What is a Grievance?

Grievance are linked to official complaints filed, not sanctions given for academic or code of conduct violations or grade challenges.  If you want to challenge a sanction given or a grade, file an appeal challenge or appeal, not a grievance.   Filing a grievance at the college is a serious occurrence.  Students at Lawson State Community College have the right to file formal grievances (which are heard by a Grievance Committee) after a formal (not informal) complaint has been vetted (and addressed by the college formally) and a Dean's Resolution decision has been issued in writing (pertaining to a complaint filed), but a student disagrees with the decisions decision in resolving the complaint (filed).  Hence, a Grievance is filed with the complaining student disagrees with the outcome of the Dean's Resolution and wants to escalate the complaint to a formal Grievance.  Grievances CANNOT be filed at the college unless a student has a written Dean's Resolution.  Grievance must specifically address the Dean's Resolution and challenge the assertions and/or decisions outlined in the resolution.  Never file a grievance unless you have first followed Lawson's Complaint Process.  For more information on the Complaint Process, click here.  *Steps to Take Before Filing an Official Grievance

NOTE:  If filing a harassment complaint, you should move to Step 3 immediately and file a formal complaint online. 

Step 1:  If you feel safe and comfortable, first address the complaint or concern with the parties involved (faculty member, staff member, student, etc...).  Your goal is to try to resolve the problem on this level amicably.

Step 2: If Step 2 was not successful, speak with the individual's direct supervisor or teacher (if dealing with a complaint against another student).  If you do not know who the direct supervisor is, click on the "Find a Supervisor" button below and locate the supervisor by looking up, and let our directory assist you by inputting the department.




Step 3: If the complaint is not resolved by working with the Department Chair, file an official complaint via Lawson's online complaint system (Advocate).  Official complaints can be filed after clicking on the Student Portal or Current Students pages.  From there, an investigation into your complaint will be lodged and a Dean's Resolution (aimed to resolve your complaint) will be issued. 

Step 4:  Although extremely rare, if you disagree or want to challenge the Dean's Resolution, you would then file a Grievance.  In doing so, a Grievance Committee will "field" your complaint and any and all challenges you have made of the Dean's Resolution.  Please keep in mind that simply disagreeing with the Dean's Resolution is not enough to overturn it.  You will have to demonstrate that the Dean's Resolution was insufficient in resolving your complaint.

Step 5:  Committee Decisions are final and end the complaint process at Lawson State Community College.
 


How to File Your Grievance

Grievances can ONLY be filed online.  

Be sure you have the following before filing a grievance:

1.  Copy of the Dean's Resolution (that was issued to you after you filed your original complaint).
2.  New evidence, new information or new witness statements that you would like the Grievance Committee to consider to resolve your complaint.  Remember, simply disagreeing with a Dean's Resolution is not enough to overturn a decision reach to resolve the conflict.  New information must be considered.

Click on the "Click Here: link below to start the process to file your grievance. 

NOTE:  Lawson State Community College is responsible for investigating and resolving all complaints issued.  However, that does not mean that a student will always agree with the findings of an investigation (into a complaint).  Hence, filing a grievance on the basis that you disagree with a decision is not justification to turn over a decision reached through the complaint process.  Grievances, then, should only be filed with the student has new evidence, new information or new witnesses he or she would like the Grievance Committee to review.