Title IX Information

Introduction

Hardin-Simmons University affirms that all members of our community are created in the image of God and therefore should be treated with dignity and respect. We do not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of any status or condition protected by applicable federal or state law. Further, we respect the inherent worth of each member of the community and do not tolerate conduct which fosters any form of harassment. We follow the profound truth found in the Golden Rule, “In everything do to others as you would have them do to you” (Matthew 7:12).

With a Biblical foundation of human dignity and worth, HSU approaches issues of sexual misconduct not only as acts that may be potential violations of the law, but as conduct that is antithetical to Christian scripture. Thus, sexual misconduct is harmful not only to the individuals involved, but undermines the values of the entire community.

This policy will address some of the complexities of legal requirements under Title IX, and our policy expectations in the areas of sexual misconduct, sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. We hold to the expectation that sexual misconduct does not fit within our mission of Christian education. Violations of this policy are regarded as serious offenses of trust and integrity, and will result in disciplinary action. Sexual misconduct can be committed by men or women, and it can occur between people of the same or different gender. This policy will also provide resources and help for victims and their advocates.

Hardin-Simmons University expects students to abide by the Student Conduct and Regulations Statement (see Section 26).

Notice of Non-Discrimination

In compliance with federal law, including provisions of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Hardin-Simmons University does not illegally discriminate on the basis of race, sex, color, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, genetic information, or military service in employment. Under state and federal law, the University may discriminate on the basis of religion in order to fulfill its purpose.

The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (20 USC §1092(f)) (“Clery Act”) which requires colleges and universities to disclose information about crime on and around their campuses. This includes recent amendments to the Clery Act under the Campus SaVE Act and Violence Against Women Act, which deals with incidents of sexual assault, domestic and dating violence, and stalking.

Confidential Resources

The Office of Counseling Services offers free, confidential counseling to students. While faculty and staff are mandatory reporters to the Title IX office, the Office of Counseling Services does not have to disclose reports unless the client gives permission. To make an appointment, visit the Cowden-Paxton building, call 325-671-2272, or email counseling@baticolors.com.

Title IX PDF Brochure

Sexual Harassment & Misconduct PDF Policy

Current policy. HSU’s Sexual Misconduct Policy currently requires employees (previously designated as “Responsible Employees” or “mandatory reporters”) to report student sexual misconduct information.

New law. Under Senate Bill 212 effective on September 1, 2019, with penalties that apply beginning January 1, 2020, employees are now legally required to “promptly report” information concerning sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, or stalking (collectively, “SSDS information”) by either students or employees, if learned in the course and scope of their employment:

  • An employee of a postsecondary educational institution who, in the course and scope of employment, witnesses or receives information regarding the occurrence of an incident that the employee reasonably believes constitutes sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, or stalking and is alleged to have been committed by or against a person who was a student enrolled at or an employee of the institution at the time of the incident shall promptly report the incident to the institution’s Title IX coordinator or deputy Title IX coordinator.  
  • . . . the report must include all information concerning the incident known to the reporting person that is relevant to the investigation and, if applicable, redress of the incident, including whether an alleged victim has expressed a desire for confidentiality in reporting the incident.

Limited exceptions. The mandatory reporting requirement does NOT apply to student workers. Also, employees are not required to report information:

  • disclosed to them at a Title IX-related public awareness event sponsored by a university or a student organization of a university;
  • if the employee was the victim of the conduct required to be reported; or,
  • under special circumstances generally applicable to licensed professionals and ordained clergy.[1]

Required sanctions. The new law requires universities to terminate employees determined to have knowingly failed to make a mandatory report, including the promptness requirement, after conclusion of an investigation and appropriate disciplinary proceedings. It also imposes potential criminal sanctions for these incidents, as a Class A or B misdemeanor.

[1] Modifications to the mandatory reporting requirements are made for two types of employees described in the new law. The first category are persons who will be notified and trained by HSU:

  1. Employees designated by HSU as a person who can speak confidentially about these matters (e.g., employees working in the Counseling Center and the university chaplain); and,
  2. An employee who receives this information “under circumstances that render the employee’s communication confidential or privileged under other law.” If you are a licensed professional (attorney, counselor, physician, etc.) or ordained clergy, and receive information in that capacity, you must consider your professional obligations of confidentiality and privileged communications.

Employees in these categories must still report the category (sexual assault, dating violence, etc.) of the incident as long as this information would violate a student’s expectation of privacy, and should also report the date (if known), and general location. Additional training is available.

SB212 Reporting. Under the Texas Education Code (TEC), Section 51.253(c), the institution’s Chief Executive Officer is required to submit a data report at least once during each fall or spring semester to the institution’s governing body and post on the institution’s internet website a report concerning the reports received by employees under the TEC, Section 51.252 the type of incident described in the employee’s report constitutes “sexual harassment,” “sexual assault,” “dating violence,” or “stalking” as defined in the TEC, Section 51.251, and any disciplinary actions taken under TEC, Section 51.255.

SB212 CEO Report – Academic Year 2022-2023

SB212 CEO Report – Academic Year 2021-2022

SB212 CEO Report – Academic Year 2020-2021

SB212 CEO Report – Academic Year 2019-2020

StopIT LogoHardin-Simmons University offers anonymous reporting of incidents of sexual assault, harassment, and violence through a program called STOPit. Anyone with knowledge of an incident can use the app or website to report the incident. You also have the ability to attach any video or photo evidence as you type your incident. We believe this will continue to help make HSU a safer community for all our students, faculty, and staff.

You can access STOPit via the web (http://appweb.stopitsolutions.com/) or by downloading the STOPit app from either the App Store or Google Play.

When reporting an incident, you will be prompted for a school code.

  • For students, your code is HSUCOWBOYS
  • For HSU faculty/staff, your code is HSUEMPLOYEES

Once submitting your report, you may receive a follow up message from the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinator via the app or web-based platform. Please be assured that you remain anonymous unless you choose to disclose your identity.

Purpose of this policy

Pursuant to Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and Violence Against Women’s Reauthorization Act of 2013, HSU prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex or gender in its programs and activities. HSU has jurisdiction over complaints or reports under Title IX. Our university will respond to, and make reasonable efforts to, investigate and address complaints or reports about prohibited conduct, or possible prohibited conduct, that staff becomes aware of, with measures designed to stop the prohibited conduct, eliminate any such discrimination, prevent the recurrence of the prohibited conduct, and remediate any adverse effects of such conduct on campus or in university related programs or activities. The procedures in this policy are designed to provide for a timely and fair investigation of sexual misconduct cases, regardless of how the information was brought to HSU’s attention or the extent to which the complainant (as defined below) wishes to participate or be involved, and to protect the rights and privacy of all parties involved.

Retaliation against anyone involved in filing an internal complaint under this policy, filing an external complaint, participating in the internal disciplinary process, or opposing in a reasonable manner an act believed to constitute a violation of this policy, is prohibited and will not be tolerated.

Scope of this policy

The policy includes investigation and disciplinary procedures that will be followed in response to allegations of sex or gender discrimination, including sexual misconduct such as sexual harassment and sexual assault, intimate partner violence, stalking, and related retaliation. In a case of alleged sex or gender discrimination or sexual misconduct, this policy supersedes policies and procedures for other forms of misconduct, unless otherwise provided in this policy.

This policy defines: the prohibited conduct; the options and resources available to individuals who experience sexual misconduct; and the complaint; investigation and disciplinary procedures that will be followed when the University receives a complaint of sexual misconduct. All allegations of sexual misconduct, including, but not limited to, sexual harassment, sexual assault, intimate partner violence, stalking, and retaliation will be carefully reviewed.

This policy applies to all members of the HSU community, including administrators, students, faculty and staff, whether full-time or part-time, and any third parties (i.e. non-members of the university community, such as visitors to the campus