Student Grievance Procedure
Students may register complaints with the Student Services Department. A confidential file is kept in the office of the Student Services. Each complaint is addressed by the Student Complaint Committee in a timely manner. The student will be notified of any action taken by the Student Complaint Committee. Should the action be deemed by the student as insufficient, that student may appeal through the office of the Provost. A final institutional appeal may be submitted to the Board of Trustees through the President. After all institutional avenues are exhausted, the student may contact TRACS at 15935 Forest Road, Forest, Virginia 24551 or call 434.525.9539.
HARASSMENT, DISCRIMINATION, OR OTHER GRIEVANCES:
Piedmont International University provides reasonable, prompt, and appropriate measures to students concerning harassment, discrimination, and other grievances. Students who believe that they have been harassed or discriminated against have the right to file a grievance. PIU will make every effort to resolve any complaints of harassment and discrimination, with due regard for fairness and the rights of both the complainant and alleged offender, and to conduct all proceedings in the most confidential manner possible.
In accordance with Federal regulations to receive financial assistance, PIU designates the Director of Student Services as responsible for overseeing compliance efforts and investigating any complaint of sexual harassment and discrimination. If the grievance is focus against the Director of Student Services, students should direct their complaint to the Provost of the University.
Hazing means any action or situation that recklessly or intentionally endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student for purposes including, but not limited to, initiation or admission into or affiliation with any organization operating under the sanction of a post-secondary institution. Hazing includes, but is not limited to:
- Pressuring or coercing the student into violating state or federal law.
- Any brutality of a physical nature, such as whipping, beating, branding, exposure to the elements, forced consumption of any food, liquor, drug, or other substance.
- Other forced physical activity that could adversely affect the physical health or safety of the student, and also includes any activity that would subject the student to extreme mental stress, such as sleep deprivation, forced exclusion from social contact, forced conduct that could result in extreme embarrassment, or other forced activity that could adversely affect the mental health or dignity of the student.
- Hazing does not include customary athletic events or other similar contests or competitions or any activity or conduct that furthers a legal and legitimate objective.
- Hazing is considered a serious violation and is a criminal offense. It is the policy of Piedmont International University that such activities are not promoted nor allowed by any student, student group, or athletic team. Students who participate in activities determined to be hazing will be subject to discipline determined by the Director of Student Services and/or the Dean of Men/Women, although other legal ramifications may exist.
Sexual harassment means any actual, attempted, or alleged unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or other conduct of a sexual nature of a person by another person, or persons acting in concert, which causes mental injuries. Sexual harassment also includes the above conduct when:
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a condition of a person’s employment, or a basis for employment decisions affecting a person;
- Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with a person’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.
The university regards such behavior, whether verbal or physical, as a violation of the standards of conduct required of all persons associated with the institution. Accordingly, those inflicting such behavior on others are subject to the full range of internal institutional disciplinary actions, including separation from the university. Likewise, acts of retaliation will be subject to the same range of disciplinary actions. Not every act that might be offensive to an individual or a group necessarily will be considered as harassment and/or a violation of the university’s standard of conduct. In determining whether an act constitutes harassment, the totality of the circumstances that pertain to any given incident in its context must be carefully reviewed and due consideration must be given to the protection of individual rights.
HARRASSMENTS GRIEVENCE PROCEDURE
Grievance Resolution Procedure for Hazing, Sexual Harassment, Discrimination, or Other Grievances
If a student believes he or she has been harassed or discriminated against, or has other grievances, he or she must report the grievance to the Director of Student Services. If the grievance is focused against the Director of Student Services, students should direct their complaint to the Provost of the University. Students should adhere to the following guidelines when filing a grievance:
- Written grievance must be submitted within ten business days after the initial meeting with the Director of Student Services. Written grievances must be in writing and formatted as follows:
- Give the date of alleged act or decision you are disputing.
- Briefly describe the alleged act or decision.
- Explain the basis for your grievance.
- State the university policy, individual right, etc. which you believe has been overlooked.
- Explain why you believe the act or decision being disputed is contrary to the policy, right, etc. you have stated.
- Give the chronology in narrative form of all pertinent events leading up to and including the act or decision being disputed.
- Describe informal attempts and discussions to resolve the conflict.
- State exactly what outcome, action, or resolution you are seeking through this grievance petition.
- Provide any additional information or documents you believe are relevant to your grievance.
- Within five business days after receiving the written grievance, the complainant will be notified by the Director of Student Services of the day and time of the meeting with the Student Guidance Committee. Persons filing a complaint will be given the opportunity to present witnesses and other evidence. Additionally, the alleged offender(s) will be given the opportunity to present his/her own witnesses and evidence.
- Within 20 business days of the receipt of the written grievance, Director of Student Services will notify the student of the Student Guidance Committee findings and recommendations.
- If the complainant is not satisfied with the decision of the Student Guidance Committee, the complainant may give written notification of dissatisfaction to the Appeals Committee within five business days following notification of the findings and recommendations of the Student Guidance Committee. That notification should include:
- Reason for dissatisfaction.
- Any further evidence that the student believes is relevant.
- Any policy, right, etc. that the student believes is still being overlooked.
- State the outcome, action, or resolution that is sought.
- The university will take necessary steps to prevent recurrence of any harassment or discrimination and correct the discriminatory effects on the complainant and others, if appropriate.
COMPLAINTS, REVIEWS, GREVIENCES, AND APPEALS
All Complaints, reviews, grievances, and appeals should be made to the appropriate person or committee in writing within one semester, in the following order:
- The faculty or staff member directly responsible for that area
- The Dean of the appropriate school
- The Vice President of Graduate Studies
- The Provost - Appeals should be made to the Provost of Piedmont International University within four weeks of notification.
- The President
- The Board of Trustees through the President
- After all institutional avenues are exhausted; a student may contact the offices of Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools, 15935 Forest Road, Forest, VA 24551.
- North Carolina resident and online students unable to resolve a complaint through the institution's grievance procedures can submit a formal complaint to:
North Carolina Post-Secondary Education Complaints
c/o Terrence R. Scarborough
University of North Carolina General Administration
910 Raleigh Road
Chapel Hill, NC 27515-2688
You may call with questions or for more information: (919) 962-4558