Rutgers University’s Prohibited Sexual Misconduct policy is very strict, and any violations are not tolerated. According to this policy, all forms of gender-based discrimination and sexual-based hostilities are prohibited. The university provides several reporting services for students wishing to report a Title IX violation. Reports can be made confidentially, without any time limit, so allegations can surface even years later.
It is important for students to understand the process that follows when such incidents are reported because they could face severe penalties. The first step after an allegation of Title IX violation is made is that the respondent (the person accused) will receive a notification in writing of the charges presented against them through their Rutgers University email. The University’s Title IX Coordinator assigned to the case then commences an investigative process that lasts 30 days maximum. Meanwhile, certain interim measures may be imposed upon respondents while the investigation takes place, including being asked not to contact complainants or changes to their class schedule or residence hall pending resolution.
In cases where complainants and respondents become involved in a Rutgers’ Title IX process, both sides have rights protected during hearings by Rutgers University. During these hearings, either party may dispute the impartiality of those overseeing the hearing if they feel it cannot be conducted fairly. Evidence considered during the hearing should be limited only to facts pertaining to this particular incident. Prior violations as well as prior dating or sexual history and character witnesses will play no role in determining the outcome.
The respondent might receive an opportunity offered through informal resolution before going ahead with a hearing but only if both parties agree and deem it necessary and appropriate. If a hearing is inevitable, hearings will proceed with an ordered pattern overseen by carefully appointed Hearing Officer(s). During this hearing process, evidence provided will come from different parties including complainants’ statements followed by respondent’s response (subjected to Complainant’s questions), as well as various witnesses presented who are questioned by the Hearing Officer. Finally, the complainant and respondent will make closing statements, with the respondent presenting last.
After considering all evidence brought forward by both parties, the Hearing Officer will use the “a preponderance of the evidence” standard to reach their judgments. This decision is rendered with two days following the hearing, including any sanctions imposed if a student is deemed responsible. During this process, students are permitted to have advisors of their choice present for support; these advisors should be attorneys due to high stakes associated with Title IX charges that can jeopardize a student’s education and professional future.
Therefore, it’s pertinent for accused students and/or parents to hire an attorney who can guide them through proper negotiation and cross-examination in a hearing setting through valuable insights. Moreover, they can ensure disciplinary proceedings’ integrity and protect an accused student’s rights throughout every step of this process. If additional consequences result from reporting violations initially at Rutgers University, an attorney can aptly serve as a guide to protect one’s dignity.
Rutgers University allows appeals regarding unfavorable decisions and imposed sanctions. These appeals must be made within five days following the initial hearing decision on grounds such as procedural errors, new information or disproportionate sanctions.
In conclusion, Title IX charges or allegations related to sexual misconduct are serious offenses at Rutgers University that require professional guidance beyond what Rutgers might provide in its hearings. If you or your student is facing such charges or allegations today pick up your phone now and call Attorney Todd Spodek – hes ready to help you!