Vaughn College is a mission centered institution characterized by Core Values. It is expected that all members of the community treat each other with dignity, civility and respect. Furthermore, students should expect fair, ethical, and equitable treatment. The grievance process is enacted on occasions when students believe their treatment is contrary to our espoused ideals; though they may be rare. The College reserves the right to refer a grievance to another individual in the administration or faculty for a determination.
What is a grievance?
A grievance by definition is an official statement of a complaint about process, or treatment that is believed to be inappropriate or unfair. For Vaughn College, a grievance is a written statement of complaint that details the alleged occurrence warranting a grievance. It is recommended that the student would first attempt to resolve the concern informally through direct communication with the person(s) involved. If initial dialogue is unsuccessful, does not resolve the concern, or if there are reasons that prevent the direct dialogue; then the grievance process for concerns not covered elsewhere should be invoked.
What is not covered in this grievance process?
The grievance procedure is designed to address concerns that are not detailed through separate policies or procedures. As such it is not intended to address:
Disability Grievances – are handled separately, following the 504/ADA process
Discrimination/Harassment – may be found within the Title IX – Sexual Misconduct policy
Financial Appeal – covered in the College catalog, page 35
Academic Appeal – covered in the College catalog, page 43
Sexual Misconduct/Title IX – should be reported to the Title IX Coordinator and the process is detailed in a separate policy in the addendum of this Student Handbook.
Who can file a grievance?
Any currently enrolled student who believes that he/she has been treated unfairly by an employed member of Vaughn College community or by a process may file a grievance with the Dean of Students.
Where should a grievance be filed?
The Dean of Students is the chief student advocate and is entrusted to ensure student rights. The Dean of students may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 718.429.6600 ext. 366. The Dean’s office is located in the Student Affairs suite of offices on the lobby level of the residence hall. Additionally, any Vice President may accept a grievance, particularly within their area of oversight, and inform the Dean.
When should a grievance be filed?
The grievance should be filed as soon as possible after the concern has arisen. The grievance should be received by the Dean of Students within 10 business days of the last attempt to resolve the concern informally or from the occurrence of the concern, whichever event is later.
How to file a grievance:
The grievance is a specific and factual account of what has occurred and should minimally include the following:
- Student complainant information – Full name, SONIS identification number, email and phone number
- Information about the individual the grievance is about – Name, Title, Area/Department
- A detailed statement outlining the occurrence(s) including location, date and time
- Witnesses – Names of other students or employees who were present at the time of the occurrence or who may have pertinent information
The grievance statement may also include as applicable:
- Steps taken by the student to resolve the concern
- An expected outcome of the grievance, i.e. relief sought by the complainant
- Supporting documentation attached to the grievance
How is the grievance managed?
Fairness, equity, and privacy guide the grievance process. The Dean of Students may manage the grievance directly or may refer the grievance to an AVP or Vice President responsible for a particular area for redress. A full investigation will ensue and an outcome will be conveyed to the Dean who will present it to the student complainant within 60 days of the original receipt of the complete formal written complaint. Though it is anticipated that most grievances will be resolved sooner than 60 days, there may be extenuating circumstances when this is not possible. In an event of extenuating circumstances, the Dean should communicate the delay within the 60 day period.
As part of the investigation, it is expected that the Dean/VP will meet with the named individual, gather information from any potential witnesses, and resolve the concern. While confidentiality is not possible to be granted in a situation where there is an investigation or unjust or unfair treatment, efforts will be made to maintain privacy. Furthermore, there is an expectation that there not be retaliation or threat of retaliation by or against the student filing the grievance; likewise, retaliation by witnesses or anyone involved in the grievance is not tolerated. Grievance decisions are final.
How long will grievance be retained?
The college will retain grievance dispositions for six years.
Do you have a grievance? Please fill out the form below and someone will reach out to assist you.