In light of UMBC’s prior Title IX case, the questioned has been raised whether incoming students are screened for past offenses. There are an array of questions that are asked when transfers apply to UMBC, as stipulated by the university’s procedures.
All applicants for undergraduate admission are required to answer three questions:
- Have you ever been found responsible for a disciplinary violation at any educational institution you have attended from the ninth grade (or the international equivalent) forward, whether related to academic misconduct or behavior misconduct, that resulted in a disciplinary action?
- Did you receive an other than honorable discharge, bad conduct discharge, or dishonorable discharge, education interruption?
- And finally, have you ever been adjudicated guilty or convicted of a misdemeanor, felony or other crime?
Additionally, when completing the application for undergraduate admissions, all students are required to certify that everything they say in their application is correct. The exact statement is “I certify that all information submitted in the admission process — including the application… is factually true and honestly presented…”
If any student answers affirmatively to any of those questions but meets the rest of the criteria for admission, they are notified in writing by the undergraduate admissions office that the student must contact the office of Student Judicial Programs to schedule a meeting with the director of Student Judicial Programs.
Once the meeting between the student and SJP has taken place, the director of SJP will make a recommendation to the assistant vice provost for undergraduate admissions, Orientation and School Partnerships and the student is notified of the school’s decision in writing.
The question of how UMBC handles incoming students who have sexual assault offenses, also relates to how UMBC handles cases that occur on campus.
When asked about how UMBC handles Title IX issues, Candace Dodson Reed, assistant vice president of communications and public affairs, stated that, “The sexual misconduct policy was developed to comply with existing state and federal regulations.”
However, Wendy Murphy, an attorney whose client was a UMBC female student who was “drugged and violently brutalized” within the past year, previously stated that, “The university’s standard of proof was lower than that of local law enforcement.”
In terms of evidence, there are three types of evidence considered in terms of relevance: character evidence (reflects on the reputation, patterns, personality and habits of the individual), pattern evidence (evidence of a pattern of similar conduct), prior sexual history between the parties (if there was an ongoing relationship) and prior sexual history between other parties (used in order to prove intent, motive, absence of mistake, or to explain an injury or physical finding).
According to Interim Title IX Procedures for Students, “Within five (5) calendar days of the conclusion of the review process, the Board of Review will simultaneously, provide a Notice of Review Outcome to the Reporting Party, Responding Party and the Investigator.” However, the prior Title IX case alleged against UMBC suggested that “the university did not adhere ‘with Title IX or Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.'”