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Sexual Harassment / Sexual Misconduct

The University of Texas at Austin is committed to maintaining an educational environment that is free from inappropriate conduct of a sexual nature. UT Austin encourages students who believe that they may have been subjected to sex discrimination, sexual harassment or sexual misconduct by university faculty, staff, students, visitors or contractors to report it immediately to Christa F. López, Associate Director of Student Emergency Services, Office of the Dean of Students, at 512-471-5017. Students may also contact Katherine Antwi Green, Assistant Vice President for the Office of Institutional Equity, at 512-471-1849.

The university believes it is essential to ensure that students are aware of their rights and responsibilities concerning sex discrimination, sexual harassment and sexual misconduct. This guide is intended to:

  • Provide students with information about sex discrimination, sexual harassment and sexual misconduct and the university's policy concerning such conduct;
  • Provide examples of the types of conduct by faculty, staff or visitors that may be considered to be sex discrimination, sexual harassment and sexual misconduct under that policy; and
  • Inform students of the resources available to them if they believe they have been subjected to sex discrimination, sexual harassment or sexual misconduct.

This guide is not the official statement of university policies and procedures regarding sex discrimination, sexual harassment and sexual misconduct. The official policies may be found in the Handbook of Operating Procedures.


Click on any of the questions below to jump to the answer:

What is Sex Discrimination, Sexual Harassment or Sexual Misconduct?

What is the university's policy on Sex Discrimination, Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct?

What should I do if I think I have been subjected to Sex Discrimination, Sexual Harassment or Sexual Misconduct?

What are the available options for bringing a complaint of Sex Discrimination or Sexual Harassment?

What are the available options for reporting Sexual Misconduct?

What should I do if I believe I am being subjected to Sex Discrimination, Sexual Harassment or Sexual Misconduct by another student?

What should I do if I have a university job and believe I am being subjected to Sex Discrimination, Sexual Harassment or Sexual Misconduct by my supervisor or a fellow employee?

What is the university's policy on consensual relationships?


What is Sex Discrimination, Sexual Harassment or Sexual Misconduct?

Sex discrimination involves conduct directed at a specific individual, or group of identifiable individuals, which subjects the individual or group to treatment that adversely affects their employment or education on account of their gender.

Behaviors that, depending on the totality of the circumstances present, may constitute sex discrimination include, but are not limited to:

  • Exclusion from educational resources or activities on the basis of one's gender;
  • Being subjected to jokes or derogatory comments about one's gender; or
  • Being held to different standards or requirements on the basis of one's gender.

Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that involves the imposition of an unwanted condition or requirement on the continued employment or education of the victim. Two forms of sexual harassment are recognized:

  • Quid pro quo harassment involves unwelcome sexual advances and/or requests for sexual favors, whether implicit or explicit, which are made a condition of continued employment or education. Only persons with the power to confer or withhold an employment or educational benefit, such as persons responsible for the direct supervision or evaluation of employees or students, can engage in quid pro quo harassment.
  • Hostile environment harassment usually involves persistent, pervasive, unwelcome and/or unwanted conduct of a sexual nature that has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's performance as an employee or student, or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive employment or educational environment.

Sexual harassment can occur when:

  • The submission to unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment or education; or
  • The submission or rejection of unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature is used as a basis for academic or employment decisions or evaluations; or
  • Unwelcome physical acts of a sexual nature, or unwelcome requests for sexual favors or other verbal conduct of a sexual nature, have the effect of creating an objectively hostile environment that interferes with employment or education on account of sex.

Behaviors that may constitute sexual harassment include, but are not limited to:

  • Intentional touching;
  • Explicit or implicit propositions to engage in sexual activity;
  • Gratuitous comments of a sexual nature such as explicit statements, questions, jokes or anecdotes;
  • Remarks of a sexual nature about a person's clothing or body;
  • Remarks about sexual activities or speculation about sexual experiences;
  • Exposure to gratuitous sexually suggestive visual displays such as photographs, graffiti, posters, calendars or other materials;
  • Deliberate physical interference with or restriction of an individual's movements;
  • Persistent, unwanted sexual/romantic attention;
  • Subtle or overt pressure for sexual favors; or
  • Deliberate, repeated humiliation or intimidation based upon the sex of the individual.

When deciding whether conduct unreasonably interferes with an individual's performance or creates an intimidating or hostile environment, the university will consider the totality of circumstances, including the context of the conduct, its severity, frequency, and whether it was physically threatening and humiliating or a mere offensive utterance. A single, isolated incident of such conduct, if sufficiently severe, can constitute sexual harassment under this policy.

Sexual misconduct is a concept taken from the Regents' Rules ethics statement. Sexual misconduct is conduct of a sexual nature that, although not so serious or pervasive that it rises to the level of sex discrimination or sexual harassment, is unprofessional and/or inappropriate for the educational and working environment. The purpose of prohibiting sexual misconduct is to discourage and, if necessary, take disciplinary action against inappropriate or unprofessional activity of a sexual nature in the workplace or classroom, even if that conduct appears to be welcomed and consensual or is not so serious or pervasive that it meets the definition of sex discrimination or sexual harassment.

Examples of behavior that could constitute sexual misconduct include, but are not limited to:

  • Repeatedly engaging in sexually oriented conversations, comments or horseplay, including the use of language or the telling of jokes or anecdotes of a sexual nature in the workplace, office or classroom, even if such conduct is not objected to by those present;
  • Gratuitous use of sexually oriented materials not directly related to the subject matter of a class, course or meeting, even if not objected to by those present;
  • Failure to observe the appropriate boundaries of the supervisor/subordinate or faculty/student relationship, including participation of a supervisor, teacher, advisor or coach in an unreported consensual romantic or sexual relationship with a subordinate employee or student; or
  • Participation of a supervisor, teacher, advisor or coach in a consensual romantic or sexual relationship with a subordinate employee or student in all cases creates a prohibited conflict of interest that must be addressed under the policy on consensual relationships (see Handbook of Operating Procedures, Policy Number 3-3050).

What is the university's policy on Sex Discrimination, Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct?

It is the policy of The University of Texas at Austin to provide an educational and working environment for its students that is free from sex discrimination, sexual harassment and sexual misconduct by members of the university community, visitors to campus and by those who have business or educational relationships with the university. Sex discrimination, sexual harassment and sexual misconduct in any form will not be tolerated, and individuals who engage in such conduct will be subject to disciplinary action. The university encourages students, faculty, staff and visitors to promptly report sex discrimination, sexual harassment or sexual misconduct.

The full text of the Sex Discrimination and Sexual Harassment policy is available in the Handbook of Operating Procedures, Policy Number 4.B.2. This policy applies to the conduct of all university employees, students, visitors and contractors.

The full text of the Sexual Misconduct policy is available in the Handbook of Operating Procedures, Policy Number 4.A.3. This policy applies to the conduct of all university employees, students, visitors and contractors.


What should I do if I think I have been subjected to Sex Discrimination, Sexual Harassment or Sexual Misconduct?

Confront the offender: A student may, at any time, personally confront the individual whose conduct is offensive, unwelcome or intimidating and request that such conduct stop. If you choose to do this, be direct and consistent. Explain that the conduct is offensive or makes you feel intimidated or uncomfortable and ask that it stop. Make sure your message to the individual is clear. However, if this action is not feasible or successful, or if a student feels uncomfortable taking this approach, the options described below are also available.

Report it: Persons who are subjected to sex discrimination, sexual harassment or sexual misconduct may feel confused and helpless or blame themselves for the offensive behavior. They may also be afraid of retaliation and be reluctant to let anyone know about their situation. It is important for anyone who believes they have been subjected to inappropriate conduct to report it and get help to protect themselves and others from unwanted sexual attention and advances that may interfere with academic opportunities and performance.

Any student who believes that he or she may have been subjected to sex discrimination, sexual harassment or sexual misconduct is encouraged to report such conduct to the Office of the Dean of Students or to the Office of Institutional Equity. Such conduct may also be reported to any university supervisor, administrator or official, such as deans, department chairs or supervisors, who are responsible for immediately notifying the dean of students of such a report. No employee or student is ever required to report or make a complaint of sex discrimination, sexual harassment or sexual misconduct to the person who is the subject of the complaint.

Consulting and reporting resources for students:

Any student who believes that he or she may have been subjected to sex discrimination, sexual harassment or sexual misconduct by a member of the faculty or staff of the university, fellow student, contractor or visitor to the university campus is encouraged to consult with or report such conduct immediately to any of the following:

  • Christa F. López, Associate Director of Student Emergency Services, at 512-471-5017, or visit the Office of the Dean of Students, Student Services Building, Suite 4.104.
  • Student Judicial Services,
    in the Office of the Dean of Students, 512-471-2841, Student Services Building 4.104 (*student to student cases only).
  • Katherine Antwi Green
    Assistant Vice President for the Office of Institutional Equity, at 512-471-1849.
  • Any supervisor, administrator or UT Austin official.

To insure that situations that may involve sex discrimination, sexual harassment or sexual misconduct are handled appropriately, every supervisor, administrator and university official, including but not limited to deans and department chairs, is responsible for promptly referring incidents of sex discrimination, sexual harassment and sexual misconduct that come to their attention to either the Office of the Dean of Students or to the Office of Institutional Equity.

Complaints or allegations that a student is exhibiting sex discrimination, sexual harassment or sexual misconduct toward another student, faculty or staff member will be referred to the Student Judicial Services in the Office of the Dean of Students in accordance with the university's Institutional Rules on Student Services and Activities, Chapter 11, Student Discipline and Conduct.

Document it: It is important that the incident about which you are filing a complaint be documented as soon as possible after its occurrence, especially if there is a formal investigation of the complaint. The written account should include the date, time and place of each incident, the behavior involved in the incident, your response to it, and the names of any witnesses. It is also important to retain any documents that pertain to the incident, such as notes, letters and e-mail. A complaint form is available to anyone wishing to file a formal complaint under the university's Sex Discrimination and Sexual Harassment policy.

Find out what your options are: There are a number of different ways in which the university can respond to complaints of sex discrimination, sexual harassment and sexual misconduct. To find out more about the options available to students, contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 512-471-5017, the Office of Institutional Equity at 512-471-1849, or any university official, administrator or supervisor.

Get personal support if necessary: People who have been subjected to sex discrimination, sexual harassment or sexual misconduct will often benefit from the personal, professional and confidential support provided by the university's Counseling and Mental Health Center (CMHC), which can be reached at 512-471-3515. Also available 7 days a week is the CMHC's 24-hour hotline: 512-471-CALL (512-471-2255).


What are the available options for bringing a complaint of Sex Discrimination or Sexual Harassment?

Students sometimes choose to handle these situations on their own. In this situation, students may decide to meet with an individual whose conduct they find offensive and request that the conduct stop. Such a meeting is voluntary and not required before a student seeks information or chooses to make a report with the university.

Consultation with the Office of the Dean of Students or the Office of Institutional Equity: A student may meet with an experienced staff member from the Dean of Students Office or the Office of Institutional Equity simply to discuss sex discrimination or sexual harassment and obtain information about resolution options. This type of consultation also allows the student to learn about other relevant university services that are available.

Resolution Options: The university provides two options for reporting and resolving matters involving sex discrimination or sexual harassment: an informal resolution process and a formal complaint process. A student who believes he or she has been subjected to sex discrimination or sexual harassment and seeks to take action may use the informal resolution process, the formal complaint process or both. The informal resolution process and the formal complaint process are not mutually exclusive, and neither is a prerequisite for the other. However, both cannot be used at the same time.

Informal Resolution: Informal resolution may be appropriate when the reported conduct is not of a serious or repetitive nature and disciplinary action is not required to remedy the situation. Since the informal resolution process does not involve a formal investigation, there is no imposition of discipline.

A request for informal resolution must be made, either to the Office of the Dean of Students or to the Office of Institutional Equity, within 90 days of the date of the alleged incident. A request for informal resolution will not extend the 90-day time limit for filing a formal complaint. University methods for resolving complaints informally include, but are not limited to:

  • Coaching the student on methods for directly addressing the offensive situation;
  • Mediating between the student and individual who is engaging in the offensive conduct;
  • Aiding in the modification of the situation in which the offensive conduct occurred;
  • Assisting a department or division with the resolution of a real or perceived problem; or
  • Arranging for a documented meeting between the person engaging in the offensive conduct and a university official involving, at a minimum, a discussion of the requirements of the Sex Discrimination and Sexual Harassment policy.

The university will document any informal resolution. Documentation will be retained by the Office of the Dean of Students or the Office of Institutional Equity, as appropriate, and will be kept confidential to the extent permitted by law. An informal resolution meeting is not a precondition for filing a formal written complaint.

Formal Complaint: A student who believes he or she has been subjected to sex discrimination or sexual harassment may submit a formal complaint in writing to the Office of Institutional Equity or the Office of the Dean of Students. The formal complaint process involves submission of a written complaint by a student, a formal investigation of the complaint resulting in a written report and possible disciplinary action against the offender. The Office of Institutional Equity handles formal complaints filed against faculty, staff, visitors and contractors. The Office of the Dean of Students handles formal complaints filed against students.

Download a copy (PDF) of the formal complaint form from Equal Opportunity Services.

The written complaint must contain the following information:

  • Name and UT EID of student;
  • Contact information, including address, telephone, e-mail;
  • Name of person(s) directly responsible for offensive conduct;
  • Date(s) and place(s) of offensive conduct;
  • Nature of alleged violation(s), as defined in the university's policy;
  • Detailed description of the specific conduct that is the basis of complaint;
  • Copies of documents pertaining to the conduct;
  • Names of any witnesses to the conduct;
  • Action requested to resolve the situation;
  • Student's signature and date of filing; and
  • Any other relevant information.

The following communications do not constitute a complaint and will not be investigated or resolved through the complaint resolution process:

  • Oral allegations
  • E-mail correspondence
  • Anonymous communications
  • Courtesy copies of correspondence or a complaint filed with others
  • Inquiries that seek advice or information only
  • Pre-complaint consultations and informal resolution activities

Time Limit: A written complaint must be filed within ninety (90) calendar days of the occurrence of the alleged violation. In the case of a currently enrolled student, if the last day for filing a complaint falls prior to the end of the academic semester in which the alleged violation occurred, the complaint may be filed within thirty (30) calendar days after the end of that semester.

Acknowledgement: Within five (5) working days after receipt of a written complaint, the Office of Institutional Equity or the Office of the Dean of Students, as appropriate, will send the student a brief acknowledgement stating that the complaint will be evaluated and advising the student that he or she will be contacted within a given time. The acknowledgment letter will include a copy of the complaint procedures.

Complaint Evaluation: A formal investigation will be initiated if a complaint is complete, timely, within the scope of this policy and articulates sufficient specific facts, which if determined to be true would support a finding that the university's policy was violated. The university may not proceed with a complaint investigation under a variety of circumstances, including:

  • Student fails to provide a written, signed complaint;
  • Complaint fails to describe in sufficient detail the conduct that is the basis of the complaint;
  • Conduct described in the complaint is not covered by the university's policy;
  • Complaint is not timely;
  • Student declines to cooperate in the university's investigation;
  • Complaint has been withdrawn; or
  • Appropriate resolution or remedy has already been achieved, or has been offered and rejected.

If it is determined that the university will not proceed with a complaint investigation, the Office of Institutional Equity or the Office of the Dean of Students, as appropriate, will send a notification letter explaining the reason(s) to the student, as well as a copy to the alleged offender. The notification letter will also include a statement informing the student that, within ten (10) working days of the notification, he or she may appeal the determination not to proceed with a complaint investigation to the vice president for Employee and Campus Services or the vice president for Student Affairs, as appropriate. The request for appeal must be a signed, written document stating why the decision to dismiss the complaint was in error. The appropriate vice president will respond within twenty (20) working days of receipt of the appeal. If the decision to dismiss is upheld, that decision is final. If the decision is overturned, the complaint is sent back to the Office of Institutional Equity or the Office of the Dean of Students, as appropriate, for investigation in accordance with the procedures outlined in the university's policy.

Investigation: If it is determined that the university will proceed with a complaint investigation, the Office of Institutional Equity or the Office of the Dean of Students will give the alleged offender a copy of the complaint. The alleged offender is also offered an opportunity to respond to the complaint within ten (10) working days unless unusual circumstances require more time. The letter will include a statement advising the alleged offender that retaliation against the student who filed the complaint is prohibited and will subject the alleged offender to appropriate disciplinary action.

Both the student and the alleged offender will be individually interviewed as a part of the official investigation, as will any witnesses or persons who have information related to the complaint. Documents relevant to the complaint will also be examined. Facts will be considered on the basis of what is reasonable to persons of ordinary sensitivity, and not on the particular sensitivity or reaction of an individual.

Findings will be based on the totality of the circumstances surrounding the conduct complained of, including but not limited to:

  • the context of that conduct;
  • the severity;
  • the frequency; or
  • whether the conduct was physically threatening, humiliating, or was simply offensive in nature.

Representation: During the complaint process, the student and the alleged offender may designate and thereafter be accompanied by an advisor of his or her choosing at meetings and interviews at which he or she is present; however, no representative may examine witnesses or otherwise actively participate in a meeting or interview.

Report of findings and recommendation - Complaints against non-students: Unless unusual circumstances require more time, the investigator will provide a proposed statement of findings, copies of relevant documents and any physical evidence considered to the appropriate vice president within thirty (30) working days of receipt of the statement from the person whose conduct was complained about.

The appropriate vice president will promptly notify the student and the alleged offender that the investigation has been completed and attach a copy of the proposed statement of findings. Any student-identifiable information, which is confidential by law, will be redacted. Within ten (10) working days from the date of notification, the student and alleged offender may each submit for consideration by the appropriate vice president any comments and corrections they may have.

Within fifteen (15) days of notification to the student and the alleged offender that the investigation has been completed, the vice president and the investigator shall meet to discuss the findings and review the record, along with any comments and proposed corrections submitted by the student and alleged offender.

Within fifteen (15) working days from that meeting, the vice-president shall take one of the following actions:

  • Request further investigation into the complaint;
  • Dismiss the complaint if the results of the completed investigation are inconclusive or there is insufficient reasonable, credible evidence to support the allegation(s); or
  • Find that the Sex Discrimination and Sexual Harassment policy was violated.

If the vice president determines that this policy was violated, he or she, following consultation with the investigator or other knowledgeable persons as appropriate, shall determine a disciplinary action that is appropriate to the severity of the conduct.

Possible disciplinary actions include, but are not limited to, oral and written reprimands, the imposition of conditions, reassignment, suspension without pay and termination.

The vice president shall inform the student, accused individual and the appropriate unit head in writing of his or her decision, and shall attach a copy of the final statement of findings. Copies of the vice president's letter, the attached statement of findings and relevant documents shall also be sent to the Office of the Dean of Students or the Office of Institutional Equity, as appropriate.

Disciplinary actions may be appealed or a grieved by the employee who is disciplined. Such appeals or grievances shall be brought pursuant to existing university policies and procedures. Students may be required to appear and testify at hearings that may be part of any such appeal or grievance procedure.

Report of findings and recommendation - Complaints against UT Austin students: Unless unusual circumstances require more time, the investigator will provide a proposed statement of findings, copies of relevant documents and any physical evidence considered to the dean of students within thirty (30) working days of receipt of the statement from the person whose conduct was reported.

The dean of students and the investigator shall meet within fifteen (15) working days to discuss the findings and review the record.

Within fifteen (15) working days from that meeting, the dean of students shall take one of the following actions:

  • Request further investigation into the complaint;
  • Dismiss the complaint if the results of the completed investigation are inconclusive or there is insufficient reasonable, credible evidence to support the allegation(s); or
  • Find that the Sex Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Policy was violated.

If the dean of students determines that this policy was violated, the dean, following consultation with the investigator or other knowledgeable person(s) as appropriate, shall determine whether to initiate a disciplinary action appropriate to the severity of the conduct pursuant to the Institutional Rules on Student Services and Activities (Chapter 11, Appendix C of the General Information catalog). Disciplinary actions can include, but are not limited to, documented warning, the imposition of conditions, probation, suspension and expulsion.

As required by federal law, any disclosure of the findings and decision of the Office of the Dean of Students will be governed by the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

Disciplinary actions may be appealed by the student who is disciplined. Such appeals shall be brought in accordance with existing University policies and procedures pursuant to the Institutional Rules on Student Services and Activities (Chapter 11, Appendix C of the General Information catalog).

Documentation and confidentiality: To the extent permitted by law, the university will maintain the confidentiality of records related to sex discrimination and sexual harassment complaints, investigations and resolutions. The confidentiality of a complaint under the Sex Discrimination and Sexual Harassment policy and all documents, correspondence, interviews and discussions relating to the investigation of the information contained in a complaint will be maintained on a need-to-know basis, to the extent permitted by law. Any person who knowingly and intentionally makes an unauthorized disclosure of confidential information contained in a complaint, or otherwise relating to the investigation of a complaint, under this policy is subject to disciplinary action. The university will also, to the extent possible, respect the wishes of students concerning the disclosure of their identities. However, there may be situations where the identity of the student will need to be disclosed or will become apparent because of the actions taken to resolve the complaint.

Retaliation prohibited: Retaliation against a student for bringing a complaint in good faith pursuant to the Sex Discrimination and Sexual Harassment policy or for participating in good faith in an investigation of such a complaint is prohibited. Any employee or student who does so is in violation of this policy and may be subject to disciplinary action.

Filing of a false complaint: Any person who knowingly and intentionally files a false complaint under the Sex Discrimination and Sexual Harassment policy is subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal from the university.

Effect of bringing a complaint: The filing of a sex discrimination, sexual harassment or retaliation complaint will not stop or delay any evaluation or disciplinary action related to a complaining employee or student who is not performing up to acceptable standards, or who has violated university rules or policies.

Relationship of complaint process to outside agency time limits: The filing of a sex discrimination or sexual harassment complaint under this policy does not excuse the student from meeting the time limits of outside agencies.

Title IX grievance procedure: This complaint procedure shall also constitute the grievance procedure for complaints alleging unlawful sex discrimination required under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. As used herein, "complaint" is synonymous with "grievance."

Time frames: Time frames mentioned in these procedures may be extended for good cause, such as holidays or when classes are not in session, or when it is necessary to complete an investigation due to difficulties reaching witnesses or parties to the student.

Consensual relationships: Participation of a supervisor, teacher, advisor, or coach in a consensual romantic or sexual relationship with a subordinate employee or student in all cases creates a prohibited conflict of interest that must be addressed under the policy on consensual relationships. For more information regarding consensual relationships, please refer to the information provided in this student guide or to the Handbook of Operating Procedures.

Sexual Misconduct: Conduct of a sexual nature that, although not so serious or pervasive that it rises to the level of sexual harassment, is unprofessional and/or inappropriate for educational and working environments, may constitute prohibited sexual misconduct under the policy on sexual misconduct. For more information regarding sexual misconduct, please refer to the information provided in this student guide or to the Handbook of Operating Procedures.


What are the available options for reporting Sexual Misconduct?

There are a number of ways in which concerns related to sexual misconduct can be addressed. However, no student, faculty, staff member or visitor is required to report or allege a violation of the Sexual Misconduct policy to the person who is the subject of the complaint. Concerns will be kept confidential to the extent permitted by law.

Reporting to the Office of Institutional Equity: Students who wish to complain about sexual misconduct may do so directly with the Office of Institutional Equity (OIE). Incidents should be reported as soon as possible after the time of their occurrence, preferably within ninety (90) days. OIE will work with affected university units to resolve the concern. When the person making the report is a student, the Office of Institutional Equity will work with the Dean of Students Office to determine how the complaint will be handled.

Reporting to the Office of the Dean of Students: Students may also complain of sexual misconduct directly to the Office of Dean of the Students, which will work with the Office of Institutional Equity to determine how the complaint will be handled. Incidents should be reported as soon as possible after the time of their occurrence, preferably within 90 days. Allegations of sexual misconduct that concern another student will be handled through Student Judicial Services, in accordance with Chapter 11 of the Institutional Rules on Student Services and Activities.

Reporting to a supervisor, administrator or UT Austin official: Supervisors, administrators and university officials who become aware of possible sexual misconduct perpetrated by faculty, staff or students need not wait for a complaint before responding to it. They do, however, need to consult with the Office of Institutional Equity about the matter before taking action.

Documentation: The Office of the Dean of Students and the Office of Institutional Equity will document the existence and resolution of incidents of sexual misconduct. It will maintain the confidentiality of those documents to the extent permitted by law.

Grievance of a disciplinary action: A faculty or staff member receiving discipline as a result of the Sexual Misconduct policy may file a grievance/appeal through the use of the appropriate grievance/appeal procedure. Students may be required to appear and testify at hearings that may be a part of any such appeal or grievance procedure.

Any student receiving discipline as a result of the Sexual Misconduct policy may file an appeal through the use of the appeal process outline in Subchapter 11-600 of the Institutional Rules on Student Services and Activities.

For assistance: Students with questions about the Sexual Misconduct policy should contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 512-471-5017. All other questions should be directed to the Office of Institutional Equity at 512-471-1849.


What should I do if I believe I am being subjected to Sex Discrimination, Sexual Harassment or Sexual Misconduct by another student?

If you are a student and you believe you are being subjected to sex discrimination, sexual harassment or sexual misconduct by another student, please contact Student Judicial Services in the Office of the Dean of Students, 512-471-2841, Student Services Building, 4.104.


What should I do if I have a university job and believe I am being subjected to Sex Discrimination, Sexual Harassment or Sexual Misconduct by my supervisor or a fellow employee?

At times a student may be confronted with sex discrimination, sexual harassment or sexual misconduct in his or her role as a student employee. If a student employee believes he or she is being subjected to such conduct by a supervisor or another employee, the student should refer to the university's Sex Discrimination and Sexual Harassment policy, the university's Sexual Misconduct policy, or contact the Office of Institutional Equity, 512-471-1849, North Office Building A (NOA), 4.302.

In certain cases of sex discrimination, sexual harassment or sexual misconduct, a student may assume the role of both a student and an employee. This is especially true for graduate students who are also employed by the university. Under these circumstances, the individual who believes that he or she is being subjected to such conduct should contact either the Office of the Dean of Students (512-471-5017) or the Office of Institutional Equity (512-471-1849) for advice on where to seek help or bring a complaint.


What is the university's policy on consensual relationships?

It is the policy of the university that employees with direct teaching, supervisory, advisory or evaluative responsibility over other employees, students and/or student employees recognize and respect the ethical and professional boundaries that must exist in such situations. Consensual relationships, as defined in the policy, create conflicts of interest and/or appearances of impropriety that impair the integrity of academic and employment decisions. Such relationships also have the potential for exploitation of the subordinate employee, student or student employee, the possible professional or academic disadvantage of third parties, and can subject both the university and individuals to the risk of liability. Therefore the university strongly discourages consensual relationships between supervisors and subordinates, teachers and students, and advisors and students. Should such a relationship develop, the teacher, supervisor or advisor has the obligation to disclose its existence to an immediate supervisor and cooperate in making alternative arrangements for the supervision, evaluation, teaching, grading or advising of the employee, student and/or student employee.

This policy is not intended in any way to discourage the interaction of faculty and students where harassment or a conflict of interest is not a factor. The policy is intended to clarify, for instance, that it is a conflict of interest for a faculty member to form romantic or sexual relationships with students working under the faculty member's direct supervision, evaluation or advisement.

Find more information on consensual relationships from the Handbook of Operating Procedures.