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LACKAWANNA COLLEGE STUDENT GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE

  1. Purpose and Scope
    1. The purpose of this procedure is to provide Lackawanna College students an opportunity to file Non-Academic grievances. Students are expected to attempt to resolve the matter informally prior to filing a formal grievance.
    2. While the Student Grievance procedure may be used for complaints alleging discrimination, students are encouraged to use the Affirmative Action Complaint process for resolution prior to bringing a complaint of sexual harassment under the Student Grievance Procedure.
    3. The Student Grievance procedure should not be used for complaints alleging sexual harassment.  Any student wishing to file a complaint of sexual harassment should consult with the College’s Title IX Officer and the Title IX Handbook.
  2. Definitions
    1. Student:  An individual who is officially enrolled as a non-degree student, a degree-seeking student, or enrolled in a College-approved certificate program.
    2. Respondent:  The person designated to answer or respond to the complaint.  Generally, the respondent would be the head of the department in which the violation allegedly occurred, or the Vice President of Student Affairs.
    3. Time/Days:  All time periods referred to in this procedure refer to calendar days, excluding summer term and inter-semester recesses.  If the designated time period ends on a Saturday, Sunday or designated College holiday, the time period will be extended to the following working day.  The time periods designated in this procedure may be extended only where there is s good cause and notice of the extension is provided to all parties.
    4. “In Writing”:  should be understood to include email, except where written signature is required.
  3. Department Level Resolution
    1. Informal Process: Before filing a grievance under this Policy, a student should attempt to resolve the matter informally with the person alleged to have committed the violation, or with the head of the department in which the alleged violation occurred, or both of them.  The student may contact the Office of Student Affairs for assistance with informal resolution.  Attempts to resolve the matter informally should be completed within thirty (30) days from the time at which the student knew or could reasonably be expected to have known of the action being grieved.
    2. Formal Process: If the department fails to provide notice of resolution to the student within 30 days of receiving the complaint, or if the response is unsatisfactory to the student, the student may file a formal student grievance within ten (10) days from when the response should have been received, or within ten (10) days of receiving the unsatisfactory response.
  4. Formal Resolution Procedure
    1. Filing: Student grievances can be filed by completing the Grievance Form published on the College’s portal, or by contacting the Vice President of Student Affairs directly.  Students electing the latter, must put their grievance in writing prior to, or within, 2 days of contact.  Grievances must be signed and dated, and contain the Student’s email address and telephone number to the extent available, a detailed statement of the specific action being grieved, the approximate date when the action took place, the resulting injury or harm, ad description of the evidence supporting the grievance, whether informal procedures were taken to remedy the matter and relief requested.  It is the responsibility of the student filing the grievance to update the Vice President of Student Affairs of any changes to contact information.
    2. Initial Review: Upon receipt of a formal student grievance, the Vice President for Student Affairs shall promptly review and make an initial determination regarding whether the grievance is complete, timely, within the jurisdiction of the Student Grievance Procedure, and alleges facts which, if true, would constitute a violation of law or College policy.

      If the grievance is found to be incomplete, the student will be notified in writing and will have ten (10) days from the written notice to complete the missing information.  If the student fails to do so, the grievance will be dismissed. 

      If the grievance is dismissed, the student will be provided with a written explanation of the basis for dismissal.  The student will have ten (10) days from the written notice to request an appeal from the Vice President of Student Affairs.  The request for appeal must be a signed, written document stating why the grievance should not be dismissed.  The Vice President for Student Affairs will respond to the request for appeal within ten (10) days.

    3. Investigation: If the grievance is not dismissed for reasons outlined above, a prompt investigation into the matter will begin. The Vice President of Student Affairs will send a copy of the written grievance to the head of the department involved, with a copy to the Human Resources Department. Each allegation will be investigated to determine whether or not it has merit. 
    4. Resolution: Upon conclusion of the investigation, the student will be provided with a written response summarizing the outcome.  If the outcome of the grievance involves a recommendation for disciplinary action, the matter will be referred to the appropriate personnel.
    5. Request for Reconsideration: The student may seek reconsideration of an adverse determination by filing a written request for review with the Executive Vice President of the College.  This written request must be submitted within ten (10) days of receiving the written notice of determination and must be supported by evidence that the Student Grievance procedure was not followed, and the failure to follow procedure resulted in an adverse decision. 

Vice President of Student Affairs:
    Suellen Musewicz
    Email:  Musewiczs@lackawanna.edu
    Telephone Number:  (570) 961-7824