South Suburban College
South Suburban College

Affirmative Action

Student Grievance Procedure (Non-Academic Matters)

Step 1

Any student who has a complaint (grievance) against an employee of the College regarding a non-academic matter such as sexual harassment, discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, religion or age is encouraged to attempt a resolution by informal means. To do so, the grievant is encouraged to discuss the matter with the person against whom the complaint is made.

Where the grievant deems the informal process to be impracticable, not in the grievant’s best interests or where said discussions do not result in a resolution of the matter, the grievant should proceed to Step 2.

Step 2

A. A complaint shall be made in writing to the Affirmative Action Officer within ninety (90) days from the date of the occurrence on a form provided by the Affirmative Action Officer.

B. The complaint must be completed in its entirety, must specify the relief requested by the grievant and must be signed by the grievant.

C. In all cases, the Affirmative Action Officer shall request a written response to the complaint from the person against whom the complaint is made. In no event shall the lack of a written response eliminate or diminish the Affirmative Action Officer’s right to conduct an investigation into the matter.

D. The complaint shall be reviewed by the Affirmative Action Officer and the Affirmative Action Officer shall conduct an investigation into the matter. The investigation shall include but not be limited to interviews of persons with knowledge of the incident(s) including the party against whom the complaint is filed, witnesses and others who may have information relevant to the inquiry. Additionally, the Affirmative Action Officer may review any written documents which may be useful in ascertaining the validity of the complaint.

E. All parties to a complaint have the right to have a representative present during the Affirmative Action Officer’s interview(s).

F. Within twenty (20) school days from the date of the Affirmative Action Officer’s receipt of the complaint or as soon thereafter as is necessary to complete the investigation, the results of the investigation shall be transmitted to the parties, by certified mail, along with the Affirmative Action Officer’s decision. A copy of the results shall also be transmitted to the Vice President of Academic Affairs, Vice President of Student Services and the College President.

G. Any party not satisfied with the decision of the Affirmative Action Officer, shall proceed to Step 3.

Step 3

A. Any party not satisfied with the decision of the Affirmative Action Officer may file a written Appeal with the Vice President of Academic Affairs when the complaint involves a faculty member within that area or with the Vice President of Student Services when the complaint involves other employees of the College within ten (10) school days from the receipt of the decision. Said written appeal shall be submitted on a form provided by the Affirmative Action Officer.

B. Upon receipt of a written appeal, the Vice President of Academic Affairs or Vice President of Student Services, as the case may be, shall convene at a meeting of the College Appeals Committee to provide a hearing of the appeal. Where the Complaint involves a faculty member from the Academic Affairs area, the College Appeals Committee shall consist of the Vice President of Academic Affairs, Faculty Representative and Support Staff Representative. Where the complaint involves other employees of the College, the Committee shall consist of the Vice President of Student Services, Faculty Representative and Support Staff Representative.

C. Said hearing shall be convened within fifteen (15) school days from the date of receipt of the appeal by the applicable Vice President.

D. At the hearing, all parties may have a representative present who may advise the party but not question witnesses.

E. A decision shall be rendered in writing within ten (10) school days from the conclusion of the hearing and shall be transmitted to the parties by certified mail. F. Any party not satisfied with the decision rendered by the College Appeals Committee shall proceed to Step 4.

Step 4

A. Any party not satisfied with the decision rendered by College Appeals Committee may appeal to the Board within seven (7) school days from the receipt of the decision. Said written appeal shall be submitted on a form provided by the Affirmative Action Officer.

B. Upon receipt of an appeal, the Chairperson of the Board shall schedule a hearing with the entire Board in executive session. At the Board hearing, the parties may present evidence and have counsel present. Thereafter, the Chairperson will communicate in writing the decision of the Board to the parties. The decision of the Board is final. Where the complaint is made against an employee covered by a collective bargaining agreement, the employee shall have the right to have a representative of the labor organization present at all steps of the process. Where a final decision recommends that disciplinary action be taken, said action and proceedings shall be in accordance with applicable collective bargaining agreements, handbooks and relevant statutory and constitutional requirements.

Complaints against students shall be addressed according to the procedures outlined in the Student Codes of Conduct. The Affirmative Action Officer shall assist in the investigation and shall consult with the officer or committee.

Where the complaint also involves a grade complaint, the procedures for academic appeals by students shall control. However, the Affirmative Action Officer shall participate in the meeting specified at Step 2 and shall assist in the investigation and shall consult with the committee.

At any time before, during or in conjunction with the aforementioned process, the student may elect to utilize additional grievance procedures set forth by the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights.

Questions in Reference to Affirmative Action may be directed to:

Affirmative Action Officer
South Suburban College
15800 S. State Street
South Holland, IL 60473
708-596-2000, ext. 5719

© 2008 - 2014 South Suburban College · Main Number: (708)596-2000 | Office of Admissions: (708)210-5718
Main Campus: 15800 South State Street, South Holland, Illinois 60473-1200
Oak Forest Center: 16333 South Kilbourn Avenue, Oak Forest, Illinois 60452-4601