The online version of the Student Handbook is currently undergoing revisions. For the latest version of the college handbook, please see the Rhodes College Student Handbook PDF (updated September 2022).

IV. Title IX and Sex Discrimination

Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 is a comprehensive federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program or activity. Title IX prohibits use of federal money to support sex discrimination in education programs and provides individuals with protection against such practices. Title IX applies, with a few specific exceptions, to all aspects of federally funded education programs and activities maintained by colleges and universities.

As required by Title IX, Rhodes prohibits all unlawful discrimination on the basis of sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation in any employment decision, admissions determination, education program, or educational activity.

Title IX defines sex discrimination to include sexual harassment, and this policy is designed specifically to comply with Title IX’s mandate to maintain an educational and employment environment free of sexual harassment. As part of its commitment to maintaining a community free of discrimination, and in compliance with Title IX’s mandate, Rhodes will address allegations of sexual harassment in a timely and effective way, provide resources as needed for affected persons and not tolerate retaliation against any person who reports sexual harassment in accordance with this Policy.

Rhodes has designed this Policy to comply with Title IX by providing for a consistent and transparent mechanism to investigate and, where required, adjudicate complaints of sexual harassment. At all stages of the formal complaint resolution process, Rhodes and its representatives will:

  1. Require objective evaluation of all relevant evidence, whether inculpatory or exculpatory;

  2. Avoid credibility determinations based on a person’s status as a Complainant, Respondent, or witness;

  3. Require Title IX personnel (including Title IX Coordinators, investigators, decision-maker(s), or any person designated to facilitate an informal resolution process) to be free from conflicts of interest or bias for or against complainants or respondents;

  4. Train all Title IX personnel on the definition of sexual harassment, the scope of the school’s education program and activities, how to conduct an investigation and the grievance process, how to serve impartially, on any technology used at a live hearing, and on issues of relevance, including how to apply the rape shield protections available only for complainants;

  5. Not use, rely on, or seek disclosure of information protected under a legally recognized privilege, unless the person holding the privilege has waived the privilege;

  6. Provide an equal opportunity for the parties to present witnesses, including fact and expert witnesses, and other inculpatory and exculpatory evidence;

  7. Ensure that the burden of proof and the burden of gathering evidence remains at all times with Rhodes;

  8. Not access or use any party’s medical records unless the College first obtains the party’s voluntary, written consent to do so;

  9. Not restrict the ability of the parties to discuss the allegations or gather evidence (e.g., no “gag orders”); and

  10. Keep confidential the identity of complainants, respondents, and witnesses, except as may be permitted by FERPA, as required by law, or as necessary to carry out a Title IX proceeding.