Student Grievance Procedure
Drug & Alcohol Policy
The Student Grievance Procedure
The purpose of the student grievance procedure is to provide a system to channel student complaints against faculty or staff, concerning the following:
Alleged discrimination on the basis of age, gender, race, disability or veteran's status, excluding sexual harassment complaints. Because of the sensitive nature of this type of complaint, a conference with the Chief Student Services Officer may replace the first step of the grievance procedure. The Chief Student Services Officer will counsel with the student to determine the appropriate action that is required.
Alleged sexual harassment complaints should be directed to the Chief Student Services Officer. Because of the sensitive nature of this kind of complaint, a conference with the Chief Student Services Officer will replace the first step of the grievance procedure. The Chief Student Services Officer will counsel with the student to determine the appropriate action that is required.
If the grievance is not resolved after this meeting, then the remainder of the grievance procedure will be followed.
Academic matters, excluding individual grades, except where the conditions in item A and B above apply.
When used in this document, unless the content requires other meaning,
“College” means Aiken Technical College, a member of the South Carolina Technical College System.
“President” means the chief executive officer of the College.
“Administrative Officer” means anyone designated at the college as being on the administrative staff, such as the President, Chief Academic Officer, Chief Student Services Officer, etc.
“Chief Student Services Officer” means the Administrative Officer at the College who has overall management responsibility for student services or his/her designee. At Aiken Technical College, this officer is the Dean of Student Development and will be referred to as such in the remainder of this document.
“Chief Instructional Officer” means the Administrative Officer at the College who has overall management responsibility for the academic programs and services or his/her designee.
“Student” means a person taking any course(s) offered by the College.
“Instructor” means any person employed by the College to conduct classes.
“Staff” means any person employed by the College for reasons other than conducting classes.
“Campus” means any place where the College conducts or sponsors educational, public service, or research activities.
The student must go to the instructor or staff member where the alleged problem originated. An attempt will be made to resolve the matter equitably and informally at this level. The conference must take place within 10 working days of the incident that generated the complaint.
If the grievance is not resolved at the informal conference, the student may file a written grievance. A grievance form shall be made available to the student from the Dean of Student Development. The Dean of Student Development will explain the grievance process to the student.
The completed grievance form must be presented to the Dean of Student Development within ten instructional weekdays after satisfying the first step in the grievance process. The Dean of Student Development shall give written acknowledgment of receipt of the grievance form. This acknowledgment shall be given immediately or no later than two working days after receipt of the grievance form from the student. The Dean of Student Development will then refer the grievance to the immediate supervisor involved. The supervisor shall respond in writing to the student within ten working days of receipt of the grievance form from the Dean of Student Development. As a part of the effort to resolve the issue, the supervisor will consult with the chief administrative officer of the division or component concerned.
If the supervisor’s written response does not satisfy the grievant, a request to appear before the Student Grievance Committee may be made. The student must submit the request within five instructional weekdays after receiving the written response of the supervisor. The request shall include a copy of the original grievance form and the reason the supervisor’s response is unsatisfactory. The student must attach a copy of the supervisor’s response to the request. The Dean of Student Development shall notify immediately the President of the College who shall insure that a Committee is organized in a manner consistent with Section IV of this procedure (The Student Grievance Committee). The Dean of Student Development will send copies of the appeal to the members of the Committee, the employee, and the employee’s supervisor. The employee against whom the grievance was filed shall be given an opportunity to respond in writing to the chairperson of the Committee.
The Student Grievance Committee’s meeting(s) shall be conducted between five and fifteen instructional weekdays following the date of the request. The chairperson may grant a postponement if either party submits a written request no later than five instructional weekdays prior to the scheduled meeting. Meeting(s) shall be conducted between five and 15 working days following the date of the request.
If either party is not satisfied with the Committee’s decision, that person may submit an appeal to the President of the College within ten instructional weekdays of the Committee’s decision.
The President shall review the Committee’s findings, conduct whatever additional inquiries that are deemed necessary and render a decision within 10 instructional weekdays of receipt of the appeal. The decision of the President’s decision is final.
IV. The Student Grievance Committee
The Student Grievance Committee shall be composed of the following:
Three students recommended by the governing body of the student body.
Two faculty members recommended by the Chief Instructional Officer
One Student Services staff member recommended by the Dean of Student Development
One administrator, other than the Dean of Student Development, to serve as chairperson of the Committee
The Dean of Student Development, or designee, who serves as an ex-officio, nonvoting member of the committee.
The President must approval all recommended members.
Purpose and Function of Grievance Committee
All student grievance committees are ad hoc and shall be formed to hear specific complaints. A new committee may be formed every time that a grievance covered under this procedure is filed.
Whenever a committee is formed, it may adopt additional rules and guidelines not in contradiction with these procedures.
Rights of the Parties Involved in a Grievance
When a grievance committee meeting is scheduled, the parties involved are entitled to:
A written notice of the complaint that shall be forwarded to all parties at least five instructional weekdays prior to the meeting unless the student filing the complaint waives this requirement. This notice shall include the following:
a brief description of the complaint, including the name of the person filing the complaint;
the date, time, and location of the meeting; and
the name of any person who might be called as a witness.
Review all available evidence, documents or exhibits that each party may present at the meeting. This review must take place under the supervision of the Dean of Student Development or his/her designee.
Appear in person, present information on his or her behalf, and present additional evidence to the committee, subject to the Committee’s judgment that the evidence is relevant to the appeal.
Call witnesses who are dismissed after providing testimony and responding to questions posed by the Committee and either party in the appeal.
An advisor who shall not address the Committee or ask any witness a question. The student will be responsible for paying any fees charged by his/her counsel.
Hearings are closed to the public. When testimony is being given, only the committee members, the student and his/her advisor, the employee and his/her advisor, and the witness giving testimony may be present. During deliberations, only the members of the Committee may be present.
Hearings are informal and a tape recording of the testimony presented during the appeal hearing may be made. The Committee’s deliberations are not tape recorded. After resolution of the appeal, the tape recording will be kept for three months in the office of the Dean of Student Development. Either party in the appeal may listen to this tape recording under the supervision of the Dean of Student Development or designee.
The Committee may question the student and the employee. The Committee may also question the employee’s supervisor and any additional witnesses that it considers necessary to render a fair decision. Questions must be relevant to the issues of the appeal.
Both parties to the appeal may ask questions of the other during the meeting. These questions must be relevant to the issues of the appeal. The Chairperson of the Committee will determine the appropriateness of the questions.
The student shall bear the burden of proof.
The Committee shall decide the solution of the grievance by a majority vote. In case of a tie, the chairperson shall vote and thus break the tie.
The chairperson shall forward a copy of the Committee's decision to all parties involved and to the office of the President of the college within two instructional weekdays of the Committee's decision. This letter will include a rationale for the Committee’s decision.
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