Student Handbook

Grievances

Open Communication Policy

Eastern Mennonite University welcomes open communication from students regarding its policies and practices. Student feedback helps administrators determine effectiveness and clarify and improve processes and procedures. If a student has a complaint, such complaint should be communicated to the administrator responsible for the area of the complaint. Most complaints can be dealt with through informal communication between the parties.

When a student wishes to lodge a more formal complaint in writing, the Student Complaint Form is to be submitted to the administrator of the department which is the subject of the complaint.

The administrator will respond in writing to written complaints, normally within ten days. The administrator will submit copies of the written complaint and response to the president’s office for filing and monitoring.

In the event that a student is not satisfied with the response to the complaint, the student may choose to follow the grievance procedure for resolution.

The university recognizes its obligation to ensure that students who make complaints do not suffer adverse treatment as a result of the complaint. In the event that a student alleges such treatment, the student shall be referred to the grievance procedure for resolution and reconciliation.

Approved by Presidents Cabinet, March 12, 2007

Revised February 11, 2009

Grievance Procedures

The grievance procedures are applicable to all students, faculty and staff of Eastern Mennonite University as well as applicants for faculty, staff or student status. These procedures comply with the requirements of Title IX of the Federal Health, Education, and Welfare procedures and the general employee grievance policy of the Mennonite Education Agency.

The main concern in any grievance procedure is to bring reconciliation and growth in ways that enhance community. To implement this goal, the American Council on Education definition of grievance is adopted:“Grievable issues are those in which there is the possibility of an error in the institutional policies (or lack of them), in its prescribed procedures for carrying out the policies, in the administration of those procedures, or in varying combinations of these.” If it is determined that an institutional error has occurred, the second function of the grievance procedure is to provide a process to determine appropriate redress for the grievant.

The first approach to any grievance should be non-adversarial and open, undertaken with careful attention to fostering understanding, problem-solving attitudes. The expectation is that the majority of grievances can be resolved through a flexible process of conflict resolution. These procedures are based on the understanding that differences can be resolved within the institutions of the church without adopting adversarial positions and that the resources of the wider church community are available when mediation is requested. If it is determined that an institutional error has occurred, the second function of the grievance procedure is to provide a process to determine appropriate redress for the grievant. A complete copy of these procedures is available upon request from the Presidents Office.