Know your options under state law
and federal mandates
Students who report sexual assault have the right to decide to pursue a criminal process, an SMU grievance process or both processes. Students also may choose not to pursue criminal charges or file a grievance. The internal grievance process does not delay the criminal process; the processes proceed independently of each other.
The criminal process: SMU Police present the findings of their investigation to the appropriate external law enforcement agency. A student may decide immediately or at a later date to pursue criminal charges and prosecution in a Texas criminal court. A student also may choose not to pursue criminal charges. If a student 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 assault may file a complaint under the University’s Title IX policy, Policy 2.5.1. The internal grievance process includes an investigation of the allegations, sanctions and an appeal process.
The internal grievance procedures required by Title IX offer students reporting sexual assault an avenue for holding violators accountable for their actions, in addition to the criminal process. Students reporting sexual assault are encouraged to share as much information as they are comfortable sharing. Limited information provided to University officials may limit the actions the University is able to take in investigating an incident. For more information, contact the Title IX Coordinator, 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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