Sexual Misconduct & Consensual Relationships
November 24, 2020
To: All Faculty, Staff, and Students
From: Equal Opportunity Office
Subject: University Policy Statement on Sexual Misconduct and Consensual RelationshipsThe University of Texas at El Paso (“University” or “UTEP”) is committed to maintaining a learning and working environment that is free from discrimination based on sex , in accordance with Title IX of the Higher Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX), which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in educational programs or activities; Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), which prohibits sex discrimination in employment; the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act (SaVE Act); the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA); and the Clery Act. Sexual Misconduct, Retaliation, and other conduct prohibited under the Sexual Misconduct Policy (Handbook of Operating Procedures Section VI, Chapter 3), will not be tolerated and will be subject to disciplinary action.
Sexual Misconduct includes sexual harassment, sexual assault, stalking, domestic violence, and dating violence. The University policy is applicable to administrators, faculty, staff, students, and third parties within the University’s control, including visitors and applicants for admission or employment. It applies to conduct that occurs on University owned or controlled premises, in an education program or activity including University sponsored or supported events, buildings owned or controlled by student organizations officially recognized by the University, or off campus when the conduct potentially affects a person’s education or employment with the University or potentially poses a risk of harm to members of the University community. It also applies regardless of the gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation of the parties.
Responsible Employees are required to report known incidents and information of Sexual Misconduct promptly to the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinators, either directly or through the Title IX Incident Reporting Form or email at TitleIX@utep.edu. Others in the University community are strongly encouraged to report Sexual Misconduct, Retaliation, and any other conduct prohibited as soon as they become aware of such conduct. To obtain contact information for the Title IX Coordinator and Deputy Title IX Coordinators, or for more information about Title IX including Title IX trainings and on/off campus resources, please visit www.utep.edu/titleix. Under state law, if a Responsible Employee knowingly fails to report all information concerning an incident the employee reasonably believes constitutes stalking, dating violence, sexual assault, or sexual harassment committed by or against a student or employee at the time of the incident, the employee is subject to disciplinary action, including termination. Any person, who in bad faith, knowingly files a false complaint under this Policy or provides materially false information is subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal or separation from the University.
All Grievance Processes will use the preponderance of the evidence standard, as defined in the Sexual Misconduct Policy. By law, it is presumed that the respondent is not responsible for the alleged conduct, until a determination regarding responsibility is made at the conclusion of the Grievance Process.
UTEP is also committed to maintaining learning and work environments as free as possible from conflicts of interest and favoritism. UTEP’s Consensual Relationships Policy applies to all University administrators, faculty, staff, and students. The following consensual relationships, even if a single event, are prohibited:
- A consensual relationship between a supervisor (defined to also include faculty members) and supervisee, regardless of whether the supervisory relationship is direct or indirect, unless the supervisor discloses the relationship in advance and a management plan is in effect.
- A consensual relationship between a coach or athletic staff and any student-athlete or student assigned to or associated with the athletics department, such as interns and student employees.
- A consensual relationship between a faculty member and a student who is enrolled in the faculty member’s course or otherwise under the supervision of the faculty member.
This Policy is not intended to discourage the interaction of faculty and students or supervisors and employees where it is appropriate and ethical; however, it is intended to clarify that romantic or sexual relationships in the academic and employment environments often create situations that lead to sexual harassment, conflicts of interest, favoritism, and low morale. Violations of the Consensual Relationships Policy should be reported to the Equal Opportunity Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To the extent legally permissible, complaints will remain confidential, and information will be provided only to persons with a need to know in order to achieve timely resolution of the complaint. Harassment or retaliation against an individual who files a complaint, or cooperates in the complaint process, is prohibited and will not be tolerated.
A copy of the complaint procedure is available at the Title IX Program Office or the Equal Opportunity Office. You may also find it electronically in the Handbook of Operating Procedures, under Section VI, Chapter 3, www.utep.edu/vpba/hoop/.