Conflict Resolution/Grievance Procedure

I. Purpose

When there is a difference of opinion regarding college procedures, policies, decisions, values, or treatment, students at OCCC are encouraged to seek resolution with the individual the conflict exists with, or his/her supervisor. If the conflict is with a service area of the College, resolution should first be sought in that area.

This grievance procedure has been established to provide individuals or groups of students the opportunity to challenge decisions and/ or actions taken by faculty, staff, or other students which they feel are in violation of their rights. Students with a grievance shall follow the process as outlined below.

II. Grievance Procedure

Grievance issues should be resolved in a timely manner. In order to assure this, time restrictions are a part of each step. If a student grievant misses a deadline, the process is considered to be terminated. If college personnel fail to meet a deadline, the grievance is forwarded automatically to the President for resolution. The timelines can be extended by mutual agreement between the involved parties at any time.

Timelines start when written materials are submitted to the Dean of Students’ Office. Under Step 2 below, to ensure that grievance materials reach the appropriate office in a timely fashion, students shall file their grievances with the Dean of Students’ Office. This office is responsible for noting when the grievance is filed and for sending copies to the appropriate parties.

Step 1: Informal Grievance Procedures for Conflict Resolution with Students/Faculty/Staff Members

   a. It is recommended that the student discuss the problem with the faculty, staff member, or student directly involved within ten (10) calendar days of the event’s occurrence.

   b. If the student chooses not to discuss the problem with the other party, or the problem is not resolved during the discussion, the student should meet with an advisor for further discussion and, if desired by the student, to begin formal grievance procedures.

Step 2: Formal Grievance Procedures

   a. If the problem cannot be resolved informally, as described in Step1 above, the student may file a college Grievance Form.  Grievance Forms are available at OCCC Student Services counter and all other OCCC centers. These completed forms must be turned in to the Dean of Students’ Office within seven (7) working days of meeting with an Advisor. Timelines commence at the time of the meeting with the Advisor.

   b. Within seven (7) working days of receipt of the formal written grievance form, the Dean of Students will contact all involved parties and attempt to clarify the complaint and assist the parties to reach a solution that is mutually acceptable to all parties. The resolution will be provided in writing to the involved parties.

   c. The Dean of Students shall issue a written decision to all parties involved within 14 working days of receipt of the student’s grievance.

Step 3: Appeal of Dean of Students’ Decision

   a. If the student does not accept the decision of the Dean of Students, the student may submit a written appeal to the President within seven (7) working days of receipt of the decision of the Dean of Students.

      1. The student must present all evidence in writing, including a copy of the original grievance form and previous decisions in the matter reached at lower levels of the process.

      2. The student must also submit a written statement which explains why the decision of the Dean of Students was unsatisfactory, and which thoroughly describes a specific, requested remedy to the grievance.

   b. Within seven (7) working days of receipt of the appeal from the student, the President shall meet with the student regarding the student’s grievance and:

      1. make a summary decision; or

      2. remand the issue to the College Appeals Committee.

Step 4: College Appeals Committee

At the President’s discretion, the issues may be remanded to the College Appeals Committee. The Committee will review the facts of the issue and make a recommended decision for the President’s review and approval. The College Appeals Committee shall consist of the following people: two (2) staff members selected by the President; two (2) students selected by the Associated Student Government of OCCC; and two (2) persons representing faculty designated by the College.

Step 5: Final Decision

At the conclusion of Step 3 or Step 4 above, as determined by the discretion of the President, the President shall issue a written decision on the grievance to all parties involved within seven (7) working days of the meeting with the student. The decision of the President is final and not subject to further appeal.