Title IX Law

“No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance…”

-20 U.S.C. § 1681

For more information about Title IX and applicable law, please visit the .

Title IX Coordinator

  • Laura R.I. Soulsby, Ph.D.
  • Office: Title IX Office, Peele Hall, 2nd Floor
  • Phone: 804.752.3295
  • Email: TitleIX@rmc.edu
  • Email: laurasoulsby@rmc.edu
  • For more information about filing a formal complaint, please contact Dr. Laura Soulsby.

Title IX and Students

Randolph-Macon College (“the College”) is committed to encouraging and sustaining a learning and living community that is free from harassment, violence, and prohibited discrimination. In that regard and consistent with federal law (e.g., Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and the Violence Against Women Act), 91Ƶ has developed this Sexual and Relationship Conduct Policy (“the SRC Policy”), applicable to all students. Further, 91Ƶ conducts extensive education and awareness programs with the goal of preventing and discouraging sexual/gender violence and other forms of sexual misconduct.

The SRC Policy prohibits all forms of sexual assault, sexual exploitation, sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking. Collectively, these terms are referred to in this policy as “Prohibited Conduct.” Prohibited Conduct is more specifically defined in the SRC Policy.

To learn more, visit Sexual and Relationship Conduct Policy.

Prohibited Conduct

According to Title IX and applicable law, 91Ƶ Mandatory Reporters must report incident(s) of Prohibited Conduct between students and/or involving students as defined in the Sexual and Relationship Conduct Policy and listed below.

Randolph-Macon College prohibits all forms of sexual harassment including sexual assault, sexual exploitation, sexual harassment, relationship violence (dating violence and domestic violence), and stalking.

The Title IX regulations define Sexual Harassment to include:

.&Բ;“Quid pro quo harassment” – An employee of the College conditioning the provision of an aid, benefit, or service of the recipient on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct. 

  1. Unwelcome conduct determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the College’s educational program or activity.

Additionally, sexual harassment is defined as any form of sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking as defined by the Clery Act. These acts are considered severe and objectively offensive within themselves and require no finding of persistence to be considered a violation under this policy. These offenses are defined as follows:

  1. Sexual Harassment – Sexual Assault – Rape: the penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim. 
  2. Sexual Harassment – Sexual Assault – Fondling: the touching of the private body parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of their age and/or because of their temporary or permanent mental incapacity 
  3. Sexual Harassment – Dating Violence: violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on the reporting party’s statement with consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. 
  4. Sexual Harassment – Domestic Violence: an act of violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim; by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common; by a person who is cohabiting with or has cohabited with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner; by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred; or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred. 
  5. Sexual Harassment – Stalking: engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to (1) fear for the person’s safety or the safety of others; or (2) suffer substantial emotional distress. “Course of conduct” means two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which the stalker directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about, a person, or interferes with a person’s property. “Substantial emotional distress” means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling. “Reasonable person” means a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the victim.

In addition, 91Ƶ defines the following as Prohibited Conduct under this policy:

  • Sexual Exploitation – sexual exploitation is defined as activity of a sexual nature which results in the non-consensual exploitation of one person by another for the purposes of gaining some sort of advantage, including, but not limited, to economic, social, and academic advantages. The sexual behavior which results in such exploitation may have been consensual or non-consensual in its original nature. Sexual Exploitation also includes prostitution, videotaping or recording (by any electronic means) sexual activity without permission, voyeurism, and engaging in sexual activity with another while concealing that one is infected with HIV/AIDS, an STI, or an STD.
  • Retaliation – the College prohibits retaliation of any sort. Any act of retaliation including, but not limited to, harassment, abuse, threat, or intimidation toward the victim, the accused, or any witness who makes a report of an alleged violation of the Student Conduct Code or any other College Policy is prohibited
Consent at 91Ƶ

Consent is an affirmative decision to engage in mutually acceptable sexual activity freely given by clear actions or words. In the absence of mutually understandable words or actions, it is the responsibility of the initiator, or the person who wants to engage in the specific sexual activity, to make sure that they have the consent from their partner(s). Conduct is considered “without consent” if no clear consent, verbal or nonverbal, is given.

At 91Ƶ, consent is an informed decision made freely and actively by all parties. The perspective of a reasonable person will be the basis for determining whether a person knew, or reasonably should have known, whether another person was able to freely give consent and whether consent was given. At 91Ƶ, valid consent must be:

  1. Communicated: Consent may not be inferred from silence, passivity, or lack of active resistance alone. Relying solely upon nonverbal communication can lead to miscommunication. It is important not to make assumptions; if confusion or ambiguity regarding the issue of consent arises anytime during a sexual interaction, it is essential that each participant stops and clarify, verbally, their willingness to continue.
  2. Current:Mutually understandable consent must be obtained by the initiator at every stage of sexual interaction. Consent to some form of sexual activity does not necessarily imply consent to other forms of sexual activity. Furthermore, a current or previous dating or sexual relationship is not sufficient to constitute consent, and consent to one form of sexual activity does not imply consent to other forms of sexual activity.
  3. Non-Coercive: An individual is “unable to freely give consent” when the individual is coerced into sexual activity, such as, for example, through the use of physical force, threat of physical or emotional harm, undue pressure, isolation, or confinement.
  4. Non-Incapacitated: An individual is “unable to freely give consent” when the individual is incapacitated (arising, for example, from the use of alcohol or other drugs or when the individual is passed out, asleep, unconscious, or mentally or physically impaired) and is therefore, substantially physically or mentally impaired. Alcohol or other drugs can also lower inhibitions, limit ability to resist, and/or create an atmosphere of confusion over whether consent is freely and effectively given. Additionally, the use of alcohol or other drugs can impair effective communication about consent to sexual activity.

While valid consent is complicated by alcohol and drugs, the general use of alcohol or drugs does not, in and of itself, negate a student’s ability to give consent, nor does it remove a student’s responsibility to communicate their feelings and ensure that any consent given is valid. Therefore, valid consent can be obtained from an individual who is only under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs and is not substantially physically or mentally impaired.

Lastly, at 91Ƶ, the use of alcohol or drugs does not excuse or minimize a student’s responsibility for violations of the Sexual and Relationship Conduct Policy. In particular, it does not mitigate or nullify a charge of sexual assault or any other form of Prohibited Conduct. Being intoxicated or incapacitated does not diminish one’s responsibility to obtain consent and will not be an excuse for engaging in any Prohibited Conduct.

Nondiscrimination at 91Ƶ

In compliance with Title IX of the Education Act Amendment of 1972, Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act and Amendment (2008) and other federal, state and local equal opportunity laws, and in accordance with our values, Randolph-Macon College will not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, disability, age, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, or gender expression in any phase of its admissions, financial aid, educational, athletic or other programs or activities, or in any phase of its employment practices.

Randolph-Macon College

To learn more about your rights and reporting options, including a Bias Incident option: