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Sexual Misconduct

SEXUAL MISCONDUCT 

Sexual misconduct is a violation of University standards of conduct for students, faculty, staff, and the University community, as well as a violation of the law. 

Sexual misconduct includes, but is not limited to,forcing, threatening to force, coercing, or deceiving another to engage in sexual activity, or engaging in sexual activity with another knowing that the activity is offensive or unwanted by that person or that person is unable to assess the nature of or control the conduct.  

Sexual misconduct also includes engaging in sexual activity with another when that person has impaired judgment or control due to drugs or other intoxicants.   

Engaging in sexual conduct without consent is a serious offense; furthermore, such consent, whether verbal or non-verbal may be withdrawn at any time, without regard to activity preceding the withdrawal of consent. 

 

The University will not tolerate such offenses that may not only cause physical harm but also emotional harm.  

 

The University is committed to treating victims/survivors with dignity and respect.  Hearing proceedings will strive to accommodate the needs of individuals while collecting information and hearing from any potential witnesses.  Violators of this policy may also be subject to criminal prosecution.  All members of the University community are asked to report violations of this policy to appropriate authorities by calling the Director of Student Life Office at 903-223-3062, the University Police at 903-334-6611 or by filling out an incident report form on the Student Life web site at: http://tamut.edu/Student-Life/Grievance%20Procedures/index.html 

It is the desire of the University to maintain an academic and work environment free of sexual harassment for students, faculty, and staff.  Sexual harassment violates the University’s long-standing policy against discrimination on the basis of sex and is also illegal.  It is prohibited in the employment context by Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and in the education context by Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972.  A complaint under this policy may be brought by a student based on the conduct of any university community member.  

 

Sexual harassment can be a very serious matter having far-reaching effects on the lives and careers of individuals.  Intentionally false accusations can have similar impact. The charge of sexual harassment is not to be taken lightly by a charging party, an accused party, or any member of the University community.  A person who knowingly and intentionally files a false complaint under this policy is subject to disciplinary action.

 

The employment and educational environment throughout A&M -Texarkana shall be free from all forms of sexual discrimination and sexual harassment. Conduct constituting sexual harassment is specifically prohibited and will result in appropriate sanctions. Sexual harassment, as defined in Section 39-03 of the Texas Penal Code, is a Class A misdemeanor and a violation of State and Federal statutes. 

 

Sexual harassment means unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal, visual, or physical conduct of a sexual nature, submission to which is made a condition of a person's exercise of enjoyment of any right, privilege, power, or immunity, either explicitly or implicitly. 

 

Further definition and clarification is found in System Policy 08.01 Civil Rights Protections and Compliance. This policy may be viewed on the following web site (http://sago.tamu.edu/policy/intro.htm) or may be obtained through the Human Resource/Civil Rights Protection Officer or the Director of Student Life. 

 

A student having a complaint of sexual harassment may be directed to the Director of Student Life.

 

An informal complaint is intended to result in the resolution of the complaint and an immediate halt of the unwelcome behavior. If the offending behavior does not cease, a formal complaint may be filed in writing with the Human Resource/Civil Rights Protection Officer or the Director of Student Life.

 

Appeals Process

A student complainant who is not satisfied with the outcome of a formal investigation may appeal the outcome to the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs. 

Appeals must be filed within ten (10) business days of receipt of the written notification of the final disposition of the complaint.  The Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs will either hear the appeal or have the appeal remanded to an appeals panel or other designated individual. 

The Appeal Panel shall consist of three members of the University: one faculty member, one staff member, and one student member.  Panel members shall be appointed by the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs. The Director of Student Life will provide training to the panel.  An Appeal Panel will normally be convened within twenty (20) business days following notification from the Director of Student Life.  The Panel shall review the file and recommend to the Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management whether to approve, reject, or modify an earlier decision or the consequences recommended or imposed.  The Vice President will inform the parties involved of his/her decision in writing within ten (10) business days of the hearing.

 

Reporting Requirements and General Information  

 

To assure University-wide compliance with this policy and applicable law, the Director of Student Life and Human Resource/Civil Rights Protection Officer must be advised of all reported incidents of sexual harassment and their resolution.  Reports in which the complainant’s and/or the accused names are not revealed should be reported generically.  That office will use this information to prepare annual statistical reports for the campus community on the incidence of sexual harassment.  The Director of Student Life Office and Human Resource/Civil Rights Protection Officer will monitor repeated complaints within the same division or against the same individual, to assure that such claims are appropriately handled. 

 

In all cases, a person who (1) reports or complains, (2) participates in an inquiry or investigation, or (3) is accused of sexual harassment incidents may be accompanied by an individual of his or her choice who shall be permitted to attend, but not participate in, the proceedings. 

 

The university will take appropriate steps to assure that a person who in good faith reports, complains about, or participates in an informal resolution or formal investigation of a sexual harassment allegation will not be subjected to retaliation. 

 

The University will also take appropriate steps to assure that a person against whom such an allegation is made is treated fairly. 

 

The University will also undertake appropriate follow-up measures to assure compliance with settlements and the goals of this policy.

 

Inquiries and complaints of sexual harassment shall be treated with the maximum degree of confidentiality.  Only when required by law or when personal safety is at risk will confidential information be acted upon or disclosed to others without a complainant’s consent.