Student Judicial Affairs


Fair Treatment and Grievance Policy

All College administration, faculty, and staff support Fair Treatment of all individuals associated with the College.

The purpose of this policy is:
  • to assure fair and equitable treatment of all students through open communication between students, faculty, administration, and staff;
  • to provide students with a direction to voice concerns;
  • to protect student’s rights under the 14th Amendment;
  • to protect faculty rights to freedom of instruction; and
  • to ensure equal and fair student evaluation by the faculty.
 
A grievance is a student’s claim of unfair and/or non-equitable treatment regarding established policies, procedures, rules, and regulations of Trinity College of Nursing & Health Sciences. The student has the right to express grievances without prejudice, penalty, or recrimination.
 
All steps of the fair treatment procedure must be completed in proper sequence with no more than 14 calendar days elapsing between each step. If a resolution of the grievance is obtained in any given step, the resolution is considered final.
 
The student may seek counsel at any time from appropriate persons, such as the hospital chaplain, Student Services staff, faculty advisor, or administration.
 
Procedure – Step 1:
 
Informal Process
The student shall schedule a conference with the involved party(ies). The conference must be scheduled within one month of the occurrence or no later than14 days after semester grades are posted/released if the grievance relates to information not known by the student until the end of the semester (see grade appeal policy if appealing a final course grade). If the conference cannot be scheduled within the one month or a 14 day time period, the Dean of Nursing & Health Sciences or designee may grant a waiver for extension. The involved party must provide a written response to the complaint within five calendar days of the initial conference.
 
Procedure – Step II:
 
Formal Process
If the student is unable to resolve the issue directly with the involved party(ies), he/she may file a complaint with the Dean of Nursing & Health Sciences or designee using the Fair Treatment and Grievance form. This form must be filed within 14 calendar days following the conference with the involved party. The form can be obtained through Student Services or on the college website. The written request must contain a statement of the grievance, the date or dates in which a conference(s) was held with the involved party(ies), and a statement outlining the student’s perception of the outcome of that conference. The student must also state his/her rebuttal with rationale to the written response received from the involved party(ies). The student should make three copies of the written Fair Treatment and Grievance Form. The original copy stays with the Dean, one copy goes to the involved party(ies) and the third copy is for the student. The Dean will schedule a conference with the student within 14 days of receipt of the Fair Treatment and Grievances Form. The Dean will conduct an investigation of the complaint, and will provide a written response to the student within 14 days of their conference meeting.
 
The Dean of Nursing & Health Sciences or designee shall ask the involved party to write his/her response in narrative, to the Fair Treatment and Grievance claim that the student has made and submit one copy and the original to the Dean of Nursing & Health Sciences.
 
During the investigation, the Dean of Nursing & Health Sciences or designee may arrange to meet individually and/or together with both the Student and the involved party. The parties shall receive a written response from the Dean of Nursing & Health Sciences or designee to the grievance within 14 calendar days of the conference. The original forms from the student and the involved party will be maintained in the Director of Student Services and External Relations office in a confidential and secure grievance file.
 
Procedure – Step III:
 
If the grievance remains unresolved, either the student or the involved party must submit a request in writing and within 14 days of receipt of the letter from the Dean of Nursing & Health Sciences or designee that he/she notify the Student Affairs (SA) Committee Chair requesting a hearing to resolve the complaint. The SA Committee Chair shall set up an appropriate grievance panel to include a minimum of two students not connected with the student’s program and a minimum of two faculty members who are not involved in the grievance or who do not teach in the involved program. There shall be an equal number of faculty/students represented on the committee.
 
The Director of Student Services and External Relations shall chair the grievance committee. This panel shall conduct a meeting for the purpose of formulating a recommendation regarding the student’s grievance following the guidelines outlined below:
 
  • Meetings are closed.
  • Meetings are formal and confidential. The Chair will announce the hearing procedure and direct the flow of the meeting. An appointed secretary from the group shall take minutes.
  • Each panel member shall have access to the written statements prior to the meeting.
  • To the extent that new information is pertinent to the case under consideration, the panel or either party may ask members of the academic community (students, faculty, administration, and staff) to present information.
  • The members of the panel may question both parties. Questions must be relevant to the issues of the grievance.
  • Upon request from the panel, it is expected that the student and the involved party shall make available such records as are pertinent to the grievance. The confidential nature of these records shall be safeguarded with the Director of Student Services and External Relations.
  • The student and involved party may each bring one Trinity College student, faculty, or staff member for support if they so desire. The support member may not address the committee but may answer questions directed by the committee.
  • If the student and involved party are asked to come to a meeting for questioning and clarification, the meeting may be audiotaped. The audiotape of the meeting(s) will be safeguarded and kept by the Director of Student Services and External Relations in the confidential and secure grievance file.
  • A quorum consists of a minimum of four members, excluding the Chairperson of the panel who shall only vote in case of a tie. There shall be an equal number of faculty/ students represented on the committee.
  • A simple majority shall be required to make a decision.
  • The panel’s decision will be made the day of the meeting.
  • The panel shall prepare a written recommendation and provide one copy to the student and one copy to the involved party. Copies will be distributed within 24 hours after the conclusion of the meeting. The original copy will be maintained in the Director of Student Services and External Relations office in a confidential and secure grievance file.
 
Procedure – Step IV:
 
In the event that the student does not accept the recommendation of the grievance committee, the student or involved party must submit a request in writing within 5 days of receiving the written findings that the Chancellor of the College review the student’s grievance, and the action recommended by the committee. The Chancellor will conduct an investigation and prepare a written statement within 14 days of receiving the student’s or involved party’s written request. The decision made by the Chancellor will be final.
 

Complaint Procedures


Academic Complaints
The Dean of Nursing & Health Sciences is committed to high quality programs at the College. The Dean is open to hearing complaints concerning faculty or curricular matters. If a student has a complaint, he/she should first consult with the faculty member involved. If the student continues to have a concern, he/she should put that concern in writing and deliver it to the faculty secretary who will set up an appointment with the Dean. The complaint will remain confidential and only be shared on a need-to-know basis.
 
Student Services Complaints
Complaints that pertain to financial aid, bursar, admissions, and post-secondary enrollment, career development, student organizations and activities should be referred to the Director of Student Services and External Relations. The student should first consult with the person involved, and if a resolution is not satisfactory, he/she should put the concern in writing and deliver it to the student services secretary who will set up an appointment with the Director. The complaint will remain confidential and only be shared on a need-to-know basis.