A discrimination grievance is a complaint or report of an injury, injustice or wrong in which the grounds for complaint are based on of sex, disability, race, age, religion, color, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information.
Rollins College is committed to creating and maintaining a community in which students, faculty, and staff can work together in an atmosphere free of all forms of harassment, exploitation or intimidation. Specifically, every member of the College community should be aware that Rollins is strongly opposed to discrimination, sexual assault, sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior of any kind; and that such behavior is prohibited both by law and by College policy. It is the intention of the College to take whatever action may be necessary to prevent, correct, and, if necessary, discipline for behavior, which violates this policy.
All students may use this procedure for discrimination related grievances by faculty or staff members, except those involving grade appeals. Student on Student sexual assault complaints are to use the policy outlined in the Code of Community Standards. Faculty and Staff must use the procedures outlined in the appropriate handbook. Grievances should be reported immediately upon occurrence of the events leading to the complaint, injury or wrong, and in any event must be reported within 180 days of such event unless the College determines that good cause for an extension has been established. However there is no time limit for invoking this policy in cases of alleged Sexual Assault. Nevertheless, students are encouraged to report alleged Sexual Assault immediately in order to maximize the College’s ability to respond promptly and effectively.
Many complaints can be resolved through open discussion between the parties involved. Individuals are encouraged to engage in direct consultation with each other so the problem can be solved through conciliation, if possible. An individual is in no way required to directly approach an offender, and may initiate the grievance procedure by reporting it to the Assistant VP (the AVP) Human Resources and Risk Management who is the Title IX coordinator for the College. The AVP will contact the appropriate Dean (the Dean) and appropriate Vice President (The VP). The AVP (or designee) will act as resource for the student and will take part in the investigation of the complaint. The Dean (or designee) will be involved in investigating the complaint. The AVP is also available for questions and information about discrimination and harassment.
We cannot guarantee confidentiality. However, we are very sensitive to the difficulty the complainant may have bringing this complaint forward and we will do our best to protect the privacy of the complainant. No student shall be disciplined for filing a good faith grievance or report of discrimination or inappropriate behavior.
Any student who believes that (s)he is the victim of discrimination or inappropriate behavior may elect to follow the procedures detailed below. If a student files a complaint under a procedure other than the Discrimination Grievance Procedure, (s)he cannot elect to have the same complaint heard under the Discrimination Grievance Procedure. However, if a student believes (s)he has been discriminated against on the basis of sex, disability, race, age, religion, color, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information during the process of a complaint other than under the Discrimination Grievance Procedure, (s)he may file a complaint under the Discrimination Grievance Procedure.
If a student exercises his/her rights to file a complaint with a government agency or files a court action, the College reserves the right to terminate the grievance process. In the event that a student has already commenced his/her grievance procedure at the time the student files a complaint with any governmental agency including a state or federal court, the student shall notify the AVP. If the College chooses to terminate the grievance process, the AVP will notify all parties involved.
Note: if the nature of the complaint is sexual assault the College will continue the internal investigation regardless if the student filed a criminal complaint with the police department.
In all cases, the burden of proof rests with the complaining party. The AVP and the Dean will be available to assist in fact finding but in no way will be responsible for proving the complainant’s charge. The determination shall be made on the preponderance of presented evidence of whether it is more likely that the allegations occurred.
A. Students may elect to utilize the Mediation Program. This program is designed to help resolve disputes in a more informal way than through the grievance process. It facilitates solutions without having to file a formal grievance. A mediation does not impose any solution but helps parties reach a mutually agreed upon solution.
Mediation is a non-adversarial process that does not guarantee a resolution but is a good way to discuss disputes. Participation in a mediation process does not mean that an individual gives up any rights to file a grievance or any other formal procedure. Further, both parties must agree to mediate a dispute. No one can be forced into mediation. Mediation is not a process that imposes punishment, determines facts or decides who is right or wrong. Mediation is a process whereby miscommunication can be cleared up, individuals agree on solutions and people are empowered to make changes.
B. If Mediation between the parties is (a) not appropriate or (b) not possible, or (c) does not lead to resolution, the AVP and the Dean shall proceed to investigate the report or complaint. Mediation does not preclude the College from conducting an investigation of a complaint or taking such disciplinary action as it determines is appropriate or necessary.
Note: Mediation is not available if the student’s complaint is related to sexual assault
Both Complainant and Respondent shall have the option of assistance by an Individual of their choice from the College faculty, staff or student body during all portions of the Grievance procedure, provided that the chosen faculty, staff or student is willing to participate in the process. Third parties shall not be allowed to participate except where otherwise explicitly permitted by this policy.
When a grievance is filed (verbally or in writing), the AVP will notify the person named in the complaint (“Respondent”) and provide the Respondent with the information regarding the complaint. The Respondent may submit to the AVP a written response to the complaint within five (5) working days.
As soon as is practical, the AVP and the Dean, or an individual(s) appointed by the AVP, will initiate an investigation of the complaint and where possible, attempt to reach conciliation between the parties. During this period, the AVP and the Dean will have access to all information pertinent to the case, and may meet with any individual with information related to the case. Upon the conclusion of the investigation, assuming all reasonable efforts to conciliate have been exhausted, the AVP and the Dean will present a report to the appropriate VP. The Dean and the AVP shall make a recommendation for resolution to the VP who will strive to make a final determination within thirty (30) working days. All the time limits here may be extended at the discretion of the AVP.
If the VP’s determination is not acceptable to either the Complainant or Respondent, the decision may be appealed within ten (10) working days to the VP. The VP will then convene a grievance committee.
The grievance committee shall be formed as follows. The VP, with the assistance of the AVP will select a list of 10 faculty, staff or student members. A list of these 10 individuals will be provided to the Complainant and Respondent. The grievance committee shall consist of one individual chosen by the Complainant, one individual chosen by the Respondent, and a third chosen by mutual agreement of the two parties. If mutual agreement is not reached, the VP will select the third member of the grievance committee. The grievance committee shall review the complaint, any response, any documents provided by Complainant or Respondent, and all other documents it deems appropriate. The grievance committee shall also have the option, but not the obligation, to schedule a hearing and take testimony from the parties and other witnesses. Upon conclusion of its review and/or investigation, the hearing committee will deliberate and shall make a written report, including its conclusions and recommendations to the VP. The VP shall then have the option of amending his/her determination based on the recommendations of the grievance committee. The VP determination shall then be final.