The President's Task Force on
Sexual Misconduct Policies and Procedures
President R. Gerald Turner created the Task Force on Sexual
Misconduct Policies and Procedures on September 28, 2012, to examine how
the University handles allegations of sexual misconduct among students.
The Task Force will review benchmark practices nationwide and hear
perspectives of local and national experts to determine whether any updates or
changes are needed at SMU. The examination will take into account adherence to
state and federal laws, especially Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972,
which requires colleges and universities to investigate and provide internal
grievance procedures for such allegations.
Charge to the Task Force
SMU is committed to providing the best possible learning environment for
students to achieve their educational and personal goals. Such an environment
must support student safety through University policies, standards of conduct,
educational programs, and campus resources.
Toward that end, SMU aspires to develop and maintain model programs that include
policies and procedures related to sexual misconduct.
The President’s Task Force is charged with the overarching goal of examining
SMU’s procedures and policies related to sexual misconduct in comparison with
benchmark practices to determine if any updates or changes are needed, taking
into account adherence to state and federal laws, especially
Title IX of the
Education Amendments of 1972. These policies and procedures aim to ensure that
all students are treated with care and fairness.
Specifically, the Task Force is asked to review the following to determine if
changes or additions are needed to strengthen SMU’s efforts:
- Sexual assault reporting procedures, including Clery Act compliance and
effective coordination among campus offices, the SMU Police Department and the
Dallas County District Attorney’s Office.
- The student conduct process as it relates to sexual misconduct, including the
structure of the grievance procedure required by Title IX and the make-up of
conduct review mechanisms.
- Programs and responses to ensure a harassment-free environment, particularly for
- Policies regarding students who are accused of sexual misconduct.
- Support services on and off-campus for students who are victims of sexual
- Orientation, training and education programs for all faculty, staff and
students, especially for those who serve in roles in which a student might
report a sexual assault (e.g., resident assistants), and who participate in
conduct review activities.
- Sexual misconduct policies and procedures that treat all parties involved with
care and fairness.
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