Student Complaints/Grievances

Reference:

Board Policy 4-31; Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Americans with Disabilities Act, Title II, Age Discrimination 1975, and ADA Amendments Act of 2008.

Basis:

This Student Grievance Procedure is intended to allow students an opportunity to present an issue which they feel warrants action, including the right to secure educational benefits and services without regard to sex, race, national origin or ancestry, creed, color, disability, or age, and have the issue considered in a prompt and equitable fashion.

Definitions:

Grievant: Enrolled student, a client, or volunteer who is providing a service to benefit the College under the supervision and control of a College employee. A client or volunteer may only grieve a decision which bans him or her from the campus.

Grievance: A grievable offense is any alleged action which violates or inequitably applies written College policies or procedures. The grievant must be personally affected by such violation or inequitable action. A grievance must be brought to the formal stage within 20 calendar days of the date the student knew or reasonably should have known about the action.

Chief Student Services Officer: The College employee designated by the College President to administer student grievances. Grievances alleging discrimination issues may be referred to the employee responsible for ensuring equal opportunity and access.

Remedy: The relief that the Grievant is requesting.

Respondent(s): Another student, volunteer, client, faculty member and/or administrator identified by the Grievant as causing or contributing to the grievance.

Non-grievable matters: The following matters are not grievable under this procedure except as noted: matters over which the College is without authority to act; grades and other academic decisions unless there is an allegation that the decision was motivated by illegal discrimination; and disciplinary actions taken pursuant to BP 4-30.

Procedures

1. Informal

The Grievant is encouraged to resolve the issue with the Respondent or his/her supervisor. In the case of grievances based upon one’s race, color, creed, national origin or ancestry, disability, age or gender, the Grievant may first contact the College employee responsible for affirmative action to seek informal resolution of the issues. If the complaint alleges facts which might constitute a violation of SP 3-120a concerning sexual harassment, the administrator shall investigate and process the complaint under that procedure. While the Grievant is encouraged to resolve the issues through the informal process, he/she may at any time elect to go to the formal stage by following the process outlined below.

2. Formal

  1. The Grievant timely files a written statement of the actions complained of and describes the remedy he/she is seeking with the Chief Student Services Officer. A matter could also be referred to this process by the College President or his/her designee. Once a written grievance is filed or referred, the Chief Student Services Officer or designee will determine whether or not the situation states a grievable offense. The matter will be closed if the situation is determined not grievable, and the Grievant will be notified of the reasons.
  2. If the matter is determined to be grievable, the Chief Student Services Officer or designee (which may be an individual or a committee) shall hear the Grievance. A hearing will be held which will give the Grievant, Respondent, and others invited to appear, the opportunity to explain what they know about the issues surrounding the grievance. Considering the oral and written statements and documents, the Chief Student Services Officer or Designee shall issue a Decision within ten (10) calendar days of close of the hearing. The Decision shall be served upon the Grievant and the Respondent personally or by certified mail to the addresses on file in the Enrollment Services office. The Decision shall reject the grievance or grant the grievance and make recommendation(s) to resolve the issue(s). The Chief Student Services Officer or designee’s decision is final unless a Petition for Review is filed with the College President by either party within five (5) calendar days of service of the Decision.
    1. Upon receipt of a Petition for Review, the College President will review the record and issue a written decision within ten calendar days of receipt of the Petition for Review. The President’s decision is final.
    2. The Chief Student Services Officer or Designee may extend the scheduling timelines described above for good cause.
    3. If the grievance is against the Chief Student Services Officer, the Chief Academic Officer or other person designated by the College President shall perform the duties of the Chief Student Services Officer.