Recently, the United States Department of Education released a proposal to overhaul the broken non-academic misconduct system that is in place at most colleges and universities. Universities routinely attempt to regulate the behavior of students–even for events that occur off-campus–by imposing punishments up to expulsion for things such as cyberbullying, hazing, and sexual misconduct. Usually the punishment is noted on the student’s transcript, making it nearly impossible to gain admission to another decent school.
The biggest proposed change for students who find themselves mired in the often one-sided investigation and adjudication process at college? A more level playing field.
Among the biggest changes proposed is the right to have an advisor cross-examine the accuser in a live hearing setting. Currently, some universities deny this basic right. Without the ability to question the accuser, an accused student is left in the position of “proving innocence,” instead of the university “proving guilt.”
If you or your son or daughter has been accused of misconduct by a university, it is important to secure trusted counsel as soon as possible. The stakes are too high, and the process is tilted in favor of the university. Make sure you have an advisor who understands how to protect your rights and keep your education on track.