General Student Grievance Procedure
It is the policy of Bridgewater College that students should have an accessible process to bring problems or complaints to the attention of the College for review and resolution. The College has policies with specific procedures to address allegations of harassment or concerns related to academic issues. The Student Grievance Policy is intended to provide students with an opportunity to seek resolution for issues not covered by those policies. Please note that the procedures in this Policy may not be used to challenge disciplinary or Honor Council decisions, appeals for which are addressed in other policies.
Students are encouraged, but not required, to discuss their concerns directly with the person or persons involved, either in person or in writing. If a student is uncomfortable directly discussing her/his concern with the involved individual(s) or, after discussing it, believes that the concern is not adequately resolved, the student should utilize the formal process described below.
A student may file a formal grievance regarding a complaint about a student or faculty or staff member according to the procedure outlined below. The grievance must be submitted in writing within ten (10) business days after the action warranting the grievance.
If the action warranting the grievance relates to conduct by a student, the grievance should be submitted to the dean of students. If the action warranting the grievance relates to conduct by a faculty or staff member, the grievance should be submitted to the executive vice president.
Students must submit in writing the following information.
- Name and phone number of the person filing the grievance.
- The name(s) of the individual(s) or office against which the grievance is being alleged
- A detailed description of the action warranting the grievance (to include how the student has been harmed or treated unfairly) and what the student believes would be a fair and equitable resolution.
- The date or period of time that the action occurred.
- A list of any other people who were either involved or witnessed the action.
Within seven (7) business days of receipt of a written complaint, the appropriate reviewing authority (outlined above) will initiate an investigation of the complaint. If a hearing is a part of the investigation, representatives of the parties involved may not attend the hearing.
The investigation will be completed in a timely fashion and within a reasonable time frame based on the nature of the complaint. Following the investigation, the appropriate reviewing authority (outlined above) will make a determination and inform the parties involved. The determination shall include remedial actions necessary, if any, to resolve the grievance. The determination of the reviewing authority shall be the final decision on the matter.
Every effort will be made to ensure confidentiality for all parties throughout the grievance process.
Documentation of Grievances
Documents related to grievances will be maintained in the office of the dean of students or the office of the executive vice president, as appropriate. A report of all grievances handled will be submitted to the president at the conclusion of each academic year.
It is a violation of College policy for anyone to retaliate against any person making a complaint of harassment and/or discrimination or against any person cooperating in the investigation of (including testifying as a witness to) any allegation of harassment and discrimination. For these purposes, "retaliation" includes intimidation, threats or harassment against any Complainant or third party. Retaliation should be reported promptly to Campus Police and Safety or the Department of Student Life and may result in disciplinary action independent of the sanction or interim measures imposed in response to the underlying allegations.