise consent to sexual activity, and misappropriating another’s identity for dating or sexual connections
hostile-environment harassment in the form of severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive unwelcome sexual conduct denying equal access based on sex forcing acts against another’s will by threatening to share depictions of the other’s nudity or sexual activity, knowingly soliciting a minor for sexual activity, engaging in sex trafficking, creating, possessing, or disseminating child pornography

The Title IX Grievance Process at WGU

WGU’s Title IX Grievance Process applies to the resolution of Title IX sexual misconduct charges.
The process begins with a preliminary assessment by the university’s Title IX Coordinator, who determines whether the complaint alleges Title IX misconduct. If the complaint does not fall within the Title IX scope, it will be referred to the Civil Rights and Nondiscrimination Grievance Process.

If the complaint alleges Title IX misconduct, the parties may agree to informal resolution, with the Title IX Coordinator’s agreement and assistance. If the parties cannot resolve the matter informally, it proceeds to formal resolution, where two university investigators gather evidence and conduct interviews, including interviews of the accuser and accused student. After concluding their investigation, the investigators share the case file with both sides for additions, comments, or corrections, and also prepare and share an investigative report to which either side may respond.

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The Title IX Grievance Process culminates in a hearing before a three-member panel. Both sides can call, question, and cross-examine witnesses, retaining and employing an attorney advisor to do so. Witnesses must attend and testify under cross-examination for the panel members to consider their information. The panel deliberates and decides whether misconduct occurred based on a preponderance of the evidence. If the panel finds misconduct, a Sanctions Officer determines the appropriate sanction. The losing side may appeal to a three-member Appeal Panel.

Sanctions for Sexual Misconduct at WGU

The Sanctions Officer may impose any of the following sanctions for Title IX sexual misconduct: warning, required counseling, written reprimand, probation, suspension, expulsion, withholding or revocation of the degree, and any other appropriate measure. The same sanctions apply to non-Title IX sexual misconduct, and are imposed by the Title IX Coordinator.

Choose Spodek Law Group for Premier Representation

If you are facing sexual misconduct allegations at WGU, Attorney Todd Spodek and his team at Spodek Law Group can provide the professional, experienced legal representation you need. We understand the sensitive nature of these cases and can help you navigate the Title IX process with skill and expertise. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can assist you in defending your rights and reputation.

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