August 25, 2017
Dear SMU community members:
As we begin a new academic year, I’d like to remind you of sexual misconduct resources, policies and procedures that support our campus community’s safety.
The Sexual Misconduct Policies, Prevention and Resources booklet contains important information about the serious issue of sexual misconduct. Sexual harassment, gender-based harassment, sexual violence, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking and sexual exploitation are violations of University policy and the federal law Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. In addition, sexual assault and other forms of sexual violence are crimes under Texas law punishable by imprisonment.
SMU will not tolerate sexual misconduct in any form and will vigorously pursue its policies and support state and federal laws. Members of our campus community are working together on multiple fronts to eliminate sexual misconduct, to provide care and support to those who experience it, and to hold violators accountable, while treating all parties in a fair manner. As national studies show that sexual misconduct too often goes unreported, we also want to maintain a supportive environment for campus community members to immediately come forward to obtain help and report incidents.
I urge all SMU community members to be informed about this issue. Please carefully read this booklet, and direct any questions you may have to the resources highlighted in its pages. I also encourage you to attend educational programs offered on campus throughout the year.
Anyone in our community who experiences sexual misconduct is urged to seek help as soon as possible. SMU resources include SMU Police, the SMU Title IX Coordinator and Deputy Coordinators, the Office of Violence Prevention & Support Services, and confidential counselors at SMU Counseling Services. They will provide support and information about resources and options, including the options to pursue criminal charges and SMU’s internal grievance process. The SMU Title IX Harassment Policy is on the Office of Institutional Access and Equity website, smu.edu/iae.
If faculty or staff members receive reports of sexual misconduct from students, please remember that you are considered a responsible employee and must notify SMU Title IX Coordinator Samantha Thomas of all sexual misconduct reports (214-768-3601 or email firstname.lastname@example.org). This procedure applies to all employees except for confidential counselors in Counseling Services and the Chaplain’s Office.
Each of us at SMU can play an important role in our community’s ongoing efforts to prevent and raise awareness of sexual misconduct. I ask that you, as a valued community member, support a caring, respectful environment and that you know about the policies and resources here to help you and others. For more information, please visit smu.edu/sexualmisconduct.
R. Gerald Turner