Davidson strives to maintain open communication and create an atmosphere of trust. In any community, there are times when the need arises to express concerns or complaints in a formal manner. The college recognizes the importance of providing an opportunity for its students to express concerns and for the college to have a consistent way of resolving those concerns in a fair and just manner.
These procedures apply to general student complaints that are not governed by other specific grievance procedures, including:
- Academic regulations (including grade appeals and curricular requests)
- Access to educational records (FERPA policy)
- Code of Responsibility violations (student handbook)
- Disability services (student disability grievance procedure)
- Discrimination and Harassment (Non-Discrimination and Non-Harassment Policy)
- Honor code violations (student handbook)
- Housing issues (Residence Life Policies: appeals)
- Parking citation appeals (Public Safety parking regulations)
- Personal leave (personal leave policies and procedures)
- Public Safety complaints (Community input form)
- Sexual misconduct (student sexual misconduct policy)
- State Authorization
- Student Athlete Drug and Alcohol Education and Testing Policy
- Student employment (employee grievance procedure)
Refer to each specific grievance procedure for deadlines and complaint procedures.
Informal Resolution of General Complaints
Students are strongly encouraged to resolve concerns or complaints by directly discussing the matter with the person or department in which the issue originated. If the complaint is not resolved, the next contact will be with the supervisor or responsible administrator to conduct an inquiry into the issue. The student should attempt to resolve the complaint informally as soon as possible but at least within 30 days of the occurrence. Upon request from any student, the Dean of Students Office will provide guidance about the appropriate way to address a complaint informally.
Formal Resolution of General Complaints
If the matter is unresolved after following the informal complaint resolution process or the student chooses not to use the informal process, the student may submit a formal written complaint to the head of the department where the issue originated. If the complaint is about the head of the department, the student may submit the formal written complaint to the head of the division. If the student is not certain where to direct the complaint, or in cases where the student submits the complaint to the wrong department, the complaint shall be routed to the Dean of Students Office, and someone from that office will provide guidance on where to file the complaint.
Formal written complaints should be submitted by the later of ten (10) days following the conclusion of the informal resolution process, or 30 days following the occurrence giving rise to the complaint. The formal written complaint must contain the following information:
- A statement indicating the student is filing a formal complaint pursuant to the Student Grievance Policy and Procedure
- Name of the student filing the formal complaint
- Name of the employee or department the complaint concerns
- Date(s) of the incident(s)
- The specific complaint or concern
- Any facts or additional information which could be useful in evaluation of the complaint
- The specific resolution being sought.
Upon receiving a formal written complaint, the administrator will conduct an informal inquiry as warranted to resolve any factual disputes. Depending on the nature of the complaint, the administrator may call together involved parties to mediate the situation and determine a solution or decision. The administrator usually will respond within ten (10) working days of receipt of the complaint with a written decision resolving the complaint.
Appeal of Formal Resolution
If the resolution is unsatisfactory to the student, the student may then contact the Dean of Students for a referral to the appropriate Vice President/Division Head. If the complaint is submitted about a Vice President/Division Head, then the complaint will be referred to the President for response and decision. The student shall submit the written grievance together with the administrator's written decision, to the appropriate Vice President/Division Head within ten (10) days of receipt of the administrator's written decision. The Vice President/Division Head may conduct additional inquiries, and usually will respond within fifteen (15) working days of receipt of the complaint with a written decision on the appeal. Decisions and resolutions made by a Vice President/ Division Head are final.
No person against whom a complaint is filed shall intimidate, threaten, coerce, or discriminate against any student submitting complaint. Complaints about retaliation may be reported to the Dean of Students Office.
If you are not satisfied with the outcome of the complaint, you may choose to file a complaint by filling out the North Carolina Post-secondary Education Student Complaint document. Please visit the State of North Carolina Post-Secondary Education Complaints page for the form and for information about this process.