Grievance Procedures

While the Office of Student Disabiltiy Services will do all that it can to accommodate qualified students, there will be times when a disagreement will occur between the student and the University.  The student has a right to file a grievance for allegations of discrimination under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the University policies regarding students with disabilities.

Informal Complaint Procedure:

If a student decides to make an informal complaint, he or she should meet with the Director of the Office of Student Disability Services.  The Director will attempt to resolve the issue with the appropriate parties involved.  If the complaint is not resolved as this level, the student may choose to file a formal grievance.

Formal Grievance Procedure:

Any student can initiate a formal complaint of discrimination by following the procedure outlined below.

1. The grievance shall be filed in writing, and shall contain:

 

  • The name, address and phone number of the person filing the grievance (the complainant);
  • The name(s) of the alleged offender  
  • The date(s) and location the action(s) occurred;  
  • A brief description of the alleged discriminatory actions.

 

2. Provide the written complaint promptly to the appropriate resolution officer identified below.

Resolution Officer

Alleged Offender

  • Appropriate Academic Dean
  • Appropriate Vice President
    (please consult with the Director of the Office of Student Disability Services for assistance in identifying the appropriate Vice President)
  • Faculty Member
  • Staff, Administration or Professional
  • Student

The resolution officer may designate a representative to conduct the investigation, who will then report the findings to the resolution officer.  The designee shall have the same powers to conduct the investigation as the resolution officer.  The resolution officer will attempt to resolve the grievance to the parties’ mutual satisfaction.

3. The complaint will be investigated using the following guidelines:

 

  • The investigation shall be completed as expeditiously as possible.
  • Federal/State laws and University Policy will be reviewed with the parties involved as appropriate.
  • The resolution officer will act as an impartial fact finder in the matter.  The alleged offender will have an opportunity to respond in writing to the allegations and forward the response to the resolution officer.
  • Both parties will be interviewed by the resolution officer or the designee.  Both parties may provide witnesses’ names (with permission) and pertinent information regarding the matter.  The resolution officer/designee may interview witnesses as deemed necessary.  The resolution officer will have authority to interview members of the University community, and secure any relevant physical evidence (such as notes, e-mails, pictures, grades, etc.)
  • All members of the University community are expected to cooperate fully in an investigation of discrimination.
  • SJU will endeavor to maintain confidentiality, however, it cannot conduct an effective investigation without revealing certain information to witnesses or persons accused of discrimination.  SJU retains the right to inform persons it deems to have need to know and to utilize information obtained during the investigation for legitimate University purposes.

 

4. The resolution officer will render a formal written decision to the parties involved following the conclusion of the investigation.  The complainant will be informed in writing of the action recommended.

Appeals Process:

If in the opinion of the student or alleged offender, the grievance procedure was not followed, or did not resolve the issue to their satisfaction, an appeal of the decision must be submitted in writing to the EEO Officer in Human Resources (215 West City Avenue, 610-660-1295).  Appeals must be submitted within 30 days of the resolution officer’s decision. The EEO Officer’s appeals decision is the final recourse within the University.

Please Note:

Third-Party Discrimination

Any student who is subjected to discrimination by a third party (i.e. a non-member of the SJU community, e.g. vendors, salespeople or potential business associates), should report the incident promptly in accordance with the above procedures.  The  matter will be investigated in a manner similar to that set forth above.

Non-Retaliation

Grievances filed under this policy will not result in adverse action against the complainant, and other person(s) who may participate in the investigation process.

Anyone who believes that they have been retaliated against for filing a grievance, should report the matter, in writing, to the appropriate resolution officer.  The complaint will then be investigated by the resolution officer (610-660-11295) and appropriate action will be taken.

Confidentiality

All information submitted to the Office of Student Disability Services is kept confidential and not released without the student’s permission.  Indication of a disability or the use of accommodations while at St. Joseph’s is not listed on the official transcript or diploma.  Please note that any communication with other SJU personnel (i.e. faculty members, residence life staff, health services, etc.) is strictly on an “as needed to know” basis and for the educational purposes of the student.  Documentation will be kept for a period of 5 years after a student either graduates or leaves the University.  After such time, records will be destroyed.