Sexual Misconduct FAQs

Get answers to common questions about sexual misconduct definitions, reporting, and procedures at Towson University.

Reporting Incidents of Sexual Misconduct

For resources and information about reporting incidents of sexual violence, please visit Sexual Violence Prevention & Resources

How many people am I going to have to talk to?

We are aware that survivors/victims often do not want to have to tell their story to multiple sources. The Title IX Coordinator/Deputy Title IX Coordinator and/or Office of Student Conduct may ask a reporting party to share what took place, and may ask them to provide a written account of what happened. If a university hearing is convened, the complainant will be asked to provide their statement to the hearing board as well.

What if I don’t want the person to get in trouble?

The university’s goal is not to get someone in trouble, but to respond to reports of sexual misconduct, eliminate the behavior, prevent its recurrence and address its effects. Part of this may include disciplinary action taken against another individual, which will involve holding the individual accountable for their behavior and taking steps to prevent this from happening again.

Towson University Processes and Procedures

Can I have a friend come with me?

Yes, both reporting parties and responding parties can have a person of their choosing with them throughout all steps in the disciplinary process, including any meeting with the title ix coordinator/deputy coordinator or designee. The support person cannot represent the student during a disciplinary hearing (see “support person” definition in the Code of Student Conduct (PDF)), but can serve as a supportive person for the student.

Who will explain the University’s response?

The Title IX Coordinator/Deputy Title IX Coordinator (or designee) will be able to sit down with both reporting parties and responding parties to talk about options, requests for accommodations, available resources on and off campus, the university’s disciplinary process, and any other questions that may be asked. Students involved in an investigation are strongly encouraged to meet with the above listed individuals to get their questions answered. For more information, please refer to procedures for reporting, investigating, and adjudicating sexual misconduct.

What does the process look like?

The process is outlined in detail on the Student Conduct & Civility Education website. It is a non-adversarial process in which the University attempts to determine the facts of the complaint and take the necessary follow up action. It is not a criminal process and does not include the participation of lawyers, judges, or juries.

What are some interim actions that may be taken?

When students are accused of sexual misconduct, they may be subject to interim action pending the outcome of the university’s disciplinary process. These include, but are not limited to, emergency suspension from the university and/or emergency removal from on-campus housing, removal from an academic class, restriction from being on campus, restriction from entering a specific building, or a specific area of campus, and no-contact with the reporting party or others involved in the complaint.

Why am I being punished before my case is heard?

At times, due to the nature of the allegation, it is essential for the university to take immediate action to protect the safety of the campus community. This could include emergency suspension from the university and/or removal from on campus housing, or other interim action. This action is interim and pending the outcome of the university’s disciplinary process.

What prevents retaliation against reporting parties?

The university will take disciplinary action against any individual or group of individuals who retaliate against a reporting party or any other party involved in a report or investigation of sexual misconduct. Often times, no-contact orders are issued to both students that inform them that they are to have no contact with the other. This includes, but is not limited to, in-person, via telephone, email, social media, or having others contact them or other parties on their behalf.

What if I don’t want to see the person during a hearing?

Accommodations can be made during a university hearing to allow for participants to be part of the Hearing through remote access locations. A partition separating parties is provided for all sexual misconduct hearings.

Will I find out what happens?

The reporting party and responding party will be notified concurrently of the decision of the disciplinary process, any interim action that is being taken, and the final outcome of the process, including the status of any appeals.

What if I am not happy with the outcome?

The reporting party and responding party may appeal the outcome of the disciplinary process as per the appeal process listed in the Code of Student Conduct (PDF) and Procedures for Sexual Misconduct.

What if I’ve been accused?

Accused students (responding parties) should review the information included within the Office of Student Conduct & Civility Education website, which describes the procedures for sexual misconduct cases. Responding parties will be offered an opportunity to meet with the Title IX Coordinator/Deputy Title IX Coordinator and/or Office of Student Conduct to discuss the process, have your questions answered, and be able to provide information regarding the allegations.

Why can’t my lawyer represent me in the disciplinary process?

The University’s disciplinary process is an educational process and students are not entitled to representation by an attorney or another party. Attorneys can serve as a “support person” (see definition in the Code of Student Conduct (PDF)) who can advise their client but do not play an active role in the University’s disciplinary process. If attorneys have questions regarding this expectation, they should contact the University Counsel Office at 410-704-4008.

Concurrent or Possible Criminal/Civil Action

What if the court or police dismiss my case?

The University’s disciplinary process is separate from any concurrent or pending charges through the court system. The final results of a police investigation and/or a criminal proceeding do not impact the University’s process.

What if I have a pending court case?

Students with pending court cases should contact their attorney to discuss their individual situation. The University’s process will proceed independently of a criminal court case and is not dependent on the decision from the court with regards to cases of sexual misconduct.