College students have to be mindful of the choices they make. Of course, wrongful conduct may constitute a criminal offense. Regardless if criminal charges are filed, the college or university may initiate a student conduct investigation. These investigations may result in the student being reprimanded, placed on probation, suspended, or expelled from the college or university.

All colleges and universities are required by federal law to investigate sexual discrimination on campus. Within the definition of sexual discrimination is sexual assault. The specific federal law is known as Title IX of the Educational Amendments Acts of 1972. Title IX protects people from sexual discrimination  in education programs or activities that receive federal funds. Specifically, Title IX states that "no person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance."

In response to Title IX, colleges and universities have developed Codes of Student Conduct that outline the procedure for how sexual misconduct complaints are investigated. Some central Ohio colleges and universities' Codes of Student Conduct include:

Student Conduct matters go beyond the area of sexual misconduct and include conduct such as underage drinking, disorderly conduct, and cheating.

Student Conduct hearings are informal administrative hearings. Oftentimes, attorneys are not allowed to actively participate in the process, though they are allowed to be physically present and confer with the student. Although they are not as formal as court hearings in the judicial system for criminal offenses, the penalties can be just as damaging: a student may face reprimand, probation, suspension, or expulsion. Even if the student is ultimately cleared of any wrongdoing, the damage to their reputation can have a lasting effect.

It is important for students facing Student Conduct / Title IX Investigations to contact an attorney who can help them build their defense and respond to allegations.


Contact The Stavroff Law Firm today to learn about your rights and begin building your defense.