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Grievance, Student

Recommended By: Academic Senate
Ruben Armiñana, President
Date of Original Issue: February 3, 1988
Current Issue Date: October 28, 2011
Effective Date: October 28, 2011
Contact Office: Student Affairs

Policy #2008-3

    1. A grievance may arise out of a decision or action reached or taken in the course of official duty by a member of the faculty, staff, or administration of Sonoma State University. A grievable action is defined below. The purpose of the grievance procedures is to provide a process for an impartial review and to ensure that the rights of students are properly recognized and protected.
    2. The Student Grievance Procedures rely on the good faith of all involved to achieve a reasonable resolution of grievable actions.  Any student who believes he/she has grounds for a grievance shall make an attempt in good faith to resolve the problem through early informal discussion of the matter with the academic, administrative, or staff member directly involved. 
    3. In the case of a grade appeal, students are directed to the Grade Appeal Policy and Formal Dispute Resolution Procedures. The authority for the procedures followed in the case of a grade appeal is based on the Chancellor's Executive Order #1037. In the case of sexual harassment, or discrimination on the basis of race, sex, creed, color, religion, sexual preference, national origin, age, marital status, pregnancy, Vietnam era veteran's status or disabling condition, the Director of Employee Relations and Compliance Services is designated as the person responsible for receiving student complaints. Student appeals relating to Financial Aid decisions, rules, and regulations are directed to the Financial Aid Office in order to initiate the Financial Aid Appeal Process.
    4. The faculty member and/or Department being grieved shall not retaliate against the grieving student.
    1. A grievable action is an action that:
      1. Is in violation of written campus policies or procedures, or
      2. Constitutes arbitrary, capricious, or unequal application of written campus policies or procedures.
    Any person who at the time of filing a grievance is a student enrolled in a course other than an Extended Education non-resident course, or was such a student during the semester (or summer/intersession) prior to the time of filing, has standing to file a grievance under these procedures, provided that person has attempted to resolve his or her complaint informally through those procedures discussed in Section IV.
    The initiation of informal and formal grievance procedures follow the Formal Dispute Resolution procedures ( The Vice President of Student Affairs office may be consulted for assistance at any point in the informal process, if the grievant so desires.
    The Student Grievance form and the documentation of the informal resolution process must be submitted to the Chair of the Dispute Resolution Board no later than the end of the semester following the occurrence of the action upon which it is based. Failure of the student to file a grievance by the deadline constitutes a waiver of all rights under this policy.