Accused (Respondent) Resources
What is sexual misconduct?
Sexual misconduct is a broad term encompassing any sexual behavior that is committed without effective consent. Examples of sexual misconduct include sexual penetration, sexual touching sexual harassment, sexual exploitation, and stalking. See the University of Mississippi’s complete sexual misconduct policy for more information.
Please note that retaliation – or any adverse action (including intimidation) taken against an individual who has participated in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing – is prohibited under the sexual misconduct policy.
How does the university define consent?
Consent between two or more people is defined as an affirmative agreement – through clear actions or words – to engage in sexual activity. The person giving the consent must act freely, voluntarily and with an understanding of his or her actions when giving the consent. More information about the university’s definition of consent can be found in the sexual misconduct policy.
What if I’ve been accused of sexual misconduct?
If a student has been formally accused of sexual misconduct, this means a report has been made to the university’s Title IX coordinator. The Title IX coordinator investigates all allegations of sexual misconduct on campus. An investigation typically involves individual meetings with all students involved to gather as much information as possible about an incident. See more information about what occurs during a Title IX investigation.
Will I be in trouble with the university?
At the completion of an investigation by the Title IX coordinator, a conduct hearing often follows. See more information about the format of a conduct hearing.
The accused student is afforded due process and is not assumed to be responsible by the board. Rather, the conduct board weighs all evidence presented in the hearing and uses the “preponderance of the evidence” standard to determine whether an individual is responsible for violating the university’s sexual misconduct policy. “Preponderance of the evidence” means that a determination is made whether it is more likely than not that a violation occurred.
Will I get in trouble for telling my side of the story if I had been drinking alcohol or using illegal drugs?
You will not get in trouble for voluntary, personal use of drugs or alcohol. The university has an amnesty policy that prohibits someone participating in a sexual discrimination investigation from getting in trouble for voluntary, personal use of drugs or alcohol.
What if I don’t remember?
The Title IX coordinator will investigate to try to determine what happened. This may include speaking to others who have a better memory and reviewing physical evidence (text messages, Facebook messages, videos, etc.).
Do I have to discuss what happened with the university?
No; however, your silence may be used as inference of responsibility at the conduct hearing.
Who will find out?
The university respects the sensitive nature of incidents involving alleged sexual misconduct and takes particular care to protect the privacy of all parties involved in an incident, to the extent possible allowed by university policies and procedures and the law. Because of the nature of an investigation, those individuals who are interviewed may learn of the allegations and the identities of the individuals involved. In addition, if an investigation results in a conduct hearing, those individuals who are involved in the hearing (board members, staff members, individuals selected as advisers by the complainant or the respondent (accused) and witnesses) also may learn more about the incident; however, these individuals have received explicit instructions regarding confidentiality and have agreed not to share information about an incident outside the conduct process.
Will the university tell my parents?
In most cases, no. FERPA is a federal law that protects information about you and your access of university services.
Will I be in trouble with the police?
This depends on the circumstances. In most cases, the university does not file an investigatory report with the police. The police may be notified even if the university is not notified. If criminal charges are filed, the accused student is likely to be interviewed by the police, and a grand jury will determine whether enough information is present to proceed to a court case. In cases where a grand jury determines a court case is warranted, the accused student will be indicted. If an accused student chooses not to speak to the police, then that decision will not be used against him or her in criminal court.
Should I get a lawyer?
Each student who is accused of sexual misconduct must determine for her/himself whether to retain an attorney. See a directory of attorneys in Oxford who are licensed to practice law in the state of Mississippi.
If criminal charges are filed or may be filed, it is advisable to retain an attorney.
What resources are available to me on campus?
If a student is accused of sexual misconduct, she or he can request an adviser be assigned to her/him by the Office of Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct. An adviser is a university staff member who is trained regarding the university’s sexual misconduct policy and student conduct processes and can answer questions and navigate the process(es) with an accused student. In addition, counselors through the University Counseling Center are available to all students who may need to speak with someone confidentially.
Will it cost me money to access these services?
Most services on campus are provided at no cost to students.
Will I get expelled?
There is no predetermined sanction for sexual misconduct. Expulsion is a possibility depending on exact circumstances of the incident.
I’ve received an interim suspension. What resources are available to me?
Students who have received an interim suspension – meaning, they are temporarily suspended until a full investigation and conduct hearing can take place – are typically not allowed to access campus services without first obtaining permission from the director of the Office of Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct. Interim suspension can temporarily affect a student’s ability to live on campus, access dining services, attend class, and participate in other student services and events on campus. If a student has received an interim suspension and would like to access certain support services, contact the director of the Office of Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct to facilitate this request.
I received a no-contact order. What does that mean?
No-contact orders typically give specific instructions regarding who the student should not contact. Contact includes phone calls, emails, text messages, interaction through social media or in-person encounters. Having another student contact the person named in the no-contact order also can be a violation of the order. Students who receive no-contact orders from the university should comply with the instructions in the order or risk further conduct charges being filed. A no-contact order does not mean that an investigation has commenced but may be issued in conjunction with an investigation.
Someone is threatening me. What constitutes retaliation?
Retaliation against an individual who initiates a sexual misconduct complaint, participates in an investigation, or pursues legal action, is prohibited. The university defines retaliation as any adverse action (including intimidation) taken against an individual who has participated in any manner in an investigation, proceeding or hearing under these policies and procedures.
All University of Mississippi resources are free with the exception of Psychological Services.
Title IX Coordinator
270D Martindale Student Services Center
Students, faculty or staff who believe they have been the victim of sex discrimination, including sexual assault, may submit a complaint to the Title IX coordinator, listed above. The Title IX office is required to investigate any allegations of sex discrimination of which it is made aware and may contact you for more information.
Office of Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct
First floor, Somerville Hall
After a Title IX investigation is complete, hearings are scheduled by this office; The office provides for swift resolution of conduct violations; students also can reach out to this office to file complaints.
University Police Department
911 for emergencies
Contact UPD to request university assistance in reporting a crime or for information about university resources.
University Counseling Center (Confidential*)
Offers free individual and group counseling for students, faculty and staff; can help with issues such as depression and anxiety.
UM Psychological Services Center (Confidential*)
382 Kinard Hall
Offers therapy and assessment for students, faculty and staff coping with issues such as depression and anxiety; reasonable fees may apply.
Student Health Center (Confidential*)
Open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for walk-ins
Offers forensic examinations, testing for STIs, HIV and pregnancy; provides emergency medications and follow-up health care.
The Counseling Center, Student Health Center and Psychological Services are granted privilege by Mississippi law. Privilege means that in most circumstances employees in those offices are prohibited by law from sharing your information without your permission. Privilege applies to all individuals over the age of 18, but is not extended to minors. In addition to employees with privilege, University of Mississippi policy allows workers in the Violence Prevention Office to keep information private in most circumstances. Most other employees on campus are required to report all information about sexual discrimination, sexual assault, relationship violence, and stalking to the Title IX coordinator.
Additional University Resources
Office of the Dean of Students
Student Union, Suite 422
University, MS 38677
Student Case Manager
Provides support and advocacy for students; serves as a liaison between university departments and local resources.
Department of Student Housing
Provides students with resources and support on and off campus including but not limited to their physical, mental and emotional well-being. Safe residence hall rooms and/or permanent room changes are provided as a means of support.
Campus Ministers (private*)
See additional information for campus ministries.
*Depending on the provider, some costs may be incurred.
Communicare of Oxford
Baptist Memorial Hospital
Oxford Police Department
Lafayette County Sheriff’s Office
Religious Community Resources: Clergy at individual churches
RAINN : Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network
U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, Revised Sexual Harassment Guidance: Harassment of Student by School Employees, Other Students, or Third Parties (2001).