Sexual Misconduct Policy - UTDBP3102
Sec. 1 General Policy Statement
1.1 The University of Texas at Dallas (the University) is committed to maintaining a learning and working environment that is free from discrimination based on sex in accordance with Title IX of the Higher Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX), which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in educational programs or activities; Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), which prohibits sex discrimination in employment; and the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act (SaVE Act). Sexual misconduct, as defined in Sec. 10, Definitions and Examples, will not be tolerated and will be subject to disciplinary action.
1.2 The University will promptly discipline any individuals or organizations within its control who violate this Policy. The University encourages you to promptly report violations of this Policy to the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Coordinators (collectively "Title IX Office") or a Responsible Employee, as identified in Section 3.23 below.
1.3 Free Speech: This Policy encourages and respects the right of free speech guaranteed by the First Amendment of the Constitution and the principles of academic freedom. Constitutionally protected expression cannot be considered harassment under this policy. Each faculty member is entitled to full freedom in the classroom in discussing the subject which they teach. The right to free speech and principles of academic freedom are not absolute, however. The offensive conduct underlying some incidents might be protected speech, but it may still be in contradiction to the University's commitment to academic freedom, integrity, honesty, dignity, respect and honorable conduct (see generally Regents Rule 10901, Statement of U.T. System Values and Expectationsem>). In these instances, constitutional rights will continue to be protected, but the University will also exercise its right to speak and engage in educational dialogue with those engaged in these types of behaviors. Further, some offensive conduct, even though it contains elements of speech, may rise to the level of the type of conduct that creates a sexually hostile environment and, thus, violates this policy.
Sec. 2 Applicability
This Policy applies to all University administrators, faculty, staff, students, and third parties within the University's control, including visitors and applicants for admission or employment. It applies to conduct regardless of where it occurs, including off University property, if it potentially affects the complainant's education or employment with the University or potentially affects the University community. It also applies regardless of the gender, gender identity or sexual orientation of the parties. In addition, it applies to any complaint made verbally or in writing.
Sec. 3 Filing a Complaint and Reporting Violations
3.1 Submit complaint to the Title IX Coordinator:
800 W. Campbell Road SPN 15
Richardson, TX 75080
3000 Waterview Parkway Synergy Park North 2.720
Richardson, TX 75080
Online Report Submission: https://www.utdallas.edu/institutional-initiatives/title-ix/complaints/
3.2 All Members of the University Community, Third Party and Anonymous Complaints. All members of the University community are strongly encouraged to immediately report any incidents of sexual misconduct and other inappropriate sexual conduct to the Title IX Office.
- Anonymity: You may file an anonymous complaint by telephone, in writing or electronically http://www.utdallas.edu/titleix with the Title IX Office. Your decision to remain anonymous, however, may greatly limit the University's ability to stop the alleged conduct, collect evidence, or take action against parties accused of violating the Policy.
- Confidentiality: Most University employees are required to report and respond to complaints of sexual misconduct and may be unable to honor a request for confidentiality. Complainants who want to discuss a complaint in strict confidence may use the resources outlined in Section 3.6 below.
- Timeliness of Complaint: You should report sexual misconduct as soon as you become aware of such conduct.
3.3 Responsible Employees: You may also report incidents to Responsible Employees, as defined in Sec. 10, Definitions and Examples.
3.4 Reporting to Law Enforcement: You may also make a complaint with The University of Texas at University of Texas at Dallas Police Department at (972) 883-2222 (non-emergency) or 911 (emergency) or to other local law enforcement authorities. The Title IX Office can help individuals contact these law enforcement agencies. Employees and students with protective or restraining orders relevant to a complaint are encouraged to provide a copy to the University Police Department.
If a complaint of sexual misconduct is reported to the University Police Department, it shall advise the complainant of his or her right to file a complaint under this Policy. To the extent allowed by law and University policy, the University Police Department shall also notify the Title IX Coordinator of the complaint, and provide the Title IX Coordinator or the individual investigating the complaint access to any related University law enforcement records, so long as doing so does not compromise any criminal investigation.
3.5 Reporting to Outside Entities:
You may also contact the following external agencies:
Office of Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Education
1999 Bryan Street, Suite 1620
Dallas, TX 75201-6810
Office for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
1301 Young Street, Suite 1169
Dallas, TX 75202
Phone: (800) 537-7697
Fax: (214) 767-0432
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Dallas District Office
207 S. Houston Street, 3rd Floor
Dallas, TX 75202
Phone: (800) 669-4000
Fax: (214) 253-2720
Texas Workforce Commission
Civil Rights Division
101 E. 15th Street
Austin, TX 78778-0001
3.6 Confidential Support and Resources: Students may discuss an incident with Confidential Employees (as defined below) or an off-campus resource (i.e. rape crisis center, doctor, psychologist, etc.) without concern that the person's identity will be reported to the Title IX Office. Employees may also seek assistance from the Employee Assistance Program, their own personal health care provider, the clergyperson of their choice, or an off-campus rape crisis resource without concern that the person's identity will be reported to the Title IX Office.
The University and community resources that provide confidential services are:
Student Counseling Center
After hours helpline (972)-UTD-TALK
Student Health Center
(972) 883-2747 (After Hours Nurse Line)
Dallas Area Rape Crisis Center (Dallas, TX)
(972) 641-7273 (24-hour Crisis Hotline)
The Turning Point (Plano, TX)
(800) 886-7273 (24-hour Crisis Hotline)
3.7 Immunity: In an effort to encourage reporting of sexual misconduct, the University will grant immunity from student and/or employee disciplinary action to a person who acts in good faith in reporting a complaint, participating in an investigation, or participating in a disciplinary process. This immunity does not extend to the person's own violations of this Policy.
3.8 Title IX Coordinator and Deputy Coordinators: The Title IX Coordinator name and contact information can be found in Section 3.1 of this policy.
Sec. 4. Parties' Rights Regarding Confidentiality
The University has great respect for the privacy of the parties in a complaint. Under federal and state law, however, Responsible Employees (defined below) who receive a report of sexual misconduct must share that information with the Title IX Office. The Title IX Office may need to act to maintain campus safety and must determine whether to investigate further under Title IX, regardless of the complainant's request for confidentiality.
In making determinations regarding requests for confidentiality, requests to not investigate, and/or the disclosure of identifying information to the respondent, the Title IX Coordinator must deliberately weigh the rights, interests, and safety of the complainant, the respondent and the campus community. Factors the University must consider when determining whether to investigate an alleged incident of sexual misconduct include, but are not limited to:
- The seriousness of the alleged incident;
- Whether the University has received other reports of alleged sexual misconduct by the alleged respondent;
- Whether the alleged incident poses a risk or harm to others; and
- Any other factors the University determines relevant.
If the complainant requests the University not to investigate, the Title IX Coordinator must inform the complainant of the decision whether or not to investigate.
In the course of the investigation, the University may share information only as necessary with people who need to know, in compliance with the law, which may include but is not limited to the investigators, witnesses, and the respondent. The University will take all reasonable steps to ensure there is no retaliation against the parties or any other participants in the investigation.
Sec. 5. Resources and Assistance
5.1 Immediate Assistance
UT Dallas Police Department
(972) 883-2222 or 911
Student Counseling Center
After hours helpline (972)-UTD-TALK
Student Health Center
(972) 883-2747 (After Hours Nurse Line)
Dallas Area Rape Crisis Center (Dallas, TX)
(972) 641-7273 (24-hour Crisis Hotline)
The Turning Point (Plano, TX)
(800) 886-7273 (24-hour Crisis Hotline)
- Healthcare: If you experience any form of sexual, domestic, or dating violence, you are encouraged to seek immediate medical care. Also, preserving DNA evidence can be key to identifying the perpetrator in a sexual violence case. Victims can undergo a medical exam to preserve physical evidence with or without police involvement. If possible, this should be done immediately. If an immediate medical exam is not possible, individuals who have experienced a sexual assault may have a Sexual Assault Forensic Exam (SAFE) performed by a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) within 4 days of the incident. With the examinee's consent, the physical evidence collected during this medical exam can be used in a criminal investigation; however, you may receive a SAFE even if you choose not to contact police. To undergo a SAFE, go directly to the emergency department of the nearest hospital that provides SAFE services. Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano or Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas offer SAFE services and are located within 10 miles of the UTD campus. Additionally, UT Dallas students and staff may obtain a SAFE exam at the Student Health Center during normal business hours at no cost. For more information, contact the Student Health Center at (972) 883-2747 or see https://utdallas.edu/healthcenter/sane/. You are strongly encouraged to seek medical care even if you do not plan to request a SAFE or report the assault to the police. You may be prescribed medications to prevent sexually transmitted infections and/or pregnancy, or provided other medical treatment.
For more information about the SAFE, see https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/files/cvs/sexual_assault_examination.pdf. The cost of the forensic portion of the exam is covered by the law enforcement agency that is investigating the assault or, in cases in which a report will not be made to the police, the Texas Department of Public Safety. This does not include fees related to medical treatment that are not a part of the SAFE.
- Police Assistance: If you experienced or witnessed sexual misconduct, the University encourages you to make a report to the police. The police may, in turn, share your report with the Title IX Office.
A police department's geographic jurisdiction depends on where the sexual misconduct occurred. Thus, if the incident occurred on the University campus, you may file a report with the University of Texas at Dallas Police Department by calling (972) 883-2222 or in person at UT Dallas Police headquarters at 800 W. Campbell Road, PD11, Richardson, TX 75080, even if time has passed since the assault occurred. The UT Dallas Police Department can also assist with filing any protective orders. For more information regarding protective orders, see https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/cvs/protective-orders.
Reporting an assault to law enforcement does not mean the case will automatically go to criminal trial or to a University disciplinary hearing. If the University police are called, a uniformed officer will be sent to the scene to take a detailed statement. A police department counselor may also provide you with a ride to the hospital. You may also file a report with the University police even if the assailant was not a University student or employee. If the incident occurred off campus, you may also file a report with the local police department, even if time has passed since the assault occurred.
- Counseling and Other Services: If you experience sexual misconduct, you are strongly encouraged to seek counseling or medical and psychological care even if you do not plan to request a SAFE or report the assault to the police You may be prescribed medications to prevent sexually transmitted infections and/or pregnancy even if the police are not contacted or if a SAFE is not performed. Similarly, other individuals impacted or affected by a sexual misconduct complaint are encouraged to seek counseling or psychological care.
Students desiring counseling should contact:
Student Counseling Center
800 W. Campbell Rd, SSB45
Richardson, TX 75080-3021
Phone: (972) 883-2575
Fax: (972) 883-6143
24-hour Crisis Hotline: (972) UTD-TALK
Faculty and staff should contact:
Deer Oaks EAP Services
5.2 Interim Measures: The University will offer reasonably available individualized services to the parties involved in an alleged incident of sexual misconduct, when applicable.
Interim measures may include but are not limited to reassignment, suspension, counseling, extensions of time or other course-related adjustments, modifications of work or class schedules, withdrawal from or retake of a class without penalty, campus escort services, restrictions on contact between the parties, change in work or housing locations, leaves of absences, increased security and monitoring of certain areas of campus or other similar accommodations tailored to the individualized needs of the parties.
The University's ability to implement interim measures may be affected if the Complainant requests that the University not disclose the Complainant's identity to relevant University personnel involved in implementing interim measures.
Sec. 6 The Investigation Process—What You Need to Know
6.1 Key Officials in an Investigation
- Title IX Coordinator: The Title IX Coordinator is the senior University administrator who oversees the University's compliance with Title IX. The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for overseeing the administrative response to reports of sexual misconduct and is available to discuss options, provide support, explain University policies and procedures, and provide education on relevant issues. The Title IX Coordinator may designate one or more Deputy Title IX Coordinators.
Any member of the University community may contact the Title IX Coordinator with questions.
- Investigators: The Title IX Coordinator will ensure that complaints are properly investigated under this Policy. The Title IX Coordinator will also ensure that investigators are properly trained at least annually to conduct investigations that occur under this Policy.
6.2 Notification of University Offices Offering Assistance
After receiving a complaint, the Title IX Office will inform the parties of available resources and assistance.
6.3 Informal Resolution of Certain Complaints.
The parties may voluntarily agree to pursue informal resolution instead of or before the formal complaint process, but are not required to do so. This option is not permitted for sexual violence cases. Anyone who believes that they have been subjected to sexual misconduct may immediately file a formal complaint as described in Section 3 of this Policy. Anyone interested in the informal resolution process should contact the Title IX Coordinator. Before beginning the informal resolution process, the Title IX Coordinator must provide both parties full disclosure of the allegations and their options for formal resolution. At any time during the informal resolution process, the complainant may elect to discontinue the informal resolution process and file a formal complaint.
- Informal Assistance: The Title IX Coordinator will determine whether informal resolution is appropriate option based on the nature of the allegations and the parties' circumstances. Assistance may include providing the complainant with strategies for communicating with the offending party that the behavior is unwelcomed and should cease, directing a University official to inform the offending party to stop the unwelcomed conduct, or initiating mediation. However, the University may take more formal action, including disciplinary action, to ensure an environment free of sexual misconduct.
- Timeframe: Informal resolutions of a complaint will be concluded as soon as possible.
- Documentation: The University will document and record informal resolutions. The Title IX Coordinator will retain the documentation.
- Other Informal Assistance: A complainant may request informal assistance without the involvement of the other party if the assistance does not impose restrictions or obligations on, or otherwise adversely impact, the other party. Such assistance may include providing the complainant with strategies for communicating with the offending party that the behavior is unwelcomed and should cease or providing information regarding the complainant's options and resources.
6.4 Formal Complaint and Investigation
Formal Complaint: To begin the investigation process, the complainant should submit a written statement setting out the details of the conduct that is the subject of the complaint, including the following:
- complainant's name and contact information;
- name of the person directly responsible for the alleged violation;
- detailed description of the conduct or event that is the basis of the alleged violation;
- date(s) and location(s) of the alleged occurrence(s);
- names of any witnesses to the alleged occurrence(s); the resolution sought; and
- any documents or information that is relevant to the complaint.
The University may initiate an investigation regardless of the manner in which a complaint is received or whether a complaint is received at all. However, the complainant is strongly encouraged to file a written complaint. If the complaint is not in writing, the investigator should prepare a statement of what they understand the complaint to be and ask the complainant to verify that statement. The University office receiving the complaint must refer the complaint to the Title IX Coordinator.
- After an investigator is assigned, the respondent will be provided notice of the complaint and be allowed a reasonable time to respond in writing.
- The parties may present any information and evidence that may be relevant to the complaint, including the names of any witnesses who may provide relevant information.
- The investigators will interview relevant and available witnesses. Neither the complainant nor the respondent will normally attend these interviews or the gathering of evidence; however, if either one is permitted to attend, the other shall have the same right.
- The investigation of a complaint will be concluded as soon as possible after receipt of the complaint. The parties should be provided updates on the progress of the investigation.
- After the investigation is complete, a written report will be issued to the Title IX Coordinator and the appropriate administrator. The report shall include factual findings and a preliminary conclusion regarding each allegation of whether a policy violation occurred (based on a "preponderance of the evidence" standard).
- After the written report is completed, both parties will be allowed to inspect the report and will have reasonable and equitable access to all of the evidence relevant to the alleged violation(s) in the University's possession, subject to FERPA and Texas Education Code, Section 51.971. Each party will have 7 business days to submit written comments regarding the investigation to the Title IX Coordinator.
- Within 7 business days after the deadline for receipt of comments from the parties, the Title IX Coordinator will:
- request further investigation into the complaint;
- dismiss the complaint if it is determined that no violation of policy or inappropriate conduct occurred; or find that the Policy was violated.
- If disciplinary action or sanction(s) is warranted, it will be imposed in accordance with the applicable policies and procedures.
6.5 Standard of Proof: All investigations will use the preponderance of the evidence standard, as defined in Part 3, Definitions and Examples, to determine violations of this Policy.
6.6 Timeliness: Best efforts will be made to complete the complaint process in a timely manner by balancing principles of thoroughness and fundamental fairness with promptness.
At the request of law enforcement, the University may defer its fact-gathering until after the initial stages of a criminal investigation. In such an instance, the University will promptly resume its fact-gathering as soon as law enforcement has completed its initial investigation, or if the fact-gathering is not completed in a reasonable time, the University will move forward.
The filing of a complaint under this Policy does not excuse the complainant from meeting time limits imposed by outside agencies. Likewise, the applicable civil or criminal statute of limitations will not affect the University's investigation of the complaint.
6.7 Due Process and Privacy Rights
- The University will strive to ensure that the steps it takes to provide due process to the respondent will not restrict or delay the protections provided by Title IX to the complainant.
- The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) does not override federally protected due process rights of a respondent.
6.8 Remedies: In addition to sanctions that may be imposed pursuant to the appropriate disciplinary policy, the University will take appropriate action(s), to resolve complaints of sexual misconduct, prevent any recurrence and, as appropriate, remedy any effects, including but not limited to:
- Imposing sanctions against the respondent, including attending training, suspension, termination or expulsion;
- Ensuring the parties do not share classes, working environments or extracurricular activities;
- Making modifications to the on campus living arrangements of the parties;
- Providing comprehensive services to the parties including medical, counseling and academic support services, such as tutoring;
- Providing the parties extra time to complete or re-take a class or withdraw from a class without an academic or financial penalty;
- Determining whether sexual misconduct adversely affected the complainant's University standing;
- Designating an individual specifically trained in providing trauma-informed comprehensive services;
- Conducting a University climate check to assess the effectiveness of sexual misconduct prevention measures;
- Providing targeted training for a group of students, including bystander intervention and sexual misconduct prevention programs; and
- Issuing policy statements regarding the University's intolerance of sexual misconduct.
6.9 Sanctions and Discipline: Disciplinary action will be handled under the appropriate disciplinary policy depending on the status of the respondent.
- Student Code of Conduct – UTDSP5003
- Discipline and Dismissal of Classified Employees – UTDBP3056
- University Policy on Faculty Conduct – UTDPP1049
Sec. 7. Provisions Applicable to the Investigation
7.1 Assistance: During the investigation process, both parties may be assisted by an advisor, who may be an attorney; however, the advisor may not actively participate in a meeting or interview.
7.2 Time Limitations: Time limitations in these procedures may be modified by the Title IX Coordinator or appropriate administrator on a written showing of good cause by the parties or the University.
7.3 Concurrent Criminal or Civil Proceedings: The University will not wait for the outcome of a concurrent criminal or civil justice proceeding to take action. The University has an independent duty to investigate complaints of sexual misconduct. (Except as provided in Sec. 6.7).
7.4 Documentation: The University shall document complaints and their resolution and retain copies of all materials in accordance with state and federal records laws and University policy.
Sec 8.Dissemination of Policy and Educational Programs
8.1 This Policy will be made available to all University administrators, faculty, staff, and students online at https://policy.utdallas.edu/utdbp3102 and in University publications. Periodic notices will be sent to University administrators, faculty, staff and students about the University's Sexual Misconduct Policy, including but not limited to at the beginning of each fall and spring semester. The notice will include information about sexual misconduct, including the complaint procedure, and about University disciplinary policies and available resources, such as support services, health, and mental health services. The notice will specify the right to file a complaint under this Policy and with law enforcement and will refer individuals to designated offices or officials for additional information.
8.2 Ongoing Sexual Misconduct Training: The University's commitment to raising awareness of the dangers of sexual misconduct includes offering ongoing education through annual training and lectures by faculty, staff, mental health professionals, and/or trained University personnel. Preventive education and training programs will be provided to University administrators, faculty, staff, and students and will include information about primary prevention, risk reduction, including bystander intervention. See www.utdallas.edu/titleix for more information regarding available training.
8.3 Training of Coordinators, Investigators, Hearing and Appellate Authorities: All Title IX Coordinators, Deputy Coordinators, investigators, and those with authority over sexual misconduct hearings and appeals shall receive training each academic year about offenses, investigatory procedures, due process, and University policies related to sexual misconduct.
8.4 Annual Reporting and Notice: The University's Title IX General Policy Statement will be made available to all students, faculty, and employees online, in required publications and in specified departments.
Sec. 9. Additional Conduct Violations
9.1 Retaliation: Any person who retaliates against the parties or any other participants in an investigation or disciplinary process relating to a complaint, or any person who under this Policy opposed any unlawful practice, is subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal or separation from the University. If any participant in an investigation believes they have been subject to retaliation, they should immediately report the alleged retaliatory conduct to the Title IX Office. See Protection from Retaliation – UTDBP3105.
9.2 False Complaints: Any person who knowingly files a false complaint under this Policy is subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal or separation from the University. A finding that a respondent is not responsible for the sexual misconduct alleged does not imply a report was false.
9.3 Interference with an Investigation: Any person who knowingly and intentionally interferes with an ongoing investigation conducted under this Policy is subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal or separation from the University. Interference with an ongoing investigation may include, but is not limited to:
- Attempting to coerce, compel, or prevent an individual from providing testimony or relevant information;
- Removing, destroying, or altering documentation relevant to the investigation; or
- Knowingly providing false or misleading information to the investigator, or Title IX Office, or encouraging others to do so.
9.4 Failure to Report for Responsible Employees: Under state law, if a Responsible Employee knowingly fails to report all information concerning an incident the employee reasonably believes constitutes stalking, dating violence, sexual assault, or sexual harassment committed by or against a student or employee at the time of the incident, the employee is subject to disciplinary action, including termination.
For the purposes of Failure to Report, the definition of sexual harassment is broader than the definition of sexual harassment under this Policy and is defined as : Unwelcome, sex-based verbal or physical conduct that:
- in the employment context, unreasonably interferes with a person's work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment; or
- in the education context, is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that the conduct interferes with a student's ability to participate in or benefit from educational programs or activities at a postsecondary institution.
9.5 No Effect on Pending Personnel or Academic Actions Unrelated to the Complaint: The filing of a complaint under this Policy will not stop or delay any action unrelated to the complaint, including: (1) any evaluation or disciplinary action relating to a complainant who is not performing up to acceptable standards or who has violated University rules or policies; (2) any evaluation or grading of students participating in a class, or the ability of a student to add/drop a class, change academic programs, or receive financial reimbursement for a class; or (3) any job-related functions of a University employee. Nothing in this section shall limit the University's ability to take interim action.
Sec. 10 Documentation
The University shall confidentially maintain information related to complaints under this Policy, as required by law.
Definitions and Examples
Complainant: The student, employee or third party who presents as the victim of any prohibited conduct under this Policy, regardless of whether that person makes the report or seeks action under this Policy.
Coercion: The use of pressure to compel another individual to initiate or continue sexual activity against an individual's will. Coercion can include a wide range of behaviors, including psychological or emotional pressure, physical or emotional threats, intimidation, manipulation, or blackmail that causes the person to engage in unwelcome sexual activity. A person's words or conduct are sufficient to constitute coercion if they eliminate a reasonable person's freedom of will and ability to choose whether or not to engage in sexual activity. Examples of coercion include but are not limited to threatening to "out" someone based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression; threatening to harm oneself if the other party does not engage in the sexual activity; and threatening to expose someone's prior sexual activity to another person.
Confidential Employee: Confidential Employees include counselors in Counseling and Psychological Services, a health care provider in Health Services, or clergypersons. Additionally, employees who receive information regarding an incident of sexual misconduct under circumstances that render the employee's communications confidential or privileged under other law (such as attorneys) are also considered "Confidential Employees."
Note: Under state law, Confidential Employees who receive information regarding incidents of sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence or stalking committed by or against a student or an employee of the University, are required to report the type of incident to the Title IX Coordinator. Confidential Employees may not include any information that would violate a student's expectation of privacy. The Confidential Employee's duty to report an incident under any other law also applies.
Consent: A voluntary, mutually understandable agreement that clearly indicates a willingness to engage in each instance of sexual activity. Consent to one act does not imply consent to another. Past consent does not imply future consent. Consent to engage in sexual activity with one person does not imply consent to engage in sexual activity with another. Consent can be withdrawn at any time. Any expression of an unwillingness to engage in any instance of sexual activity establishes a presumptive lack of consent.
Consent is not effective if it results from: (a) the use of physical force, (b) a threat of physical force, (c) intimidation, (d) coercion, (e) incapacitation or (f) any other factor that would eliminate an individual's ability to exercise his or her own free will to choose whether or not to have sexual activity.
A current or previous dating or sexual relationship, by itself, is not sufficient to constitute consent. Even in the context of a relationship, there must be a voluntary, mutually understandable agreement that clearly indicates a willingness to engage in each instance of sexual activity.
Dating Violence: Violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim.
The existence of such a relationship shall be determined by the victim with consideration of the following factors:
- The length of the relationship;
- The type of relationship; and
- The frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship
Dating violence includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse. It does not include acts covered under the definition of domestic violence.
Domestic (Family) Violence: Includes felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the state of Texas, or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the state of Texas.
Hostile Environment: An environment in which unwelcome sex-based conduct is sufficiently severe or pervasive so as to deny or limit the individual's ability to participate in or benefit from the University's programs or activities or an employee's terms and conditions of employment. A hostile environment can be created by anyone involved in a University's program or activity (e.g., administrators, faculty members, employees, students, and University visitors).
In determining whether sex-based conduct has created a hostile environment, the University considers the conduct in question from both a subjective and objective perspective. It will be necessary, but not adequate, that the conduct was unwelcome to the individual who was harassed. To conclude that conduct created or contributed to a hostile environment, the University must also find that a reasonable person in the individual's position would have perceived the conduct as undesirable or offensive.
To determine whether a hostile environment exists, the University considers a variety of factors related to the severity, persistence, or pervasiveness of the conduct, including: (1) the type, frequency, and duration of the conduct; (2) the identity and relationships of the persons involved; (3) the number of individuals involved; (4) the location of the conduct and the context in which it occurred; and (5) the degree to which the conduct affected an individual's education or employment.
The more severe the conduct, the less need there is to show a repetitive series of incidents to find a hostile environment. Indeed, a single instance of sexual assault may be sufficient to create a hostile environment. Likewise, a series of incidents may be sufficient even if the conduct is not particularly severe.
Incapacitation: Incapacitation is the inability, temporarily or permanently, to give consent because the individual is mentally and/or physically helpless, either voluntarily or involuntarily, or the individual is unconscious, asleep, or otherwise unaware that the sexual activity is occurring. In addition, an individual is incapacitated if they demonstrate that they are unaware at the time of the incident of where they are, how they got there, or why or how they became engaged in a sexual interaction.
The University offers the following guidance on consent and assessing incapacitation:
When alcohol is involved, incapacitation is a state beyond drunkenness or intoxication. When drug use is involved, incapacitation is a state beyond being under the influence or impaired by use of the drug. Alcohol and other drugs impact each individual differently, and determining whether an individual is incapacitated requires an individualized determination.
In evaluating consent in cases of alleged incapacitation, the University asks two questions:
- Did the person initiating sexual activity know that the other party was incapacitated?
- Should a sober, reasonable person in the same situation have known that the other party was incapacitated?
If the answer to either of these questions is "YES", consent was absent and the conduct is likely a violation of this Policy.
One need not be a medical expert in assessing incapacitation. One should look for the common and obvious warning signs that show that a person may be incapacitated or approaching incapacitation. Although every individual may show signs of incapacitation differently, some signs include clumsiness, difficulty walking, poor judgment, difficulty concentrating, slurred speech, vomiting, combativeness, incontinence or emotional volatility. A person who is incapacitated may not be able to understand some or all of the following questions: "Do you know where you are?" "Do you know how you got here?" "Do you know what is happening?" "Do you know whom you are with?"
An individual's level of intoxication may change over a period of time based on a variety of subjective factors, including the amount of substance intake, speed of intake, body mass, and metabolism. It is especially important, therefore, that anyone engaging in sexual activity is aware of both their own and the other person's level of intoxication and capacity to give consent.
The use of alcohol or other drugs can lower inhibitions and create an atmosphere of confusion about whether consent is effectively sought and freely given. If there is any doubt as to the level or extent of one's own or the other individual's intoxication or incapacitation, the safest course of action is to forgo or cease any sexual contact.
Being impaired by alcohol or other drugs is no defense to any violation of this Policy.
Intimidation: Unlawfully placing another person in reasonable fear of bodily harm through the use of threatening words and/or other conduct, but without displaying a weapon or subjecting the victim to actual physical attack.
Other Inappropriate Sexual Conduct: Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature directed towards another individual that does not rise to the level of sexual harassment but is unprofessional, inappropriate for the workplace or learning environment. It also includes consensual sexual conduct that is unprofessional and inappropriate for the workplace or learning environment. Depending on the facts of a complaint, the conduct may not violate this Policy but may violate other university policies including but not limited to standards of conduct or professionalism policies.
Parties: The term "parties" refers to the "complainant" and the "respondent" in a Title IX complaint.
Preponderance of the Evidence: The greater weight of the credible evidence. Preponderance of the evidence is the standard for determining allegations of sexual misconduct under this Policy. This standard is satisfied if the action is deemed more likely to have occurred than not.
Respondent: The student, employee, or third party who has been accused of violating this policy.
Responsible Employee: A University employee who has the duty to report incidents of and information reasonably believed to be sexual misconduct to the Title IX Office All employees are Responsible Employees except Confidential Employees. Responsible Employees include all administrators, faculty, staff, residential life staff, peer advisors, graduate teaching assistants, graduate research assistants, academic advisors, UT Dallas police officers, public safety officers, and athletic coaches and staff, Responsible Employees must report all known information concerning the incident to the Title IX Office, and must include whether a complainant has expressed a desire for confidentiality in reporting the incident.
Retaliation: Any adverse action threatened or taken against someone because the individual has filed, supported, provided information in connection with a complaint of sexual misconduct or engaged in other legally protected activities. Retaliation includes, but is not limited to, intimidation, threats or harassment against any complainant, respondent, witness or third party.
Sexual Assault: An offense that meets the definition of rape, fondling, incest, or statutory rape:
- Rape: the penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.
- Fondling: The touching of the private body parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her age or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental incapacity.
- Incest: Sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law.
- Statutory Rape: Sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent.
Sexual Exploitation: Conduct where an individual takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for their own benefit, or to benefit anyone other than the one being exploited. Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to, engaging in voyeurism; forwarding of pornographic or other sexually inappropriate material by email, text, or other channels to non-consenting students/groups; the intentional removal of a condom or other contraceptive barrier during sexual activity without the consent of a sexual partner; and any activity that goes beyond the boundaries of consent, such as recording of sexual activity, letting others watch consensual sex, or knowingly transmitting a sexually transmitted disease (STD) to another.
Sexual Harassment: Unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature when:
- Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of a person's student status, employment, or participation in University activities; or
- Such conduct is sufficiently severe or pervasive that it creates a hostile environment, as defined in this Policy.
Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that includes:
- Sexual violence, sexual assault, stalking, domestic violence and dating violence as defined herein.
- Physical conduct, depending on the totality of the circumstances present, including frequency and severity, including but not limited to:
- unwelcome intentional touching; or
- deliberate physical interference with or restriction of movement.
- Verbal conduct not necessary to an argument for or against the substance of any political, religious, philosophical, ideological, or academic idea, including oral, written, or symbolic expression, including but not limited to:
- explicit or implicit propositions to engage in sexual activity;
- gratuitous comments, jokes, questions, anecdotes or remarks of a sexual nature about clothing or bodies;
- gratuitous remarks about sexual activities or speculation about sexual experiences;
- persistent, unwanted sexual or romantic attention;
- subtle or overt pressure for sexual favors;
- exposure to sexually suggestive visual displays such as photographs, graffiti, posters, calendars or other materials; or
- deliberate, repeated humiliation or intimidation based upon sex.
Sexual Misconduct: A broad term encompassing a range of non-consensual sexual activity or unwelcome behavior of a sexual nature. The term includes, but is not limited to, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, sexual intimidation, sex-based harassment, sexual harassment, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. The term also includes "other inappropriate sexual conduct," as defined above. Sexual misconduct can be committed by any person, including strangers or acquaintances.
Sexual Violence: Physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person's will or where a person is incapable of giving consent. The term includes, but is not limited to, rape, sexual assault, sexual coercion, sexual abuse, indecency with a child, and/or aggravated sexual assault.
Stalking: Engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for his or her safety or the safety of others, or suffer substantial emotional distress. For the purposes of this definition:
- Course of conduct means two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which the stalker directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about a person, or interferes with a person's property.
- Reasonable person means a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the victim.
- Substantial emotional distress means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.
Violence: Conduct, other than defensive measures to protect oneself, that is intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault, or that is a threat that reasonably places the victim in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault.
Questions or comments regarding this policy should be directed to the Title IX Coordinator (TitleIXCoordinator@utdallas.edu).
Relevant Federal and State Statutes and Standards
- Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. §§ 1681–1688 and its implementing regulations, 34 C.F.R. Part 106
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. §§2000e–2000e-17 and its implementing regulations 29 C.F.R. §1604 11.
- Clery Act, 20 U.S.C 1092(f) and its implementing regulations 34 C.F.R. Part 668
- FERPA Regulations, 34 C.F.R. Part 99
- Texas Education Code §§ 51.9363-51.9366
- Texas Education Code, Subchapter E-2: Reporting Incidents of Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Dating Violence, and Stalking §51.251-51.259
Relevant State Criminal Laws
- Dating Violence – Texas Family Code § 71.0021
- Family Violence – Texas Family Code § 71.004
- Harassment – Texas Penal Code § 42.07
- Invasive Visual Recording; Unlawful Disclosure or Promotion of Intimate Visual Material; Voyeurism; Sexual Coercion – Texas Penal Code §§ 21.15-21.18
- Sexual Assault – Texas Penal Code § 22.011
- Stalking – Texas Penal Code § 42.072
Other Relevant Policies, Procedures, and Forms
- Non-Discrimination Policy - UTDBP3090
- Consensual Relationships – UTDBP3103
- Protection from Retaliation – UTDBP3105
- Student Code of Conduct – UTDSP5003
- Discipline and Dismissal of Classified Employees – UTDBP3056
- University Policy on Faculty Conduct – UTDPP1049
- Regents' Rules and Regulations, Rule 31008, Termination of a Faculty Member
- Regents' Rules and Regulations, Rule 30105, Sexual Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, and Consensual Relationships
- University of Texas System Administration Systemwide Policy (UTS 184), Consensual Relationships
 Appropriate report redactions will be made to comply with Texas Education Code, Section 51.971, and other applicable state and federal laws.
 Depending on the facts of a particular case, the University may investigate claims of a hostile work environment under this Policy, the University's Nondiscrimination Policy, or both. See Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, January 2001 Revised Sexual Harassment Guidance, page 2.
- Issued: 1998-06-01
- Revised: 2012-02-21
- Revised: 2015-10-16
- Editorial Amendments: 2016-11-11
- Revised: 2019-01-10
- Editorial Amendments: 2019-03-28
- Revised: 2020-02-28