Grievance/Adjudication Procedures | Mercy College

Grievance/Adjudication Procedures

If the investigating officer determines a violation has occurred, the matter will be adjudicated in the following manner.

  1. A Hearing Panel will be established. Its members will consist of the Vice-President of Student Affairs and two other individuals from a predetermined pool of trained faculty and staff.
  2. The complainant and the respondent will be requested to be present at the hearing to retell their version of the events in question. The hearing process will not exceed thirty (30) business days.
  3. The College will maintain documentation of all hearings or other proceedings, which may include various forms (e.g., notes, written findings of fact, transcripts, audio recordings, etc.).
  4. Within three (3) business days of the conclusion of the hearing, both the complainant and respondent will simultaneously be informed in writing by the Vice-President of Student Affairs of the outcome of the hearing. The letter will state the ruling of “violation” or “no violation” of the policy and any corrective actions/remedies that will be put into place. A decision will always be reached. The College may disclose to the complainant information about any corrective actions/remedies taken that relate directly to the complainant (e.g., “no contact” order). In no event will the complainant be required to abide by a nondisclosure agreement that would prevent disclosure of the outcome.
  5. There is a finding of policy violation, appropriate, corrective action/remedies by the College will be taken to: a. Eliminate the policy violation; b. Prevent the recurrence of the violation; and, c. Address the effects of the violation.
  6. Recordings, notes, investigations, findings, and determinations will be kept in a secure file within the office of the Title IX Coordinator/Deputy Title IX Coordinator.

Mediation is never appropriate in sexual misconduct cases. However, in all other alleged Title IX violations informal resolution is appropriate if both parties agree. At any point during an informal resolution process either the complainant or respondent can suspend the proceedings and move to formal resolution.

Appeals
A complainant or respondent may appeal the determination of a complaint only on the following grounds:
  1. There is a substantial likelihood that newly discovered information, not available at the time evidence was presented, would result in a different decision.
  2. There was a procedural error significant enough to call the outcome into question.
  3. There was a clear error in factual findings.
  4. Bias or prejudice was shown on the part of the investigating officer or hearing panel.
  5. The disciplinary sanction imposed is disproportionate to the offense.
Appeals must be filed in writing with the President of the College within seven (7) business days of receipt of the written report determining the outcome of the complaint and include:
  • Name of the complainant;
  • Name of the respondent;
  • A statement of the determination of the complaint, including corrective action if any;
  • A detailed statement of the basis for the appeal including the specific facts, circumstances, and argument in support of it; and,
  • Requested action, if any.
The President will resolve the appeal within fifteen (15) business days of receiving it and may take any and all actions that he/she determines to be in the interest of a fair and just decision. The decision of the President is final. The President shall issue a written statement of the resolution of the appeal, including any changes made to the investigating officer or hearing panel’s previous written determination. The written statement shall be provided to the complainant, respondent, and the Title IX Coordinator/Deputy Title IX Coordinator within three (3) business days of the resolution.
 
For more information on Mercy College’s Student Complaint process, please refer to the College Catalog.