Student Grievance Process
It is unfortunate, but inevitable, that conflicts will arise. Whether these conflicts happen in the classroom, in the common areas of the college; between student and student, or student and instructor, it can be an unsettling experience. Las Positas College has systems in place to help you resolve these conflicts. The goal of these systems is to resolve the conflict quickly and efficiently.
Resolution isn’t about revenge or getting back at someone. Resolving a conflict is about addressing the initial injury (source of conflict) and making the injured party whole again, or as whole as possible.
Before moving forward with the grievance process consider the following:
- Is it an actual grievance, or is it a complaint. A complaint is something that indicates the need to address a particular issue, but this issue does not violate a right or a policy. Examples of complaints: A dirty bathroom. A student feels as if they were given an unfair grade. An instructor finds a student’s clothing offensive or inappropriate. A student doesn’t like the material being taught. The use of inappropriate language that doesn’t injure a protected class.
- A grievance is something that violates a policy or injures a person’s ability to participate in a given activity. Examples of grievances: A student stalking/harassing another student, an instructor, or any member of the college’s staff. An instructor or member of the college staff demonstrates bias for, or against, a particular race/ethnicity, gender, class, dis/ability, sexuality, or other protected class. An instructor violates their established rules or in-class policies, to the detriment of students.
The Complaint Process:
- The person making the complaint should attempt to address it at the lowest level possible. If the complaint is against the college, e.g. dirty bathroom or other facility issues, the person making the complaint should contact the front desk, located in the 1600 building. If the complaint is student-to-student, or student-to-instructor or other member of the college staff, these should be addressed with the person or persons in question. If the person making the complaint feels as if the issue hasn’t been resolved, they should contact the dean of the department where the conflict took place, and inform them of the complaint. Please remember, all facility complaints should be made to the front desk, located in the 1600 building.
The Formal Grievance Process:
- Similar to the “Complaint Process”, the aggrieved party should attempt to resolve the conflict at the lowest level/most direct way. If the conflict is with a student, instructor, or member of the college staff, address them directly. If you are not comfortable with this, or do not feel as if you can, do the following: A student/staff conflict, contact the dean of the particular department. If the conflict is with a member of the college staff or anything else that doesn’t fall within the aforementioned categories, contact the college’s ombuds-person located in 1669A.
If you feel as if the conflict wasn’t adequately addressed, please complete a formal grievance at this link here. Once the grievance has been submitted, the college has seven (7) working days to respond to. A member of the college administrative staff will contact the person filing the grievance to conduct an interview with them, any witnesses, and the party accused of violating the rights and privileges of the person making the complaint. After a thorough investigation, a ruling will be made and all parties informed of the ruling and the actions, if any, that will be taken. Please keep in mind that students, faculty, and staff have certain privacy rights and not all resolution action can be shared with all parties.