Disability Information Student Handbook

Disability Information Student Handbook

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Student Grievance Procedures

The purpose of these procedures is to provide every student with a prompt and equitable means of seeking an appropriate remedy for any alleged violation of his or her rights. The rights protected under these procedures include, but are not limited to, those guaranteed by the established rules and regulations of the Foothill-De Anza Community College District, Dc Anza College, the Education Code of the State of California, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This procedure will not apply to the employment rights of students.

I. Informal Resolution; Definition of Formal Grievance

A student who believes that he or she has been wronged by an act of the college must make a reasonable, good faith attempt to resolve the problem on an informal basis. Any appropriate administrator, faculty member, staff member, or student representative may be invited to participate and assist in achieving an amicable resolution. If the matter cannot be resolved informally, the student may file a formal grievance.

A formal grievance is a written allegation by a student (filed in the manner prescribed by Section III) alleging that he or she was directly wronged by a grievable action of the college. A grievable action is any action that violates an established rule or regulation of the district or the college or any law that protects student rights.

II. Standing to File a Grievance

Any person who at the time of the filing of the grievance is a student and any person who, although not a student at the time of filing, was a student within 20 days before the time of filing, has standing to file a grievance under these procedures as long as that person has attempted to resolve his or her grievance informally.

Ill. Filing of Grievances

All formal grievances must be submitted on a standard grievance form and must include specific details regarding the events involved and the rule, regulation, or law alleged to have been violated by the college. Full factual data (including names, dates, times, records, etc.) should be reported to support the allegations of the grievance and to make an impartial investigation and decision possible. The standard grievance form may be obtained from the associated students or the Office of the Vice President, Student Services. A faculty or staff member ofthe student's choice may assist the student in preparing the grievance form, but will not necessarily act as an advocate for the student. In addition, the student may seek the assistance of the student body president or any other official of the associated students governing board to assist with student grievances.

All formal grievances must be filed with the vice president, Student Services or his or her designee. Immediately upon filing a grievance with the vice president, Student Services, the vice president, Student Services shall forward a copy of the grievance to appropriate personnel involved, including the staff member or members most directly responsible for actions grieved against.

IV. Time Limit on Filing a Grievance

To be timely a grievance must be filed with the vice president, Student Services or his designee no more than 20 days after the grievant learned of the event on which the grievance is based. If the grievance is based on a series of events, over a period of time, the grievance must be filed no more than 20 days after the grievant learned or reasonably could have learned of the most recent of those events. In no case, however, shall the grievance be timely if it is filed more than one year after the occurrence of the event or events upon which it is based, regardless of the date of discovery of the event or events.

V. Grievance Review Board; Pre-hearing Procedures

Within seven days after the date on which a grievance is filed, or as soon as reasonably possible thereafter, the vice president of Student Services and the student body president shall agree upon an impartial employee of the college to act as grievance officer; as well as two members of the Academic Council, one of whom shall be a student and the other a staff member, to constitute the Grievance Review Board. The grievance officer shall be the chairperson of the Grievance Review Board.

At any time during the proceedings, the grievance officer may on the basis of his or her own need - or at the request of the grievant, the vice president of Student Services or any other party involved in the grievance proceedings - request legal advice from the district's general counsel.

As its first order of business, the Grievance Review Board shall determine whether the grievant has standing to file a grievance. It shall also determine whether the grievance meets the following criteria:

a. was timely filed;
b. alleges facts that, if proved, will demonstrate that the grievant was directly wronged by a grievable action of the college
c. contains allegations that appear to be substantially credible; and
d. is not frivolous.

The Grievance Review Board shall make these determinations on the basis of the written grievance and any additions or amendments thereto that it permits the grievant to make. Only if the Grievance Review Board determines that the grievant does have standing to file a grievance and that the grievance does meet all of the criteria set forth in subparagraphs a. through d., shall the grievance proceed. In all other cases, the grievance shall be terminated. If the Grievance Review Board decides that it should proceed with the grievance, it shall schedule a grievance hearing. The purpose of the hearing is to enable the Grievance Review Board to get all of the relevant facts and to hear any testimony that it deems necessary.

VI. Conduct of the Hearing

Unless overruled by a majority of the Grievance Review Board, the grievance officer shall make all rulings on matters related to the conduct of the hearing including the following:

a. matters involving admission of evidence;
b. the calling and questioning of witnesses;
c. whether the hearing shall be opened or closed; and
d. whether a tape recording of the hearing or notes of the hearing kept by the grievance officer and approved by the Grievance Review Board shall serve as the official record of the hearing.

The principal parties will be given a copy of the official record of the hearing upon request, provided that the college shall be reimbursed for its expenses in providing the copy.

The grievance officer shall maintain an orderly meeting and permit no person to be subjected to abusive treatment. In this regard, the grievance officer may eject or exclude any person who refuses to be orderly.

At the hearing the grievant and any other party involved in the grievance may be represented or accompanied by another person, provided that no representative may be an attorney at law.

The questioning of witnesses at the hearing will usually be conducted by the Grievance Review Board. Where fairness compels it, however, the grievance officer may, at his or her discretion, recognize the grievant or any other party involved for the purpose of questioning witnesses.

VII. Grievance Review Board's Decision and Report

The Grievance Review Board shall attempt to arrive at its decision within 10 days after the conclusion of the grievance hearing.

The decision of the Grievance Review Board shall consist of a determination as to whether a valid grievance has been established by the evidence before the Grievance Review Board and, if so, what relief the board believes should be granted, if any. The Grievance Review Board shall not recommend any relief that violates any employee rights as guaranteed by law or collective bargaining agreement.

If the Grievance Review Board determines that some relief should be granted, it will include appropriate recommendations in its report which will be sent to the grievant and each appropriate staff member.

VIII. Action by the College President

The college president may accept or reject, in whole or in part, the recommendations contained in the Grievance Review Board's report. Within 10 working days after receipt of the Grievance Review Board's report, the college president shall advise the grievant and all others involved of his or her decision. If the college president determines that the grievance is valid, but that the violation of rights involved is a result of a district rule or regulation or other reason beyond control of the college, the college president shall make an appropriate recommendation to the chancellor and the Board of Trustees.



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Last Updated: 10/14/10