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Student Grievance Procedures

Rationale

As members of the Barry University learning community, all students have the right to pursue their intellectual and personal goals free from interference or conflict that undermines their basic freedoms. If the University is to truly succeed in upholding its mission of promoting responsible citizenship, equal treatment and education for the common good, all students must be afforded the opportunity to identify, register and seek resolution of grievances in a manner that is prompt, fair and just.

Scope and Definition of Complaints/Grievances

While most campus encounters are positive and friendly, it is a fact that disputes, disagreements and conflict are inevitable when there is misunderstanding, injustice or differing needs and interests. These conflicts can be related to academic problems, mistreatment by another, wrongful assessment of fees, records errors, or discrimination of any kind. Such matters, when left unresolved, can create a level of concern, hardship or dissatisfaction sufficient enough to require assistance in seeking corrective action. In the interest of ensuring that students are supported by the University, an established protocol for filing and resolving grievances is available and described in the next section.

Procedures for Students Seeking to File a Grievance

Before proceeding, three important points must be made about the grievance process.

  1. This Grievance Policy is not applicable to complaints covered by other already-existing University policies and/or procedures. These include, but are not limited to, grade appeals, sexual misconduct, student conduct action, etc.   When necessary and appropriate, the Dean of Students will assist students in identifying the applicable University policies and procedures for reporting and resolving such matters.
  2. At any point in the process described hereunder, a student filing a grievance will always have the option to withdraw the complaint. Furthermore, no student will be sanctioned or otherwise reprimanded for registering a grievance so long as it is done in good faith.
  3. The University strictly prohibits any member of the community from harassing or retaliating against any student who files a grievance under this policy.

If any student feels the need to file a grievance, he or she must report such incident to the Dean of Students. Every effort will be made to protect the privacy of any parties involved. After an informal discussion, if the student wishes to file a formal grievance, the student may submit same in writing to the Dean of Students. However, before filing a formal charge, the complaining party must first make a good faith effort to meet and confer with the party against whom he or she has a complaint in an effort to resolve the matter.

Remedies

Upon receipt of a written formal complaint by a student, the Dean of Students shall refer the complaint for investigation to the office of the vice president of the appropriate division. The vice president will designate a member of the division to investigate and determine whether the grievance has merit as alleged. If it is determined that such grievance has sufficient support, the persons or departments that are responsible for such violation will be dealt with in an appropriate manner by the supervisors or directors of such persons or programs, in accordance with applicable provisions, if any, of contracts, employment regulations, manuals, handbooks, or the like.

The designated investigator will provide the student with written notice of the final disposition within ten (10) working days from the date on which the formal grievance was filed. If the investigation exceeds ten (10) working days, the student will be notified in writing of the delay and advised of the anticipated date on which the final disposition letter will be delivered.

Appeals

If for any reason the student disagrees with the final disposition, s/he may submit a written appeal to the appropriate vice president within 48 hours of receiving the investigating officer’s written notification of the disposition. The vice president will provide a written response to the student within five (5) working days.

Use of Outside Remedies

If, prior to filing a formal complaint or while such complaint proceedings are in progress as provided in the general policy, a grievant seeks resolution of his/her grievance in any other forum, be it administrative or judicial, the University shall have the right, in its sole discretion, to terminate any further consideration of the complaint without further notice to the complainant.

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