Student Handbook Table of Contents

SMU Policy on Sexual Assault

Sexual assault and all acts of sexual violence are forms of sexual harassment that are prohibited by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and SMU Policy 2.5.1. Sexual assault also is a crime punishable under Texas law by imprisonment from two to 20 years, plus a fine up to $10,000.

Sexual assault will not be tolerated in our community. Students found responsible for sexual assault face disciplinary sanctions up to and including dismissal from the University.

In the event that a student experiences sexual assault, SMU has policies, procedures and resources in place that provide support. More information is available on SMU's Live Responsibly Health and Safety websitte - http://smu.edu/smunews/liveresponsibly/.

WHAT CONSTITUTES SEXUAL ASSAULT?

Under SMU Policy 2.5.1 and Title IX, sexual assault is considered an act of sexual violence, which is defined as a physical sexual act perpetrated against a person's will or where a person is incapable of giving consent due to the victim's use of drugs or alcohol. An individual also may be unable to give consent due to an intellectual or other disability. Learn more about SMU policy and the law - http://smu.edu/smunews/liveresponsibly/SexualMisconductTaskForce/SMU-policy-and-federal-and-state-law.asp

Consent means voluntary, clear, continuous, mutually understandable permission, given by words or actions, regarding one's willingness to engage in sexual activity.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE BEEN SEXUALLY ASSAULTED

Students are urged to report a sexual assault to police as soon as it is safe to do so; call 911 or 214-768-3333. It is critical that any student who has experienced sexual assault seek medical attention immediately, even if that student decides not to contact police. Learn more about resources here to help students - http://smu.edu/smunews/liveresponsibly/SexualMisconductTaskForce/sexual-assault-what-to-do.asp

At Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, a certified Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner will provide care and an exam that preserves evidence; 214-345-6203. SMU Police (214-768-3333) or an SMU Counseling and Psychiatric Services representative (214-768-4795) can contact the hospital's SANE Program and accompany students to the hospital.

It is important to preserve evidence before the exam. Students should not bathe, shower, douche or use toothpaste or mouthwash; students also should not wash clothing, bed sheets, pillows or other potential evidence.

SMU RESOURCES THAT ARE HERE TO SUPPORT STUDENTS

COMMUNITY RESOURCES

PURSUING CRIMINAL AND GRIEVANCE PROCESSES

Students who report sexual assault have the right to decide to pursue a criminal process, an SMU grievance process or both processes.

The criminal process: A student may decide immediately or at a later date to pursue criminal charges and prosecution in a Texas criminal court. SMU Police are available to counsel and accompany students through the criminal process; call 214-768-3333.

The grievance process: A student who reports sexual assault may file a complaint under the University's Title IX policy, Policy 2.5.1. The internal grievance process includes an investigation of the allegations, sanctions and an appeal process. For more information, contact the Title IX Coordinator, 214-768-3601.

Learn more about these processes - http://smu.edu/smunews/liveresponsibly/SexualMisconductTaskForce/sexual-assault-know-your-options.asp.

EDUCATION AND PREVENTION PROGRAMS

Educational and prevention programs on sexual misconduct are coordinated and provided by the Office of Psychological Services for Women and Gender Issues with SMU Counseling and Psychiatric Services (214-768-4795), the Assistant Director for Health Education (214-768-2393) and the Women & LGBT Center (214-768-4792).

These resources can connect students with faculty, staff and other students who are taking action against sexual assault.

 

Last revision - 24 July 2014