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Student Appeal Committee (Policy)

Office of Origin: Student Services
Responsibility: Vice President, Student Affairs
Original Date Adopted: 01-28-1986
Dates Reviewed: 06-26-2007, 03-24-2020
Last Date Approved: 10-24-2008, 03-24-2020

  1. Jurisdiction — The Student Appeal Committee shall hear and determine appeals in the following situations: Student-, faculty-, or staff-generated complaints concerning student conduct excluding grades and complaints covered under the Student Complaint – Academic policy. The decision of the Student Appeals Committee is final.
  2. Composition — The Student Appeal Committee shall consist of two (2) students, two (2) faculty from outside of the division*, two (2) administrators outside of the division and one (1) classified staff. The Director of Intercollegiate Athletics will chair and facilitate the Student Appeal Committee and is a non-voting member. The student body, Division and Departments will annually create a pool of participants from which to draw committee members. * Division refers to that of the faculty referenced in the complaint.
  3. Ombudsperson — any full-time staff and/or faculty member can serve as the Lake Michigan College ombudsperson and is appointed by the Dean of Student Affairs. The ombudsperson’s primary duty is to assist students in resolving complaints or disputes within the college. The ombudsperson also helps staff members, instructors, and administrators sort through college rules and regulations that might apply to specific issues and concerns. The ombudsperson carries out these duties in a neutral, confidential, informal and independent manner.

The current Benton Harbor Campus ombudsperson is the Director of Advising, (269) 927-8185.

The Niles-Bertrand Crossing Campus ombudsperson is the Student Support Advisor/Manager, (269) 695-2988.

The South Haven Campus ombudsperson is the Director of the Campus and can be reached at (269) 637-7500.

Following a request for assistance, the ombudsperson will take one or more of the following actions: (1) listen carefully to the concern, (2) explain relevant student rights and responsibilities, (3) review relevant college policies or regulations, (4) suggest fair and equitable options, 5) refer the individual to an appropriate college or community resource, or (6) investigate, when necessary. The ombudsperson is available to all parties involved in Student Appeals Committee hearings, the final step in an effort to resolve a dispute.

NOTE: The ombudsperson is not an advocate for any group on campus; instead the ombudsperson is an advocate for fairness and be an information resource. The ombudsperson also does not provide legal service, represent students or faculty at academic grievance or disciplinary hearings or mediate disputes between or among faculty or between faculty and administrators. The office of the ombudsperson does not accept formal complaints or notice for the college. Members of the LMC community may contact the ombudsperson in person or by e-mail. At any point in the process, the student, faculty, or staff may enlist the assistance of the LMC ombudsperson for procedural assistance. Any informal records that are generated will be kept on file by the ombudsperson. The above procedure excludes issues covered under the Student Complaint – Academic policy as well as those related to sexual harassment, civil rights, Title IX, and disability concerns.

Complaint procedures for these areas can be found in the college Policies section of the college catalog or directed to the Executive Director of Human Resources at (269) 927-8102. Any questions regarding your rights under Section 504 should be directed to the Student Outreach and Support Services office at (269) 927-8866.

References: College Handbook

Rationale: In the absence of recorded history, records do not reflect the active implementation of a Student Appeal Board since approval in 1986; moreover, current climate requires a judicial process based on the assumption that disciplinary procedures, when required, should be an educational process. To that end students at Lake Michigan College have rights and responsibilities as members of the community to participate actively in the judicial process. The general conduct of the community on campus and resolution of conflicts among members requires procedures of due process.

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