Rhodes College received a $300,000 federal grant to enhance its prevention of and response to sexual assault and related crimes on campus, the school announced Friday.
The grant from the U.S. Department of Justice will fund a coordinated effort to improve programs related to preventing and responding to sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking on campus.
Specifically, the funds will be used for five purposes.
• Rhodes will created a Coordinated Community Response Team to enhance the school;s response, prevention, and education related to the four crimes above. The team will review policies and procedures.
• In collaboration with the Shelby County Crime Victims and Rape Crisis Center (SCCVRCC), Rhodes plans to enhance its mandatory prevention program for incoming students and introduce ongoing trainings for returning students. The trainings will include a bystander intervention component, with a special emphasis on students who live on campus, belong to Greek organizations, or are students athletes.
• Rhodes will also implement new-hire and ongoing quarterly or semi-annual training for campus safety personnel, disciplinary boards, and faculty and staff. These trainings will also focus on Greek life, on-campus residencies, and athletics.
• The college will implement a total of five prevention campaigns on campus, again targeting those who live on campus, belong to Greek organizations, or are students athletes.
• Finally, Rhodes will hire a project coordinator to develop and manage the aforementioned programs
According to Rhodes’ 2019 Security and Fire Safety Report, the total number of sexual offenses on campus saw a dramatic decrease between 2016 and 2018. There were a total of 19 reported sexual offenses on campus in 2016. In 2017, that number dropped to four, and then rose to nine last year.
In 2018, the college had three instances of dating violence and four stalking incidents. In 2017, there were two cases of dating violence, and 1 stalking incident. The college had three cases of dating violence and two reported stalking incidents in 2016.
There were no reported cases of domestic violence in the last three years.