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This dispute-resolution plan shall be used for all disputes involving students receiving services through the Center for Accommodative Services. For the purpose of this plan, a grievance is an action which may be taken by any student who feels he/she has been injured by a College faculty member, administrator, or other person acting on behalf of the college, and that the injury was a result of:
- Discrimination or harassment on the basis of handicap.
- A violation, misinterpretation or inequitable application of the provisions of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
PLEASE NOTE: Actions pertaining to discrimination or harassment on the basis of sex, race, color, age, religion, national origin, handicap, or marital status may be filed through the grievance procedure outlined in Appendix II, Student Handbook of Paul Smith's College of Arts and Sciences. Appendix II, "Student Grievance and Appeal Procedure", Section I defines the following words:
- grievance - executive officer - grievant - respondent - party in interest - hearing officer - working day(s) - witness - representative- hearing-mediator - affirmative action officer - Affirmative Action Committee
Stage 1 -- Informal - A student having a grievance consults with a learning specialist.
A student having a grievance consults with a learning specialist. The learning specialist will document details of the dispute (See Appendix II, "Student Grievance and Appeal Procedure", Section II, A.) and take whatever steps they deem appropriate to achieve an informal resolution of the problem. If necessary, the learning specialist will set a meeting with the student and the person (or those people) with whom the disagreement lies. If the dispute is with the services provided by a learning specialist, then the student should consult the Director of Educational Resources.
Stage 2 -- Formal - If the dispute is not resolved informally, it shall be put in writing.
If the dispute is not resolved informally, it shall be put in writing (See Appendix II, "Student Grievance and Appeal Procedure", Section II, B.) and presented to the Director of Educational Resources who will forward copies to the Vice President of Academic Affairs, the Affirmative Action Officer, and the Coordinating Officer for Section 504. Upon receipt of the above information, those officials shall request that the respondent(s) submit any documents or other information which they believe are relevant to their position on the action being disputed, and shall confer to name a representative (if any). Within fifteen (15) working days after the written grievance is presented to them, the officials shall render a decision in writing (See Appendix II, "Student Grievance and Appeal Procedure", Section III.) and present it to the grievant, or his/her representative.
Stage 3 -- Committee - If the grievant or the respondent is not satisfied with the written decision, he/she may appeal to the Affirmative Action Committee.
If the grievant or the respondent is not satisfied with the written decision at the conclusion of Stage 2 and wishes to proceed further, he/she may appeal to the Affirmative Action Committee where, if the dispute is not resolved by mediation, a hearing will be scheduled (see Appendix II, "Student Grievance and Appeal Procedure", Section V. C.); Paul Smith's College Section 504 officer will designate the hearing officer.
Stage 4 -- Final - Contact the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) or NYS Division of Human Rights.
If the grievant or the respondent is not satisfied with the written advisory opinion of the Committee at the conclusion of Stage 3, and wishes to proceed further, the student may file a complaint with the New York State, Region II, Office of Civil Rights (OCR) http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/index.html at:
U.S. Department of Education
Washington, D.C. 20202-1100
New York State Division of Human Rights
NYS Division of Human Rights Agency
Agency Building 1, 2nd Floor
Empire State Plaza
Albany, New York 12220
Telephone No. (518) 474-2705 (or 2707)
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