SMU policy and federal and state law
SMU’s Title IX (Sexual Misconduct) policy strictly prohibits sexual misconduct. Students found responsible for sexual misconduct face disciplinary sanctions up to and including expulsion from the University.
Sexual misconduct encompasses all forms of sexual harassment prohibited by SMU and the federal law Title IX. Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that has the effect of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working or academic environment.
Sexual harassment also includes sexual assault and other acts of sexual violence, which Title IX and SMU define 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.
Consent means voluntary, clear, continuous, mutually understandable permission, given by words or actions, regarding one's willingness to engage in sexual activity.
Past consent does not imply future consent. Silence or an absence of resistance does not imply consent. A person who is asleep or unconscious cannot give consent. Consent to engage in sexual activity with one person does not imply consent to engage in sexual activity with another person. Consent can be withdrawn at any time. The use of coercion, force or the threat of either invalidates consent.
In addition to violating SMU policy and federal law, sexual assault is a crime punishable under Texas law by imprisonment from two to 20 years plus a fine up to $10,000. A person convicted of sexual assault must register as a sex offender for the remainder of his or her life.
SMU is committed to maintaining a campus where sexual assault does not occur. However, studies have shown that sexual assault is an underreported crime nationwide and that sexual assaults reported on college campuses often involve students who know one another. SMU, therefore, seeks to provide a supportive environment for students to come forward to report any violations and to obtain help.
Much of the information on this website focuses on resources and complaint options available in cases of sexual assault. Please note, however, that the resources are available in all cases of sexual misconduct, including sexual harassment.
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