Student Complaint, Grievance and Appeal Procedures

Students with complaints about any aspect of their experience are encouraged to utilize the complaint, grievance and appeal processes described in the academic catalog and student guide. The following provides a summary of these procedures:

1. Grade grievances: A student who wishes to challenge a grade or other information in the academic record must consult with the faculty member or other officer involved. If not satisfied, then the student holds an informal discussion with the chairperson and then with the Academic Dean or designee. A rendering of the written decision is made in reasonable time with both parties notified. A record can only be changed with the faculty member's consent. If the record remains unchanged, an insertion of the opposite stance is made in the student's folder. Changes in any assigned grade will not be made beyond one semester. 

2. Student conduct appeals: A student who wishes to request a review of a student conduct decision must direct a written request to the appeal officer named in the decision letter within five working days. Upon review of the request for decision review, the appeal officer will either deny or consider the appeal. The appeal officer may schedule a conference with the student to review the incident, incident reports and the reason for the appeal. Following the review, the appeal officer will uphold the decision and sanction, uphold the decision but change the sanction or overturn the decision and sanction. 

3. Disability support services grievances: A student who believes that appropriate accommodations have not been provided or that discrimination has occurred based on disability is encouraged to file a grievance with the Assistant Director of Disability Support Services. The grievance must be submitted in writing within thirty (30) days of the alleged incident. The Director of Disability Support Services will conduct an investigation, as appropriate, and provide the finding of the investigation in writing to the complainant within the thirty (30) workdays of receipt of the complaint. The complainant may appeal the finding in writing to the Vice President of Academic Affairs (VPAA) or designee. The VPAA or designee has the final authority. 

4. Sexual misconduct complaints (sexual assault, sexual harassment, sexual exploitation, relationship violence or stalking): A student who believes that s/he has been a victim of sexual misconduct may report it to the campus professionals.  The investigation is undertaken immediately and conducted in an expeditious manner consistent with principles of due process and fundamental fairness. As appropriate, both parties will be notified of the outcome of the complaint. 

5. Bias related incident and hate crimes reports: A student who believes that s/he has been a victim of behavior motivated in whole or part by the offender's bias toward the victim's race, gender, sexual orientation, ability, religion, veteran's status, nationality or ethnicity is directed to report the incident in writing to the campus professionals. Any alleged criminal act motivated by bigotry and bias will be investigated as a potential hate crime in violation of Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 22c, section 32. All incidents will be investigated promptly and in a manner that maintains confidentiality to the extent practicable under the circumstances.   

6. Other grievances: As stated in the Statement on Community Standards contained in the student handbook, students who are dissatisfied with any aspect of their Emmanuel experience are encouraged to "communicate with those in a position to make changes" beginning with the professional responsible for the area of dissatisfaction. If the grievance is unresolved, the student has the right to take the issue to the next level. The Dean of Students, Dean of Arts and Sciences or designee, Vice President of Academic Affairs and Vice President for Student Affairs have an open door policy and are available and equipped to handle student grievances not successfully resolved at a lower level.  

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