Policy for Handling Sexual Assaults                               UPPS No. 07.09.03
Issue No. 5
Effective Date: 11/30/2011
Review: July 1 E2Y

                                                                                                Attachments I, II

  

 

01.       POLICY STATEMENTS

 

01.01  This UPPS sets forth Texas State’s policy regarding sexual assaults. Its purpose is to inform students, faculty, staff and others about the university's sexual assault programs and the procedures followed once a sexual assault is reported. Texas State condemns sexual assaults and will not tolerate them.

 

01.02  University officials affected by this policy, including the University Police Department (UPD), Dean of Students, Department of Housing and Residence Life (DHRL), Student Health Center, and Counseling Center, will develop and administer office procedures for implementing this policy, for preventing sexual assaults, and for informing students and others in more detail about the university's sexual assault programs and the procedures followed once a sexual assault is reported.

 

01.03  Law enforcement and medical personnel have extensive training in handling sexual assaults, therefore they are authorized to use their own professional judgment with regard to individual circumstances, which may vary from the procedures in this UPPS.

 

02.       DEFINITION OF SEXUAL ASSAULT

 

02.01 Chapters 21 and 22 of the Texas Penal Code, found at http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/, contain the definition of sexual assault.

 

03.       EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS

 

03.01 Texas State’s Counseling Center, DHRL, and UPD will provide students and employees with programs designed to promote the awareness of rape, acquaintance rape, and other sexual assaults.

 

03.02 UPD's Community Awareness and Resource Team unit will conduct sexual assault programs for students and employees aimed at preventing and reporting sexual assaults, preserving evidence, and identifying special services to assist survivors of sexual assaults.

 

04.       PROCEDURES TO FOLLOW IN THE CASE OF A SEXUAL ASSAULT

 

04.01  Any person may request assistance from university personnel in notifying law enforcement authorities of a sexual assault.

 

04.02 Persons with knowledge of sexual assaults (whether the survivor or a third party) should report them to UPD, the law enforcement agency in the area where the sexual assault occurred, or the dean of Students. An individual does not need to disclose the victim’s identity when reporting a sexual assault. Although the Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act of 1990, commonly referred to as the Jeanne Clery Act, requires UPD to compile crime statistics and make available an annual report of these statistics, UPD is not required to divulge any other information other than the fact that an incident was reported. Persons can use Attachment II to report a sexual assault.

 

04.03 Survivors of sexual assaults are not required by law to report the assault or to pursue legal action. However, it is recommended that survivors report the assault immediately to UPD or the local law enforcement authority where the assault occurred in order to facilitate the collection of important evidence and to preserve their option for pursuing legal action at a later time. University officials will provide the survivor with assistance in notifying the proper authorities of a sexual assault. A survivor can request a pseudonym if she or he wishes to maintain anonymity.

 

04.04  Any person with knowledge or suspicion of a sexual assault of a minor (under 18 years of age), or of a sexual relationship between a person under 17 years of age and a person over 18 years of age, is required by state law to report the assault or relationship, including the minor’s name, to law enforcement. Report sexual assaults immediately. A person making a report involving a minor is immune from civil or criminal liability if the report is made in good faith. Failure to report the sexual assault of a minor is a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by law. Child Protective Services will accept these reports online and confidentially, by phone at 1-800-252-5400.

 

04.05  Persons aware of sexual assaults may contact any of the resources below.  Attachment I contains guidelines for assisting sexual assault survivors.

 

a.    Law Enforcement – Survivors or witnesses of sexual assaults should call the appropriate law enforcement agency, such as UPD (512-245-2805), the San Marcos Police Department (512-753-2108), the Hays County Sheriff’s Office (512-393-7896), the Round Rock Police Department (512-218-5500) or the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office (512-943-1300). In an emergency situation, a person may call 911 and the call will be routed to the appropriate law enforcement agency. Law enforcement agencies may assign a pseudonym to the survivor of a sexual assault in order to assure the survivor’s anonymity.

 

b.   Medical Assistance – Survivors or witnesses may contact the Student Health Center (512-245-2161) or a local hospital emergency room.  Texas State has agreements with organizations in Hays and Williamson Counties. Please refer to Attachment I for contact numbers of some of these organizations, including medical facilities. If ambulance services are necessary, persons may contact San Marcos/Hays County EMS (512-353-5115).

 

c.   Counseling Services – Survivors or witnesses may also call the Texas State Counseling Center (512-245-2208), the Dean of Students Office (512-245-2124), or DHRL (512-245-3705). In Round Rock, survivors may contact the One Stop Center (512-716-4001). Employees in these offices are trained to provide appropriate assistance and information.

 

04.06  To prove sexual assault, it is helpful to preserve evidence. Persons with knowledge of a sexual assault should not touch, move or otherwise disturb evidence (such as clothing) and should not disturb the scene of the incident. Preserving the evidence means not tampering with the evidence or otherwise inadvertently destroying critical evidence. Trained law enforcement personnel should collect the evidence.

 

05.       DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURES

 

05.01 The student handbook includes procedures for disciplinary actions used with Texas State students. The faculty handbook and the staff handbook contain procedures for disciplinary actions applied to faculty and staff employees.

 

a.    The student handbook can be found at: http://www.dos.txstate.edu/handbook.html.

 

b.    The faculty handbook can be found at: http://www.provost.txstate.edu/resources/Faculty-handbook.html.

 

c.    The staff handbook can be found at: http://www.hr.txstate.edu/.

  

06.       ASSISTANCE FOR SURVIVORS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT

 

06.01 Texas State provides counseling and other services for survivors of a sexual assault:

 

a.   The university’s Counseling Center provides psychological counseling and a referral service for survivors who request treatment.

 

b.  The Student Health Center provides medical treatment.

 

c.  Students living in campus residence halls can seek support and referrals from residential staff.

 

06.02  Texas State has agreements with organizations in Hays County and Williamson County that provide sexual assault counseling and support for survivors, regardless of gender. Texas State also has agreements with organizations that provide Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) to perform SANE exams. Refer to Attachment I for a list of these organizations. 

 

07.       OPTIONS FOR CHANGES IN ACADEMIC AND LIVING SITUATIONS

 

07.01  Upon request to DHRL, students who reside on campus have the option to change their living situation (ex., assigned to a different residence hall) after an alleged sexual assault incident provided such changes are reasonably available.

 

07.02  Students have the option to change their academic schedules after an alleged sexual assault incident upon request to the proper academic dean, provided such changes are reasonably available.

 

08.       REVIEWERS OF THIS UPPS

 

08.01 Reviewers of this UPPS include the following:

 

Position                                                         Date

 

Assistant Dean of Students for                 July 1 E2Y

Student Justice

Director, Counseling Center                      July 1 E2Y

 

Director, Student Health Center                July 1 E2Y

 

Director, University Police Department    July 1 E2Y

 

Dean, University College                           July 1 E2Y

 

Director, Dept. of Housing and                  July 1 E2Y

Residential Life

 

09.       CERTIFICATION STATEMENT

 

This UPPS has been approved by the following individuals in their official capacities and represents Texas State policy and procedure from the date of this document until superseded.

 

Assistant Dean of Students for Student Justice; senior reviewer of this UPPS

 

Dean of Students

 

Vice President for Student Affairs

 

President