The University of New Mexico’s (UNM) Sexual Misconduct and Assault Response Team (SMART) is a victim centered, victim controlled, coordinated response team composed of community and university organizations to quickly respond to cases of sexual assault or abuse while providing appropriate services. SMART responders make services for victims a priority. Sexual assault and abuse can cause tremendous distress and greatly impact the well-being of a victim
What is the university’s policy on sexual violence?
The University of New Mexico defines Sexual Violence and Sexual Miscondcut in University Policy 2740. This policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Misconduct applies to any allegation of sexual violence or misconduct made by or against a student, or a UNM staff or faculty member, regardless of where the alleged sexual violence or misconduct occurred.
What is Title IX and who does it protect?
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX) is a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex (including gender, sex stereotyping, and gender identity) in federally funded education programs and activities. Sexual harassment, which includes acts of sexual violence and sexual misconduct, is a form of sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX.
How do I make a complaint if I have been sexually harassed or assaulted by another student?
UNM urges any individual who has experienced sexual violence or misconduct, or has knowledge about an incident of sexual misconduct, to make an official report. However, UNM recognizes that some individuals may want to speak with someone anonymously about reporting options and support before deciding whether to report the incident to the UNM Police or the Office of Equal Opportunity for investigation. The LoboRESPECT Advocacy Center, Women's Resource Center, and LGBTQ Resource Center are where an individual can speak anonymously to an advocate* - details or concerns will not be shared without one's signed permission - for instances of sexual misconduct. Advocates can explain reporting options before a formal report has been made.
An incident like this occurring could be a violation of the Student Code of Conduct. In addition to making a police report, you can file a report with the Office of Equal Opportunity. You may contact OEO whether or not you wish to file a report with the police. UNM's first priority is to make sure that you are safe and that your immediate needs are taken care of. Whether you contact UNMPD, OEO, or an anonymous reporting location, UNM will connect you with resources both on and off campus.
Do I have to name the alleged offender?
You can choose whether to identify the alleged offender or not. If you want the University to pursue formal disciplinary action against that individual, you must name the individual. If you choose to not file a formal complaint, you do not need to name the individual. However, you should be aware that failure to name the alleged offender may limit the University’s ability to respond comprehensively to the alleged sexual misconduct.
What if I have a sexual misconduct complaint against a faculty or staff member?
Sexual misconduct complaints against University employees can be made through the Office of Equal Opportunity. You may contact OEO or an anonymous reporting location whether or not you wish to file a report with the police.
Does it matter when I report the incident?
No. You can report an incident of sexual violence to the police and/or the University at any time, regardless of when it occurred. Keep in mind that the sooner you file a report, the more likely it is that the police/University will be able to identify and speak to witnesses, and be able to conduct a meaningful investigation.
How long do I have to file a report regarding an incident of sexual misconduct?
The University encourages individuals to immediately report incidents of sexual misconduct, but recognizes that individuals may be reluctant at first. Although there is no specific time limit, we recommend reporting as soon as possible. Anonymous reporting locations are available to discuss your options without making a formal report.
I was assaulted by another UNM student. I have already reported this to the local police. Do I also have to file a complaint with UNM?
No. The local police investigate your report to determine whether a crime occurred. UNM investigates to determine whether the student violated the Student Code of Conduct or University Policy. Reporting to OEO is an administrative process and is not a part of the criminal investigation. If the person is found responsible for a violation of the Student Code of Conduct or University Policy, it can result in sanctions including suspension and expulsion from the University. UNM cooperates with local police agencies when investigating but the investigation is independent of the police. You have the option to report the incident to the police, to OEO or both. You have the right to participate in the investigation as it progresses.
What if I don’t want to file a police report?
Individuals who experience sexual violence may initially be undecided about filing a criminal report. It is still a good idea to contact the police and/or Albuquerque SANE to allow them to take a report and to collect evidence. Contacting the police and getting a forensic exam leaves options open for filing charges in the future. By contacting police early, the chances of a successful criminal prosecution are enhanced. This decision, however, is completely yours.
If I don’t want to go through the university judicial process after filing my complaint do I have to participate?
No. However, UNM may decide to continue with an investigation if it is determined that the safety of the community is at risk.
Can I file a complaint with the University if the incident occurred off campus?
Yes. If the incident involved another UNM student or UNM employee, the University will investigate and take appropriate action whether or not the sexual misconduct occurred on campus.
I am afraid to report what happened because I am concerned about what will happen to me.
University Policy 2740 prohibits retaliation against any person who makes a complaint of sexual violence or misconduct or testifies, assists, or participates in an investigation or proceeding regarding an allegation of sexual violence or misconduct. If you believe you have been retaliated against, you should immediately contact the investigator assigned to your case or you the Title IX Coordinator in the Office of Equal Opportunity.
Can I seek help if I want to keep information about what happened confidential?
Yes. The University of New Mexico has designated three centers on campus where an individual can speak anonymously to an advocate* - details or concerns will not be shared without one's signed permission - for instances of sexual misconduct. These locations are the LoboRESPECT Advocacy Center, Women's Resource Center, and LGBTQ Resource Center. Additionally, licensed health professionals at Student Health and Counseling (SHAC) are prohibited from sharing the information you provide them without your permission (with a few rare exceptions). All other employees at the University are obligated to report instances of sexual harassment or violations of the sexual misconduct policy.
If I am a student, will the University tell my parents?
No. Because the University’s primary relationship is with students – rather than their parents – the University will not inform parents of either the complainant or the accused student. However, the University strongly encourages students to inform their parents, especially if the student faces major medical, disciplinary, or academic jeopardy.
What if I am underage but was intoxicated at the time of the assault – will I get charged with underage drinking if I file a report?
UNM grants amnesty to students who may have violated the Student Code of Conduct’s prohibition on the use or possession of alcohol or drugs at the same time he or she experienced sexual violence or misconduct. Therefore, no drug or alcohol-related charges under the Student Code of Conduct are applied to students who report that they were using drugs or alcohol at the time they experienced sexual violence or misconduct. Additional information on the amnesty policy can be found in UNM Policy 2740.
If I have been assaulted by a student, how will I be protected while the investigation is taking place?
UNM's priority is the safety of all students and fairness to all parties. When an incident of sexual misconduct occurs, the University has interim measures which can be taken to protect either the complainant or the university community if deemed appropriate. Interim measures may include a no contact directive to the accused student (the Respondent). If any parties live in UNM Housing, reasonable arrangements can facilitated through the LoboRESPECT Advocacy Center for the safety of the community. If the parties are in the same major/class/group, the LoboRESPECT Advocacy Center can provide reasonable accommodations to address academic attendance to maintain the no contact directive.
What if I do not want anything done?
It is not uncommon for those affected by sexual misconduct to feel this way. It is important for you to know what services and options for reporting are available so that you can make an informed decision on what to do. Most individuals benefit greatly from talking to a counselor, friends or family members. Contacting the police and getting a forensic exam leaves options open for filing charges in the future. Connecting with an advocate at an anonymous location is another way to ensure you have all options available to you as well as resources you may need to heal from such an event.