Information for Parents
What are my student’s rights as a Complainant or a Respondent?
Yes. CREI recommends obtaining consent from your child before reporting, but it is not required.
If you witnessed or are aware of discrimination or harassment (including sexual violence) based on sex that is happening to someone else, you can report it to the TAMU’s Department of Civil Rights and Equity Investigations (CREI). CREI will take your statement and then reach out to the person being impacted and offer help and resources. Please note that the University’s response will likely be limited if the student does not want to participate in our investigation and resolution process.
Texas A&M University has a very strict policy preventing retaliation against anyone for reporting or participating in an investigation of a civil rights policy violation (including Title IX). If you feel like you are being retaliated against for making a report, you can contact the Department of Civil Rights and Equity Investigations (CREI) to report the retaliation.
CREI can also offer academic accommodations and supportive measures to impacted individuals. Examples include:
- transferring the student to a different section of the same class that is taught by a different professor
- issuing a “no contact” restriction to both the Complainant and the Respondent
- offering to move a student to a different dorm so that the student will not have daily contact with the other party
- allowing a student to drop a class after the Q drop date
The Department of Civil Rights and Equity Investigations is charged with investigating violations of our Civil Rights policies: Texas A&M System Regulation 08.01.01 and Texas A&M Rule 08.01.01.M1. These rules prohibit discrimination, harassment, and retaliation based on sex when it is so severe, persistent, or pervasive that an individual is denied access to or full participation in an educational program, activity, or the workplace.
Sometimes a behavior may be unacceptable in our community, but it is not so egregious as to be a civil rights violation. CREI refers this form of inappropriate conduct to other university administrators, such as those in the Student Conduct Office or a Department Head, to be addressed.
No, there is no time limit for filing a complaint with the Department of Civil Rights and Equity Investigations (CREI). Please note that if you are alleging a Title IX violation against a person no longer affiliated with the University (ie. former student or former employee), CREI’s response will likely be limited as we have no authority over the former student or employee.
Yes. If a person knowingly and intentionally misrepresents facts to an investigator or other university administrator, CREI may issue discipline, up to and including separation from the University. Please note that a finding of “not responsible” to a reported allegation is not evidence of a false report.
A students’ privacy is protected by a law called FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act). FERPA prevents universities from discussing a student’s educational record with anyone other than the student unless a student signs a FERPA waiver giving the University permission to speak with others. Students wishing to waive their FERPA Rights may request a waiver form from their Case Manager.
Yes. Anyone who goes through this process is entitled to have an advisor present with them at all times. That advisor can be anyone, including an attorney. The role of the advisor is to provide support as well as guidance and advice. An advisor may not speak for your student or ask questions for your student. An Advisor can advise your student on what to say and what questions to ask prior to interactions with CREI. Please note that CREI reserves the right to remove an advisor if they become disruptive to our process.
Yes. Anyone who goes through this process is entitled to have an advisor present with them at all times. That advisor can be anyone, including a parent. The role of the advisor is to provide support as well as guidance and advice. An advisor may not speak for your student or ask questions for your student. An Advisor can advise your student on what to say and what questions to ask prior to interactions with CREI. Please note that CREI reserves the right to remove an advisor if they become disruptive to our process.
CREI recommends that you allow your student to decide who their advisor will be. Some students do not wish to have a parent serve as an Advisor the student does not feel comfortable answering difficult or embarrassing questions in front of a parent.
If a student is found “responsible,” after investigation and hearing, for violating Texas A&M University System Regulation 08.01.01, Civil Rights Compliance, sanctions are issued. Sanctions vary, depending on the allegation and the facts and circumstances of the specific case. More information about the type and range of sanctions that can be issued against a student can be found on the Sanctioning Matrix.
The best ways to support a child involved in a Title IX complaint is to be available to them: listen, acknowledge that this is a difficult situation, and be non-judgmental. Stay connected and check in frequently. You should also encourage your child to talk to people who can help guide them through the process. The Case Managers at CREI are an excellent source of information and support. You can also direct your child to our resources page, where information can be found about counseling, medical care, and advocacy.
Your child could also ask you to be an “advisor” during the investigation. A party has the right to bring an advisor with them at any time during the investigation and resolution process, including the interview with the Investigator. The advisor may be any person selected by a party, 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 the party advice. The advisor cannot be called as a witness once they have assumed the role of advisor because it would allow the witness to adjust their evidence to line up with evidence submitted by the party.
Your role as an advisor is to be an emotional support as well as to offer guidance and advice. You can NOT speak for your advisee or ask questions for them. You can however advise them on what to say and what questions to ask. The Department of Civil Rights and Equity Investigations (CREI) reserves the right to remove an advisor if they become disruptive.
Anyone who goes through this process is entitled to have an advisor present at all times. If you cannot be available for every meeting, that is okay, your advisee can bring different advisors to different meetings. While CREI is often willing to move meetings to accommodate for the schedule of the involved parties, CREI will NOT move meetings to accommodate for the schedule of an advisor.
A large part of being an advisor is being an emotional support. This process can be stressful so having someone there to affirm them and back them up can go a long way. You can support your child by helping them remember things during interviews or encouraging them to ask questions when there is something that needs more clarification. Your child may potentially be asked embarrassing or difficult questions. Something important you can do is to help make them feel comfortable so they can answer the question openly and honestly without fear of judgement. If you are not sure that you can do that, it is important to be honest with yourself and decide whether or not you are the best choice for an advisor.
A witness cannot be an advisor because we need to ensure the integrity of the investigation. If a witness was to serve as another party’s advisor, it would give them access to another party’s statement which could allow them to craft their statement accordingly.
If your child is a student, then they must attend meetings as scheduled by the Department of Civil Rights and Equity Investigations. However, your student does NOT need to participate. A student may decline to answer questions, and the refusal to participate will not be used as evidence against that student. However, when the fact finder weighs all the evidence collected during the investigation in order to make a decision, the fact finder cannot consider evidence which was not given to the investigators.
Please note that while investigation records are kept private within the University, they are subject to a court subpoena.
When a student make a report, in good faith, as a complainant or witness to an incident of sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, or stalking, the University will not take disciplinary action against that student for 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.
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.
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. CREI can often assist with postponing a test, dropping a class after a Q drop date, or moving your student to a different section of the same class. CREI can also support your student 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 may not talk to each other during the investigation.
Please ask your student to discuss any specific requests with their Case Manager. Your student’s request will be considered regardless of whether your student 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 student’s schedule to try and avoid scheduling an interview at a time that conflicts with the class schedule. However, if it is not possible to avoid this conflict, we will provide your student with an excuse to give to the instructor.
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 a friend or family member to communicate with the other party will be considered a violation of the restriction.
If your student is in a public place (such as a restaurant or Kyle Field), and the other party arrives at the same location, the parties should avoid each other. If your student is uncomfortable being at the same location with the other person, your student should leave the premises.
In some 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 concludes, 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 and intercollegiate athletics.
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. Students may wish to seek on-campus or off-campus confidential support services, including counseling, and/or medical services.
Student Counseling Service
Location: White Creek, Texas A&M Campus
Student Counseling Service Helpline (After Hours)
The Student Counseling Service provides crisis intervention and counseling services to students free of charge. For more information about the scope of services offered, please consult Student Counseling Services.
For information about other types of support services, Get Help Now.
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, suspension, or expulsion. Please consult the University’s Title IX Sanctioning Matrix for an explanation the University’s sanctions. A Complainant seeking University sanctions files a report with the University.
A student is not required to report an issue to law enforcement or the University, but students are encouraged to report to either or both. A criminal investigation and a University investigation may occur concurrently.
Please ask your student to notify their case manager as soon as possible. Please note that it is your student’s responsibility to make their need known and to provide any supporting documentation requested by the case manager to support the need for the accommodations.