Rice University

Options for Reporting

Learning About Title IX Accommodations Without Filing Charges

Students can receive accommodations under Title IX without having to file criminal charges through the legal system or starting a disciplinary process with Student Judicial Programs. Accommodations will vary; every case and every student is different. An example of an available accommodation may be moving from one class section to another in order to stay safe from the perpetrator.

These accommodations are designed to address threats to students' educational environment and to their physical or emotional safety, regardless of whether they press legal charges or start adjudication with the university or not. Students do not need to give the name of the perpetrator to receive many accommodations under Title IX.

To learn more about getting accommodations, talk to the Title IX Resource Navigator by emailing us or by calling x. 3311/ (713) 348-3311.

Adjudication Through Rice University

The university discipline process holds students accountable to the Code of Student Conduct, which includes the Sexual Misconduct Policy through Student Judicial Programs (SJP). A student can meet and consult with SJP about options for disciplinary proceedings prior to deciding whether or not to move forward with University level charges. If the student then decides to pursue disciplinary action against the alleged perpetrator, SJP will handle the investigation and adjudication following the report of sexual misconduct or relationship violence.

An SJP investigation typically involves one or more meetings with the reporting student, the accused student, any witnesses, and an opportunity for each party to submit further information for consideration. These meetings occur separately; for the safety of all parties, reporting students and accused students do not sit in the same meeting and will not be in SJP at the same time. SJP often works with RUPD to gather statements from the parties involved. The SJP staff member investigating the matter will make a determination of whether to charge the alleged perpetrator under the Code of Student Conduct, whether (based on a preponderance of the evidence) a violation occurred, and what sanction will apply if a responding student is found In Violation.

The adjudication process through SJP usually takes less than 60 days, but can vary depending on the complexity of the case. During an investigation interim sanctions may be issued to the accused student to protect the safety of the reporting student. These vary, but can include no contact orders and removal from campus.

Students should be aware that when a formal SJP disciplinary process commences, all reporting and responding students involved will be notified of the existence of the proceeding, and the responding student will have access to the identity of the reporting student.

Contact SJP by emailing sjp@rice.edu or by calling x. 4786/ 713-348-4786.

Filing Criminal Charges Through the Legal System

Students who have a been a victim of domestic or sexual violence may want to pursue criminal charges outside of Title IX and Rice Student Judicial Programs. In order to do so, students can file charges through Rice University Police Department (RUPD), a law enforcement agency, through the Houston Police Department (HPD) or Harris County Sheriff's Office (HCSO). It is important to acknowledge that filing criminal charges is different from reporting incidents through the university and it's judicial programs. Although Rice University works closely with law enforcement, should a report be made, the university itself is not a law enforcement agency.

If you want to file criminal charges, you may find it helpful to bring along a support person. This person can be a friend, a family member, or an "accompaniment" person from an outside agency, such as the Houston Area Women's Center or the Montrose Center (LGBT).

To file a criminal complaint, students can call or go to RUPD, HPD, or HCSO and ask to make a report.

You can learn more about the legal system process in Harris County here.

Speaking up is a brave and commendable action. Rice supports you and will help you by providing services and/or referrals to assist you during this process. 

Civil Protections Through the Legal System

Safety can be one of the biggest concerns for victims/survivors. If you are concerned that someone who has committed sexual assault, stalking, or relationship violence may try to do so again, you can apply for a Protective Order.

A Protective Order is a civil procedural document that orders the perpetrator not to use any further violence against you, not to contact you, and not to come to your home, place of work, and/or school. If the person violates the direction of the Protective Order, they can be arrested and criminally charged.

Victims/survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence including dating violence, and stalking can apply for these orders, usually through the District Attorney's Office. You do not have to file criminal charges or make any police reports to receive a Protective Order.

If the incident(s) happened in Harris County, you can apply for a Protective Order at no charge through the Harris County District Attorney,Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse, or the Houston Volunteer Lawyer Program. You can find out more information here.

RUPD can also provide Rice students assistance in understanding and applying for Protective Orders. Contact them by dialing x. 6000/ (713) 348-6000.