This policy serves as a guide for students who wish to file a complaint about any aspect of Siena’s operations/policies/procedures. Additionally, a student may utilize this process to file a complaint against any employee of the College (e.g. faculty member, administrator, staff member) or any visitor, volunteer or contractor. A student may choose to pursue the internal complaint either through an informal or formal process. The College does not accept internal complaints by non- students.

Students uncertain about how to proceed may consult the Associate Vice President of Student Life who shall identify the appropriate contact person. The student may also seek support from a Human Resources representative, who may act as an ombudsman to facilitate and/or mediate the process.

If the complaint involves an incident of sexual misconduct or discriminatory based harassment, then the student or the person to whom the student reported the complaint must notify the Title IX Coordinator/Equal Opportunity Specialist. If the complaint involves an assigned grade, the student should refer to the procedures for “Appeal of Assigned Grades” in the College Catalog. In all instances, a student must be assured that no adverse action will be taken against the student for making a complaint. However, if a student intentionally furnishes false information, they may be referred to the Dean of Students office.

PROCEDURES
  1. Informal Resolution:
    • Students wishing to pursue an internal complaint informally shall first contact and meet with either the supervisor of the individual or administrator responsible for the operation/policy/procedure. This is usually the Director/Department Head or Academic Department Chair. They will informally investigate the complaint, normally within seven to ten business days. If the supervisor or administrator receiving the complaint finds that it is justified, they will address the situation and, if possible, see that it is corrected. The student may also request that the matter be resolved later, for example, after he/she has completed a course. The supervisor or administrator may also determine that the complaint is unfounded. With either outcome, they will meet with the student and inform them of the result, to the extent possible, keeping in mind that employee disciplinary matters are confidential.
    • Students who are not satisfied with the informal resolution may purse their internal compliant 
  2. Formal Resolution:
    • Filing of a Written Complaint: The formal complaint must be filed in writing with either the supervisor of the individual or administrator responsible for the operation/policy/procedure. This is usually the Director/Department Head or Academic Department Chair.
    • In his/her written complaint, the complainant must include the following:

                  a.  A description of the facts supporting their complaint

                  b.  Any supporting documentation/evidence

                  c.  A description of the redress being sought

                  d. The name, contact information and signature of the student initiating the complaint

  • The supervisor or administrator will investigate the incident, normally within seven to ten business days. If they find that the complaint is justified, they will address the situation and, if possible, see that it is corrected. The student may also request that the matter be resolved later, for example, after he/she has completed a course. They may also determine that the complaint is unfounded. With either outcome, they will meet with the student and inform them in writing of the findings, keeping in mind that employee disciplinary matters are confidential.
  •  Appeal: Students have five business days from the date of the letter of finding from the supervisor or administrator that investigated the matter to submit an appeal to that individual’s supervisor. This is usually an Academic Dean or an Assistant/Associate Vice President.

                ​​a.  All appeals must be in writing, submitted by the student, and must specify the grounds for the appeal.

                       The College does not accept appeals submitted by non – students.

                  b.  The student will be notified in writing of the decision within 7 business days. The appeal decision is final.

                c.  If the appeal process is not followed, the student may contact the appropriate divisional Vice President for redress.  

  1. All documentation regarding a complaint against an individual employee and the resolution will be forwarded and stored in the Office of Human Resources.
  2. The College reserves the right to extend the timelines set forth above if it determines that circumstances warrant such extension.
  3.  If a circumstance occurs in which the parameters of this policy do not apply (e.g. an appeal to a direct report of a Vice President) a Human Resources representative will designate an individual to resolve the complaint. 

Updated April 2017