University College of the Cayman Islands

 

Title:

 

Student Grievance Policy

 

 

 

 

Policy No.:

SL.21.03.

Purpose:

To establish a framework for the protection and standards of conduct that safeguard UCCI’s functions and protect the rights and freedom of all members of the University College community.

 

 

Effective Date:

June 2021

 

Latest Revision:

June 2021

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.      INTRODUCTION

 

a.      What Is the University College of the Cayman Islands?

The University College of the Cayman Islands is an institution that encourages the intellectual and personal growth of its students and provides certificate, associate, bachelor and continuing education for leadership, professional achievement and community excellence. Furthermore, the University College of the Cayman Islands recognizes that the transmission of knowledge, the pursuit of truth and the development of students require the free exchange of ideas and self-expression.

 

2.      POLICY STATEMENT

a.       Importance and Purpose of Student Grievance Policy

The University College of the Cayman Islands is an institution that values the safety and well-being of its student community. The purpose is to provide guiding principles for addressing and resolving student grievances, as well as appealing decisions that may be presented regarding grievances.

 

3.      SCOPE AND APPLICABILITY OF THE STUDENT GRIEVANCE POLICY

This policy applies to all students at the University College of the Cayman Islands. It covers all matters arising from a student’s involvement with the University, including but not limited to matters relating to academics, personnel, safety and security, admissions, records, harassment, bullying, and any other relevant issue that involves other UCCI students, employees or third parties that have been authorized by UCCI to operate within the campus.

 

4.      DEFINITIONS

a.       For the purposes of this Policy, (“Policy” means Student Grievance Policy).

 

(1)         “Grievance” means a problem or concern raised by a student who considers they have been wronged because of an action, decision, or omission within the control or responsibility of the University. This includes grievances or complaints which are not able to be resolved through informal processes.

 

(2)         “Complainant” refers to the aggrieved student who makes the complaint.

 

(3)         “Complainee” means a person whom the complainant’s grievance concerns.

 

(4)         “Responsible Officer” means a person responsible for an area which is subject to a grievance.

 

(5)         “Support Person” refers to a person who may assist a student in the preparation and, where appropriate, the presentation of their case in formal grievance proceedings. The support person must be a member of the University community and may not be a person who was involved in or associated with events giving rise to the grievance.

 

(6)         “Appeal” means a request for reconsideration of a decision. An appeal may be a complaint about a decision relating to an academic or administrative decision, or unfair treatment.

(7)         “Misconduct” includes, but is not limited to bullying, grooming, sexual harassment, solicitation, abuse of power, preferential treatment, sexual abuse, sexual assault, rape, intoxication, etc.

(8)         “Faculty Member” means any person employed by the University to conduct teaching activities or who is otherwise considered by the University to be a member of the faculty.

(9)         “Member of the University community” means any person who is a student, faculty member, staff member, University official or any other person employed by the University and any other person lawfully present on University premises.

(10)     “Staff Member” means any person employed by the University to provide administrative and support services.

 

(11)     “Policy” means the written regulations of the University as found in, but not limited to, the Policy, the University website and any other University policy in effect.

(12)     “University” means University College of the Cayman Islands.

(13)     “Student” means the registered student, on University premises taking course(s) at either full-time, part-time or continuing education, and pursuing certificate, associate, bachelor, professional or any other general education studies or otherwise entered into any contractual relationship with the University to take instructions.

(14)     “University Premises” means any part of land, buildings, fixtures, facilities, and other property in the possession of or owned, used or controlled by the University, including adjacent streets and sidewalks.

 

5.      POLICY

a.       Grounds for Grievance

This Policy will constitute guidance on all matters pertaining to student grievances and formal grievances to be outlined.  As such, grounds for grievance include, but are not limited to, the following:

(1)      issues of misconduct by other students.

(2)      issues of misconduct by lecturers and/or members of UCCI staff/faculty.

(3)      issues of misconduct by members of the UCCI board.

(4)      issues of misconduct by third parties who have been contracted by or otherwise been given access to the campus by UCCI and said misconduct took place on campus or because of the link with UCCI.

(5)      issues pertaining to academic, matriculation, administrative, and/or behavior or conduct matters where the complainant feels a decision was made without sufficient consideration of the facts, evidence or circumstances.

(6)      issues where the complainant was affected by a failure to adhere to appropriate or relevant published policies and procedures, or by lack of a clear policy and procedure where it would be expected that such exist.

(7)      a penalty applied to the complainant was unduly harsh or inappropriate.

(8)      the complainant was affected by improper or negligent conduct.

(9)      the complainant was affected by unfair treatment, prejudice or bias.

(10)    the complainant believes that the University and/or its staff/Board is not fulfilling its mandate in the delivery of its services to its students.

 

b.      Types of Grievances

(1)    Academic Matters

Students may raise grievances in relation to academic matters such as but not limited to:

(a)   decisions by lecturers affecting individuals or groups of students.

(b)   nature and quality of teaching and assessment

(c)   academic hardship

(d)  authorship and intellectual property

 

(2)    Administrative, Facilities or Services Matters

Students may raise grievances in relation to administrative matters, facilities and/or services such as but not limited to:

(a)   administration of policies, procedures and rules of the University

(b)   standard of service provided by the University (i.e.: Administration, Canteen, Information and Technology Services, Library, Student Life, etc.)

(c)   standard of facilities at the University

(d)  accessibility

 

(3)    Governance Matters

Students may raise grievances in relation to governance matters such as, but not limited to:

(a)   ongoing complaints by student body which have not been addressed by Administration in a timely manner.

(b)   lack of policies and procedures for matters which are expected to have relevant documents implemented.

 

(4)    Misconduct, Unfair Treatment and Harassment

Students may raise grievances in relation to misconduct, unfair treatment, and

harassment if he or she believes that:

(a)   a member of the University community has violated his or her rights.

(b)   they have been wronged because of an action, decision or omission within the control or responsibility of the University.

 

c.       Anonymous Grievances

The Student Life Department will receive and confirm all grievances, including those submitted anonymously.  However, in the case of anonymous grievances it will need to take into account:

(1)        whether there is sufficient information for an investigation to be conducted

(2)        the nature and seriousness of the grievance

(3)        the number of similar grievances submitted by different students

 

d.      Processing and Management of Grievances

Grievance’s submission and responsible department

All grievances will be submitted to Student Life who will take the lead role in engaging the relevant parties and other relevant departments to address the grievance effectively and efficiently.

Time frame for submission of grievances and exceptions

Wherever possible, students must raise grievances within ten (10) working days of the event, decision or action which is the subject of the grievance in order to ensure that the University is able to investigate properly and the time lapse between the alleged occurrence and the grievances does not hinder the investigative process.

Grievances of a more serious nature, including, but not limited to, sexual abuse, harassment, and grooming will be addressed independently of the time frame between the alleged incidents and the grievance. 

Grievances where there are legal obligations outside of the UCCI (i.e.: child abuse) will be referred to the relevant authorities per the legislative requirement and the UCCI Child Protection Policy.

Multiple and joint grievances

Students may raise grievances jointly. If two or more grievances about the same matter are raised independently, they may be considered jointly if deemed appropriate by Student Life.

Expectation of cooperation

All UCCI faculty, staff, board and other third parties contracted by or given access to the campus by the University are expected to cooperate with the Child Protection Officer as it investigates student grievances.

This means that emails and meeting requests related to a grievance must be answered in a timely manner. Requests from additional information or documentation must be provided within the stipulated timelines, and inability to comply must be made in writing.


6. PROCEDURES

    Students wishing to raise a grievance, shall follow these steps:

(a)     Seek advice from the Student Life and clarify options for resolving their concerns.

(b)     The student should:

•          consider whether the grievance is reasonable.

•          clarify the details of the concern including the events that occurred, the basis for the grievance and resolution sought.

•          identify the most appropriate process under which the matter may be pursued.

(c)      On the basis of this discussion, the student may wish to: 

•          take no further action.

•          make an informal approach to the complainee.

•          proceed with the grievance procedure by completing the Grievance Statement Form

 

(d)     Resolving student grievances

(1)   The Director, Student Life who receive a completed Grievance Form shall within five working days:

                            (a)        acknowledge receipt of the Student Grievance Form

                            (b)       arrange to discuss the matter with the student or indicate when an initial response will be provided, and in what form

                            (c)        attempt to clarify with relevant parties what is agreed and where opinions differ

                            (d)       advise the student of the process for resolving the grievance; underpinning the action to which the grievance relates

                            (e)        may escalate the matter to the relevant internal parties.

o   Child Protection officer

o   VP Provost

o   Disciplinary Committee

o   President

                                    (g)       advise the student of his or her right to be accompanied by a support person at any meetings or discussions towards resolution.

 

(2)   The Child Protection Officer, to whom the grievance has been escalated, may decline to investigate further, for example, where the student has repeatedly submitted grievances in relation to the same matter which have not been upheld.

(3)   The Child protection Officer if he or she chooses to investigate further, shall undertake a quality check of all investigation reports produced to ensure that:

a.      all issues raised in the student grievance for which he or she is appealing are investigated.

b.      all key stakeholders are interviewed.

c.       the report is fair and balanced.

d.     all relevant circumstances have been considered.

e.      the findings and recommendations are evidence based and defensible.

(4)   If in the judgement of the Director Student Life, the disclosure of the grievance to the person who is the subject of the grievance may put the students or staff member at risk, they shall refer the grievance to the President, VP Provost and the Manager of People and Culture.

 

(e)     Escalation of Unresolved Student Grievances

(1)   If the student is not satisfied with the outcome of their grievance; he or she may appeal for the grievance be escalated to the relevant parties and said processes.

 

(2)   Decisions made upon appeal shall not necessarily set precedence for future cases of a similar nature.

(f)      Records

(1)   Student grievances shall be filed by the student through the student’s grievance link available on the UCCI website, which will be recorded on a University-wide student grievance register and include data collected on student grievances submitted.

(2)   Formal complaints or grievances raised by a student, which are precedent setting cases, involving a member of staff/faculty/board and have resulted in a referral to an outside agency, brought significant change to University policy or procedure, must be retained on file in accordance with the UCCI Records Policy.

(3)   The Director, Student Life shall analyze data relating to grievances on an annual basis to identify trends and provide an annual report along with recommendations on student grievances to the President & VP Provost.

6.      SPECIAL SITUATIONS


Whenever a University Policy must be enacted before it has been formatted in accordance with this policy, it may be distributed in memo or letter form by the Approval Authority, electronically or in print. As soon as possible after the policy is issued, it will be submitted to the University Responsible Official for formatting and publication. In the meantime, it is still considered effective and in force.

 

7.      IMPLEMENTATION AUTHORITY

The President or his/her designee shall convene authority.

8.      LINKS TO RELATED POLICIES, FORMS, GUIDELINES

UCCI Student Code of Conduct – SL.21.01.

UCCI Child Protection Policy – SL.21.02.

 9.      RELEVANT LEGISLATION

Not applicable.

10.   HISTORY

 

Activity

Historical Action

Approved:

June 2021

Effective:

June 2021

Revision1:

 

Revision1 Effective: