Student Grievance Procedures (Other)

Effective 1/1/2012


Grievances excluded from this section.

(1) A student may not use the provisions of this section as the basis for filing a grievance based on the outcomes of disciplinary proceedings described in the Code of Student Conduct.

(2) Federal and state laws, rules and regulations, in addition to policies, regulations and procedures adopted by the state board for community and technical colleges or the board of trustees of Community College District 22, shall not be grievable matters.

(3) For the purpose of final course grade disputes, a student shall use the established Student Grievance Procedure for Final Course Grades.

(4) For the purpose of filing a grievance due to sexual harassment, sex discrimination, or handicapped discrimination, a student shall use the provisions of the established college grievance procedures on sexual harassment, sex discrimination, and handicapped discrimination, WAC 132V-300-010 to 132V-300-030, not the provisions of this section.

Grievance procedures.

Internal review and consultative processes have proven to be a desirable means of resolving problems. If a student believes he or she has been unfairly treated by a faculty member, member of the college staff, or administrator, the student is encouraged to resolve the complaint with the individual toward whom the grievance is directed. The student shall take this action within five instructional days following the incident. If the complaint is not resolved, the student is encouraged to seek informal resolution through the appropriate division manager. The student may choose to lodge a formal grievance according to the following procedures:

(1) The student may, within ten instructional days following the incident, present his/her complaint in writing to the appropriate division manager. The student shall present a written, signed statement of the nature of the grievance, a summary of actions taken by the student to resolve the grievance up to that point, and any proposed solution to the problem the grievant may wish to offer.

(2) Within ten instructional days of receiving the grievance, the appropriate division manager shall hold a meeting to hear the complaint. It shall be at the discretion of the division manager to determine whether he/she will meet with the grievant and the person to whom the complaint has been directed separately or in a joint meeting.

(a) At this step and all subsequent steps in the grievance procedure, the grievant may elect to be represented by an attorney in preparing and presenting the grievance. The grievant shall notify the appropriate division manager at least five instructional days in advance of such action. In such cases, the college may choose to be assisted by an assistant attorney general.

(b) Following the meeting or meetings, and within ten instructional days, the division manager will report his/her findings and the actions, where appropriate, to be implemented to resolve the grievance in writing to the grievant and the person to whom the complaint is directed.

Grievance procedures appeal process.

The outcome of the Grievance Process may be appealed to the appropriate administrative officer by any party to the grievance no later than five instructional days following notification after the division manager's determination.

(1) Such an appeal must be in writing and clearly set forth the reason for the appeal.

(2) Upon receiving the appeal, the administrative officer will review the original grievance and determination, any evidence submitted in connection with the original grievance, and the appeal. Evidence not presented in the original grievance will not be considered in the appeal process unless exceptional circumstances are shown by the college. The administrative officer will respond to the appeal in one of two ways:

(a) Making a final decision.

(i)The administrative officer will provide a decision in writing to parties of the grievance within ten instructional days following receipt of the appeal.

(ii) The decision of the administrative officer is final and is not subject to further appeal.

(b) Convening a hearing committee to consider the appeal.

(i) The administrative officer will convene a hearing committee to consider the appeal within ten instructional days of receiving the appeal.

(ii) The committee will consist of the following members: Three student representatives, chosen by the president of the associated student body; two faculty or staff representatives (dependent upon the nature of the grievance), appointed by the appropriate administrative officer; two administrators, appointed by the president.

(iii) The committee may meet and deliberate if a quorum, defined as one person from each category identified above, is present.

(iv) No member of the hearing committee will have any previous knowledge of the grievance.

(v)The proceedings of the hearing shall be tape recorded.

(vi) If the person to whom the complaint has been directed fails to appear for the hearing, the chair is authorized to proceed with the hearing.

(vii) The committee will elect its own chairperson for each case brought before it.

(viii) The committee will hear testimony and examine evidence regarding the grievance; deliberate; and decide the issue by majority vote.

(ix)The hearing committee will notify the parties involved of its decision in writing within five instructional days of the hearing. Findings of fact will be included when informing the student and faculty member, member of the college staff, or administrator involved.

(x)The decision of the hearing committee is final and is not subject to further appeal.

Final decision regarding student grievances.

(1) The written findings of the administrative officer or hearing committee appeal will be considered final. No further intra-institutional appeal exists.

(2) Depending on the findings, disciplinary proceedings may be commenced against the person pursuant to appropriate procedures.

Nature of grievance proceedings.

(1) All hearings resulting from a student-initiated grievance, including appeals to the administrative officer, may be open with the approval of both parties.

(2) All written records growing out of a student-initiated grievance, including appeals to the office of the president, are disclosable only in accordance with applicable law.

Withdrawal of grievance.

(1) At any time during the grievance procedure, the grievant may officially withdraw the grievance in writing.

(2) In the event the grievant fails to appear for any scheduled meeting or hearing without prior notification or evidence of extenuating circumstances, this shall be considered to constitute withdrawal of the grievance.