West Valley College
14000 Fruitvale Avenue, Saratoga, CA 95070 • Phone (408) 867-2200

Student Code of Conduct: 5.21 Student Grievances And Appeals Policy

Download: 5.21 Student Grievances And Appeals Policy (PDF)

Purpose: A grievance may arise from a decision or action that has an adverse effect on a student with respect to his/her education rights. It may arise when a student believes he/she has been denied education rights provided by college, state and federal policies, rules, or laws. A student may seek redress through the following procedures:

Procedures

  • Step 1.

    The complainant will first attempt to resolve his/her grievance by discussion with the person or group directly involved in the matter within five (5) working days after the occurrence of the alleged grievance.

  • Step 2.

    If the issue is not resolved to the satisfaction of the complainant, there shall be a conference within five (5) working days of Step 1. This conference shall include the principals involved i.e., the complainant, the accused, and the immediate supervisor. Prior to arranging the meeting, the supervisor shall check with the accused to ensure that the complainant has met with the accused.

    The supervisor shall hear from both parties and seek to resolve the matter. The supervisor shall then provide a written summary of findings to the Vice President of Student Services, complainant and respondent.

  • Step 3.

    If the issue has not been resolved satisfactorily after the complainant has completed the procedures outlined in Step 1 and Step 2, the complainant shall declare that a grievance exists and shall submit a written statement to the Vice President of Student Services. The grievance must be submitted on the Grievance Report Form within five (5) working days of Step 2. The form may be obtained from the Office of the Vice President of Student Services.

  • Step 4.

    With the receipt of the complainant's written grievance and the supervisor's Summary of Findings, the Vice President of Student Services will ensure that the grievance issues contained on the complainant's Grievance Form are consistent with those issues contained in the supervisor's Summary of Findings. The Vice President of Student Services may dismiss a grievance that has been determined to be inconsistent.

  • Step 5.

    If needed, the Vice President of Student Services shall set the time, date, and location for a formal grievance hearing. The hearing shall be held within ten (10) working days of the grievance being submitted.

 

Grievance Hearing

  1. The grievance hearing shall involve the complainant, the accused, the appropriate supervisor, and the Vice President of Student Services. The principals involved in the matter may have one representative present at the grievance hearing.

  2. Individuals participating in the grievance hearing shall discuss the charge(s), hear testimony, receive all available evidence pertaining to the charge(s), and when appropriate, examine witnesses. Either party will be notified in advance of the hearing if witnesses will be present.

  3. The complainant shall assume the burden of proof.

  4. The Vice President of Student Services shall judge the testimony and evidence and limit the investigation strictly to the complainant's charge(s).

  5. A record of the proceedings shall be maintained by the Vice President of Student Services. A transcript of the hearing will be provided to the complainant and to the accused.

  6. Within ten (10) working days after the grievance hearing, the Vice President of Student Services shall submit his/her recommendation(s) to the President. If the President is involved in the dispute, the recommendation(s) shall be forwarded to the District Governing Board.

  7. Within five (5) working days of the receipt of the Vice President of Student Service's recommendation, the President shall render a decision and shall forward it to the complainant and to the accused.

Procedure: Appeal Procedure

The complainant or accused may appeal the President's decision to the Chancellor. The appeal shall be considered by the Chancellor. All final appeals will be brought before the District Governing Board by the Chancellor.

Records

All records of the grievance proceedings shall be retained in a grievance file by the Vice President of Student Services. Only the principals, who are directly involved in the grievance, the President, the Vice President of Academic Affairs, the Vice President of Student Services, and the appropriate campus supervisor, shall have access to the file.

 

last published: 7/16/14 • validate xhtml css 508