IX. Filing a Complaint of Title IX Sex/Gender Discrimination or Sexual Misconduct

If an individual wishes to pursue an incident of Title IX sexual misconduct or sex/gender discrimination beyond simply reporting it, they may file a Complaint.  The filing of a Complaint means that the individual is asking Rhodes to take further steps, such as a full investigation and possibly holding an adjudication to resolve the alleged issue. Any Complainant (i.e., an alleged victim or survivor or someone who has otherwise been directly affected by sex/gender discrimination or sexual misconduct) may file a Complaint, and Rhodes will treat it as such.  Any Third-Party Reporter may request that Rhodes treat their Report as a Complaint, but that would not make the Third-Party Reporter into a Complainant, and Rhodes shall have discretion on whether to treat the Third-Party Report as a Complaint.

In order to meet its Title IX obligations to provide a safe and nondiscriminatory environment for the broader Rhodes Community, Rhodes may convert a Report into a Complaint if Rhodes determines that it must take additional steps to protect the Rhodes Community. 

Depending on the conduct alleged and the location of the incident, a Complaint will be governed by either this Policy or the Formal Grievance Policy. A Formal Complaint under the Formal Grievance Policy is a type of Complaint. (See Formal Grievance Policy, Section IV.A., regarding Formal Complaints, and Sections I-II of each policy for descriptions of the scope of each respective policy.)

A.  Filing a Complaint 
Anyone seeking to file a Complaint of individual or institutional Sex/Gender Discrimination or Sexual Misconduct may do so with the Title IX Coordinator. Complaints must be in writing and include all information that the filer believes to be relevant (e.g., time, location and nature of incident, names of individuals involved in or witnesses to the incident, names of other persons affected by the incident, etc.). Alternatively, an individual can also file a Complaint by meeting with the Title IX Coordinator and providing a verbal description of the Sex/Gender Discrimination or Sexual Misconduct, which the Title IX Coordinator will use to draft a written document that the individual will review, verify and sign to constitute a Complaint.

B.  Action Following the Filing of a Complaint

Rhodes will investigate all Complaints of Sex/Gender Discrimination or Sexual Misconduct. A Complaint meeting the criteria of the Formal Grievance Policy (a “Formal” Complaint) will proceed according to that Policy instead of the provisions below.

For a Complaint that does not meet the criteria of the Formal Grievance Policy, Rhodes’ process will typically involve an investigation phase and then proceed to a Resolution Hearing before a Sexual Misconduct Hearing Board to determine whether the Respondent is responsible or not responsible for having violated this Policy, except in the circumstances described below. In some instances, an Informal Resolution also may be an option for resolving a Complaint. 

C.  Where the Formal Grievance Protocol does not apply, the Title IX Coordinator shall have discretion to resolve a Complaint without a Resolution Hearing in the following circumstances:

  1. if Rhodes lacks jurisdiction;
  2. if a case involves a Rhodes employee (faculty, staff member or contract services employee), the Title IX Coordinator shall coordinate with the Chief Human Resources Officer about appropriate processes and/or resolution;
  3. if the allegations could not constitute a Policy violation under any alleged circumstances;
  4. if the Complaint is eligible for the Informal Resolution process;
  5. if the Complaint was requested by a Third-Party Reporter who reported witnessing sex/gender discrimination or sexual misconduct happening to or affecting someone else, the Title IX Coordinator shall have discretion to resolve the Complaint or to provide modified hearing procedures, particularly to account for the alleged victim’s wishes (e.g., if they do not wish to pursue the Complaint as a first-party Complainant);
  6. if the Complainant and Respondent both consent to an alternative resolution, with such consent obtained independently from each person by the Title IX Coordinator to avoid a risk of coercion;
  7. for matters that do not involve Rhodes employees (faculty, staff member or contract services employee), if either Complainant or Respondent, or both, are not Rhodes students, or cease to be Rhodes students prior to final resolution of the Complaint (e.g., a student withdrawal), the Title IX Coordinator shall have discretion to resolve the Complaint or to provide modified hearing procedures;
  8. or, if the Respondent admits responsibility for a violation, the Title IX Coordinator shall have discretion to resolve the Complaint or to provide modified hearing procedures to help the Hearing Board decide appropriate sanctions. 

In all circumstances, the Title IX Coordinator shall have authority to impose supportive measures and make accommodations consistent with Section XI below and take other measures consistent the Rhodes Student Handbook; and for employee matters, the Chief Human Resources Officer or the Vice President of Academic Affairs/Dean of the Faculty shall have authority to take action consistent with the Rhodes Employee Handbook.

D.  A person may withdraw a Complaint. If a Complaint is withdrawn, Rhodes will treat the withdrawn Complaint as a Report and proceed accordingly.