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University of Georgia

The University of Georgia (UGA) was the first public university in America and, for 235 years, has been committed to providing its students with access to top-rated academics and hands-on learning opportunities. Their goal is to educate students seeking ways to make the world a better place. Even with all that going for them, they still lost to Ohio State in December…but we digress.

To ensure their students are up to the challenge, UGA requires them to follow certain academic and behavioral conduct rules. And if a student disobeys one of those rules, they will notify the student and conduct an in-depth investigation and hearing into the matter. Often, students are accused of misconduct and are so overwhelmed by the accusation that they fail to prepare for the disciplinary proceedings efficiently. This leads to students being unnecessarily or harshly punished, which imposes serious consequences that will affect the rest of their lives.

Hiring a skilled Title IX defense attorney is the only way to guarantee you get the best possible outcome for your case. Call Capovilla & Williams today. We can help.

What is Title IX

Under federal law, Title IX is a regulation that bans sex-based discrimination in schools that receive federal funding. Sex-based discrimination includes discrimination in STEM programs, discrimination based on pregnancy, failure to provide students with equal access to athletic opportunities, and sexual misconduct, as well as any other instance of gender-based discrimination.

Sexual misconduct is defined further at UGA as:

  • Dating violence
  • Domestic violence
  • Sexual harassment
  • Nonconsensual sexual contact
  • Nonconsensual sexual penetration
  • Sexual exploitation
  • Stalking
  • Retaliation

Besides banning sex-based discrimination, Title IX also stipulates how federally funded schools must resolve such complaints. If they fail to follow these rules, Title IX allows the government to pull the school’s federal funding. Unfortunately, this means that some students are adjudicated and punished for false or baseless accusations, which can have disastrous effects on their future. To protect your future, it is important to engage with an experienced Title IX defense attorney immediately.

The Title IX Disciplinary Process 

At UGA, like most other schools, the Title IX disciplinary process starts when the Title IX Coordinator receives a complaint of sex-based discrimination. The Coordinator will begin by contacting the complainant for an initial interview to understand what circumstances gave rise to the complaint. If they determine that the complaint falls within the purview of Title IX, they will encourage the complainant to file a formal complaint.

Sometimes, the complainant will decide not to pursue a formal complaint. When this happens, the Title IX Coordinator will either dismiss the complaint or decide to file the formal complaint themselves. Once the formal complaint is filed, the Coordinator will appoint the official Title IX Investigator to meet with the parties and gather more information. When they have completed their investigation, they will give the Coordinator an investigative report explaining what they have learned. The Coordinator will review the report and decide if the case should be dismissed or if they should schedule a hearing.

If the Coordinator determines that a disciplinary hearing is necessary, they will schedule it and appoint the hearing panel to oversee it. During the hearing, the complainant, the university, and the defending student can present their arguments, including witness testimony and relevant evidence. They will also have the opportunity to question one another’s witnesses. At the end, the hearing panel will meet separately to review what they have heard and determine if, based on the evidence presented, the student is responsible for violating Title IX in some way. They will also decide which sanctions to impose on the student. Sanctions at UGA can include anything from a formal reprimand, probation, or removal from student housing, to suspension, expulsion, or revocation of their degree. Whatever the outcome, you have the right to an appeal.

How an Experienced Title IX Defense Law Firm Can Help

The attorneys at Capovilla & Williams have years of experience helping students in Georgia navigate Title IX proceedings. They know what’s on the line and will work tirelessly to protect your future. Call 855-218-6432 today or schedule a free consultation online.