Being accused of misconduct can be stressful. It may be the first time some students encountered a formalized disciplinary process. Having a good support person can lessen anxiety and help students better prepare to represent themselves in the conduct process. UNT allows and encourages students to get assistance and support in the conduct process. The Code of Student Conduct calls a support person who attends conduct meetings with a student, an advisor. Advisors can help a student prepare ahead of a meeting. They can be present at a meeting to provide support and encouragement. They can help a student talk about what happened after a meeting is over and clarify questions and next steps.
UNT addresses allegations of sexual misconduct that involves students as an alleged violation of the Code of Student Conduct, which will be investigated by staff in the Dean of Students office. Within the University’s processes, the person making the allegations is referred to as the Complainant. The person whom the allegations have been brought against is referred to as the Respondent.
Respondent Advisor Services and Information
The Dean of Students Office provides support to Respondents who are involved in reports of alleged sexual misconduct. This support is to enable students to navigate academic, personal, and community impact; receive advice on policy and procedures; and connect to other community resources that could be beneficial.
Anyone can function as an advisor to a Respondent, and it is the Respondent’s decision as to whether they use an advisor. A Respondent can select a trusted friend, a parent, an instructor, a student group advisor, or an attorney (at their own expense). However, UNT has faculty and staff who volunteer to serve as a Respondent advisor. Respondent advisors receive training from the Dean of Students Office and the Title IX Coordinator and are prepared to assist respondents who are accused of sexual assault, sexual misconduct, relationship violence, and stalking. Respondent advisors understand the university’s obligations under Title IX and VAWA, know the process for investigating and adjudicating these allegations at UNT, and are informed about resources at UNT such as counseling and assistance with academic issues.
Respondent Advisors are able to:
Provide a safe listening space,
Serve as a process advisor on policy and procedures,
Assist Respondents in navigating options related to academic and personal issues as necessary,
Support and connect Respondents with campus and community resources,
Attend conduct meetings as a support person, and
Assist Respondent throughout the investigation process, if required.
A Respondent Advisor is not:
An advocate on behalf of a Respondent in investigation
A participant in the investigation or resolution of the allegation
A confidential resource. As defined by UNT policy 12.005 (Prohibition of Sexual Assault and Retaliation), Confidential Employees are licensed professional mental health counselors, health care professionals, and attorneys working in those capacities for the University
Legal counsel. Respondents seeking legal advice should consult an attorney.
A Respondent may also contact Tricia Rodriguez if they require any assistance with a Respondent Advisor.
The UNT Peer Advocates are students and part-time employees of the Dean of Students Office. They provide free, private consultations to students to help them prepare for conduct meetings and can answer questions about the conduct process. Peer Advocates can help students with preparation for a DOS conference or committee review, answer questions about sanctions imposed through the conduct process, explain options to request a review of a conduct decision, and make referrals to UNT resources.
Peer Advocates also provide outreach and programming to students and student groups. Call the Dean of Students Office (940.565.2648) to schedule an appointment to speak with a Peer Advocate.