Complaints & Grievance Process

Informal Grievance

If problems between two or more students arise, these students should attempt to resolve the problems amongst themselves through an informal procedure. If the problem cannot be mutually resolved, it should be taken to their immediate supervisor or instructor for mediation. If this does not result in satisfactory resolution, the complainant should take the problem to the Executive Vice President, who may attempt to resolve the problem through discussion or mediation. Academic matters should be addressed through the Executive Vice President. If a dispute cannot be resolved through an informal procedure, it should be filed in a formal written grievance.

Formal Grievance Procedures

  1. A decision reached by the Executive Vice President may be appealed by accused students or complainants to an appeals board within five (5) working days of the sanctions imposed. Such appeals shall be in writing and shall be delivered to the Executive Vice President, who will forward the request for appeal to the President. Sanctions will remain in effect during the appeals procedure, unless otherwise directed by the Executive Vice President.
  2. An appeal shall be conducted for one or more of the following purposes:
    • a. To determine whether the original process was conducted fairly in light of the charges and evidence presented, and in conformity with prescribed procedures giving the complaining party a reasonable opportunity to prepare and present evidence that the Student Code was violated, and giving the accused student a reasonable opportunity to prepare and to present a rebuttal of those allegations.
    • b. To determine whether the decision reached regarding the accused student was based on substantial evidence, that is, whether the facts in the case were sufficient to establish that a violation of the Student Code occurred.
    • c. To determine whether the sanction(s) imposed were appropriate for the violation of the Student Code that the student was found to have committed.
    • d. To consider new evidence sufficient to alter a decision, or other relevant facts not brought out in the original process, because such evidence and/or facts were not known to the person appealing at the time of the original hearing.
  3. The President of the College will name an Appeals Committee to conduct a formal hearing to review the charges. This Committee will include representatives from various College constituencies, including faculty, professional and support staff, and students. The President will designate the chair for the Committee.
  4. The Appeals Committee will set a hearing and notify the student in writing of the date and time, which should occur as soon as possible after the student has requested a hearing.
  5. A student who fails to appear before the Appeals Committee shall forfeit his or her right to appeal.
  6. Hearing shall be conducted by the Appeals Committee according to the following guidelines, adhering to the evidentiary standard:
    • a. Hearing normally shall be conducted in private.
    • b. Admission of any person to the hearing shall be at the discretion of the chairperson of the Appeals Committee.
    • c. In hearing involving more than one accused student, the chairperson of the Appeals Committee, at his or her discretion, may permit the hearings concerning each student to be conducted separately.
    • d. The complainant and the accused have the right to be assisted by any advisor they choose, at their own expense. The advisory may be an attorney.
    • e. The complainant, the accused, and the Appeals Committee shall have the privilege of presenting witnesses, subject to the right of cross-examination by any of the parties. All testimony will be taken under oath.
    • f. Pertinent records, exhibits and written statements may be accepted as evidence for consideration by the Appeals Committee at the discretion of the chairperson.
    • g. All procedural questions are subject to the final decision of the chairperson of the Appeals Committee.
    • h. After the hearing, the Appeals Committee shall determine by majority vote, based on a preponderance of the evidence, whether the student has more likely than not violated the Student Code of Conduct and whether the sanctions imposed fit the nature of the violation.
  7. If an appeal is upheld, the Appeals Committee will forward binding recommendations to the Executive Vice President.
  8. In all appeals, review of the sanction(s) by the Appeals Committee may not result in more severe sanction(s) for the accused student. Instead, following an appeal, and upon the recommendations of the Appeals Committee, the Executive Vice President may reduce, but not increase the sanction(s) originally imposed.
  9. There shall be a single verbatim record, such as a tape recording or written minutes, of all hearing before the Appeals Committee. The record shall be the property of the College. A student who has filed an appeal may request to obtain a copy of the tape or transcript by paying the cost of reproduction.

Students must follow the Grievance Process as outlined above and inside the CCC Student Handbook prior to filing a complaint with the New Mexico Higher Education Department.

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