What is Title IX?

Title IX of the Education Amendment of 1972 prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in educational programs and activities at federally funded institutions. Title IX protects students, faculty, staff and visitors to our campus from all forms of sex discrimination.

Sexual harassment, including sexual violence, is a form of sex discrimination and is prohibited under Title IX. Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal and nonverbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when this conduct is so severe, persistent or pervasive that it affects an individual's employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual's work or educational performance, or creates an intimidating or hostile work or educational environment.

OUR COMMITMENT TO YOU

Our vision is at the heart of what University Ethics and Compliance is all about: We strive to seek equality, provide resources and promote ethics.

This vision defines the way members of our community should interact with each other, which means that sex-based discrimination, harassment (including sexual violence) and related retaliation has no place at A&M-Commerce.

A&M-Commerce will promptly address all complaints of sex-based discrimination, harassment and related retaliation made by or against faculty, staff, students, guests and vendors in accordance with our policies and applicable federal and state laws.

Amanda Berry's headshot

Title IX Officer

Amanda Berry is the Title IX coordinator for A&M-Commerce. Her responsibilities include oversight, leadership and coordination for Title IX compliance efforts regarding discrimination based on sex, sexual harassment (including sexual violence) and related retaliation and for supporting a safe and respectful academic, working and living environment.

You can reach out to Amanda at any time with questions about civil rights/Title IX.

903.886.5991
[email protected]
McDowell Administration Bldg. Room 120

University Ethics and Compliance Investigations

The Office of University Ethics and Compliance is responsible for the investigation and resolution of alleged violations of A&M-Commerce’s civil rights policies, including Title IX.

This includes instances of sex-based discrimination, harassment (including sexual violence) and related retaliation when this conduct is so severe, persistent or pervasive that it explicitly or implicitly affects an individual's employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual's work or educational performance, or creates an intimidating or hostile work or educational environment.

Conduct that is not severe, persistent or pervasive may still be a violation of other university policies, and when appropriate, Ethics and Compliance will partner with other university entities to address such conduct.

Frequently Asked Questions

What types of conduct can I report?

Ethics and Compliance investigates allegations of civil rights violations at A&M-Commerce. This includes harassment based on a protected class, discrimination based on a protected class, sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking. We also investigate allegations of retaliation for reporting or participating in the investigation of any of the above behaviors.

At A&M-Commerce, the list of protected classes includes race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, ability, veteran status, and genetic information. Harassment or discrimination based on any of these classes can be reported to us.

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How do “no contact” restrictions work?

Student Rights and Responsibilities can issue a “no contact” restriction at the request of either the complainant or the respondent. Once both parties have been notified of the “no contact” restriction, all communication between the parties should cease until the restriction has been lifted. Asking another person to communicate with the other party will also be considered a violation of the restriction. If you violate the no-contact restriction, Student Rights and Responsibilities may take action against you.

If you are in a public place and the other person arrives at the same location, you should avoid each other. If you are uncomfortable being in the same location as the other person, you should leave the premises.

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Are there consequences for making false reports?

Yes. Individuals who intentionally mislead an investigator will be sanctioned by the University. Please note that a finding of “not responsible” is not evidence of a false report.

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If I tell Ethics and Compliance about something that happened on a certain night, for example, is there amnesty available to me for other student conduct violations (underage drinking, drugs, etc…)?

The university has an amnesty policy for complainants and witnesses who make a good-faith report of sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, dating violence or stalking. The amnesty policy does not apply to a student who reports the student’s own commission or complicity in the commission of sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence or stalking.

The university does not have an amnesty policy for employees. All employees are required to fully participate in an investigation.

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What are Supportive Measures? 

Supportive measures are non-disciplinary, non-punitive individualized services offered as appropriate, as reasonably available and without fee or charge to the complainant or the respondent before or after the filing of a formal complaint or where no formal complaint has been filed. Such measures are designed to restore or preserve equal access to the member’s education program or activity without unreasonably burdening the other party, including measures designed to protect the safety of all parties or the member’s educational or work environment, or deter sexual harassment.

Please contact the University Ethics and Compliance office to discuss supportive measures. The request will be considered regardless of whether you choose to report the incident to law enforcement or pursue an investigation through our office. Requests are considered from both complainants and respondents.

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Can I bring my parent or my attorney to the investigation interview?

You have the right to choose an advisor to be present with you at any point during the investigation and resolution process, including during your interview with the investigator. Your advisor may be any person selected by you, including legal counsel. The advisor’s participation will be limited to the role of an observer, although the advisor may request a break at any point to give you advice. The advisor cannot be called as a witness once they have assumed the role of advisor. Any fees charged by an advisor will be paid by the party that brings the advisor.

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Can I talk with other people about what is going on during an investigation?

In order to protect the privacy of all who are involved in the investigation process (including complainants, respondents, and witnesses), and to protect the integrity of the investigation process, we ask that you keep information related to the investigation private. You are not prohibited from speaking with others about what is going on; however, you should be careful not to engage in conduct that could be perceived as retaliation.

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Is there a time limit for reporting?

No. You may report discrimination based on sex or gender, sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, dating violence, domestic violence and stalking at any time. However, if the alleged respondent has graduated or is no longer employed with Texas A&M University-Commerce, our response to the report may be limited.

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What is the difference between a civil rights violation and sexual misconduct? Which cases do Student Rights and Responsibilities handle?

Ethics and Compliance is charged with investigating violations of civil rights. Sexual misconduct becomes a civil rights violation when it is so severe, persistent or pervasive that it creates a work, educational or campus living environment that a reasonable person would consider intimidating, hostile or abusive. The determination of whether an environment is “hostile” must be based on all of the circumstances, which may include the frequency of the conduct, the nature and severity of the conduct, whether the conduct was physically threatening or humiliating and the mental or emotional effect of the conduct on the individual(s) subjected to the alleged harassment. An “intimidating or abusive” environment exists when the conduct interferes with, limits, or deprives an individual from participating in or benefiting from the university’s educational, employment and/or campus-residential experience (including participation in university programs, activities or benefits).

Sometimes, a behavior may be unacceptable to members of the A&M-Commerce community but not reach the standards required by law to be a civil rights violation. To ensure that this kind of behavior does not go unaddressed, we may delegate the investigation and sanctioning of unprofessional or inappropriate conduct of a sexual nature to other university administrators, such as a department head or the dean of students.

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If a student respondent is found responsible for a policy violation, will the respondent be able to hold a leadership position in a student organization?

During an investigation of allegations of sex-based violence or non-consensual penetration of another person, the dean of students makes case-by-case determinations about a student’s eligibility to participate in extracurricular activities, including student organizations. 

After the investigation, a student who is 1) found responsible for sex-based violence or non-consensual penetration of another, and 2) given a sanction of “Conduct Probation” or “Suspension” will not be in good standing with the university during the probation/suspension period. 

Students who are not in good standing with the university are ineligible to 1) hold an office in any student organization; or, 2) represent the university at any official function, including intercollegiate athletics or other form of intercollegiate competition or representation (including events taking place both on and off the university campus).

A student who re-enrolls with the university after a suspension period of one year or more will not be eligible to hold an office in any student organization or represent the university at any official function.

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If I want to report my professor or my boss, can they retaliate against me?

If someone retaliates against you because you made a report or participated in an investigation, you may file a complaint against them for retaliation. Retaliation includes job reprimands, removal from a team or activity, poor grades, negative evaluations, threats, harassment, or other adverse actions.

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What happens after I make a report?

All reports of civil rights violations (including Title IX) are forwarded to Ethics and Compliance. You will be contacted by an Ethics and Compliance staff member who will invite you to a meeting to review your rights, resources and options. You will be given the opportunity to request either a formal resolution, an informal resolution, or no resolution to your report.

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Can I report on behalf of someone else?

Yes. If you witnessed or become aware of a potential civil rights violation that is happening to someone else, you can report it to Ethics and Compliance. We will take your statement and then reach out to the impacted person to offer help and resources.

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I am a student. If I am found responsible for a policy violation, will it be recorded on my permanent transcript?

If you are found responsible for acts of sex-based violence and/or non-consensual sexual penetration and you are expelled or suspended, your transcript will note that you have been expelled or suspended. There is no transcript notation for other sanctions.

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I am a student. I want to transfer to a different university while A&M-Commerce investigates the allegations against me. Can I do that?

Students will not be able to receive transcripts during an investigation and therefore will not be able to transfer.

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I am a defendant in an ongoing criminal proceeding. Do I have to participate in the university's investigation?

A student who is a defendant in a criminal proceeding should carefully consider whether they should participate in a university investigation. While the university makes every effort to keep our investigation records private, they will be released in response to a legal subpoena.

A student respondent must appear at the time and date assigned for the investigation interview and the hearing, if applicable. Students must identify themselves, but may decline to answer some or all of the questions.

The fact that a student refused to participate will not be used as evidence against that student. However, the fact finder cannot consider your side of the story if the fact finder does not have that evidence.

All employees are required to fully participate in an investigation. Failure to fully participate may result in discipline, up to and including termination.

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I don't want to talk to an investigator. Do I have to participate in the investigation?

A student respondent must appear at the time and date assigned for the investigation interview and the hearing, if applicable.  Students must identify themselves but may decline to answer some or all of the questions.

The fact that a student refused to participate will not be used as evidence against that student.  However, the fact finder cannot consider your side of the story if they do not have that information.

All employees are required to fully participate in university investigations. An individual who fails to participate may be sanctioned, up to and including termination.

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I received a Notice of Investigation from Ethics and Compliance. What types of conduct do Ethics and Compliance investigate?

The Ethics and Compliance Office investigates allegations of civil rights violations at A&M-Commerce. This includes harassment based on a protected class, discrimination based on a protected class, sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking. We also investigate allegations of retaliation for reporting or participating in the investigation of any of the above behaviors.

At Texas A&M University-Commerce, the list of protected classes includes race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, ability, veteran status and genetic information. Harassment or discrimination based on any of these classes can be reported to us.

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How do I file a report?

To file a report, contact the Title IX coordinator either:

In-person at McDowell Business Administration Building, Room 259

By telephone at 903.468.3104

By email at [email protected]

For anonymous reporting, contact Risk, Fraud & Misconduct Hotline at 888.501.3850.

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I am a student. Will I have to move out of my residence hall after filing a report?

In some cases, you may wish to move to a different residence hall in order to avoid contact with the other person named in your report. Please talk to Ethics and Compliance staff member if you would like to do so.

In other cases, it may be necessary for the university to move a student to a different residence hall or restrict access to certain locations on campus while an investigation is ongoing.

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Where can I get counseling or other support services?

Going through an investigation as either a complainant or a respondent is very stressful. Individuals may wish to seek on-campus or off-campus confidential support services, including counseling and/or medical services.

For information about counseling and other types of support services, please consult our campus and community resources.

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I am a student. If I am found responsible for a policy violation, will I lose my scholarships/financial aid?

Students who are “not in good standing” with the university for more than one semester are ineligible to receive a university administered scholarship. Some scholarships have stricter guidelines; for these scholarships, ineligibility may result from a shorter period of being “not in good standing.”

Also, students who re-enroll after 1) being found responsible for sex-based violence or non-consensual penetration of another, and 2) being suspended for one (1) year or more, are ineligible to receive an institutional scholarship.

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Contact Us

  • McDowell Administration 120
  • P.O. Box 3011
  • Commerce,TX 75429-3011
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