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Sexual Misconduct

Definitions of Sexual Violence and Misconduct

 

What is Sexual Violence?

Sexual violence refers to physical sexual acts perpetrated with force or coercion against a person’s will; or where a person has not given consent as defined in this policy or is unable to consent due to his or her use of alcohol or drugs, or disability, or age. Sexual violence is a crime.

 

What is Sexual Misconduct?

Sexual misconduct incorporates a range of behaviors, including sexual assault, sexual harassment, intimate partner violence, stalking, voyeurism, and any other conduct of a sexual nature that is nonconsensual, or has the purpose or effect of threatening, intimidating, or coercing a person.

 

Examples of Prohibited Acts of Sexual Violence and Sexual Misconduct are

  • Rape/sexual assault
  • Non-consensual oral sex
  • Sexual contact/battery
  • Sexual exploitation
  • Domestic/Dating violence
  • Stalking
  • Sexual harassment

 

UNM Policies & Sanctions:

The University of New Mexico's Student Code of Conduct and Visitor Code of Conduct, which apply to the main campus and all branch campuses and educational centers, prohibit any form of sexual violence. The Student Code of Conduct and Visitor Code of Conduct can be found in the UNM Pathfinder. Both Codes are administered by the Dean of Students Office.

 

A person who is the victim of an act of sexual violence committed by a UNM student or a visitor to the University is encouraged to report to the Title IX Coordinator at the Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO). Should the victim report, and should the victim elect to have OEO pursue an investigation into the report, OEO will investigate the allegations and make a determination as to whether it is more likely than not that a violation of UNM policy (i.e. the Student Code of Conduct) occurred. At that point, OEO submits its findings to the Dean of Students Office, which then issues disciplinary action.

 

Under the University’s Student Grievance Procedure, the alleged victim of sexual violence and the accused student are both allowed to bring an advisor to any disciplinary proceedings. In addition, both the alleged victim and the accused student will be notified in writing of the final determination of the disciplinary proceeding, including any sanctions imposed, to the extent permitted by the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

 

As described in The University's Student Grievance Procedure, alleged victims in student disciplinary proceedings have rights which are protected throughout the discipline process. These rights are:

  1. The right to submit a victim impact statement to the hearing officer or committee.

  2. The right to have past irrelevant behavior excluded from the hearing determination.

  3. The right to be free from retaliation for having made an allegation of misconduct. Allegations of retaliation should be submitted to the Dean of Students Office.

 

Because of the serious nature of the action, complainants alleging sexual violence also have these additional rights:

  1. The right to request to be permitted to testify from another room or in such a way as to be visually screened from the accused student.
  2. The right to know the nature and source of the evidence used in a hearing process and to submit evidence and suggest witnesses, consistent with the rights of the accused.
  3. The right to be notified in writing of the final determination and any sanctions imposed to the extent permitted by the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
  4. The right to be informed of options to notify law enforcement authorities on and off campus as to the incident and to be assisted in doing so by campus officials. Criminal complaints filed with law enforcement are investigated separately from the student disciplinary process.
  5. The right to be informed about other resources on campus, including UNM’s Office of Equal Opportunity, Student Health and Counseling, and the Women’s Resource Center.
  6. The right to be informed of interim measures available to assist the complainant during the disciplinary process, for example, making reasonable changes in academic and/or on-campus living situations, and providing counseling or security escort services on campus.
  7. The right to have past sexual history excluded as evidence unless the Dean of Students makes a specific finding that it is relevant.
  8. The right to appeal a decision of the Student Conduct Officer or the Student Conduct Committee, subject to the same requirements and limitations as the accused.

 

UNM Policies and Procedures

 

Relevant Excerpt from Student Grievance Procedure

  • The UNM Policy Office - Sexual Assault Policy
  • Student Grievance Procedure - Article 4. Disciplinary Process
  • Student Code of Conduct - Article 4. Sanctions
  • Visitor Code of Conduct - Article 4. Sanctions

Click Here for Federal Policies related to Sexual Misconduct. 

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Under Title IX, sexual violence is a severe form of sexual harassment. Sexual violence is unacceptable and will not be tolerated at the University of New Mexico. Sexual violence may be committed by a stranger, an acquaintance or someone with whom the victim is involved in an intimate or sexual relationship. Victims of sexual violence are encouraged to report what happened to law enforcement and seek assistance from any of the resources, on and off campus, listed in this publication. 

Please contact UNM's Title IX Coordinator, Heather Cowan, at hbcowan@unm.edu for more information about Title IX.