Christendom College seeks to maintain effective and supportive relationships between students and faculty/staff members within the College. However, when a student believes he or she has been treated unjustly, in a way that violates his personal rights or is in opposition to College policies, the student may file the grievance with the College and expect appropriate resolution.
Students are encouraged to make efforts to resolve misunderstandings and conflicts with College staff or faculty members before serious problems develop. Students are encouraged where possible to seek resolution through informal means as a first approach to resolving the issue at hand. If normal channels of communication breakdown and/or a situation does not permit or lend itself to informal resolution or does not seem to be resolving itself, students may seek recourse through the formal grievance process. For situations involving sexual harassment/assault, students should use the complaint resolution procedures found in the sexual misconduct policy below.
If a student is unsure as to whether or not he should file a formal grievance, he is encouraged to meet with the Vice President of Student Affairs, the Executive Vice President, or the Vice President of Academic Affairs to consult, ask questions, and seek advice. Meetings of this nature do not initiate the formal grievance process.
Students who wish to file a grievance must begin by submitting a “Student Grievance Form” with their attached grievance letter. These forms are available at each of the following College officials’ offices: Vice President of Student Affairs, Executive Vice President, and Vice President of Academic Affairs. Completed grievances should be returned to the appropriate office related to the specific nature of the individual grievance. These officials will serve as clearinghouses for any submitted grievances. Therefore, they will either respond to the grievance themselves, or designate a more suitable administrator to respond.
- All complaints that are academic in nature should be directed to the office of the Vice President of Academic Affairs.
- All grievances regarding financial matters and policies or student employment should be directed to the office of the Executive Vice President.
- All complaints not of an academic, financial, student employment, or College administrative policy nature should be directed to the office of the Vice President of Student Affairs.
If a student wishes to file a grievance against any of the three College officials that serve as clearinghouses for the submitted grievances, the student should submit the grievance to the office of the President who will appoint appropriate College officials as a committee to investigate and resolve the grievance. Any appeals of this committee’s action may be appealed to the President. Completed grievances should include the “Student Grievance Form” and a separate hand-written or typed grievance. All grievances should be written as a personal letter to the appropriate College official and signed by the grieving student. The letter should include the following:
- Description of situation and any facts crucial to fully understanding the issue
- Explanation of previous steps you have already taken to resolve the problem
- Names of individuals you believe are responsible and why
- Date situation occurred
- Any individuals who witnessed or have knowledge of the incident/event/issue.
All grievances must be filed within ninety calendar days after the incident/event/issue causing the grievance occurred.
After filing a grievance, you will be contacted within ten business days with an initial response; although, often progress will be made sooner than the ten- day time frame. During the entire grievance process every effort will be made to respect confidentiality.
The Vice President of Academic Affairs, Executive Vice President, Vice President of Student Affairs or their designee will investigate the grievance, and communicate with the appropriate students, staff, or faculty to address the problem, as is warranted. Resolution of the grievance will occur once the final response or outcome is determined. The student filing the grievance will be notified of the action or non-action that will be taken in response to the grievance.
If the determined resolution is not perceived to be sufficient by the student, the student may appeal to the Grievance Appeal Committee, by submitting a letter of appeal to the committee to the office of the President. This committee is made up of members chosen by, but not including, the President of the College. The committee will make a decision to hear or decline the letter of appeal. In the case that the appeal committee declines the letter of appeal, the previous resolution decision remains in effect. If the Appeal Committee accepts the letter of appeal, the student will have his or her case heard and subsequently the committee will determine whether a new resolution will take place or that the resolution will remain as decided by the prior College official. The decision of the Appeal Committee is final.
Please note that the above-mentioned procedures are for the allowance of student grievances when a student feels he or she is personally afflicted by significant and/or pervasive treatment and seeks fair resolution. Complaints about College policies, simply in their nature, definition, or enforcement, are not to be addressed through this process. Rather, students should initiate contact with the Office of Student Life. Likewise, student conduct issues should be brought to Student Life’s attention by submitting an “Incident Report,” available at the Student Life Office. An “Incident Report” can initiate the “Student Conduct Process,” a process separate from that of formal grievances. Students should refer to the Student Handbook for the description of this process. Lastly, a student’s appeal of a course grade is handled according to a distinct policy described in the Undergraduate Academic Bulletin, which can be found online at www.christendom.edu/academics/bulletin/.