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2.01.002.008 Procedure for Filing a Complaint of Incivility

Category: GENERAL INSTITUTION
Section: GENERAL
Policy: Civility
Approved: 12/1/2016
Approved By: President's Staff

Filing a Complaint of Incivility

Many behaviors and/or actions that may be considered a violation of the civility policy may also be addressed under other policies such as Sexual Harassment, Title IX, Workplace Violence, and so on. Individuals who believe they have been subjected to conduct and/or language that is a violation of the Civility Policy may follow the complaint procedures listed below.

Students, employees, or third parties who have an inquiry or complaint related to alleged incivility, which may include, but is not limited to actions related to bullying, harassing, violent or racially charged language, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, stalking, dating violence, domestic violence, or workplace violence, should contact the Director of Student Support Services, Faculty Advisors, Deans, the Executive Vice President and Provost, Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment, or the Vice President of Human Resources.

Complaints must:

An investigation will be conducted, as appropriate, by college official(s). Following the investigation, a written determination as to the validity of the complaint and description of the next steps, if any, will be issued to the complainant and respondent within five working days.

If the complaint is found to have merit, appropriate disciplinary measures will be followed for both students and employees (faculty and staff).

Appeal of Findings

1.  Any respondent or complainant shall have the right to appeal the result of a civility violation investigation or formal hearing (if appropriate). Appeals must be made, in writing, to the Vice President of Human Resources or to the Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment within five calendar days after notification of decision.

2.  An Appeals Board will be appointed by the College President and consist of two students, two members of the faculty, and one administrator. In the case of employees, the panel will consist of two administrators, two staff, and one faculty member.

3.  An appeal shall be limited to a review of the verbatim record of the initial hearing and supporting documents for one or more of the following criteria, except as required to explain the basis of new evidence:

a.  New evidence comes to light that was not addressed at the hearing;

b.  Due process was not provided in accordance with College guidelines;

c.  Proof of false testimony that was provided during the investigation or at the hearing exists;

d.  An unreasonable or arbitrary sanction was given; or

e.  Other substantial irregularities occurred that played a role in the outcome of the hearing.

4.  Of primary importance to the Appeals Board is the written statement. The written statement should be as complete as possible in setting forth the basis for appeal as listed above. Clear and convincing reasons are necessary for a successful appeal.

5.  The Appeals Committee shall make its recommendation to the College President within 10 calendar days after an appeal has been referred to it. The President shall make a final determination within five calendar days of receiving the recommendation of the Appeals Committee.

Emergency Response

Warning signs of volatile situations should be heeded and appropriate steps necessary to deescalate a situation early should be taken. The College acknowledges that these early steps may not always be possible and at times danger is imminent and needs to be addressed immediately. It is essential that College community members be aware of possible warning signs of violence. Some example behaviors to be aware of that could escalate to volatile situations may include: extreme and/or adverse reactions to criticism; blaming others for the results of one’s own actions; paranoia; use of threats; intimidation; manipulation; escalation; unrealistic expectations; sullen, angry, or depressed affect; history of filing grievances; history of assault or behavioral offenses; and hopelessness.

It is very important that individuals decide for themselves the point at which disruptiveness crosses over into the category of danger. No one should have to put up with bullying or intimidation or worse. It is also recognized that different individuals, due to their own histories, will have very different thresholds for perceiving danger. For this reason the following definition of a dangerous situation is offered:

A dangerous situation can be defined as one in which an individual poses a serious threat to themselves, to you, or to someone else. This may include verbal threats of bodily harm, physical intimidation or assault, sexual assault, and threats of suicide or homicide. 

If a student or employee is highly agitated, individuals are not advised to meet with that person in isolation, or at all if you feel unsafe. As a general rule, as the level of perceived threat increases, it is important to notify the appropriate college official for assistance.

Please also refer to Institutional Procedures:

2.01.002.004 - Threat to Others

4.01.001.001 - Threat to Self – Student Assessment and Referral