Know your options under state law
and federal mandates
Students who report sexual misconduct have the right to decide to pursue a criminal process, an SMU grievance process or both processes at the same time. The internal grievance process does not delay the criminal process; the processes proceed independently of each other.
The criminal process: SMU Police notify the appropriate external law enforcement agency when sexual misconduct is reported. SMU Police also present the findings of their investigation to the appropriate external law enforcement agency. If a student who has reported sexual misconduct decides to pursue criminal charges, the district attorney’s office in the appropriate jurisdiction determines whether to present the case to a grand jury to obtain an indictment and proceed with a trial. SMU Police are available to counsel and accompany students through this process; call 214-768-3333.
The internal grievance process: A student who reports sexual misconduct may file a complaint under the University’s Title IX policy. The internal grievance process includes an investigation of the allegations, and sanctions within the SMU community may be imposed. After the conclusion of the investigation, either party may request a hearing before the University Conduct Board.
The internal grievance procedures required by Title IX offer students reporting sexual misconduct an avenue for holding violators accountable for their actions, in addition to the criminal process. For more information, contact the Office of Institutional Access and Equity, 214-768-3601.
The University regularly examines its internal grievance process in comparison with benchmark practices, taking into account adherence to state and federal laws, especially Title IX.
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