Title IX

At Midwestern State University, the Title IX Department provides students, faculty, and staff with access to their their rights and options under Title IX. The Title IX Department conducts investigations into possible violations of MSU's Sexual Misconduct Policy, as well as oversees the university's primary prevention and education programming related to sexual assault, interpersonal violence, and sexual harassment.

Report Sexual Misconduct

Please use this form to report any of the following situations or circumstances: Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, Sexual Harassment, Stalking, or other forms of Sexual Misconduct.

Online Report Form


Non-Discrimination Statement

Midwestern State University strives to create and actively promote a welcoming and supportive environment in order to recruit, hire, retain, and support a culturally diverse faculty, staff, and student body. Midwestern State University is committed to providing an environment of nondiscrimination and equal opportunity. In accordance with federal and state law, the University prohibits unlawful discrimination, including harassment, on the basis of race, age, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, veteran’s status, disability, or citizenship. Retaliation against individuals who in good faith file a claim of discrimination or otherwise oppose discriminatory actions will not be tolerated.
Frequently Asked Questions

Does a complaint remain confidential?

Reports made to licensed counselors, health service providers and clergy will be kept confidential. All other reports are considered private. The privacy of all parties to a complaint of sexual misconduct will be maintained, except insofar as it interferes with the University’s obligation to fully investigate allegations of sexual misconduct. Where information is shared, it will still be tightly controlled on a need-to-know basis. Dissemination of information and/or written materials to persons not involved in the complaint procedure is not permitted.

In all complaints of sexual misconduct, the complainant will be informed of the outcome. In some instances, the administration also may choose to make a brief announcement of the nature of the violation and the action taken, to the community, though personally identifying information about the victim will not be shared. Certain university administrators are informed privately (e.g., the President of the University, Title IX Coordinator, Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, Chief of Police, Director of Student Conduct, Director of the Counseling Center etc.).The University must statistically report the occurrence on campus of any of six major violent crimes, including certain sex offenses, in an annual report of campus crime statistics. This statistical report does not include personally identifiable information.

What are the frequent definitions of terms used related to Sexual Misconduct?

Consent: Consent is clear sexual permission and can only be given by one of legal age. Consent can be given by word or action, but non-verbal consent is more ambiguous than explicitly stating one's wants and limitations. Consent to one form of sexual activity should not, and cannot, be taken as consent to any other sexual activity.

Coercion: Unreasonably pressuring another person for sex.

Sexual Harassment: Gender-based verbal or physical conduct that has the effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive working or educational environment. There are two types of sexual harassment:

Hostile Environment includes situations in which there is harassing conduct that is sufficiently severe, pervasive/persistent and objectively offensive so that it alters the conditions of education or employment, from both a subjective (the alleged victim’s) and objective (a reasonable person’s) viewpoint. The determination of whether an environment is “hostile” must be based on all the circumstances. These circumstances could include, but are not limited to:

  • The frequency of the speech or conduct;
  • The nature and severity of the speech or conduct;
  • Whether the conduct was physically threatening;
  • Whether the speech or conduct was humiliating;
  • The effect of the speech or conduct on the alleged victim’s mental and/or emotional state;
  • Whether the speech or conduct was directed at more than one person;
  • Whether the speech or conduct arose in the context of other discriminatory conduct;
  • Whether the speech or conduct unreasonably interfered with the alleged victim’s educational or work performance;
  • Whether a statement is a mere utterance of an epithet which engenders offense in an employee or a student or offends by mere discourtesy or rudeness; and/or
  • Whether the speech or conduct deserves the protections of academic freedom.

Quid Pro Quo sexual harassment exists when there are unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature where submission to, or rejection of, such conduct results in educational or employment action.

Nonconsensual Sexual Intercourse (or attempts to commit the same):

  • Any sexual intercourse (anal, oral or vaginal), however slight, with any object, by a person upon another person, without consent and/or by physical force.

Nonconsensual Sexual Contact (or attempts to commit the same):

  • Any intentional sexual touching, however slight, with any object, by a person upon another person, without consent and/or by physical force.

Sexual Exploitation: Taking nonconsensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for one’s own advantage or benefit, or to benefit a person other than the one being exploited. Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to:

  1. Prostituting another student;
  2. Non-consensual video or audioo recording of sexual activity;
  3. Exceeding the boundaries of explicit consent, such as allowing friends to hide in a closet to be witness to one's consensual sexual activity;
  4. Engaging in voyeurism (Peeping Tommery); and/or
  5. Knowingly transmitting a sexually transmitted disease/infection or HIV to another student.

Dating Violence: Violence between those in a continuing relationship of an intimate or romantic nature with one another.  The existence of such a relationship shall be determined with consideration of:

  • the length of the relationship;
  • the type of relationship; and
  • the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.

Domestic Violence: Violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim, a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, a person who is cohabitating or had cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner, or a person similarly situated to a spouse, adult or youth victim protected by domestic or family violence laws.

Stalking: Engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for his or her safety or the safety of others, or suffer substantial emotional distress. For the purpose of this definition…

1. Course of conduct means two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which the stalker directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about, a person, or interferes with a person’s property.

2. Substantial emotional distress means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.

Retaliation: Exists when an individual harasses, intimidates or takes other adverse actions against a person because of the person’s participation in an investigation of discrimination or sexual misconduct or their support of someone involved in an investigation of discrimination or sexual misconduct. Retaliatory actions include, but are not limited to, threats or actual violence against the person or their property, adverse educational or employment consequences, ridicule, intimidation, bullying, or ostracism. The University will impose sanctions on any individual found to be engaging in retaliation.

What does the investigation entail?

During the investigation process, two impartial investigators are assigned. Each party is provided a copy of the investigation report to review and provided feedback on any discrepancies. Parties have the right to challenge the selection should a potential conflict of interest exist.

Both parties have the right to discuss this matter with an advisor(s) but the university is required under federal privacy laws and guidance to conduct this investigation confidentially. We ask for discretion in what you each choose to share and hope that you will respect the sensitive nature of these allegations in such a manner to not adversely impact the integrity and impartiality of the investigatory process.

If the Formal Complaint is not dismissed or resolved by Informal Resolution, then the Formal Complaint shall proceed to a live hearing. The live hearing will be conducted in accordance with the procedure set forth in Policy 4-161.A and 4-161.B.

Can someone come with me to investigation meetings?

An advisor can be anyone of the party’s choosing. An attorney may also fill this role of advisor; however, the Title IX/Sexual Misconduct Investigation process is not comparable to a criminal or civil court proceeding, and therefore, the role of an attorney as an advisor is different in MSU’s process than it is in a court of law. MSU’s process is strictly administrative in nature and is not a legal proceeding.

What are risk reduction tips?

Tips like these tend to make victims feel blamed if a sexual assault occurs. It is never the victim’s fault, and these tips are offered in the hope that recognizing patterns can help men and women to reduce the risk of victimization. That said, only a rapist or an empowered bystander can intervene to prevent a rape or assault. Generally, an assault by a known offender will follow a four-step pattern:

a)   An individual’s personal space is violated in some way. For example, the perpetrator may touch the victim in a way that does not feel comfortable.

b)   If the victim does not express discomfort, the perpetrator may begin to view the victim as an easy target because she/he is not acting assertively.

c)   The perpetrator may take the victim to a location that is secluded and where the victim is vulnerable.

d)   The victim feels trapped or unable to be assertive and is raped or assaulted.


Decisive action early in an encounter may be the key to avoiding rape. An individual who can combine assertiveness and self-defense skills, who is self-confident and definite in his/her interactions with others, is less likely to become a victim of rape. If the individual can assertively defend his/her rights initially, he/she has a better chance of avoiding being raped than does a person who resorts to techniques such as pleading or trying to talk the perpetrator out of it. If you find yourself in an uncomfortable sexual situation, these suggestions may help you to reduce your risk:

a)  Make your limits known before things go too far.

b)  Give clear messages. Say “yes” when you mean yes and “no” when you mean no. Leave no room for misinterpretation. Tell a sexual aggressor “NO” clearly and loudly, like you mean it.

c)  Try to extricate yourself from the physical presence of a sexual aggressor.

d)  Grab someone nearby and ask for help.

e)  Be responsible for your alcohol intake/drug use and realize that alcohol/drugs lower your sexual inhibitions and may make you more vulnerable to someone who views a drunk or high person as a sexual opportunity.

f)  Watch out for your friends and ask that they watch out for you. A real friend will get in your face if you are about to make a mistake. Respect them if they do.

g)  Be aware of any nonverbal messages you may be sending that conflict with what you are saying. Notice your tone of voice, gestures and eye contact.

h)  Be forceful and firm when necessary. Don’t be concerned with being polite. Your passivity may be interpreted as permission or approval for this behavior.

i)  Do not acquiesce to something you do not want just to avoid unpleasantness. Do not allow "politeness" to trap you in a dangerous situation. This is not the time to be concerned about hurt feelings.

j)  Trust your feelings or instincts. If a situation does not feel comfortable to you or you feel anxious about the way your date is acting, you need to respond. Leave immediately if necessary.


If you find yourself in the position of being the initiator of sexual behavior, you owe sexual respect to your potential partner. These suggestions may help you to reduce your risk for being accused of sexual misconduct:

a)  Do not make assumptions about:
      a.   Consent;
      b.   Someone’s sexual availability;
      c.   Whether a person is attracted to you;
      d.   How far you can go; or
      e.   Whether a person is physically and mentally able to consent to you.

b)  Clearly communicate your intentions to your sexual partner and give him/her a chance to clearly relate his/her intentions to you.

c)  Mixed messages from your partner should be a clear indication that you should step back, defuse the sexual tension, and communicate better. Perhaps you are misreading your partner. Perhaps your partner has not figured out how far he/she wants to go with you yet. You need to respect the timeline with which your partner is comfortable.

d)  Do not take advantage of someone’s drunkenness or drugged state, even if he/she did it to him/herself.

e)  Realize that your potential partner could be intimidated by you, or fearful. You may have a power advantage simply because of your gender or size. Do not abuse that power.

f)   Understand that consent to some forms of sexual behavior does not necessarily imply consent to other forms of sexual behavior.

g)  On this campus, silence and passivity cannot be interpreted as an indication of consent. Read your potential partner carefully, paying attention to verbal and non-verbal communication and body language.

h)  Do not force someone to have sex with you, or have sex with a partner who has not clearly consented to you by words or actions unmistakable in their meaning.

Do I have to name the alleged perpetrator?

Yes, if you want formal conduct action to be taken against the alleged perpetrator. No, if you choose to respond informally and do not file a formal complaint. One should consult the complete privacy policy described in Section 11 and 12: Title IX Sexual Misconduct and Non-Title IX Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedures of the Student Code of Conduct to better understand the University’s legal obligations regarding information which is shared with various university officials.

Will I have to confront the alleged perpetrator?

Yes, if you want formal conduct action to be taken against the alleged perpetrator. No, if you choose to respond informally and do not file a formal complaint. One should consult the complete privacy policy described in Section 11 and 12: Title IX Sexual Misconduct and Non-Title IX Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedures of the Student Code of Conduct to better understand the University’s legal obligations regarding information which is shared with various university officials.

A live hearing may be conducted with all parties physically present in the same geographic location or, at the University’s discretion, any or all parties, witnesses, and other participants may appear at the live hearing virtually, with technology enabling participants simultaneously to see and hear each other.

What should I do if I am accused of sexual misconduct?

First, do not contact the alleged victim. You may immediately want to contact someone in the campus community who can act as your advisor. You may also contact the Director of Student Conduct, who can explain the University’s procedures for dealing with sexual misconduct reports. You may also want to talk to a confidential counselor in the Counseling Center.

What should I do about changing university housing rooms?

If you want to move, or have the accused student moved, you may request a room change. Room changes under these circumstances are considered emergencies. It is the University’s policy that in emergency room changes, the student is moved to the first available suitable room. Other accommodations available to you might include:

  1. Assistance from university support staff in completing the relocation;
  2. Arranging to dissolve a housing contract and pro-rating a refund;
  3. Exam, paper or assignment rescheduling;
  4. Taking an incomplete in a class;
  5. Transferring class sections;
  6. Temporary withdrawal; and/or
  7. Alternative course completion options.

What should I do to preserve evidence of a sexual assault?

Physical information of a sexual assault must be collected within about 120 hours of the assault for it to be useful in a criminal prosecution. If you believe you have been a victim of a sexual assault, you should go to a hospital emergency room before washing yourself or your clothing. A sexual assault health professional (a specially trained nurse called a SANE) at the hospital is on call and will counsel you. If you go to the hospital, local police will be called but you are not obligated to talk to the police or to prosecute. The exam will help to keep that option open for you should you decide later to exercise it.

The hospital staff will collect information, check for injuries and address the possibility of exposure to sexually transmitted infections. If you have changed clothing since the assault, bring the clothing you had on at the time of the assault with you to the hospital in a clean, sanitary container such as a clean paper grocery bag or wrapped in a clean sheet. (Plastic containers do not breathe, and may render forensic information useless.) If you have not changed clothes, bring a change of clothes with you to the hospital, if possible, as they will likely keep the clothes you are wearing as information. You can take a support person with you to the hospital, and they can accompany you through the exam, if you want. Do not disturb the crime scene—leave all sheets, towels, etc. that may bear information for the police to collect.

Will either party’s prior use of drugs and/or alcohol be a factor when reporting sexual misconduct?

No, not unless there is a compelling reason to believe that prior use or abuse is relevant to the present complaint.

Will a student be sanctioned when reporting an act of sexual misconduct if the student has illegally used drugs or alcohol?

No. The University offers amnesty in such situations. The seriousness of sexual misconduct is a major concern and the University does not want any of the circumstances (e.g., drug or alcohol use) to inhibit the reporting of sexual misconduct.

What should I do if I am uncertain about what happened?

If you believe that you have experienced non-consensual sexual contact, but are unsure of whether it was a violation of the University’s sexual misconduct policy, you should contact the Title IX Coordinator and/or Director of Student Conduct. The University employs licensed counselors who can help you to define and clarify the event(s), and advise you of your options.

Last Modified: 09/08/2023