Academic Integrity, Student Misconduct and Title 9 cases are student emergencies that warrant talking to your guardian or parent and a lawyer before you convict yourself.

Any variety of student misconduct case, from academic integrity violations to covid 19 to sexual allegations, is a full-blown student emergency and needs to be treated as such. College students routinely don't want to tell their parents or guardians and consequently, by the time someone takes a dispassionate look at the accusations, the school has often rolled over the accused.

There is an inevitable tendency on the part of parents and students alike to think of their university as being a benevolent, fair-minded authority, capable of distinguishing a minor mistake from a major transgression. Regrettably, that is often not the case.

The universities have a difficult task. Many university students when polled, anonymously admit academic integrity violations in large numbers up to 90%. The Universities purport to uphold an " Honor Code" and yet if  90% of their students are "cheating" in some way, their solution is to punish those who get turned in disproportionately.

Similarly, college students often get involved in sexual issues associated with alcohol, drugs and libido. Feelings are often fraught in romantic relationships and sometimes these scenarios involve genuine sexual misconduct and sometimes anger at someone who spurned someone else. University Title 9 offices are deluged with such cases and determining which is which is very difficult.

The universities assume a broad jurisdiction and investigative authority. They often turn around their investigations quickly and hold disciplinary hearings with as little as three days notice. (Just was consulted on one today). Lawyers are largely prohibited and the accused students sometimes can have access to "student advocates" and sometimes are told none are available due to "conflicts of interest".

The conflicts aren't spelled out and the student accused is left to litigate their innocence on their own at a tribunal that convicts 90% of its defendants. The universities bristle at words like allegations, accusations,defendants and the like but when such a hearing suspends or expells you after years of study and tens of thousands of dollars in tutition payments, the sanction is commensurate with a significant criminal penalty.

So tell your parents and call a lawyer before you talk to any university personnel or you will convict yourself and suffer the consequences.

Robert V. Clark
Maryland Car Accident and Personal Injury Lawyer
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