The University of the District of Columbia is the only public university located in the heart of the nation’s capital. A great number of students both in-state and out-of-state flock to UDC for undergraduate and graduate degrees. At this institution, integrity is highly valued, and as it is federally funded, it rigorously implements federal regulations that bind all members of its campus community. The title IX law known as Civil Rights legislation has been put in place at UDC. Title IX specifically prohibits gender-based discriminatory behavior exhibited by its students.
Sexual misconduct falls under gender-based discrimination according to Title IX, which means all schools are mandated to carry out an investigation into any reports made concerning sexual misconduct. Those who undergo findings and are found liable for sexual misconduct have been subject to dire repercussions, many including inability to graduate. Thus, it is imperative that those accused of sexual misconduct fully comprehend what they are going through during this process along with comprehending the indispensable value an attorney possesses when retained as an advisor throughout this process.
The purpose of this article is to give a brief overview of UDC’s Title IX process.
Title IX Process
At UDC, processes are supposed to be completed within sixty calendar days from initiation depending on the allegations brought forward. In this process, an individual who identifies as a victim or survivor of alleged sexual misconduct is referred to as a complainant, whereas individuals charged or accused are referred to as a respondent.
When there is a complaint brought forward either by the victim/survivor or witnesses involved in sexual conduct accusations against another student within UDCs premises, one of the first steps taken by the school coordinator for Title IX involves trying to protect those involved from retaliation attempts by imposing interim measures aimed towards ensuring everyones safety involved/affected by these allegations. The following interim measures may be temporary but will apply throughout UDCs Title IX process:
Table 1: Interim Measures
|No Contact Order|No third party, written or verbal communication between parties|
|Parking and/or transport Accommodations| |
|Changes in work schedule or Job assignments||
|restricted Access to certain areas of the University ||
This is a crucial phase where respondents are given an opportunity to give their accounts of what happened to lead to any sexual misconduct accusations lodged against them. Supporting evidence must be provided by both complainants, witnesses and the accused. A fact-finding investigator will separately interview all parties mentioned above, thereby putting together all potential information that will review if a violation was committed that goes against UDC policy on this issue.
The investigator’s drafts result in presenting partially responsible conclusions & provided sanctions, if appropriate. All decisions taken during this investigation phase are not conclusively final; however, they must be based on a preponderance of evidence standard where it is likely or more likely than not that the allegations did hold.
The respondent has another shot at trying to alter their outcome after an investigation by formally submitting a written appeal for reconsideration. An appeal can only be valid if the motive behind it is reasonable as they arise from logical grounds such as:
A procedural mistake that seriously affected either determination of accountability or sanctions.
The emergence of new information (Informant) that was previously unavailable during investigations but may have contributed significantly towards determining liability.
And if there are relevant substantial grounds (e.g., a violation was minor under HR policies; nevertheless, sanctions imposed were severe), then it could be viable.
Appeals should usually be submitted within five business days after receiving sufficient notification about detailed findings and outcomes.
Title IX Advisor
In this context, it is necessary to consult an attorney for help when someone is accused of sexual misconduct. Selecting a lawyer as an advisor at the onset can level the playing field in an inherently biased system that all too often marginalizes and disadvantages the accused. An attorney like Todd Spodek who provides competent legal guidance to students facing these processes will offer great assistance.
Title IX allegations and charges, if unchecked, have significant implications for a student’s academic career, which is why consulting the right kind of legal representation cannot be underestimated during this investigation process. Consequently, Todd Spodek has been fighting passionately on behalf of his clients in college, university disciplinary cases throughout the United States since 2011.
Clearly Mr. Spodek has significantly become experienced being licensed both in Pennsylvania and New jersey as an attorney (pro hac vice in state and Federal courts nationwide). He also functions as a Title IX Advisor for those facing disciplinary action(s) in Washington, D.C., across America and guarantees no compromise is made to jeopardize his client’s interests nor future academic aspirations.
To guarantee protection against Title IX punishments brought about by sexual misconduct accusations and charges, victims need nothing less than professional help from well-versed attorneys such as Jopseh D.Spodek.