SMU Accepts Recommendations on Sexual Misconduct Policies | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

SMU Accepts Recommendations on Sexual Misconduct Policies

School scrutinized for not reporting sexual assaults



    (Published Wednesday, May 8, 2013)

    The president of Southern Methodist University has agreed to accept the recommendations of a task force that was charged with improving programs related to sexual misconduct.

    The task force made 41 recommendations, including strengthening existing procedures related to student reporting of sexual misconduct and the process for dealing with allegations of sexual misconduct under SMU's Student Code of Conduct.

    The newly recommended initiatives include new and more extensive education programs for students, student mentoring and bystander intervention programs.

    "SMU is committed to implementing these changes and monitoring our practices," SMU President Gerald R. Turner said.

    Several task force recommendations were implemented in 2012, such as expanding information about sexual assault programs on SMU's website.

    Turner formed the group last year to examine and improve the university's policies and procedures after five students were sexually assaulted on the campus.

    The university was criticized for not being aggressive enough in making other students aware of sexual assaults.

    Turner appointed members of law enforcement, medical personnel, students, faculty and staff to the task force.

    "Sexual misconduct is a serious issue at universities and colleges nationwide, which are required by the federal government to investigate allegations and hold violators accountable through an internal grievance procedure," Turner said. "Even without such requirements, SMU is committed to policies and procedures that uphold community standards and foster a healthy learning environment based on mutual respect, responsible behavior and fair treatment of all students."

    A full report of the task force's recommendations is available online.

    More:Task Force on Sexual Misconduct Policies and Procedures report