How to Avoid Student Misconduct, Title IX and Academic Integrity Investigations

college student school academic misconduct cheating sexual assaultAs area universities and colleges come back into session the summer lull of student misconduct, academic integrity and Title IX cases, comes to an end.

So how do you avoid being caught up in such a proceeding?  The answer or answers vary from case type to case type but a few constructive suggestions follow.

Student misconduct cases involve a host of different conduct including underage drinking, fights, illegal drug use, destruction of property and criminal acts. Obviously the best advice is don't do these things but in the real world many undergraduates get their introduction to alcohol, pot and other substances on campus.

So, don't be indiscreet, don't get too bombed and don't admit to anything when you get caught. Just as in the outside world many of these campus-based behaviors are "crimes" which can be prosecuted. And just as in the real world "You have a right to remain silent."

The Miranda warnings exist because many people are stupid and admit their involvement in criminal activity with the hope that the police, courts and universities will go easier on them if they tell the truth. That outcome is rare. The police count on prospective defendants admitting guilt or they can't make many cases. Don't do that to yourself.

For Title IX cases, many involve misunderstandings between sexual partners, often because of alcohol and drugs. So if your prospective sexual partner is at all intoxicated or you and your partner are intoxicated, you should assume that they can't consent to sexual activity. If they can't consent there exists the very real possibility that your evening of sexual congress may end up with a rape allegation the next day or at a minimum, a Title IX university based investigation, which could have enormous repercussions.

Passion is a hard thing to slow down but in the present day there is a great deal of momentum examining drunken sexual conduct and you don't want to be on the wrong end of it either as a victim or aggressor.

Academic integrity cases are generally about plagiarism or cheating and the technological advances in detecting either is impressive. You may use your friend in California's Chegg account for your chemistry midterm but if your answer has certain content or hallmarks your professor will know and you will get an XF in the class.

Similarly, if you consult a classmate and your reasoning and answers (even if wrong) are similar it will be detected and you will both get XFs. So what do you do? The answer is read the exam or assigment's instructions very carefully. If they say no collaboration with anyone else, respect that even if you  get a lower grade. If the instructions say no using homework websites then don't because they will be looking for it.

 If you do become swept up talk to a lawyer before you say anything to the University, its investigators or the professor who is accusing you of academic misconduct. You will be glad you did.

Robert V. Clark
Maryland Car Accident and Personal Injury Lawyer
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