NSU is committed to eliminating sexual misconduct in our community, advocating for students who have experienced sexual assault or sexual harassment, and respecting the rights of both complainants and respondents.
Northwestern State prohibits discrimination and sexual misconduct on the basis of sex, which includes sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, and coercion. NSU also prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. This policy includes protection for women, men, and all members of the LGBTQIA+ community.
Every Northwestern State University employee is considered a responsible employee. When an individual tells a responsible employee about an incident involving sexual misconduct, the employee MUST report the incident to the Title IX Coordinator.
For all schools, notice of an incident to an Official with Authority charges a school with actual knowledge and triggers the school's response obligations.
Director of Student Advocacy & Title IX Coordinator
Traci LaBom Norris
Director of Accountability & Student Conduct
Vice President of Student Experience & Dean of Students
Executive Director of Institutional Effectiveness & Human Resources/Title IX Coordinator for Employees
Consent is a CLEAR, out loud, unambiguous “YES”!
- Consent cannot be given by a person impaired by alcohol and/or other drugs
- Consent can change at any time during interaction
- Consent must be without pressure, intimidation, or manipulation
- Silence is not an indication of consent
- Past consent of sexual activity does not imply future, on-going consent
It's On the NSU community
- to recognize that non-consensual sex is sexual assault
- to identify situations in which sexual assault may occur
- to intervene in situations where consent has not or cannot be given
- to create an environment in which sexual assault is unacceptable and survivors are supported.
Take the pledge: http://itsonus.org/
NSU strongly advocates reporting sex discrimination, sexual assault, or sexual harassment. If a student discloses an incident, they will learn options for assistance, such as health and wellbeing counseling, residence and class accommodations, and options for filing complaints or criminal charges. Disclosure to University personnel will not obligate the complainant to file a grievance or criminal charge, nor will it subject the complainant to scrutiny or judgmental opinions.
Reporting Options for Students:
- Confidential Disclosure to an NSU Confidential Advisor, refer to the section above that says "Confidential Advisors".
- Reporting to Director of Student Advocacy & Title IX Coordinator, Julie Powell (318) 357-5570, Student Union room 308, email@example.com
- Reporting online with the Title IX Reporting Form
- For emergencies, call University Police (318) 357-5431 or 911.
- For a 24/7 Confidential Advisor, please call University Police, and they will forward the call.
What happens after an incident is reported and what are the University sanctions for sexual misconduct?
Once an incident is reported, the complainant is not obligated to file a grievance with the University or a criminal charge with law enforcement. A confidential advisor, Title IX Coordinator, or student advocate will explain all options to the complainant with the goal of ending the sexual violence and harassment, preventing its recurrence, and addressing the effects. Please see University Obligations below for more information regarding accommodations.
NSU has policy and procedure set in place to fairly and quickly address sexual misconduct. Persons found responsible for sexual misconduct may receive sanctions ranging from expulsion to an educational alternative determined on a case-by-case basis. Additionally, the incident may be investigated and adjudicated by the University and local law enforcement simultaneously. For details regarding informal and formal resolutions, investigations, disciplinary actions, and appeals, please see the current version of the NSU Student Handbook.
How am I protected if I report or act as a witness?
Title IX policy and NSU’s Student Code of Conduct prohibit retaliation. Acts or attempted acts for the purpose of interfering with any report, investigation, or proceeding, or as retribution or revenge against anyone who has reported sexual misconduct, relationship violence, sex discrimination, or who has participated (or is expected to participate) in any manner in an investigation or proceeding under the NSU policy is strictly prohibited. Prohibited retaliatory acts include, but are not limited to, intimidation, threats, coercion, or discrimination. For purposes of this NSU policy, an attempt requires a substantial step towards committing a violation.
Will others know that I’ve reached out for help?
All reporting of sex discrimination and sexual misconduct is treated as confidential to the greatest extent possible; the privacy of all individuals involved is important to the Northwestern State. In most situations, only individuals involved in the resolution of the situation will have access to the information about the case. If there is a risk of the alleged perpetrator committing additional crimes, if a student is in immediate danger, or if there has been expressed intent to harm others, or other risks such as involvement of a weapon or the age of the students involved, the University may determine that it is necessary to compromise the level of privacy provided.
Will my friends and I get in trouble if we report and we’ve been partying?
Northwestern State provides amnesty–forgiveness of nonviolent student conduct violations, such as underage drinking–for any student reporting sexual misconduct in good faith.
What factors contribute to the likelihood of sexual assault?
Research has shown that alcohol use and sexual violence are associated. Make every effort to watch out for friends and plan interventions to take action if need be–be proactive and do not be a bystander to sexual misconduct. For more information about how you or your student organization can get involved in eliminating sexual misconduct in our community, contact student advocate Julie Powell at (318) 357-5570, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit 308 Friedman Student Union during office hours.
What if a student discloses to Faculty or Staff?
As a responsible employee per Title IX related law, faculty and staff must report the disclosure to the Title IX Coordinator. Please feel free to call the Title IX Coordinator or Student Advocate for assistance immediately. Additionally, please download the What to Report Guide (Employee) below and the NSU: Not Alone Brochure to give to the student.
What is the role of the Title IX Coordinator?
The Title IX Coordinator ensures schools are compliant with Title IX, oversees educational efforts for students, faculty, and staff, coordinates the investigation and disciplinary process, and looks for patterns or systemic problems with compliance to ensure schools fulfill all their federal obligations.
- take immediate action to investigate alleged incident
- take prompt necessary steps to end sexual violence and harassment, prevent its recurrence, and address the effects, whether or not the incident is subject of criminal investigation
- protect both parties, including taking interim steps prior to the final outcome of the investigation, including but not limited to moving residence halls, moving classes, changing transportation options, issuing “issuing mutual no contact orders” orders, or any other reasonable accommodation.
- provide a grievance procedure based on preponderance of evidence standard to resolve complaints of sex discrimination, including complaints of sexual violence and harassment
- notify both parties of outcome of complaint