Friday, October 12, 2012
SMU sexual assault reported day before task force meeting
SMU must maintain model programs that can be looked at by other schools when it comes to sexual misconduct.
DALLAS SMU police released a crime alert to students Wednesday reporting the off-campus sexual assault of an SMU female student by an SMU male acquaintance.
This is the fifth sexual assault crime alert released to students this year. The alert also comes one week after President R. Gerald Turner released the names of the 20 members of the Task Force on Sexual Misconduct Policies and Procedures.
The crime alert stated that a female SMU student reported to University Park Police that she had been sexually assaulted by a male acquaintance, who is also an SMU student in the early morning of October 5. The alert stated that the alleged assault occurred at an apartment in the 3400 block of Asbury Avenue, just west of campus.
One day after the fifth crime alert was issued in 2012, SMU’s new Task Force on Sexual Misconduct Policies and Procedures received its first charge from President R. Gerald Turner.
The task force, whose members were appointed on October 4, was created in response to the arrests of two SMU students for sexual assault this past September.
The charge explains that SMU is “committed to providing the best possible learning environment for students to achieve their personal goals.” And in doing so SMU must maintain model programs that can be looked at by other schools when it comes to sexual misconduct.
The task force was established to examine SMU’s current procedures and policies related to sexual misconduct, and to “ensure that all students are treated with care and fairness.”
The task force will evaluate reporting procedures for sexual assaults, including the Clery Act compliance. It will also look into the student conduct process, specifically at the structure of the internal grievance procedure as required by Title IX. In addition to on and off-campus support services for victims, orientation, training, and education programs will be established for faculty staff and students, especially those who may be involved in the conduct review process or the process of reporting a sexual assault.
Edward N. Stoner II, a former attorney with Reed Smith LLP and an expert on student conduct issues, spoke to the task force. He is the author of 50 articles and presentations, specifically the model code of conduct for colleges and universities. He is also an expert on Title IX.
Stoner is the first expert called in to speak to the task force.
“Our first meeting was productive and informative. As an SMU trustee and the parent of college-age students, I deeply appreciate the care and deliberation that is being given to this issue, which requires our best thinking and highest level of compassion,” said Kelly Compton, chair of the task force.
Once deliberations are complete, the task force will submit their recommendations to President Turner.
Compton said, “I’m confident that the best interests of our students will be well served by the task force. Everyone is united behind this goal.”
The task force will have a full report to be completed on or before March 1, 2013.
Pegasus News Content partner - The Daily Campus
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