Title IX resources available for survivors of sexual assault
Tech student reports on-campus attack early Friday morning
LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - A Texas Tech student reported an aggravated assault and sexual assault in an undisclosed on-campus residence hall early Friday morning.
A student could be suspended or expelled if found responsible through the Title IX office. Those sanctions could be coupled with counseling, additional education or a reflective essay.
But it’s up to the survivor if they want a formal disciplinary complaint to get to that point.
From January to June of 2020, the office received 139 reports. Only seven led to a “Student Disciplinary Sanction.”
“I think a lot of people assume that the only right answer is formal investigation, hearing, discipline, outcome - that kind of thing. And when a student wants to do that, that can be a very healing process for them. But several students come in and [say] ‘I can’t think about that today,’” Title IX coordinator Kimberly Simón said. “We want to make sure we’re serving those students, too.”
The office also specializes in supportive measures such as counseling, academic support, and moving residence halls if needed.
Students can simply choose to make a report and not follow up or get access to those resources without having to disclose the details of an incident.
“Sexual assault, especially, is not a one size fits all process. A student should really be able to say, this is the best thing for me at this time,” Simón said.
The Title IX office serves as the investigating body if students choose to move ahead with a formal disciplinary process. It has 120 business days to conduct an investigation. But Simón says they try to work as quickly as possible.
“We conduct a through and impartial investigation. We gather information from all sides. Any witnesses. Students have the right to see that investigation, to fully read that report, to know exactly what the university will use when making a decision.”
Simón says the office will always follow the wishes of the reporting party, except in rare cases such as multiple reports or a threat to the rest of campus.
Simón says that hasn’t happened in her time working as the Title IX coordinator.
“We’re really a student-driven process. We want to respond, whatever way is going to the best interest of that student,” she said.
In order to report an incident, a student can tell any trusted staff member on campus or directly go to the office.
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