All colleges and universities have a legal obligation to investigate any alleged violations of Title IX that affect their students. This includes incidents of supposed poor conduct committed by their students. If your school accuses you of some form of sexual harassment or sexual violence, you may find yourself before these boards of conduct.
A Fairfax university conduct meeting can place you in a difficult situation. True, you do have the right to speak in your own defense and to bring legal representation. However, the board can also force you to answer questions as you do not enjoy the right to keep silent as you do in a criminal case.
As a result, students facing a Fairfax university conduct meeting must be cautious. An experienced student defense attorney could help you to understand what happens at these meetings, the steps taken by the board prior to holding the session, and how you can limit the damage incurred during the meeting.
All schools in Fairfax require their students to sign onto codes of conduct that control their behavior while enrolled at the school. The code typically requires the students to behave with good morals during their educational journeys. Any supposed violation of this code, including Title IX violations, may trigger a university conduct meeting.
These meetings serve the purpose of gathering evidence concerning the incident. The board can compel a defendant student to appear at the hearing and to provide testimony. While most schools will allow a student to bring representation to the hearing, many codes of conduct prohibit that representative from speaking on behalf of the defendant. The board may conduct similar meetings with the alleged victim and any other witnesses to the alleged event. However, these are often closed sessions where a defendant will not have the chance to respond in real time.
A school’s disciplinary board can meet whenever it receives a bona fide complaint concerning a violation of their code. As applied to Title IX cases, this typically involves a student filing a complaint with the relevant title IX coordinator.
The Title IX coordinator will examine the allegations presented in the complaint and will speak with the accuser. If the coordinator believes that there is a basis for the complaint, they will recommend that the board convene a session. The defendant will receive notice of the complaint in writing so that they have an opportunity to prepare a defense.
The purpose of university conduct meetings in Fairfax is to determine whether there are grounds for discipline. Of course, if the board decides that it is less likely than not that an offense occurred, they will drop the charges against the defendant.
If the board decides to issue discipline, they must believe that it is more likely than not that the offense occurred. This is different from the burden in a criminal case that requires a “beyond all reasonable doubt” standard of proof. The board can act to require a student to cease all contact with the alleged victim, to change housing, can suspend a student, or even enact an expulsion. For more information, consult with a dedicated lawyer.
Any allegations of violations of your school’s code of conduct can result in a Fairfax university conduct meeting. This includes allegations of violations of Title IX involving sexual discrimination or violence. These conduct meetings serve the purpose of gathering evidence concerning the incident and coming to a recommendation for punishment.
An attorney could help you to come to terms with the purpose of the hearing and to prepare a defense. Although an attorney cannot speak on our behalf, they can appear in person to help to deflect any damaging questions and to help prepare written remarks that you can read to the board. Contact an attorney today to help prepare a defense for a Fairfax university conduct meeting.
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