Harassment (Sexual Misconduct) Prevention
Arkansas Tech University is committed to cultivating a culture of respect in which students can thrive in their educational pursuits. All forms of harassment (sexual misconduct) are in opposition to the values and standards of the community and are strictly prohibited. University members who commit harassment (sexual misconduct), whether on or off campus, are subject to University disciplinary action as well as possible criminal action. Harassment (sexual misconduct) includes, but is not limited to, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, and sexual harassment. The complete Equal Opportunity, Harassment (Sexual Misconduct), and Nondiscrimination Policy and Procedures can be located here or in the Student Handbook.
Awareness and prevention programs
As part of our commitment to an educational environment free from harassment (sexual misconduct), the University coordinates and presents awareness and prevention programming throughout each academic year. Collaborative efforts in Student Affairs enables the University to offer regular programs focused on reducing incidences of sexual misconduct for students, faculty, and staff. Examples of educational outreach and training programs related to sexual misconduct include:
- Harassment (sexual misconduct) prevention training during New Student Orientation.
- Mandatory annual completion of EverFi’s online Sexual Assault Prevention training, a course designed to increase awareness of harassment (sexual misconduct), hone bystander intervention skills, and help students know where to go for help.
- The Title IX Office presents educational programs and trainings that focus on bystander intervention, survivor support, and healthy relationships. Click here for a list of upcoming programs.
- The Title IX Office and Registered Student Organizations host relevant guest speakers.
- Counseling Services provides a variety of related educational programs and literature.
- The Department of Public Safety provides safe rides after dark on campus to students as well as self-defense programming.
- The Jerry Cares campaign in the Division of Student Affairs raises awareness of a variety of safety initiatives, including harassment (sexual misconduct).
Tips for preventing harassment (sexual misconduct)
We all have a part to play in the fight against sexual and relationship violence. The following are some things to keep in mind as you interact with peers or sexual/romantic partners.
- Always ask first. Listen for your partner’s response, and take both verbal and nonverbal signs of reluctance or refusal seriously. If the response is not clear, ask again. Mixed messages from your partner are a clear indication that you should stop and talk about it. You have a responsibility to respect your partner's timeline for sexual activities with which they are comfortable.
- Respect the wishes of the person you are interacting with. Even if the person you are with initially gives permission, consent can be withdrawn at any time.
- Remember that prior sexual activity does not equal future consent. Consent must be obtained during every encounter and for every sexual act.
- Realize that drugs and alcohol are no excuse to have sex. Alcohol and other drugs impair judgment and communication, making it difficult to obtain consent. Additionally, it is against the law to engage in sexual activity with someone who is incapacitated or incapable of saying “no.”
- Trust your instincts. If you are uncomfortable or sense that you are in danger, leave as soon as you are able. In an emergency, you should always call 911.
- Be a role model and engage respectfully with others in the Arkansas Tech University community. Set high standards for your friend group and the larger University community, and model the conduct you expect from others.
- Be an leader. If you see concerning behavior, don’t be afraid to intervene if it is safe to do so, and don’t be afraid to contact Public Safety to assist. Speak out against harmful stereotypes and behaviors in conversations with peers and offer help to community members who may need it.
- Some students have a more difficult time reading social cues than others. If you are one of these people, it might be important that you rely less on non-verbal cues and practice good verbal communication with your peer or sexual/romantic partner. If you think that you need to improve your communication skills, consider getting connected with Counseling and Disability Services.
Love shouldn't hurt
If you or someone you know are experiencing relationship or sexual violence, help is available through campus and community resources listed below.
Some red flags of abuse include:
- Controlling behavior
- Excessive or threatening contact through text messages, telephone calls, or other forms of communication
- Obsessive jealousy
- Physical violence such as hitting, slapping, punching, kicking, etc.
- Put downs and name-calling
- Sexual pressure
- Isolating their partner from friends and/or family
- Threatening to leave or take their own life
Some warning signs someone is being abused include:
- Making excuses for a partner’s bad behavior
- Making excuses for injuries
- Fear of a dating partner
- Isolation from friends and/or family
- Skipping out on class, work, or social gatherings for no clear reason
- Noticeable changes in eating or sleeping patterns
- Alcohol and/or other drug abuse
- Loss of self-confidence
- Constantly checking in with their partner
- Depression and/or anxiety
- Drastic personality changes
For additional and more detailed information related to options for ongoing assistance and reporting, please see the Equal Opportunity, Harassment (Sexual Misconduct) and Nondiscrimination Policy and Procedures located here and in the Student Handbook.