A message from President Turner regarding sexual misconduct


September 19, 2018


Dear SMU community,

As a reminder to the campus community each semester, I am again sharing important information about sexual misconduct resources, policies and procedures that support safety and well-being at SMU.

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 studies show that sexual misconduct continues to be underreported across the country, we also want to maintain a supportive environment for campus community members to come forward immediately to obtain help and report incidents.

  • Download a pdf of the Sexual Misconduct Policies, Prevention and Resources booklet

All forms of sexual misconduct – including 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.

I urge all SMU community members to please read carefully the attached 2018-19 sexual misconduct booklet, which is also posted online. The SMU Title IX Harassment Policy also is attached and is available on the Office of Institutional Access and Equity website, smu.edu/iae. SMU Title IX Coordinator Samantha Thomas may be reached at 214-768-3601, by email at accessequity@smu.edu, or at the Perkins Administration Building, Room 204, for questions or to report sexual misconduct.

If you need help: 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 campus and community resources and options, including the options to pursue criminal charges and SMU’s internal grievance process. More information about resources for students and for faculty and staff, including the Employee Assistance Program, is online and in the booklet. 

If faculty or staff members receive reports of sexual misconduct from students, other employees or campus visitors, please remember that you are a mandatory reporter and must notify the SMU Title IX Coordinator. This procedure applies to all employees except for confidential counselors in Counseling Services and the Chaplain’s Office.

By being aware of SMU resources and policies, each of us can contribute to our community’s ongoing efforts to prevent and raise awareness of sexual misconduct. Please visit smu.edu/sexualmisconduct for more information.



R. Gerald Turner