Confidential and Anonymous Reporting
Individuals can confidentially discuss incidents of sex/gender discrimination and sexual misconduct with the College “confidential resources” staff. However, if an individual affected by sex/gender discrimination or sexual misconduct wants to make a Report to Rhodes about an incident but wants to request anonymity or confidentiality, or if a Third-Party Reporter makes a Report about an incident involving them, the provisions below may be applicable.
Any individual can make an anonymous Report of a violation of the College’s Sex/Gender Discrimination and Sexual Misconduct Policy. An individual may report the incident without disclosing their name, identifying a Claimant or a Respondent, or requesting any action. The College will attempt to investigate all such Reports, but depending on the extent of information available about the incident or the individuals involved, the College’s ability to respond to an anonymous Report may be limited. 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.
Additionally, a Reporter can 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. The College recognizes that, in some instances, an individual who has been subjected to, or who knows of or has witnessed, an incident of Sex/Gender Discrimination or Sexual Misconduct may request that their name not be disclosed or that no investigation or disciplinary action be pursued to address the alleged misconduct. In such instances, the Title IX Coordinator will respect the request for confidentiality; however, that request must be weighed against the College’s 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 the College;
- 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 the College 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 the College as an “education record” under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), if applicable.
In all cases of alleged gender/sex discrimination or misconduct, Title IX allows Rhodes to investigate and take reasonable corrective action. Further, Title IX permits Rhodes to deny or modify requests for confidentiality if the Title IX Coordinator determines, subject to the factors listed above, that the College must do so in order to meet the College’s Title IX obligations to provide a safe and nondiscriminatory environment for the broader Rhodes Community. These instances will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Please note that the College’s ability to investigate and respond fully to an incident may be limited because of requests for confidentiality or to not proceed with disciplinary action.
Pursuant to the Clery Act, as amended by the Violence Against Women Act, Rhodes is required to provide equal access to the Claimant and Respondent to any information related to allegations of sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence or stalking that will be used during formal or informal disciplinary meetings or hearings.
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 school 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. 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 College officials will not only take steps to prevent retaliation but also take strong responsive action if it occurs.