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Washington DC Fraternity/Sorority Life and Title IX

On many college campuses, fraternities and sororities are a central hub for activities, parties, and entertainment on campus. Although underage drinking and drug use in fraternity and sorority houses remains illegal, it still permeates the atmosphere at many houses. When allegations of sexual assault or misconduct arise under these conditions, an investigation into Washington DC fraternity/sorority life and Title IX is likely to ensue.

Colleges and universities must follow strict policies set forth by the federal government for investigating complaints of sexual misconduct under Title IX. Those schools who fail to promptly and aggressively discipline incidents of sexual misconduct could lose federal funding, which places immense pressure on schools to punish findings of misconduct. Due to the lack of procedural protections that Title IX proceedings offer to those accused of sexual misconduct, enlisting the assistance of an experienced lawyer can be crucial.

How Fraternity and Sorority Life Lead to Sexual Misconduct Allegations

Young college students who are away from their parents—probably for the first time in their lives—often make reckless choices, many of which revolve around alcohol, drugs, and sexual activity.  These reckless choices are too often fostered by a fraternity and sorority social scene in which binge-drinking and other-risk taking behaviors can lead to alcohol poisoning and drug overdoses.

In some situations, students make claims of sexual misconduct against other students, which can lead to an investigation into allegations that implicate both Title IX and Washington DC fraternity/sorority life.

Investigations into Sexual Misconduct

As general concerns by parents and students on college campuses have grown in recent years, the U.S. Department of Education has forced all colleges and universities that utilize federal funding to promptly and vigilantly investigate and adjudicate legitimate complaints of sexual misconduct on campus.

While the intent behind this policy is laudable, this pressure has resulted in an investigation and hearing process that often is grossly tipped in favor of the complainant. Unlike criminal prosecutions into sexual offenses, Title IX proceedings offer accused persons little in the way of procedural and evidentiary protections that are necessary to ensure fairness to all parties involved.

Title IX investigators have free reign to interview accused persons, talk to witnesses, and obtain documentary evidence—such as text messages, emails, and telephone records. During these proceedings, accused individuals have no right to an attorney, no right to ask questions of complaining parties, and no protection against the use of tainted, uncorroborated, or misconstrued evidence.

Understanding the Intersection of Fraternity/Sorority Life and Title IX in Washington DC

In many situations, the party atmosphere on college campuses and at fraternity and sorority houses leads to serious allegations of sexual misconduct. These allegations could have severe consequences for those accused which might follow them for the remainder of their lives.

If you are facing allegations of sexual misconduct, it might be highly beneficial to consult with a legal professional who understands the intersection of fraternity/sorority life and Title IX investigations in Washington DC. Because Title IX proceedings lack any real protections for those accused of sexual misconduct—despite the devastating results that can occur from a finding of misconduct—having an attorney on your side could be critical to protect your rights.

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