SMU is a community of trust whose very existence depends on adherence to standards of conduct. Student conduct that violates these standards is handled through the University Conduct Review Process. Cases of alleged student misconduct involving serious physical or psychological harm may be referred to an SMU Conduct Board. This includes cases involving sexual misconduct and/or sexual assault or attempted sexual assault. What follows is a summary of SMU’s policies and procedures on sexual misconduct and sexual assault. Please consult the Student Code of Conduct (Section 3.25) and the University Conduct Review Process for these policies and procedures in their entirety.
Sexual assault offenses include the actual or attempted intentional touching of an unconsenting person’s intimate parts (defined as genitalia, groin, breast, the buttocks, or clothing covering them) or forcing an unconsenting person to touch another’s intimate parts; rape; forcible sodomy; forcible oral copulation; and forcible sexual penetration, however slight, of another’s anal or genital opening with any object. These acts may be committed by a stranger or by acquaintance and must be committed either by force, threat, or intimidation, or otherwise without consent.
The Coordinator of Psychological Services for Women and/or SMU's Women's Center will conduct educational programs on sexual assault for students through the Wellness Program, the Orientation Week Program, the Extended Orientation Program (EOP) in the residence halls, and seminars for specific groups as requested. In addition, confidential, ongoing counseling for student survivors of sexual assault is available with the Coordinator of Psychological Services for Women and can be arranged through Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS). Confidential crisis counseling for faculty and staff survivors of sexual assault can be arranged through the Coordinator of Psychological Services for Women.
Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to report sexual assaults to the SMU Police Department, whether the assault occurs on or off campus, no matter who the alleged assailant is. Students may report sexual assaults to the SMU Police Department, the Dean of Student Life Office, or the Coordinator of Psychological Services for Women. Reporting a sexual assault to University officials or filing a police report does not automatically initiate criminal charges. It is important for persons who have been sexually assaulted to seek medical attention. The Coordinator of Psychological Services for Women is available to accompany students who have been sexually assaulted to the hospital and for counseling, if desired. A medical examination called a “Rape Kit Test,” conducted at either Presbyterian Hospital or Parkland Hospital in Dallas, will help preserve important evidence of the sexual assault if the person who has been sexually assaulted decides later to prosecute.
Persons with complaints of sexual misconduct and/or sexual assault allegedly committed by students, whether occurring on or off campus, should report such complaints to the Office of the Dean of Student Life. If the complainant wishes to proceed with formal charges through the SMU Conduct Review Process, an investigation is conducted, and the case may be referred to the SMU Conduct Board. See University Conduct Review Process Section I.(B.) “Rights of the Complainants and Respondents” in this Student Handbook for details.
Filing formal charges through the SMU Dean of Student Life Office does not preclude filing criminal and/or civil charges. Students who wish to file criminal and/or civil charges may receive information and assistance from the Office of the Dean of Student Life and the SMU Police Department.
Last revision - 27 June 2011