SMU accepts recommendations of Task Force
on Sexual Misconduct Policies and Procedures
May 8, 2013
DALLAS (SMU) – SMU President R. Gerald Turner announced today that he has
accepted the recommendations of the SMU Task Force on Sexual Misconduct
Policies and Procedures for maintaining and improving programs related to
sexual misconduct. The recommendations address areas including sexual
misconduct reporting procedures, requirements of Title IX of the Education
Amendments of 1972, the student conduct process, education programs for
students, enhanced training for staff and communications to parents.
Turner established the Task Force in September 2012 to re-examine the
University’s procedures and policies related to sexual misconduct to
determine what changes are needed. Among the 20 members of the Task Force
were external experts, including a representative of the Dallas County
District Attorney’s Office and the executive director of the Sexual Assault
Nurse Examiner (SANE) Initiative, as well as SMU students, faculty and staff
“Sexual misconduct is a serious issue at universities and colleges
nationwide, which are required by the federal government to investigate
allegations and hold violators accountable through an internal grievance
procedure,” Turner said. “Even without such requirements, SMU is committed
to policies and procedures that uphold community standards and foster a
healthy learning environment based on mutual respect, responsible behavior
and fair treatment of all students. I am grateful to the Task Force for its
careful deliberations and recommendations. SMU is committed to implementing
these changes and monitoring our practices.”
The Task Force made 41 recommendations, some of which address policies and
procedures in place at SMU that the group felt should be continued but
strengthened. Among these are procedures related to student reporting of
sexual misconduct and the process for dealing with sexual misconduct
allegations under the Student Code of Conduct. New initiatives recommended
include new and more extensive education programs for students, as well as
student mentoring and bystander intervention programs. Several Task Force
recommendations were implemented during the past year, such as expanding
information on SMU’s website.
Read more about the Task Force report.
Health and well-being:
A community commitment
SMU is committed to providing an educational environment that supports students’ health and well-being while they pursue their academic and personal goals. This commitment is fundamental to our mission as a University and as a community of trust whose members live, learn and work together.
Live Responsibly is a theme that not only encompasses concern for problems such as alcohol and substance abuse, but also a commitment to uphold SMU's high standards of behavior through its Code of Conduct. A healthy environment is one that is based on trust and respect and is free from harassment or other forms of inappropriate and illegal behavior. This site contains important information on procedures and resources that can help all SMU students to Live Responsibly in a caring community.
Sexual Misconduct Policies and Procedures
In October 2012, SMU President R. Gerald Turner charged a new Task
Force with examining SMU’s procedures and policies related to sexual
misconduct in comparison with benchmark practices. The Task Force was
asked to take into account adherence to state and federal laws,
especially Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.
In April 2013 the Task Force presented 41 recommendations to President
Turner, all of which he accepted.
Read more about the Task Force,
including its full report.
Sexual assault is a crime and a violation of
Title IX, as well as a violation of University policies including the Student Code of Conduct. Sexual assault is the most egregious form of sexual misconduct, and it is not tolerated in our University community. All students, faculty and staff members are urged to report sexual assaults to police at 911 or 214-768-3333. It is critical that anyone who has been sexually assaulted seek medical attention immediately.
Read more about where to obtain help if a sexual assault occurs and
SMU resources that provide support.
Students who have been sexually assaulted can decide to pursue a criminal or civil process, an SMU conduct review process or all processes at the same time. The federal government requires universities and colleges to investigate reports of sexual assault and to provide internal grievance procedures under Title IX.
Read more about criminal and disciplinary options under state laws and federal mandates.
When a sexual assault is reported to police and it is determined that
the alleged perpetrator may pose a continuing threat, SMU issues a
crime alert by campus email and, on a case-by-case basis, distributes fliers to
provide timely notification to the SMU community. Crime alerts contain
information about how to obtain help if an assault occurs, as well as
personal security tips.
SMU prohibits threats or acts of retaliation against students who are involved in a report of sexual assault or assisting with an investigation. Students who are threatened in any way should report their concerns to the Office of the Dean of Student Life or the SMU Title IX Coordinator.
Sexual assault is a serious issue at universities and colleges across the country, and it remains one of the most underreported crimes in all settings. By providing a conduct review process, issuing campus crime alerts and offering education about sexual assault, SMU seeks to provide an environment in which students feel comfortable coming forward to report violations, and in which violators are held accountable.
Substance Abuse Prevention
SMU has a permanent Commission on Substance Abuse Prevention, made up of mental health experts, student life administrators, faculty and students, which meets regularly to assess the University’s efforts and outcomes. The Commission’s 2011-12 report and previous reports are online.
SMU has joined the National College Health Improvement Project — along with peer institutions including Dartmouth, Stanford, Duke, Brown, Princeton, Purdue and Vanderbilt — to research new and innovative ways to fight binge drinking on campus.
We hope you will use the Live Responsibly site to learn about our many student services, including assessments, interventions, referrals, counseling and support for students in recovery.
In addition to this website, parents will find useful information in the SMU Family Handbook; the brochure, “What Parents and Families Should Know about Alcohol and Drugs on Campus”; and on the SMU Parents website.
If you are the victim of a crime or see something suspicious, contact the police:
• Call 911 from a campus phone
• Call 214-768-3333 from a cell
phone (note: calling 911 on a
cell phone on campus will
connect you with surrounding
stations but not SMU
• Pick up a blue-light campus
• If you are off campus, call 911
to reach police in your area or
214-768-3333 to reach SMU
• Report information
anonymously to SMUís
Silent Witness Program by
calling 214-SMU-2TIP or
SMU urges anyone who has been sexually assaulted to obtain medical care and alert police as soon as it is safe to do so . . .
Reporting an Assault
Campus officials, police and counselors can help, including with pursuing criminal and SMU disciplinary options . . .
Students who seek medical assistance for themselves or another due to intoxication of alcohol and/or drugs . . .
Trying to quit? You're not alone. If you’re ready to take back your life, SMU programs offer free and confidential help. . .
Faculty and staff can provide students with appropriate information, support and advice for success.
Sign in with your SMU ID and password.
SMU is part of a team researching new and innovative ways to fight binge
drinking . . .