Notice of Non-discrimination
Austin College is committed to equal opportunity and does not discriminate on the basis of age, color, disability, national origin, race, religion, sex, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, citizenship status, genetic information, status as a veteran, or any other characteristic that is protected by applicable state or federal law in its operations, employment opportunities, educational programs and related activities.
The Austin College Policy for Sexual Misconduct and Harassment (“Sexual Misconduct Policy”) applies to all applicants, students, faculty, administrators staff, guests and third parties.
Furthermore, the College forbids retaliation and/or any form of harassment against an individual as a result of filing a complaint of discrimination or harassment or as a result of participating in an investigation of a complaint of discrimination or harassment.
The Human Resources Director has been designated to handle discrimination or harassment inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policy.
Chief Human Resources Officer
Caruth Administration Building
900 N. Grand Ave., Suite 6I
Sherman, TX 75090
Telephone: 903.813.2435; Fax: 903.813.3197
Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 provides that “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.”
The Title IX Coordinator has been designated to handle sex or gender-based inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policy:
Timothy P. Millerick
Vice President for Student Affairs & Title IX Coordinator
Wright Campus Center 251
900 N. Grand Ave., STE 61595
Sherman, TX 75090
Telephone: 903.813.2428 (press 1)
Policy Statement – Sexual Misconduct
- Read or print the entire Austin College Sexual Misconduct Policy (pdf).
Discrimination on the basis of sex or gender to include sexual misconduct (sexual harassment, non-consensual sexual contact, non-consensual sexual intercourse, sexual violence and sexual exploitation), domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or other forms of sexual violence or sex or gender-based harassment is a violation of The Sexual Misconduct Policy and will not be tolerated by the College. Furthermore, the College forbids retaliation and/or any form of harassment against an individual as a result of filing a complaint of discrimination or harassment or participating in an investigation of a complaint of discrimination or harassment.
This Sexual Misconduct Policy applies to all applicants, students, faculty, staff, and third parties and applies regardless of the sexual orientation or gender identity of the parties. If you believe you have been subjected to sexual misconduct, you may report such conduct or file a complaint with the Title IX Coordinator, Tim Millerick.
Sexual Misconduct and Other Important Definitions
Austin College reaffirms its commitment to a campus community free from sexual misconduct in all of its forms. This commitment involves continuing efforts to eliminate all forms of harassment, sexual misconduct, and interpersonal violence. These efforts include education and preventative programming, personnel training, establishment of procedures which ensure the protection of individual rights, and resources for those who believe they have experienced such conduct. Sexual misconduct may occur across a broad spectrum and between persons of the same or opposite sex. The College prohibits all variations of sexual misconduct.
The following is a non-exhaustive list of prohibited sexual misconduct, as well as important definitions.
Sexual Harassment includes “sex-based harassment” and “gender-based harassment” and is any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, including, but not limited to, unwelcome sexual advances; requests for sexual favors; or other verbal or nonverbal conduct of a sexual nature, including rape, sexual assault, and sexual exploitation. In addition, depending on the facts, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking may also be forms of sexual harassment.
Unwelcome Conduct – Conduct is considered “unwelcome” if a person did not request or invite it and considered the conduct to be undesirable or offensive. Unwelcome conduct may take various forms, including name-calling, graphic or written statements (including the use of cell phones or the Internet), or other conduct that may be physically threatening, harmful, or humiliating. Unwelcome conduct does not have to include intent to harm, be directed at a specific target, or involve repeated incidents.
Hostile Environment exists when sexual harassment/misconduct is sufficiently serious to deny or limit a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from the College’s programs or activities. A hostile environment can be created by anyone involved in the College’s programs or activities. The College will work to make a reasonable determination if a hostile environment exists.
Quid Pro Quo Harassment may occur when anyone in a position of power or authority over another uses any academic or supervisory reward to subject such other person to unwanted sexual attention or subject such other person to verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. In general, quid pro quo sexual harassment means unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal and physical conduct of a sexual nature by one in a position of power or influence when:
- Submission by an individual is made either as an explicit or implicit term of condition of employment or of academic standing; or
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as the basis for academic or employment decisions affecting that student or employee.
Sexual Assault involves actual or attempted sexual contact with another person without that person’s consent. Sexual assault includes, but is not limited to:
- intentional touching of another person’s intimate parts without that person’s consent; or
- other intentional sexual contact with another person without that person’s consent; or
- coercing, forcing, or attempting to coerce or force a person to touch another person’s intimate parts without that persons consent; or
- rape, which consists of 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.
Sexual assault can be committed by persons of the same sex as well as those of the opposite sex.
Students, faculty members and staff members should understand that forced or unwanted sexual intercourse or sexual contact (as defined above), whether it involves a stranger or an acquaintance, is sexual assault.
Sexual Exploitation and Intimidation occurs when a person takes sexual advantage of another person for the benefit of anyone other than that person without that person’s consent. Examples could include prostitution, recording and/or distributing and/or viewing of images/audio of another person without their consent, and voyeurism. Anyone who engages in a sexual relationship with a person over whom he or she has any degree of power or authority must understand that the validity of the consent involved can and may be questioned. Students, faculty members and staff members should understand that apparently consensual sexual relationships, particularly those between individuals of unequal status, may be (or may become) a violation of the Sexual Misconduct Policy.
Stalking is defined as engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for his/her safety or the safety of others or suffer substantial emotional distress.
Domestic and Intimate Partner Violence is a felony or misdemeanor crime of violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim, a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner, a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws 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.
Dating Violence is violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic nature or intimate nature with the victim; and, whereas the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on the reporting party’s statement and with consideration of the length of the relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
Consent is knowing, voluntary, and clear permission to engage in sexual activity or contact. Each party is responsible for making certain consent is given and continued throughout the encounter. A person can withdraw consent at any time, through words or actions. Silence or absence of resistance does not constitute consent. Past consent does not confirm future consent; consent to specific activity does not imply consent to other activity; and consent with one person does not constitute consent with another person. Current or past relationships do not sufficiently constitute consent. Texas State law requires persons be 17 years of age to give consent. Consent cannot be given if force or threat of force has been used to coerce sexual activity or if a party is incapacitated.
Incapacitation – A person is mentally or physically incapacitated when that person lacks the ability to make or act on considered decisions to engage in sexual activity. Such reasons for incapacitation include the use of drugs or alcohol either voluntarily or involuntarily, being asleep or unconscious, or an intellectual or other disability that prevents a party from having the capacity to consent. Engaging in sexual activity with a person whom you know – or reasonably should know – to be incapacitated constitutes sexual misconduct.
False Accusations – A false complaint of sexual misconduct can place a permanent stigma on a member of the Austin College community, regardless of the outcome of an investigation. Therefore, false accusations are prohibited and are violations of College policy. The College reserves the right to redress through appropriate College protocol any complaint, accusation, or testimony found through an investigation to be brought in bad faith or knowingly false. This provision does not apply to reports made in good faith, even if the allegations in the report are not substantiated through an investigation.
Retaliation is defined as any adverse action taken against a person either bringing a complaint of misconduct or accused of misconduct. Retaliation could include, but is not limited to, threats, intimidation, coercion or discriminatory action. Retaliation against an individual who brings a complaint, participates in an investigation, or pursues a criminal charge is prohibited, and will not be tolerated. Retaliation against those accused of sexual misconduct is also prohibited.
The College is committed to protecting the privacy of any individual(s) involved in allegations of sexual misconduct. Should a reporter/complainant choose to make a report/bring a formal complaint, investigations of sexual misconduct are done so with respect for confidentiality. Every effort will be made to ensure confidentiality to the extent feasible in order to allow the College to conduct a thorough review of allegation(s). Names and details of the incident will not be shared with anyone outside of the investigative effort, hearing process, and will only be shared with those who must know in order to assist in the review, investigation or resolution of a report. If the complainant requests confidentiality, the Title IX Coordinator will weigh the request for confidentiality or no investigation against the College’s ability to conduct an investigation without revealing identifiable information, the seriousness of the alleged conduct, and the threat to the College community.
It is important to remember when sharing an incident that different employees have different responsibilities regarding confidentiality. As noted herein, responsible employees are required to report all details of an incident (including the identities of both the complainant and the alleged perpetrator) to the Title IX Coordinator.
Whereby information is provided in connection with a good faith report or investigation regarding conduct prohibited under this policy, Austin College will not pursue disciplinary action against reporters, witnesses, or a third party for disclosure of their own personal consumption of alcohol or other at or near the time of the incident, provided that any such violation did not harm or place the health and safety of any other person at risk.
See more information about the Bill of Rights for Students.