A message from President Turner regarding sexual misconduct

A message from President Turner regarding sexual misconduct.

President Letterhead







Dear SMU community:


As a reminder to the campus community each semester, I am 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 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 please carefully read the attached 2017-18 booklet, which is also posted online, and direct any questions you may have to the resources highlighted in its pages. I also encourage you to attend campus educational programs on this serious issue.

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.

The SMU Title IX Harassment Policy is attached and also 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.

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 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, employees or campus visitors, please remember that you are considered a responsible employee 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.

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


Statement of Nondiscrimination

Southern Methodist University (SMU) will not discriminate in any employment practice, education program, education activity, or admissions on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, genetic information, or veteran status. SMU’s commitment to equal opportunity includes nondiscrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity and expression. The Executive Director for Access and Equity/Title IX [1] Coordinator is designated to handle inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policies, including the prohibition of sex discrimination under Title IX. The Executive Director/Title IX Coordinator may be reached at the Perkins Administration Building, Room 204, 6425 Boaz Lane, Dallas, TX 75205, 214-768-3601, accessequity@smu.edu. Inquiries regarding the application of Title IX may also be directed to the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education.

[1] TitleIX ofthe EducationAmendments of1972, 20U.S.C.§§ 1681-1688