Rhodes College’s Commitment to Diversity
A diverse learning community is a necessary element of a liberal arts education, for self-understanding is dependent upon the understanding of others. We, the members of Rhodes College, are committed to fostering a community in which diversity is valued and welcomed. To that end, Rhodes College does not discriminate – and will not tolerate harassment – on the basis of race, gender, color, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic information, national or ethnic origin, military status or any other protected status.
We are committed to providing an open learning environment. Freedom of thought, a civil exchange of ideas, and an appreciation of diverse perspectives are fundamental characteristics of a community that is committed to critical inquiry. To promote such an academic and social environment we expect integrity and honesty in our relationships with each other and openness to learning about and experiencing cultural diversity. We believe that these qualities are crucial to fostering social and intellectual maturity and personal growth.
Intellectual maturity also requires individual struggle with unfamiliar ideas. We recognize that our views and convictions will be challenged, and we expect this challenge to take place in a climate of open-mindedness and mutual respect.
I. Rhodes College Statement
Discrimination and harassment on grounds of race, gender, color, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic information, national or ethnic origin, military status or any other protected status are forms of misconduct that undermine the institutional mission of the College and thus will not be tolerated. All members of the College community are responsible for maintaining an environment of mutual respect for all persons.
The Dean of Students is responsible for ensuring that students are informed of the Anti-Discrimination and Harassment Policy and the Sex/Gender Discrimination and Sexual Misconduct Policy (the “Title IX Policy”). The Dean of the Faculty and the Chief Human Resources Officer are responsible for taking necessary steps to notify College faculty and staff of the provisions of this policy.
Rhodes College reserves the right to modify these policies and procedures as needed in order to maintain the environment of mutual respect for all persons that is an objective in issuing this present document.
II. Sexual Harassment
Rhodes College is committed to providing a working, educational, social, and residential environment for all members of our College community, including all faculty, staff, and students, that is free from harassment and discrimination. Harassment and discrimination in any form is unacceptable behavior and will not be tolerated. It is a form of misconduct that undermines the institutional mission of the College.
“Sexual harassment” is defined as unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when: (1) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employment or involvement in a College or academic activity; (2) submission or rejection of the conduct is used as a basis for making employment decisions or decisions regarding inclusion or exclusion of a College or academic activity; or (3) the conduct has the purpose or effect of interfering with work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment.
Sexual harassment may include a range of subtle and not-so-subtle behaviors and may involve individuals of the same or different gender. Depending on the circumstances, these behaviors may include, but are not limited to, unwanted sexual advances or requests for sexual favors; sexual jokes and innuendo; verbal abuse of a sexual nature; commentary about an individual’s body, sexual prowess, or sexual deficiencies; leering, whistling, or touching; insulting or obscene comments or gestures; display in the workplace of sexually suggestive objects, pictures, emails, text messages, or content on social media; and other physical, verbal, or visual conduct of a sexual nature.
Harassment on the basis of any other protected characteristic is also strictly prohibited. Under this policy, “harassment” is verbal, written or physical conduct that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual because of his/her race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age disability, genetic information, military status, or any other characteristic protected by law or that of his/her relatives, friends, or associates, and that a) has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment; b) has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance; or c) otherwise adversely affects an individual’s employment opportunities or education.
Harassing conduct includes epithets, slurs, or negative stereotyping; threatening, intimidating, or hostile acts; denigrating jokes; and written or graphic material that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual or group and that is placed on walls or elsewhere on College grounds or circulated in the workplace, on the College's grounds, or using the College's equipment including e-mail and phones (including voice messages, tweets, blogs, social networking sites, or other means).
IV. Process for Student Concerns
All student complaints of discrimination or harassment, whether the complaint involves alleged discrimination or harassment can be reported to the Associate Dean for Divisional Strategy, Inclusion, and Involvement or the Director of Community Standards. Students can also report complaints of discrimination or harassment to the Bias Response Reporting button at express.rhodes.edu.