Code of Student Conduct & Grievances
Listed below is what is published in the Student Code of Conduct regarding Student Grievance.
VII. Student Grievance Committee
The Student Code Enforcement and Review Board has established the Student Grievance Committee to review grievances concerning individual members of the University community, and, when appropriate, facilitate resolution of such grievances. A grievance is a complaint arising out of any alleged unauthorized or unjustified act or decision by a member of the University community which in any way adversely affects the status, rights, or privileges of any student. A student must seek redress within 90 days of the alleged grievance. The burden of proof rests with the person making the complaint.
- Informal discussion between persons directly involved in a grievance is essential in the early stages of the dispute and should be encouraged at all stages. An equitable solution to the problem should be sought before the persons directly involved in the case have assumed official or public positions that might tend to polarize the dispute and render a solution more difficult. If a problem still exists after discussion, the student should bring the complaint to the attention of the department chairperson, administrative officer or staff supervisor. Where informal recourse fails, the student may file a petition in writing to the Student Grievance Committee, accompanied by available documentary evidence.
- Any student alleging violation of rights on the basis of race, color religion, ancestry, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, national origin, ethnicity, gender veteran's status, or marital status, shall contact the Affirmative Action Office of the University at 413 Hovey Hall. The Affirmative Action Officer shall designate the appropriate University officer to investigate the allegations on the following basis: The Affirmative Action Officer shall investigate all cases alleging discrimination on the basis of race, color religion, ancestry, sexual orientation, national origin, ethnicity, veteran's status or marital status. The Title IX Coordinator shall investigate all cases alleging discrimination on the basis of gender. The Director of Disability Concerns shall investigate all cases alleging discrimination on the basis of physical or mental disability.
The members of the Student Grievance Committee shall be five students and five faculty members nominated by the Academic Senate and appointed by the President. The Executive Secretary of the Student Code Enforcement and Review Board or his/her designee serves as a non-voting member. The Chairperson of the Student Grievance Committee shall be elected by the Committee. Faculty are appointed for three year staggered terms. Students are appointed on an annual basis. Undergraduate students serving on the Committee must be full-time students. Graduate students must have been admitted to an authorized advanced degree or credential program and be a full time student.
- Four alternates, two students and two faculty, are also selected by the above process. If a voting member is unable to serve, the chairperson will designate the alternate of the same constituency to serve as a voting member.
- A quorum will consist of three students, three faculty members, and the Executive Secretary or his/her designee.
- A student member of the Grievance Committee who is not in good academic or disciplinary standing (disciplinary probation) at the University shall be removed from the Grievance Committee. The notification of such removal will be in writing.
- The initial review of the case is a confidential blind review. All names, addresses, and course designations are removed from the written grievance petition. The Committee as a whole determines from the petition if the case merits investigation. If not, the grievance is denied at that point, and the complainant is so notified. If the grievance is accepted for investigation, the Committee notifies the complainant and respondent in writing and arranges for a swift and comprehensive investigation. An attempt is made to resolve the matter; if appropriate, at this level.
- After the investigation, the Committee may deny the grievance, recommend a resolution, or; if the case merits further consideration, arrange for a formal hearing. The parties involved, including the appropriate University investigating office, shall be notified in writing of the decision and the reasons for that decision.
- When a formal hearing is required, such a hearing will be scheduled promptly and the parties will be notified in writing of the scheduled time and place. At the hearing, the parties directly involved and witnesses may testify and be questioned by the opposite party and Committee members. Only evidence presented at the hearing will be considered in the final judgment.
- Either party may, for cause, request that any member(s) of the committee be excluded from consideration of the case. Such a request must be made to the Executive Secretary Members of the Committee may disqualify themselves for any reason.
- Should a disqualification occur, the Executive Secretary shall appoint an alternate from the same constituency for the remainder of the case.
- The accused shall have the right to have a written notice of the charges and of the name(s) of the complainant(s). Each party may present evidence and witnesses on its behalf.
- After a hearing, the Committee may deny the grievance or recommend a resolution. The parties involved, including the appropriate University investigating officer; shall be notified in writing of the decision and the reasons for that decision.
E. Appeal Procedures
Either party may appeal a decision of the Student Grievance Committee to the Student Code Enforcement and Review Board. Such an appeal must be in written form and be received within ten days of the Committee's decision. An appeal must be based upon one or more of the following grounds:
- The appellant must present new relevant evidence which was not reasonably possible to obtain at the time of the hearing.
- The appellant must set forth specific facts to support the allegation that the decision of the Student Grievance Committee and/or the resolution recommended were not consistent with the evidence presented.
- The appellant must demonstrate that procedures used during the investigation and/or hearing substantially prejudiced the decision.
Disposition of Appeals
The Student Code Enforcement and Review Board may make one of the following decisions as the result of an appeal.
- The appeal may be denied.
- The original Student Grievance Committee decision may be altered.
- The case may be returned to the Student Grievance Committee for further investigation and/or deliberation.
F. The audio tape record of any formal hearing will be destroyed or erased thirty days alter a final decision. The grievance file will be maintained for five years. A summary of the grievance case will be maintained for an additional five years in accordance with the State Records Act.
Should a person or University agency decline to follow the recommended resolution of the grievance, the President or the President's designee shall seek to resolve the impasse. If no resolution can be affected, the final decision will rest with the President or the President's designee. If necessary, the President or the President's designee will take appropriate action and enforce it.
Nothing in the above procedures for dealing with grievances may be construed to abridge or modify any rights and privileges granted to students in other sections of the Student Handbook.