Jul 22, 2019  
2019-2020 Catalog/Student Handbook 
  
2019-2020 Catalog/Student Handbook

Student Conduct


Code for Student Rights, Responsibilities and Conduct Bill of Rights

1.        The following enumeration of rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by students in their capacity as members of the student body or as citizens of the community at large:

A.      Free inquiry, expression and assembly are guaranteed to all students.

B.       Students are free to pursue their educational goals, and the institution shall provide appropriate opportunities for learning in the classroom and on the campus.

C.       No disciplinary sanctions may be imposed upon any student without notice to the accused of the nature and cause of the charges.

Definitions

2.        When used in this Code—

A.      The term “institution” means Southside Virginia Community College and, collectively, those responsible for its control and operation.

B.       The term “student” includes all persons taking courses at this institution both full-time and part-time, credit or non-credit.

C.       The term “instructor” means any person hired by the institution to conduct classroom activities.

D.      The term “legal” compulsion means a judicial or legislative order which requires some action by the person to whom it is directed.

E.       The term “organization” means a number of persons who have complied with the formal requirements of institution recognition as provided in section 10, below.

F.       The term “group” means a number of persons who have not yet complied with the formal requirements for becoming an organization.

G.      The term “shall” is used in the imperative sense.

H.      The term “may” is used in the permissive sense.

I.         All other terms have their natural meaning unless the context indicates otherwise.

J.        Intellectual honesty—In order to maintain an atmosphere in which students can grow and learn, the College places a high priority on intellectual honesty. Therefore, the College does not tolerate either cheating or plagiarism.

Access to Higher Education

3.        Within the limits of its facilities, the institution shall be open to all applicants who are qualified according to its admission requirements.

A.      The institution shall make clear the characteristics and expectations of students which it considers relevant to its programs.

B.       Under no circumstances may an applicant be denied admission because of race, sex, religion, age, national origin or handicap.

Classroom Expression

4.        Discussion and expression of all views relevant to the subject matter are permitted in the classroom subject only to the responsibility of the instructor to maintain order.

A.      Students are responsible for learning the content of any course for which they are enrolled.

B.       Requirements of participation in classroom discussion and submission of written exercises are not inconsistent with this section.

5.        Academic evaluation of student performances shall be neither prejudicial nor capricious.

6.        Information about student views, beliefs and political associations acquired by professors in the course of their work as instructors, advisors and counselors is confidential and is not to be disclosed to others except under legal compulsion. Questions relating to intellectual or skills capacity are not subject to this section except that disclosure must be accompanied by notice to the student.

7.        Discussion and expression of all views are permitted within the institution subject only to reasonable restrictions to ensure that the mission of the institution is not disrupted and to maintain order.

8.        Students, groups and campus organizations may invite and hear any persons of their own choosing subject only to the requirements for use of institutional facilities (see Section 13).

Campus Organizations

9.        Organizations and groups may be established within the institution for any legal purpose.
Affiliation with an extramural organization shall not, in itself, disqualify the institution branch or chapter from institution privileges.

10.      

A.      A group shall become an organization when formally recognized by the institution. All groups that meet the following requirements shall be recognized:

1.        Submission of a list of officers and copies of the constitution and by-laws to the Student Activities Coordinator and Campus Council. All changes and amendments shall be submitted within one week after they become effective.

2.        Where there is affiliation with an extramural organization, the organization’s constitution and by-laws shall be filed with the Student Activities Coordinator. All amendments shall be submitted within a reasonable time after they become effective.

3.        All sources of outside funds shall be disclosed.

B.       Upon recognition of an organization, the institution shall make clear that said recognition implies neither approval nor disapproval of the aims, objectives and policies of the organization.

C.       Groups of a continuing nature must institute proceedings for formal recognition if they are to receive the benefits of 13, 15, 16.

D.      Any organization which engages in illegal activities, on or off campus, may have sanctions imposed against it, including withdrawal of institution recognition for a period not exceeding one year.

11.     Recognized religious or political student organizations may limit activities that relate to the core functions of the organization to only those students who support the organization’s mission. Core functions may include, but are not limited to:

1.        ordering the organization’s internal affairs;

2.        selecting the organization’s leaders;

3.        defining the organization’s doctrines; and,

4.        resolving the organization’s disputes that are in furtherance of the organization’s religious or political mission.

10.     Membership lists of the organization are submitted for reference when applying for funds through the Student Activities.

11.     Institutional facilities may, through the Student Activities Office, be assigned to organizations, groups and individuals within the institutional community for regular business meetings, for social programs and for programs open to the public.

12.      

A.      The authority to request institutional funds for use by organizations shall be delegated to the organization’s advisor working in conjunction with the Student Activities Coordinator:

1.        Any organization seeking access to institutional funds shall choose an employee of the college as advisor.

2.        Approval of requests for funds is conditioned upon submission of budgets to and approval by the Vice President of Academic Affairs or designee.

3.        Financial accountability is required for all allocated funds, including a quarterly statement of income and expenses, which is presented to the SVCC Local Board.

B.       Organizations may be allowed to raise money on-or off-campus to help support their activities.

1.        Food and beverage sales on campus are limited to a total of six per semester during day classes. Each organization must request in advance approval by the Vice President of Academic Affairs or designee.

2.        Other fund raising activities are not limited but advance approval by the Vice President of Academic Affairs or designee is required.

3.        All fundraisers must be appropriate, legal and reasonable as deemed by the Vice President of Academic Affairs or designee.

10.     No individual, group or organization may use the institution’s name without the express authorization of the institution except to identify the institutional affiliation. Institutional approval or disapproval of any policy may not be stated or implied by any individual, group or organization.

Publications

16.     A student, group or organization may not distribute written materials on campus without prior approval of the institution. This editorial freedom entails a corollary obligation under the canons of responsible journalism and applicable regulations of the Federal Communications Commission.

17.     All student communications shall explicitly state on the editorial page or in a broadcast that the opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the institution or its student body.

Institutional Government

18.     All constituents of the institutional community are free, individually and collectively, to express their views on issues of institutional policy and on matters of interest to the student body.

19.     On questions of educational policy, students are entitled to a participatory function.

A.      Faculty-student committees shall be created to consider questions of policy affecting student life.

B.       Students shall be designated as members of standing and special committees concerned with institutional policy affecting academic and student affairs, including those concerned with curriculum, discipline, admissions and allocation of student funds.

Protest

20.     The right of peaceful demonstration for protest is granted within the institutional community. The institution retains the right to assure the safety of individuals, the protection of property, and the continuity of the educational process.

21.     Orderly picketing and other forms of peaceful protest are permitted on institution premises.

A.      Interference with ingress to and egress from institution facilities, interruption of classes or damage to property exceeds permissible limits.

B.       Even though remedies are available through local enforcement bodies, the institution may choose to impose its own disciplinary sanctions.

22.     Orderly picketing and orderly demonstrations are permitted in public areas outside institution buildings subject to the requirements of Section 20, 21 and 23.

23.     Every student has the right to be interviewed on campus by legal organizations desiring to recruit at the institution.

A.      Any student, group, or organization may protest against any such organization provided that protest does not interfere with any other student’s right to have such an interview.

B.       Forms for college registration of demonstrations are available in the Student Services Office.

Violation of Law and Institution Discipline

24.     If a student is charged with, or convicted of, an off-campus violation of law, the matter is of disciplinary concern to the institution.

A.      The institution may impose sanctions for grave misconduct demonstrating flagrant disregard for the rights of others.

B.       Once a student is adjudged guilty in a court of law, the institution may impose sanctions if it considers the misconduct to be so grave as to demonstrate flagrant disregard for the rights of others.

25.     Under 24A, the institution shall reinstate the student if he/she is acquitted or the charges are withdrawn.

26.     The institution may institute its own proceedings against a student who violates a law on campus which is also a violation of a published institution regulation.

Student Records

27.     Upon graduation or withdrawal from the institution, official college records and files of former students shall continue to be subject to the provisions of the Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities. Students shall have the right of inspection and review of their official college records in accordance with the Family Rights and Privacy Act of l974 as amended.

Student Conduct

28.     Southside Virginia Community College holds certain expectations of students to share the responsibility of maintaining a safe, secure, and honest academic environment. By applying for admission to the College, each student agrees to abide by the policies and procedures governing student conduct. The statement below outlines the rights each student has as a member of the college community as well as the responsibilities each student has to continue within that community.

Each student has the privilege of exercising his or her rights without fear of prejudice provided he/she respects the laws of the Commonwealth, the policies of Southside Virginia Community College and the rights of others on campus. Such rights include the following:

·         Students are free to pursue their educational goals. Appropriate opportunities for learning in the classroom and on campus are provided through the curricula offered by the college.

·         No disciplinary sanctions may be imposed without due process, except as provided in the Student Conduct Policy below.

·         Students have the right to freedom of expression, inquiry, and assembly provided actions do not interfere with the rights of others or the effective operation of the college.

·         Academic evaluation of student performance shall be fair, not arbitrary or inconsistent.

·         Members of the college community, including students, have the right to expect safety, protection of property, and the continuity of the educational process.Each student, as a responsible adult, shall maintain standards of conduct appropriate to membership in the college community. Such responsibilities include the following:

·         Each student has the responsibility to demonstrate respect for him/herself as well as faculty, staff and other students.

·         Each student has the responsibility to know, understand, and abide by the regulations and policies of the college.

·         Each student has the responsibility to pay all fines and debts to the college.

·         Each student has the responsibility to maintain academic integrity and abide by the academic honesty policy of the college.

Student Conduct Policy & Procedures

The College places great value on freedom of expression, but it also recognizes the responsibility to protect the values and structures of an academic community. It is important, therefore, that students assume responsibility for helping to sustain an educational and social community where the rights of all are respected. This includes conforming their behavior to standards of conduct that are designed to protect the health, safety, dignity, and the rights of all. Community members also have a responsibility to protect the possessions, property, and integrity of the institution as well as of individuals. The aim Southside Virginia Community College’s Student Conduct Policy is to balance all these rights, responsibilities, and community values fairly.

The College expects all students involved in the College disciplinary process, including witnesses, to participate in the investigation and adjudication of Student Code of Conduct violations. Participation can include providing a written statement and attendance at an interview and/or College student conduct proceeding If a student feels that they cannot participate in the process, the College expects that the student will provide notice of one’s desire not to participate further in the process.

Misconduct Violations

Violations of the following list of conduct violations, which is not all-inclusive, are subject to disciplinary action.

A.      Threat to Health or Safety: When a student’s continued presence at the college is deemed to constitute a threat to the health, safety or welfare of members of the campus community.

B.       Bomb Threat, Fire Alarm, Hoax: When a student activates a fire or lockdown alarm without cause, or makes a threat to bomb or damage college property, students, faculty, staff, or visitors; or undertakes a hoax involving use of a supposedly destructive device or substance; or encourages, incites, or solicits any person to commit such a threat or such an act.

C.       Weapons: When the student possesses, on his or her person, or uses weapons, to include guns, knives, or other dangerous objects. No weapons are permitted on campus.

D.      Theft: When the student engages in theft, larceny, embezzlement, or the temporary taking of the property of another without consent.

E.       Riot: When the student incites or engages in a riot or a disorderly assembly.

F.       Drugs: When the student engages in the possession, use, sale or manufacture of illegal or controlled substances.

G.      Forgery: When the student forges, alters, misuses, or falsifies college documents or records, including emails.

H.      Computer Security: When the student makes unauthorized use of computer resources, or makes unauthorized efforts to penetrate or modify any computing hardware or software.

I.         Disruption: Disruption of a classroom, laboratory, library, office, hallway, public student space, such as the student center, meeting or hearing.

J.        Failure to Comply: Failure to comply with a college official who is appropriately acting in the performance of his or her duties.

K.      Verbal Abuse: When the student utters obscene words or engages in verbal abuse that constitutes harassment of others.

L.       Assault, Battery, Fighting: When the student engages in non-sexual assault, battery, or fighting.

M.     Harassment: When the student engages in psychological abuse, racial, or other non-sexual harassment.

N.      Property Destruction: When the student destroys, damages, defaces, or misuses public or private property.

O.      Illegal Entry: When the student illegally enters or occupies state property.

P.       Gambling: When the student engages in unlawful gambling or gaming.

Q.      Alcoholic Beverages: When the student possesses or consumes alcoholic beverages or is legally intoxicated.

R.       Criminal Charges: When the student is formally charged with the commission of a crime.

S.       Misuse of Federal Funds:
When the student uses federal funds for someone other than him/herself or uses funds in a way that does not support his/her own educational endeavors.

T.       Electronic Bullying: When a student uses Facebook, or any other type of social media, to intimidate or bully a student, faculty or staff member.

U.      Impersonation or Assuming a False Identity:
When a student impersonates a college employee or falsely identifies him/herself.

V.      Sexual Misconduct: Sexual misconduct includes rape, sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, and sexual violence

Investigation by Dean of Student Success

The Dean of Student Success will initiate an investigation into the charges. The accused student will be contacted via Certified Mail to schedule a meeting time to discuss the alleged violation which would include the nature and sources of the charges and the student’s rights and responsibilities. As part of the review, the Dean of Student Success will determine if the nature of the allegations justifies a sanction affecting the students’ educational status. If so, the alleged violations will be referred to the Student Conduct Committee. If not, the Dean of Student Success can impose any of the sanctions listed below. The Dean of Student Success will notify the student of the decision in writing within TEN business days of the initial meeting.

Student Conduct Sanctions

The following sanctions may be imposed upon students:

A.      Warning: Notice, orally or in writing, that continuation or repetition of conduct found wrongful, within a period of time stated in the warning, may be cause for more severe disciplinary action.

B.       Censure: A written reprimand for violation of specified regulations, including the possibility of more severe disciplinary sanctions, in the event of the finding of a violation of any institutional regulation within a stated period of time.

C.       Disciplinary probation: Exclusion from participation in privileges or extracurricular institutional activities as set forth in the notice for a period of time not exceeding one school year.

D.      Restitution: Reimbursement for damage to or misappropriation of property. This may take the form of appropriate service or other compensation.

E.       Suspension: Exclusion from classes and other privileges or activities as set forth in the notice for a definite period of time not to exceed two years.

F.       Expulsion: Termination of student status for an indefinite period. The conditions of readmission, if any, shall be stated in the order of expulsion.

Temporary Suspension

If the Vice-President for Academic and Student Affairs or the Dean of Student Success, decides at any point that the safety of a student or of the College is at stake, a temporary suspension may be imposed against a student who is suspected of violating the conduct policy and any other college policies or otherwise poses a risk to the safety to the campus, until the student conduct resolution, disciplinary action, or a hearing can be completed. This action assumes no determination of guilt.

Student Conduct Committee

The charge of the Student Conduct Committee is to promote the principles of responsibility, accountability, respect, and fairness among SVCC students by hearing and resolving charges of alleged student misconduct. To ensure fairness and broad perspective, the committee is composed of administrators, faculty, staff, security personnel and students. The Student Conduct Committee may apply one or more of the sanctions listed in the catalog for instances of non-academic misconduct.

The Student Conduct Committee will be convened on the recommendation of the Dean of Student Success. The following procedure will be followed:

Non-academic charges that have not been dismissed or have not received a sanction from the Dean of Student Success will be referred to the Student Conduct Committee. The following Student Conduct Committee procedure will then be followed.

1.        The Dean of Student Success will notify the student by certified mail, of the charges and student rights found in the College Catalog and Student Handbook within 10 business days.

2.        The student will have FIVE business days from the date the notification is sent to the student via the student’s message center and college email account to respond to the charges by email to the Dean of Student Success. Lack of response from the student will be considered an admission of guilt unless the delay is eventually attributed to reasonable extenuating circumstances, such as weather, documented illness and/or as determined by the Dean of Student Success or designee.

3.        A date for the hearing will be scheduled and reported to the student to the student’s SVCC message center and college email account within FIVE business days of receipt of the student’s response. The hearing should take place as soon as possible, but no more than THIRTY business days following the instance of misconduct. This period may be extended under reasonable circumstances at the discretion of the Dean of Student Success.

4.        The Dean of Student Success should notify members of the Student Conduct Committee of a pending case as soon as possible once a date and time of a hearing has been set. If committee members are unable to attend, the office of the Dean of Student Success will promptly notify the committee chair who will identify designees. The chair will prepare and distribute copies of evidentiary documents to Committee members and designees.

5.        The hearing will be held regardless of whether the student responds to the notification, and/or is absent in order to determine appropriate penalty.

6.        The student has the right to be advised by counsel or an advisor who may come from within or from outside the institution. Counsel may be present at the hearing and may advise the student during the hearing, but will not be allowed to address the Committee.

7.        The chair will be responsible for making the following documents available:
All present should be given the following documents:

·         evidentiary documents

·         order of proceedings derived from this document

·         a list of potential non-academic disciplinary sanctions

·         a list of potential academic disciplinary sanctions

A tape recording will be kept of the proceedings. This tape will be labeled with date and other identifying information, and will be retained in the office of the Dean of Student Success for 10 years. The reporter will be responsible for assuring that the recording equipment is present and functional prior to, and during all proceedings.

Order of proceedings:
The Committee chair will re-confirm that the recorder is taping. The chair will then state the following for the record:

·         current date and time

·         name of the student

·         reminder of the importance of truth in all testimony

·         reminder of confidentiality

·         statement of alleged violation

The Committee chair asks for plea of the student. If student’s plea is “guilty,” the Committee need only determine appropriate penalty.

If student’s plea is “innocent,” the Student Committee will follow the remainder of the steps below:

·         The chair will ask the Committee to call witnesses one at a time, and discuss the case. The chair must ask each witness to begin by stating his/her name and connection with the case for the record. Committee members may ask questions of the student during this phase.

·         The student may state the remainder of their case, cross-examine stated facts, and call his/her witnesses one at a time. The chair must ask each witness to begin by stating his/her name and connection with the case for the record.

·         The chair should ask for any clarifying questions or statements, first from the Committee members, and then from the student.

·         The student, student’s counsel, accuser, and all witnesses will be excused. The student (and counsel if the student wishes) should remain nearby for recall. The remainder may be excused for the day.

·         The Committee will discuss the case and reach a decision of guilt or innocence by vote. At least 2/3 majority vote is required for a guilty verdict.

·         If the decision is innocence, the student will be recalled immediately and informed of the decision by the Committee chair.

·         If the decision is guilty, the Committee will deliberate further to determine appropriate penalty. Penalty options for both non-academic and academic misconduct are listed in this document, and should have been made available to Committee members prior to onset of proceedings.

·         The Committee chair reminds the student that he/she has the right to appeal according to the procedures specified in this document.

·         The chair reiterates the importance of confidentiality, and adjourns the meeting.

·         Before allowing anyone to leave, the reporter will ensure that all signatures are present on the Hearing form. The reporter will deliver the labeled audio tape of proceedings, and the completed Hearing form to the office of the Dean of Student Success.

·         Within FIVE business days of receipt of the Committee’s recommendation, the Dean of Student Success shall review the Committees recommendation, take necessary action on the recommendation, and provide written notification via Certified mail to the student.

Appeals Procedure Student Conduct Committee

A decision of the Student Conduct Committee on student non-academic misconduct may be appealed to the Dean of Student Success. The appeal must be in writing and must be received by the Dean of Student Success within FIVE business days after the Committee hearing. The Dean of Student Success will review the written record and reach a determination.

Disciplinary Transcript Notations

A student under investigation for an offense violating the student conduct policy may have a notation “withdrawn while under investigation” placed on their Student Information System record. The student may appeal through the Student Conduct Policy.

Student Information System (SIS) Records

A student who is determined to be in violation the student conduct policy may have a notation of Suspension/Dismissal placed on their permanent record. The student may appeal through the Student Conduct Policy.

Student Grade Appeal Procedure

If a student wishes to appeal a course grade, the following in-house administrative procedure will be used. Grade Appeals may not be filed until the semester has ended and a final course grade has been assigned. The student must begin the appeal process within five (5) business days of the beginning of classes in the semester immediately following receipt of the grade in question. Appeals submitted outside of this timeframe will not be considered.

1.        The student must discuss the grade with the instructor who assigned it.

2.        If the matter has not been satisfactorily resolved and the student wishes to continue the appeal, the student must file a written appeal to the instructor’s division dean and discuss the grade with the instructor’s division dean within five (5) business days (If the instructor who assigned the grade is also the division dean, then the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs will perform the role of division dean in hearing the student’s appeal at this point.) The division dean will attempt to mediate the disputed grade with the faculty member and the student and make a recommendation for solution. If both parties agree to the division dean’s recommendation, the appeal is concluded.

3.        If the student disagrees with the recommendation, the student may continue the appeal to the next step by filing a written appeal with the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs (VP) within five (5) business days of the conclusion of step two. The student must also send a copy of the written appeal to the faculty member and the division dean.

4.        Upon review of the appeal file, the VP may elect to meet with the student and faculty member to review the case, dismiss the appeal (uphold the student’s assigned grade), or appoint a Grade Appeal Panel (the panel) to consider the case. The decision of the VP to appoint or not appoint a panel is final and cannot be appealed by either party. If the VP decides to appoint a panel, within five (5) business days of receipt of the appeal, the VP shall select by random drawing a panel of one student and two full-time faculty members to consider the appeal. Neither the instructor who assigned the grade, the instructor’s division dean, nor the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs may serve on this panel. The student on the committee should be selected at random from a pool of Student Ambassadors.

5.        The panel shall meet and consider any written information from previous steps and give both the student and the faculty member an opportunity to present any additional information. Notifications of the date, time, and location of the panel meeting will be communicated to the student and the faculty member by the VP. Within fifteen (15) business days after it is established, the panel shall reach its decision and communicate its recommendation in writing to the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs, division dean, faculty member, and the student.

The decision of the Grade Appeal Panel is final and cannot be appealed.

Student Grievance Process of Administrative Decisions

Southside Virginia Community College is dedicated to a policy which provides that all grievances relating to current and prospective students will be handled fairly and equally without regard to race, color, age, sex, religion, national origin, disability, marital status, veteran’s status, sexual orientation, political affiliation, or other non-merit factors.

The grievance process applies to non-academic student grievances, including student complaints of unlawful discrimination or unfair treatment. The grievance process applies to complaints arising under any of the following:

·         Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

·         Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

·         Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1992

·         Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974

·         Age Discrimination Act of 1975

·         Southside Virginia Community College Catalog

·         Southside Virginia Community College Student Handbook

·         Virginia Community College System Policy Manual

Section I. Procedures for Resolving Complaints Level One

Recognizing that grievances should be raised and settled promptly, a grievance should be raised within thirty (30) business days following the event giving rise to the grievance. As the first step, the student is encouraged to meet and discuss the concern with the person with whom the student has the difference or dispute. At the meeting, the student must clearly present the facts regarding the grieved issue and the resolution that he or she seeks. The respondent may consult with his/her supervisor, dean or program head at this step in the process. Every reasonable effort should be made to resolve the matter informally at this level.

If the difference or dispute is not resolved, the student with a grievance shall complete a grievance form and submit to the Dean of Student Success. Determination of grievability will be made by the Dean of Student Success.

In cases where the grievance is involving the Dean of Student Success, then the student with a grievance shall complete a grievance form and submit to the Vice-President for Academic and Student Affairs. Determination of grievability will be made by the Vice-President for Academic and Student Affairs.

A student who alleges harassment or sexual misconduct will not be required to make direct contact with the person alleged to have engaged in such conduct. In that situation, the student should contact the Dean of Student Success, who will discuss with the student her/his right to proceed to Level Two of this procedure. If a student is alleging sexual misconduct, the student should be referred to Southside Virginia Community College’s policy on sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking (Title IX).

Level Two

If the student is not satisfied with the outcome of the grievance at Level One or has been permitted to bypass Level One, the student may submit a written grievance to the appropriate college official within twenty (20) business days. The appropriate college officials are outlined as follows:

1.        Academic matters — Academic Deans for credit courses, Vice-President of Workforce Development and Continuing Education for non-credit courses.

2.         Admissions matters (e.g., recruitment, registration, transfer of credits, academic suspension/dismissal, etc.) will be heard by the Dean of Enrollment Management.

3.         Student employment (e.g., financial aid recipients) will be heard by the Director of Financial Aid.

4.        Complaints in areas other than 1, 2, and 3 above will be heard by the Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs.

5.        Affirmative Action and ADA complaints will be heard by the Vice President of Finance and Administration

Within 10 business days of receiving the grievance, the dean, supervisor, or other college official will schedule a meeting with both parties in an effort to resolve the grievance. (The meeting may occur after 10 business days, but its date should be established within this time frame.) The role of the decision-maker is to chair the meeting, facilitate the discussion, conduct an adequate, reliable, and impartial investigation, determine whether or not college policies have been violated, and render a decision on the matter. Each party may present witnesses and other evidence. No attorneys or other advisers are allowed to be present to represent either party.

No recording will be permitted during the meeting. The decision-maker may conduct follow-up inquiries after the meeting if necessary. He/she will prepare a written report of the outcome of the grievance within 10 business days after the meeting, and will provide copies to the student and the respondent.

Level Three

If the student is not satisfied with the outcome of the grievance at Level Two, the student may file a written appeal within 10 business days of the determination at Level Two to the Administrative designee or Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs with responsibility for the respondent’s division. The Dean of Student Success can assist the student in identifying the appropriate Administrative designee. The Administrative designee will collect relevant information from all parties and review the record of previous actions. If, in the judgment of the Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs or Administrative designee, the appeal and record of previous actions have resolved the grievance or do not warrant further action, he/she will notify the student and the respondent within 10 business days of receiving the written appeal.

The Administrative designee member’s determination that the grievance does not warrant further action is final. If, in the judgment of the Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs or Administrative designee, the grievance warrants further action, he/she will appoint a Grievance Panel within 10 business days of receiving the written appeal.

For Campuses:

1.        One member of the Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs staff, who will serve as chair of the panel.

2.        One faculty member, to be selected from a pool of faculty designated at the beginning of each academic year by the Campus Council. In the case of grievances regarding grades, the faculty member on the Grievance Panel must be a member of the teaching faculty.

3.        One student to be selected from a pool of students designated at the beginning of each academic year by the Campus Council.

Within 10 business days after the Grievance Panel has been appointed, the chair of the Grievance Panel will set a time and place for a hearing and notify the student and the respondent in writing at least 48 hours prior to the hearing. The hearing will be held within 15 business days after the Grievance Panel has been appointed, and no later than 30 days after the written appeal has been submitted to the Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs or Administrative Council designee member.

The chair of the Grievance Panel is responsible for conducting the hearing in an orderly, efficient and equitable manner. The chair will arrange for the audio recording of the hearing. Either party may have access to the recording upon request. Both the student and the respondent may have an adviser present at the hearing, however each party must so inform the chair of the Grievance Panel 10 business days prior to the hearing. Either party may consult with their own adviser; however, the adviser may not speak for the party or address the members of the panel. The chair of the Grievance Panel may disallow a particular adviser in cases where the adviser might be a witness or where such adviser’s presence, in the chair’s sole determination, would be obstructive to the process or for other good cause.

At the Grievance Panel hearing, the student and the respondent will each have the opportunity to present any information relevant to the grievance. The Panel may also request information from other sources. Signed written statements may be submitted by individuals who are unable to attend the hearing. If either party chooses not to attend the hearing, the Panel will consider any written statements the person submits.

The Grievance Panel is responsible for reviewing the grievance in light of College policies and procedures. The Grievance Panel can neither change nor formulate College policies and procedures, nor can it commit state resources. The Grievance Panel will make its decision by simple majority vote. The chair of the Grievance Panel will prepare a written report of the outcome of the hearing and provide it to the student and the respondent within 10 business days after the conclusion of the hearing. The decision of the Grievance Panel is final.

Retaliation Prohibited

Retaliation against a grievant or witness for filing or participating in the investigation of a grievance is prohibited. Retaliation is any overt or covert act of reprisal, interference, restraint, penalty, discrimination, intimidation, or harassment against one or more individuals for exercising their rights (or supporting others for exercising their rights) under this policy. The College will investigate any reports of retaliation and take appropriate disciplinary action.

Confidentiality

All actions taken to resolve grievances through this process will be conducted with as much privacy, discretion and confidentiality as possible without compromising the thoroughness and fairness of the process. All persons involved are to treat the process with respect.

Grievance Procedure records should be maintained for a five-year period.