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Student Grievance Policy

General Student Grievances
A process exists for students to address grievances of a general nature. Each grievance (complaint) will be considered carefully and individually and every effort will be made to resolve issues to the mutual satisfaction of all parties.  

Students who have grievances should address them to a Dean of Students who will give guidance and provide the student with information and direction for pursuing a resolution.  Students who are unsure how to utilize the grievance procedures or are uncomfortable addressing issues with the appropriate person should contact the Dean of Students.

Steps for resolution of a complaint will likely include:

  1. Address the concern directly with the person or office with whom you have a complaint. If you do not know which person or office is responsible, the Dean of Students can assist you with identification.
  2. Address the concern with the supervisor of the person or office with whom you have a complaint. If you do not know which person or offices is responsible, Dean of Students can assist you with identification.
  3. After making every effort to resolve your complaint, please submit a written complaint (using university e-mail is appropriate) to the office of the appropriate vice president. In this complaint, please explain the details of your situation, including the names of those involved.  Please indicate the steps you have taken to remedy the situation yourself.
  4. The appropriate vice president will investigate the complaint, seek a resolution, and inform you of the outcome.
  5. The appeal of a decision made by a vice president (except grades) should be made in writing to the Student Grievance Committee through the Vice President of Student Affairs.

The student ombudsperson may also be a resource with whom you wish to discuss the complaint process. 

Please note that the following are not classified as student grievances. Specific policies and procedures have been developed to deal with these concerns. The ultimate responsibility and authority for such concerns lie with the office listed next to the policy.

  • Student Grade Complaints unrelated to Academic Integrity Issues – Office of the Provost
  • Violations of the Code of Conduct – Office of the Dean of Students
  • Violations of the Policy on Sportsmanship – Athletics
  • Issues with the Corps of Cadets – Utilize the Cadet Chain of Command or visit the Office of the Commandant
  • Student Policy Issues – Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs
  • Parking violations – Parking Services 

Student Grievance Procedures

  1. Purpose - To hear the grievances of any University of North Georgia student who has exhausted all other normal channels up to the appropriate Vice President, but has not received an agreeable resolution.  At any point in the grievance process, the student and the complainant may utilize alternative dispute resolution strategies to reach a solution to the disagreement.  The Vice President for Student Affairs will specifically discuss this as an alternative to the use of the Grievance Committee.
  2. Limitations - This Committee will handle questions related to the University of North Georgia campuses, facilities, and all university-sponsored activities on or off the campuses.

Procedures for Requesting a Hearing 

Within thirty (30) calendar days after becoming aware of the grievance, the complainant shall file a written request for a hearing with the Vice President for Student Affairs (and in situations of discrimination or sexual harassment complaints, the Affirmative Action Officer) including the following information:

  1.   Email should contain:
    1. Date, time, and place
    2. Names of any witnesses
    3. The facts of the complaint
  2. The Committee should be composed of (a.) the Vice President for Student Affairs, (b.) three faculty members appointed by the Provost or designee (c.) a staff member appointed by the staff council and (d.) three students appointed by the VPSA.  
  3. The parties concerned shall be given written notice of the time and place of the hearing at least ten (10) calendar days while school is in session, in advance thereof.  Such notice may be delivered by hand or by certified or registered mail, return receipt requested, to the complainant's last known address.

Hearing Guidelines

All student grievance hearings shall be conducted according to the following general guidelines:

  1. All hearings normally shall be conducted in private.
  2. The Complainant, Accused individual/group and their advisors, if any, shall be allowed to attend the entire portion of the hearing at which information is received (excluding deliberations).  Admission of any other person to the hearing shall be at the discretion of the Student Grievance Committee.
  3. The Complainant and the Accused individual/group have the right to be assisted by an advisor they choose, at their own expense.  The advisor must be a member of the University community and may not be an attorney.  The Complainant and/or the Accused individual/group is responsible for presenting his or her own information, and therefore, advisors are not permitted to speak or to participate directly in any hearing before a Student Grievance Committee.  Both parties should select as an advisor a person whose schedule allows attendance at the appointed date and time for the hearing because delays will not normally be allowed due to the scheduling conflicts of an advisor.
  4. The Complainant and the Accused individual/group may arrange for witnesses to present pertinent information to the hearing.  Witnesses will provide information to and answer questions from the Student Grievance Committee.
  5. Pertinent records, exhibits, and written statements may be accepted as information for consideration during the hearing at the discretion of the Student Grievance Committee chairperson.
  6. All procedural questions are subject to the final decision of the chairperson of the Student Grievance Committee.
  7. The determination shall be made on the basis of a preponderance of the evidence if a grievance is warranted.
  8. Formal rules or process, procedure, and/or technical rules of evidence, such as applied in criminal or civil court, are not used in Student Grievance Committee proceedings.

There shall be a single verbatim record, such as a tape recording, of all student grievance committee hearings (not including deliberations).  Deliberations should not be recorded.  The record shall be the property of the University.

Appeals must be made in writing to the University President within 10 calendar days.  The President’s decision in a formal grievance matter may be appealed to the Board of Regents in accordance with Section 8 of the Bylaws of the Board of Regents of the University of Georgia

Note:  Public statements and publicity about the grievance should be avoided.  The Complainant should not be harassed or penalized for utilizing the grievance procedures.  

 

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