Information for Complainants
The Department of Civil Rights and Equity Investigations (CREI) investigates allegations of civil rights violations at Texas A&M University. 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. CREI also investigates allegations of retaliation for reporting or participating in the investigation of any of the above behaviors.
At Texas A&M University, 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 CREI.
The Department of Civil Rights and Equity Investigations (CREI) 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 behavior for members of the Texas A&M community, but may also not reach the standards required by law to be a civil rights violation. To ensure that this kind of behavior does not go unaddressed, CREI 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 Student Life.
Yes. If you witnessed or become aware of a potential civil rights violation that is happening to someone else, you can report it to the Department of Civil Rights and Equity Investigations (CREI). CREI will take your statement and then reach out to the person being impacted and offer their help and resources.
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, CREI’s response to the report may be limited.
Yes. Individuals who intentionally mislead an investigator will be sanctioned by CREI. Please note that a finding of “not responsible” is not evidence of a false report.
All reports of civil rights violations (including Title IX) are forwarded to the Department of Civil Rights and Equity Investigations (CREI). You will be contacted by one of CREI’s case managers who will invite you to a meeting where they can go over all of your rights, resources, and options. You will be given the opportunity to request either a formal resolution, informal resolution, or no resolution to your report.
When you make a report, in good faith, as a complainant or witness to an incident of sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual exploitation and domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking, the University will not take disciplinary action against you for other violations of the Student Conduct Code occurring at or near the time of the incident reported. The University may, however, investigate to determine whether a report of an incident of sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking was made in good faith. The amnesty policy will 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. A determination that a student is entitled to amnesty is final and may not be revoked.
CREI is located on west campus in the Medical Sciences Library (MEDL) Suite 007. MEDL is near both the West Campus Library and the Wehner building. In the main lobby of MEDL, there is a stairway that leads down to the basement. CREI is in Suite 007 which is at the bottom of that stairway.
Unfortunately, there is no free parking near MEDL. Both Lots 72a and 72b are next to the building and use a pay by space system. If you have a University Business Pass, you can park in lots 72a and 72b without paying.
You can also reach MEDL by using the Aggie Spirit Buses. The 01, 03, 06, and 09 bus routes all stop at Wehner which is only about a block away from MEDL.
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.
Going through an investigation as either a Complainant or a Respondent is very stressful. CREI can often assist with postponing a test, moving your work location, dropping a class after a Q drop date, or moving you to a different section of the same class. CREI can also support you by facilitating a move to a different dorm or parking garage or by issuing a “No Contact” restriction so that you and the other party do not talk to each other during the investigation.
Please discuss your specific request with your Case Manager. Your request will be considered regardless of whether you choose to report the incident to law enforcement or pursue an investigation through our office. CREI considers requests from both Complainants and Respondents.
Absolutely! We will work with your schedule to try and avoid scheduling you for an interview time that conflicts with your schedule. If it is not possible to avoid a conflict, CREI will provide you with an excuse note for your supervisor/professor.
CREI 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, CREI may take action against you.
If you are in a public place (such as a restaurant or Kyle Field), and the other person arrives at the same location, you should avoid each other. If you are uncomfortable being at the same location with the other person, you should leave the premises.
In some cases, you may wish to move to a different residence hall in order to avoid contact with the other person. Please talk to your CREI Case Manager 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.
After the investigation, persons who are found responsible for committing an act of sex-based violence and/or non-consensual sexual penetration of another person face Campus Housing Sanctions, including (a) loss of campus housing privilege, (b) deferred loss of campus housing privilege, and (c) campus housing probation.
Please refer to Student Rule 27.2 for further information.
During an investigation of allegations of sex-based violence or non-consensual penetration of another person, the Dean of Student life 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 (includes 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.
Please refer to Student Rule 27.1.2 for further information.
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.
During a criminal investigation, investigators gather evidence in order to determine whether someone broke the law. If a person is found guilty of breaking a law, a judge assigns criminal penalties (like incarceration or sex offender registration). A Complainant seeking criminal penalties files a report with the relevant law enforcement agency.
Investigations conducted by the Department of Civil Rights and Equity Investigations at Texas A&M University are administrative investigations, not criminal investigations. During a University investigation, investigators gather evidence in order to make a conclusion about whether a System regulation or University rule or policy has been broken. If a violation is found, a University administrator issues sanctions such as probation, termination of employment, suspension, or expulsion. Please consult the University’s Title IX Sanctioning Matrix for an explanation the University’s sanctions. A Complainant seeking University sanctions for student misconduct files a report with the University.
An individual is not required to report an issue to law enforcement or the University, but individuals are encouraged to report to either or both. A criminal investigation and a University investigation may occur concurrently.
Please notify your case manager as soon as possible if you would like to request an accommodation due to disability during the investigation process. Note that it is your responsibility to make your need known and to provide any supporting documentation requested by the case manager to support the need for the accommodations.
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 to not engage in conduct that could be perceived as retaliation.
You have the option to report anonymously. However, if you choose to remain anonymous or do not wish to disclose information regarding the individual you wish to report, the University’s ability to respond to the report may be limited.
A Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) can assess you for physical trauma, sexually-transmitted infection, and pregnancy. A SANE can also collect and preserve evidence of a sexual assault.
Local medical facilities which can conduct a SANE exam include:
- Baylor Scott & White Medical Center (SANE nurses on call 24/7)
700 Scott & White Drive, College Station TX
- CHI St Joseph College Station Hospital
1604 Rock Prairie Road, College Station TX
- St. Joseph Hospital
2801 Franciscan Drive, Bryan TX
Absolutely. You may provide the Investigator with any information or evidence you wish to have reviewed. The investigator will gather your evidence and determine if it is relevant to the allegations. If so, your evidence will be included in the report, as appropriate.
You will have the opportunity to review and respond to the draft investigation report before it goes to the decision maker.
The investigation report is a compilation of ALL relevant evidence gathered by the Investigator. You should see your side of the story as well as the other party’s story (even if you believe it is untrue) in the report. If you believe that the investigator left out a key piece of evidence or forgot to talk to a witness who has relevant evidence you may notify the investigator of your concerns in your response to the draft report. Your response will be attached to the final report as an exhibit. The investigator has the discretion to decide whether more investigation is needed after reviewing both responses to the draft report.
CREI usually completes an investigation within 30 to 60 business days. Many factors, such as the complexity of the investigation, the availability of witnesses, or the availability of CREI staff can make the investigation take longer. We will keep you reasonably notified of delays, and you can call your case manager at any time for a status update.
The standard of proof used in Title IX Cases is the “preponderance of the evidence” standard. Preponderance of the evidence means that, based on the evidence, the allegation is more likely than not to have occurred. This standard is different that the “beyond a reasonable doubt,” which is a much higher standard of proof that is used in criminal court.
You have the right to choose an advisor to be present with you at any point during the investigation and resolution process, including 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.
Yes, filing a claim with our office or being a party to a claim in our office does not preclude you from hiring a private investigator or reporting to the police.