X. Confidential and Anonymous Reporting

As discussed above in Section VIII.B., individuals can confidentially discuss incidents of sex/gender discrimination and sexual misconduct with Rhodes’ “confidential resources” staff.  Those discussions will remain confidential and not be considered a Report to Rhodes.

Any individual can make an anonymous Report of a violation of the College’s Sexual Misconduct Policy. An individual may report the incident without disclosing their name, identifying a Claimant or a Respondent, or requesting any action. Rhodes will attempt to investigate anonymous reports but often will be inhibited without being able to collect evidence from and ask follow-up questions to a complainant; thus, supportive measures and the potential for discipline may be lessened as compared to personal reports. The anonymous reporting form can be found on the College’s website (http://sites.Rhodes.edu/TitleNine). The Title IX Coordinator will receive the anonymous Report and will determine any appropriate steps, including individual or community remedies as appropriate.

A Reporter can also make a Report disclosing their name but requesting confidentiality.  An affected person who is the subject of a Third-Party Report can also request confidentiality. In such instances, if they also request that no investigation or disciplinary action be pursued, the Title IX Coordinator will respect the request for confidentiality as long as only personal supportive measures are requested and grounds do not exist to convert the Report into a Complaint. A request for confidentiality cannot be fulfilled in the case of a Complaint. Further, in some instances, Rhodes may deny or modify a request for confidentiality when weighed against Rhodes’ obligation to provide a safe, non-discriminatory environment for all students, considering many factors, including:

  • The seriousness of the alleged misconduct;
  • Whether there have been other reports of Sex/Gender Discrimination or Sexual Misconduct against the Respondent known by Rhodes;
  • Whether the Respondent has allegedly threatened further misconduct or violence;
  • Whether the alleged misconduct was committed by multiple perpetrators;
  • Whether the alleged misconduct involved use of a weapon;
  • The age of the individual subjected to the alleged misconduct;
  • Whether Rhodes possesses other means to obtain relevant evidence of the alleged misconduct;
  • Whether the Report reveals a pattern of misconduct at a particular location or by a particular individual or group of individuals; and
  • The accused individual’s right to receive information about the allegations if the information is maintained by Rhodes as an “education record” under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), if applicable.

In an instance where Rhodes determines it must deny or modify a request for confidentiality, the Title IX Coordinator will inform the requesting individual prior to making the disclosure to anyone beyond necessary College officials. Any such disclosure will be limited to only individuals with a need to know such information. Consistent with FERPA’s prohibition on re-disclosure of confidential information, any recipient is prohibited from using or disclosing other people’s confidential information, learned as a result of participation in any investigation or proceeding under this Policy, outside of such forums without express consent or for any improper purpose. This provision only applies to other people’s confidential information, as a party is never restricted from discussing their own experience. This provision does not apply to any information learned outside of an investigation or proceeding under this Policy. In all instances, members of the Rhodes Community should understand that Title IX prohibits retaliation against anyone reporting a potential Title IX incident, and that Rhodes officials will not only take steps to prevent retaliation but also take strong responsive action if it occurs.

In all cases of alleged gender/sex discrimination or misconduct under this Policy reported to the Title IX Coordinator, Rhodes will investigate and implement supportive measures. Please note that Rhodes’ ability to investigate and respond fully to an incident may be limited because of requests for confidentiality or to not proceed with disciplinary action.