After Texas A&M University was accused of handling a sexual harassment complaint in a “lax” and “insensitive” manner, the school has decided to overhaul many of its policies pertaining to sexual misconduct so that harsher penalties are given in the event an incident occurs.
For years, students attending college have struggled to have their voices heard after becoming the victim of an act of sexual harassment or assault. Many cases have been overlooked or simply handled in a lenient manner, leaving the victim still suffering inside and feeling a though justice has not been served. The fact is, justice has not been served in many of these types of cases which is why the #MeToo movement was established and why Texas A&M University has taken the initiative to create better regulations to prevent this from happening.
Some of the new regulations The Texas Tribune pointed out that A&M President Michael Young has established that have already taken effect include:
- Students attending classes on the College Station campus “will now face tougher sanctions for sexual misconduct and that some discretion will be removed from the punishment process.”
- Instead of a case being handled by a “rotation of staff members,” there will be “one case manager to handle each grievance.”
- Young has stated that there is now a ban on “faculty and staff from having consensual relationships with undergraduate students at A&M System schools.” If an employee is found guilty of making any sort of “sexual advances that are unwelcome, persistent and pervasive enough to constitute harassment,” they will be terminated.
- Young is now “requiring that transcripts be marked when a student has been suspended, dismissed or expelled in connection with misconduct.”
The Texas Tribune went on to state that Young has even gone as far as forming to additional committees that will be responsible for reviewing new changes for students and another that will be required to “consider how to overhaul the sanctions imposed on faculty members and staff.” It was also highlighted that the changes pertaining to student conduct are going to “be extended to the system’s 10 other campuses,” said A&M System Chancellor John Sharp.
Hopefully, these new changes will help victims of sexual harassment obtain the justice they deserve and help encourage others who are fearful of coming forward as they now know these incidents are being handled with much more care. In 2015, it was estimated that 23% of female college students from 27 different universities reported “experiencing an incidence of sexual assault and sexual misconduct due to physical force, threats of physical force, or incapacitation” [Source: Association of American Universities].
Were you sexually harassed or assaulted while attending college or at your place of employment? If so, you may want to consider consulting with a sexual harassment lawyer in Houston, TX who can explain what your legal rights are.
And if you are someone who lives in or attends school in Houston, TX and were the victim of sexual misconduct, it is important for you to understand that help is available. While you are encouraged to report the incident to school staff, you also have the right to retain a Houston, TX sexual harassment lawyer who can help ensure justice is, in fact, served for the physical and emotional pain that has been inflicted upon you.
If you have any questions regarding what constitutes as sexual harassment or wish to discuss your matter privately with a sexual misconduct lawyer in Houston, contact USAttorneys.com today.