Campus Disciplinary Process
What is SU’s policy on sexual misconduct? Is sexual misconduct the same as rape or sexual assault?
Rape and sexual assault are legal terms that apply under Texas’ criminal statutes. SU has its own personal conduct policies that include “sexual misconduct” (see Appendix C of this booklet or the current Student Handbook for the entire policy). The University defines sexual misconduct as any non-consensual contact, including but not limited to, unwanted sexual touching and/or sexual intercourse.
Consent to sexual acts requires an affirmative verbal response to a specific sexual suggestion. Without an affirmative verbal response, consent is not present. The absence of “no” does not mean “yes” and consent may be withdrawn at any time. It is also important to recognize that a person whose judgment is substantially impaired by drugs or alcohol, by other physical or mental impairment, or by various forms of coercion cannot give consent to sexual contact.
Students who violate the sexual misconduct policy may be subject to the University’s disciplinary system, if the victim elects to file a complaint with the University or if an official of the University is made aware that an assault has occurred.
In compliance with Title IX, whenever a University official learns of any sexual misconduct, an investigation must be pursued, even if the victim does not want to file a complaint. The goal behind Title IX’s mandate is to maximize the safety of all students on campus.
Can a student organization be held responsible for sexual misconduct?
Yes, student organizations may be held responsible for sexual misconduct if certain conditions exist. (See Sexual Misconduct Policy page 38 for complete list of conditions.)
What are my options for seeking redress through SU for sexual misconduct?
If you have an unwanted sexual experience you can make a formal complaint through the campus disciplinary system.
If I file a complaint through the University disciplinary system, can criminal or civil options still be pursued?
Yes. The campus disciplinary system is not meant to supplant other options. Regardless of your decision to file a complaint through the University disciplinary system, the options of pursuing criminal charges and civil lawsuits remain. However, if you file criminal or civil charges, you may have to wait until evidence collection is complete before the University pursues disciplinary options.
Victims who do not want to seek legal ramifications for the assailant – but who want a formal hearing of their complaint – might choose the campus disciplinary system. The campus disciplinary route proceeds much faster than the criminal system, and includes campus-level punishment if the accused student pleads or is found guilty.