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Educational appeals, petitions, and formal complaints

The College provides two formal procedures for students to seek resolutions of disagreements. They are the appeals and the complaints procedures. They differ in purpose and process. Where possible, students should try to resolve their concerns informally prior to seeking redress through the formal process. It is advisable for students to consult with a College counsellor for assistance and guidance. 

Appeals concerning performance in a course or courses are dealt with by the Faculty Grade Appeal Committee. The Educational Policy Appeals Committee deals with appeals that pertain to matters of policy and procedure.

Visit the Educational Policies page for more information on Douglas College Educational Policies. 

Educational Policy Appeals Committee

The Educational Policy Appeals Committee consists of five members. They are the Registrar (chairperson and non-voting), one student, one faculty member, one administrator (voting members) and one counsellor (non-voting).

Educational Policy Appeals and Petitions Procedure

Appeals and petitions are mechanisms by which students may seek exemption from College policies and decisions such as appealing decisions made by College employees, requesting a waiver of admission requirements, etc. Appeals and petitions must be submitted in writing. Copies may be forwarded by the Registrar to the Appeals Committee. 

The following is the recommended Educational Policy appeals procedure:

  1. Consult with a College counsellor or other designated person for guidance.
  2. Students are expected to attempt an informal means of resolution first (this process can be discussed with the counsellor). Informal resolution involves discussing the concern with the instructor or the Dean.
  3. The formal procedure can be followed if the informal process is unsuccessful.
  4. The formal process requires the student to submit the appeal and petitions in writing along with any relevant documents to the Registrar. The Registrar or designate will review the documentation and determine if the Appeals Committee will hear the case.
  5. Appeals and petitions must be submitted within four months of the original decision causing the appeal. Appeals or petitions submitted after this time will not be heard. All relevant documentation must accompany the written submission. Students can request an extension of this deadline in extraordinary circumstances. 
  6. The Registrar informs the student of the time and place of the appeal. The student must be present. Only authorized College personnel or the Students Union Ombuds officer may accompany the student if so desired. No other individual representing the student may be present. In adjudicating an appeal involving a faculty member, the faculty member and the Dean are required to attend the meeting.
  7. The committee considers the appeal and the student is notified of the decision by the Registrar.

Faculty Grade Appeals Committee

The Faculty Academic Appeals Committee consists of four members. The membership of the Committee can vary depending on the nature of the course. The Dean (chair and non-voting), a student (voting) and two faculty members (voting) will serve on the committee. A Counsellor may attend the appeal if requested by the Chair.

Faculty Grade Appeal Procedure

These Committees are set up in each faculty of the College to deal with students who are requesting a change in grade for a course that they have been enrolled in. 

The following is the recommended grade appeals procedure:

  1. Consult with a College Counsellor or other designated person for guidance.
  2. Students are expected to attempt an informal resolution first (this process can be discussed with the counsellor). Informal resolution involves discussing the issue with the instructor and possibly the Coordinator.
  3. The formal procedure can be followed if the informal process is unsuccessful.
  4. The formal process requires that the student submit a written request and any supporting documentation to the Dean. The Dean will review the documentation and determine if the appeal will be presented to a formal Appeals Hearing.
  5. Appeals must be submitted within four months of the original decision causing the appeal. Appeals submitted after this time will not be heard. Students can request an extension of this deadline in extraordinary circumstances.
  6. The Dean informs the student of the time and location of the appeal. The student must be present. Only authorized College Personnel or the Students Union Ombuds officer may accompany the student if so desired. No other person representing the student may attend an Appeal Hearing.
  7. The Committee considers the appeal and the student is notified of the decision by the Dean.

Complaints

The Complaint Procedure should be used in matters such as unprofessional conduct or incompetence on the part of a faculty member.

Where possible, students should attempt to resolve complaints informally first. If a reasonable effort to resolve the complaint informally is unsuccessful, the formal procedure may be followed. 

Information about complaint procedures can be obtained from the Dean of the Faculty or a College Counsellor.

Sexual and Personal Harassment

Douglas College is committed to fostering a fair and just community for all of its members. Behaviour of an exemplary nature is expected of everyone. For more information please consult Douglas College Policy A02.09.01 Sexual Harassment and Personal Discrimination 

What is Sexual Harassment?

Sexual Harassment is defined in College Policy A02.09.01 as:

  1. Sexual Harassment is defined as sexual advances, requests for sexual favours or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature 
    • that a reasonable person would find to be unwanted to unwelcome; and
    • where submission to such conduct is made explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employment or educational progress or academic decisions, or
    • where such conduct has the effect of unreasonably interfering with an employee's work performance or a student's learning environment and/or creates a hostile or intimidating (poisoned) working/learning environment
  2. To constitute Sexual Harassment behaviour may be repeated or persistent or may be a single serious incident.
  3. The legitimate study of topics of a sexual nature within the College's curriculum is not considered Sexual Harassment.

What is Personal Discrimination?

Personal Discrimination is defined in College Policy A02.09.01 as:

  1. Personal Discrimination means verbal or physical behaviour, conduct or communication, that is discriminatory in nature, based upon another person's race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, religion, marital status, family status, physical or mental disability, criminal conviction, sex, age, or sexual orientation. It is discriminatory behaviour, directed at an individual, or group of individuals, which
    • may reasonably be expected to cause substantial distress in such an individual(s), and/or
    • creates a hostile or intimidating (poisoned) working/learning environment, and
    • such behaviours serve no legitimate college-related purpose
  2. To constitute Personal Discrimination, behaviour(s) may be repeated or persistent or may be a single serious incident.

If you think you are being harassed consult a Harassment Advisor at 604-527-5574. While we will do what we can to keep your call confidential, there may be certain circumstances in which we are obligated by law or College policy to act on the information received.

Standards of Conduct

College students, employees and users are entitled to engage in the educational process or in the provision of services free from disruptive or dangerous behavior. College policy sets guidelines for conduct of all individuals and stipulates that appropriate disciplinary actions will be taken for unacceptable conduct. Individuals are urged to consult Douglas College Policy A10.02.01 Standards of Conduct Involving College Employees and A10.02.02 Standards of Student/User Conduct.

Violence Prevention

Douglas College is committed to providing a learning and working environment that is free from violence. 

Violence is the exercise, or attempted exercise, by any person or group, of physical force so as to cause injury. It includes any threatening statement or behavior which gives anyone reasonable cause to believe that they are at risk. Anyone observing, or the victim of, violence must promptly inform Campus Security.

The College will promote working and learning conditions intended to reduce or eliminate the potential for incidents of violence to occur within its operation or facilities. For more information individuals are urged to consult Douglas College Policy A10.01.05 Violence Prevention Involving College Employees and A10.01.06. Violence Prevention Involving Students/Users.

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