Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Sexual Harassment?
Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, when:
- Submission to such conduct is made either implicitly or explicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or status in a course, program or activity;
- Submission or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or educational decision affecting such individual; or
- When such conduct has the purpose or effect of interfering with the individual’s work or educational performance; of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working and/or learning environment; or of interfering with one’s ability to participate in or benefit from an education program or activity.
Examples of Sexual Harassment
- Pressure for sexual activity
- Requests for sexual favors
- Unwelcome patting, hugging or touching of a person’s body, hair or clothing
- Sexual innuendos, jokes or comments
- Disparaging remarks to a person about his or her gender or body
- Displaying or transmitting sexually suggestive electronic content, including emails and texts
- Giving unwelcome personal gifts
- Sexual assault
What should I do if I am assaulted?
If the incident(s) involve sexual assault or rape, you are encouraged to immediately contact the ACU Police Department (325-674-2305) and/or go to the Emergency Room at Hendrick Medical Center and ask to be seen by the SANE nurse, a health care professional who specializes in examining sexual assault victims. Such incidents are also considered sexual harassment and as such may be reported under ACU’s Anti-Harassment Policy.
What do I do to preserve evidence of sexual assault?
For information on preserving evidence, please see the RAINN webpage regarding what to do in the aftermath of a sexual assault.
What do I do if I believe a friend or myself have been harassed?
If you experience, observe, hear about or believe someone has been sexually harassed in any way, you should make a report of the facts of the incident(s) in a timely manner by contacting the Title IX coordinator, at 325-674-2359.
The university will not tolerate sexual harassment of its students or employees and will investigate all allegations of harassment. Where sexual harassment is found, steps will be taken to end it immediately.
What if I’m not sure if my experience truly constitutes harassment?
If you believe you may have experienced harassment or assault, but are unsure of whether it was a violation of ACU’s sexual harassment policy, you should contact the university’s Title IX Coordinator, or an advocacy center. It is imperative that all accounts of harassment are reported and investigated, in order to maintain the safety of the ACU community. The Title IX Coordinator, or designee(s), will help clearly define acts that constitute sexual misconduct, and provide information regarding options.
What if other students discover I’ve filed a report?
Students who, in good faith, report what they believe to be sexual harassment, or who cooperate in any investigation, will not be subjected to retaliation. Any student who believes he or she has been the victim of retaliation for reporting sexual harassment or cooperating in an investigation should immediately contact the Title IX coordinator.
What if I want to report something, but I know I broke a rule under ACU’s Student Code of Conduct?
The university encourages the reporting of harassment whenever it occurs. Sometimes, victims are hesitant to report to college officials because they fear that they may be charged with policy violations, such as underage drinking at the time of the incident. To encourage reporting of Harassment, the University, where possible, pursues a policy of offering victims of harassment limited immunity from being charged with policy violations related to the particular incident.
Will the complaint remain confidential?
Before reporting, it is important to know that different people on campus have different reporting responsibilities and different abilities to maintain confidentiality, depending on their roles. For more information, please see section V of the Anti-Harassment Policy. We encourage you to contact the Title IX Coordinator or a Deputy Coordinator because they are best equipped to help. Please rest assured that if you contact one of them, only people that need to know will be told.
Will my parents be told?
No, not unless you tell them. Whether you are the complainant or the accused, the university’s primary relationship is to the student and not to the parent. However, in the event of major medical, disciplinary, or academic jeopardy, students are strongly encouraged to inform their parents. University officials will directly inform parents when requested to do so by the student. The university also reserves the right to inform parents where permitted by FERPA, including in a life threatening situation.
Do I have to name the perpetrator?
While you are not required to name the perpetrator, the university still has an obligation to investigate. Without the name of the accused, the university is limited in its ability to respond to allegations, offer remedies for the complainant, and to sanction the accused. Sometimes victims are hesitant to report for fear of retaliation. ACU vigorously enforces a policy of no retaliation.
What do I do if I am accused of sexual misconduct?
Do not contact the alleged victim. If you have not already been contacted by the Title IX coordinator, you may want to contact that office, which can explain the university’s procedures for addressing sexual misconduct complaints. You may also want to talk to a confidential counselor at the counseling center or seek other community assistance.
What types of remedies are available to me? For instance, what if I want to change residence halls or my class schedule?
While the Title IX coordinator can provide specifics, remedies include room changes, no contact order, assistance with or rescheduling academic assignments, transferring classes, temporary withdrawal and other accommodations for safety reasons as necessary. However, you must be willing to pursue a formal or informal university complaint.