DSO Student Grievances Policy
Disability Services Office
Worcester State University maintains its policy of non-discrimination in fulfillment of the requirements of all laws governing access by and discrimination against students with disabilities.
The following grievance procedure provides a channel for resolution of the grievances of students with disabilities who feel they have been discriminated against in any of the policies, procedures, programs, or activities of the University.
These procedures are intended to encourage resolution of the student’s grievance informally and at the earliest possible stage, to resolve the matter in a prompt and equitable manner. Where such resolution is not possible, these procedures provide for a more formal review of the situation.
Any student who believes that they have been discriminated against on the basis of disability or who believes that there has been a violation of applicable laws may initiate these procedures. In the case of a grievance, the student will take the steps outlined below:
- In an attempt to remedy the grievance informally, the student should discuss, clarify, and/or resolve the objection with the individual whose action gave rise to the matter or with the individual responsible for the office or department (e.g. chair, director, dean) where the objection was initially raised.
- If not satisfied, the student should discuss the matter with the Director of the Disability Services Office or designee who shall attempt to resolve the matter in a prompt and equitable manner, and may include informal discussions with the parties involved and any other persons identified by the Director.
- If the grievance is not satisfactorily resolved in 1) or 2) above, the student may request further review of the grievance, which may include a formal hearing. In this case, the student should submit a written request for a review of the objection. The request should be filed with the Dean of Students or Director of the Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Equal Opportunity and must include the following information:
- Date of request and requestor’s contact information
- The name of the individual or group whose action gave rise to the matter;
- The type of discrimination alleged;
- Date of alleged discriminatory act;
- Nature of complaint and resolution sought;
- And, a summary to include time, place and results of the informal discussion(s) that took place as required in 1) and 2) above.
- The Dean of Students, Director of the Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Equal Opportunity, or designee shall first seek to mediate the grievance and thereby effect an informal resolution of the matter within five (5) class days of a written request. In the event that an informal resolution fails, the Dean of Students, Director of the Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Equal Opportunity, or designee shall appoint a grievance committee to hold a formal hearing to occur within thirty (30) class days. The Dean of Students, Director of the Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Equal Opportunity, or designee shall appoint a Chair of the Grievance Committee. The proceedings shall in all respects be under the control of the Chair and shall not be subject to formal rules of evidence or procedure. At the same time, the Chair will allow a full and fair opportunity for the presentation of evidence relevant to the reason for the hearing request, including any written statements and presentation of witnesses.
- Within ten (10) class days of the conclusion of the hearing, a summary of the proceedings, findings, and recommendations will be made in writing and provided to all appropriate parties.
- Individuals with disabilities who are not students who believe that they have been discriminated against or who believe that there has been a violation of applicable laws shall refer to the University’s “discrimination complaint procedures” as outlined in the University’s equal employment opportunity/affirmative action policies. Further information or advice may be obtained by contacting the Director of the Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Equal Opportunity.