Title IX (Sexual Misconduct/Harassment)

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (20 U.S.C. § 1681) is an all-encompassing federal law that prohibits discrimination based on the gender of students and employees of educational institutions which receive federal financial assistance.  Under Title IX, discrimination on the basis of sex can include sexual harassment or sexual violence, such as rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, and sexual coercion.  The US Code specifically states:

"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

Educational institutions that receive federal financial assistance are covered by Title IX. If only one of the institution’s programs or activities receives federal funding, all of the programs within the institution must comply with Title IX regulations. In compliance with Title IX, UVa-Wise prohibits discrimination in employment as well as in all programs and activities on the basis of sex.

The University of Virginia's College at Wise strives to provide a working and educational environment for all faculty, staff and students that is free from sexual misconduct/harassment.  Sexual harassment, sexual assault and other acts of sexual misconduct are forms of sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX. The prohibition against gender discrimination applies regardless of whether the activity is conducted on campus, off campus, in transit, or if sponsored at other locations.

UVa-Wise does not discriminate on the basis of sex/gender, race, color, age, creed, national or ethnic origin, physical or mental disability, veteran status, pregnancy status, religion, genetic information, gender identity, or sexual orientation in its employment practices or educational programs and activities. Other acts can also be forms of sex-based discrimination and are also prohibited whether sexually-based or not and include dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking. The College reaffirms its commitment to maintain a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the college community.

The Title IX Coordinator at UVa-Wise is Tabitha Smith, and the two Deputy Title IX Coordinators and Investigators are Kendall Rainey and Narda Porter.  Annual campus training is coordinated by these individuals.


  • Accused:  an individual who is named as the perpetrator of an incident of sexual misconduct/harassment.
  • Complainant:  an individual who has experienced an incident of sexual misconduct/harassment.
  • Effective Consent: words or actions that show a knowing and voluntary agreement to engage in mutually agreed-upon sexual activity. 
    Effective consent cannot be gained by force, by ignoring or acting in spite of the objections of another, or by taking advantage of the incapacitation of another, where the accused student knows or reasonably should have known of such incapacitation.  Effective consent must be obtained by the person who wants to engage in a specific sexual activity before initiating such sexual activity. Effective consent to one form of sexual activity does not necessarily imply consent to other forms of sexual activity. After effective consent has been established, a person who changes his or her mind during the sexual activity should communicate by using words or clear action, his or her decision to no longer proceed with the sexual activity, at which time the sexual activity must cease. An example would be a verbal “no” even if it may sound indecisive or insincere should be treated as a withdrawal of consent.  Effective consent cannot be provided by any individual who is under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
  • Interim Measures: actions taken to support and protect the complainant in the context of the College’s commitment to provide a reasonably safe and non-discriminatory environment for all students and employees
    Such measure may include:
    • a directive that the parties refrain from having contact with one another, directly or indirectly, whether in person or via electronic means
    • directing appropriate College officials to alter accommodations concerning academics, campus housing, and/or College employment
  • PERK Kit:  a Physical Evidence Recovery Kit used by emergency room personnel to collect evidence from a victim of sexual assault
    If an incident involves a sexual assault, the complainant should consider seeking medical attention as soon as possible at a local emergency room to have a PERK kit completed to preserve evidence should the complainant choose to file a police report. No law enforcement charges are required in order to have a PERK kit collected, however the complainant must use his/her legal name.

    PERK kits are available upon request with Campus Police and The Center for Student Development for a complainant to take to a local hospital. Campus Police retains the PERK Kit results as evidence until the disposition of the case and a destruction order is issued by a circuit court judge. 
  • 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 (FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting).
  • Sexual Assault: an offense that meets the definition of rape, fondling, incest, or statutory rape as used in the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting system.
    A sex offense is any act directed against another person, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent.
  • Sexual Harassment: conduct, including physical contact, advances, and comments in person and/or via phone, text message, email, or other electronic medium, that is (1) unwelcome; (2) based on sex or gender-based stereotypes; and (3) is so severe or pervasive that it unreasonably interferes with a person’s academic performance or equal opportunity to participate in or benefit from College programs or activities. 

    Sexual harassment produces a hostile environment and may include, depending upon the facts:
  • persistent and unwelcome efforts to develop a romantic or sexual relationship
  • persistent and unwelcome commentary about an individual’s body or sexual activities, including telling lies or spreading rumors about a person’s sex life
  • threats to engage in the commission of a sexual act with another person
  • stalking or cyberstalking
  • engaging in indecent exposure
  • acts of verbal, nonverbal, or physical aggression, intimidation, or hostility based on sex or sex-stereotyping, even if those acts do not involve conduct of a sexual nature, including but not limited to:
    • name-calling, whistling or making cat calls
    • gestures with hands or through other body movements
    • touching a person’s clothing, hair or body such as massaging, hugging, kissing, groping, pinching, stroking, squeezing, licking, fondling, etc.
  • telling sexual jokes or stories
  • asking personal questions about sex life, fantasies, preferences, or history
  • turning work/class discussions to sexual topics
  • paying unwanted attention to someone, such as staring, following, blocking a person’s path, etc.
  • displaying sexually-suggestive visuals such as drawings, pornography, screen savers, calendars, cartoons, etc.

A complainant is encouraged to immediately report an incident to a responsible employee of the College (i.e. an employee who has the authority and/or duty to report to the Title IX Coordinator, including Campus Police and student employees such as Resident Advisors (RAs)).  The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for accepting and processing all sexual misconduct/harassment complaints.

Reporting to Campus Police  Campus Police may be contacted by calling 276-328-0190 during regular business hours, 276-328-3756 after hours, or 911 at any time.  Reporting an incident is a separate step from choosing to prosecute.  When a report is filed with Campus Police, a complainant is not obligated to pursue either criminal or campus charges.  Campus Police will maintain a written report which will be available should the complainant choose to pursue charges immediately or at a later date. 

The Title IX Coordinator will meet with the complainant to explain the process, support and/or immediate interventions available to the complainant (e.g., referrals to appropriate law enforcement agencies; referrals for medical treatment; and/or referrals for counseling in The Center for Student Development and/or off campus agencies).  As appropriate, discussion would also include potential interim measures.

The Title IX Coordinator will also discuss with the complainant options for pursuing on- or off-campus criminal charges, on-campus sexual misconduct proceedings, student conduct charges, or no charges at all.  Please note, however, that the Title IX Coordinator is required to initiate an investigation through the campus sexual misconduct adjudication process which may result in taking reasonable action in response to results of that investigation.  This investigation will be conducted and completed within sixty (60) days, in accordance with federal guidelines.

Counseling Services and Health Services are available in the Center for Student Development where professional staff can provide assistance and support for incidents of sexual misconduct/harassment. The CSD is located on the lower level on Cantrell Hall or can be reached at 276-376-1005.

In the residential communities, the Resident Advisors are student leaders in the halls who can listen and provide referral information.  An on-duty professional Residence Life staff member is also available 24-hours per day, seven days per week, and can provide contacts for students to counselors and other agencies in the community for help.

Campus Police can also provide assistance 24-hours per day, seven days per week [(276-328-0190 or 276-328-COPS weekdays in the office) and (276-328-3756 for after-hours non-emergency situations); always call 911 for an emergency]. 


  • Title IX Coordinator | Cantrell Hall | 276-870-5065
  • Campus Police | Cantrell Hall | 276-328-COPS (2677) or 911
  • Counseling | Cantrell Hall | 276-376-1005
  • Disability Services | Zehmer Hall | 276-328-0265
  • Health Services | Cantrell Hall | 276-376-1005
  • Housing | Cantrell Hall | 276-376-4517
  • Multicultural Affairs | Cantrell Hall | 276-376-1005


  • Norton Community Hospital - 100 Fifteenth Street NW, Norton VA 24273 | 276-679-9600
  • Mtn. View Regional Medical Center - 310 Third Street NE, Norton VA 24273 | 276-679-9100
  • Lonesome Pine Hospital - 1990 Holton Avenue, Big Stone Gap VA 24219 | 276-523-3111
  • Wise County Police Department - 501 West Main Street, Wise VA 24293 | 276-328-9369
  • Family Crisis Support Services (FCCS) - PO Box 692, Norton VA 24273 | 276-679-7240
  • FCCS Sexual Assault 24-hour Crisis Hotline | 1-877-348-3416
  • Family Violence & Sexual Assault Hotline | 1-800-838-8238
  • Victim Witness Program - 206 East Main Street #245, Wise VA 24293 | 276-328-4421
  • Wise County Magistrate - 5607 Patriot Drive, Wise VA 24293| 276-328-8947
  • Wise County Behavioral Health Services - 3169 2nd Avenue East, Big Stone Gap VA 24219| 276-523-8300
  • Legal Aid Society - 16932 West Hills Drive, Castlewood VA 24224| 276-762-9354
  • US Dept. of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs - Non-immigrant visa cases| 202-485-7600
  • US Dept. of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs - Immigrant visa cases| 603-334-0700



Tabitha Smith, Title IX Coordinator
Office of Compliance and Conduct
1 College Avenue
Wise, VA  24293
Office: 276-328-0131 | Cell: 276-870-5065 | Fax: 276-376-4876 | Email: tabitha.smith@uvawise.edu

Kendall Rainey, Deputy Title IX Coordinator & Investigator
Office of Athletics
1 College Avenue
Wise, VA  24293
Phone: 276-376-4584 | Fax: 276-376-1054 | Email: kendall.rainey@uvawise.edu

Narda Porter, Deputy Title IX Investigator
Office of the Registrar
1 College Avenue
Wise, VA  24293
Phone: 276-376-0116 | Fax: 276-376-4598 | Email: narda.porter@uvawise.edu