Student Rights

Table of Contents

Harassment Policy
Photo and Videotape Policy
Dismissal or Removal
Grievance Procedure

Harassment, Discrimination, and Sexual Misconduct Policy

Graceland affirms the importance of community. The University’s commitment to the principle of mutual interdependence reflects a view of the worth and dignity of all persons. Graceland seeks to foster an environment of learning and work that encourages open, supportive, nonthreatening relationships among students, faculty, administration and staff.

Since harassment, discrimination and sexual misconduct may damage the possibility of a desirable environment, such behavior will not be tolerated at Graceland. All Graceland University employees and students are personally responsible for their own actions and behaviors. This policy shall apply to all employees and students as well as guests and visitors.

This policy applies to all complaints occurring on campus or at any university-sponsored activity, regardless of location. This policy may also apply to complaints that occur off campus and/or during semester breaks or between semesters, if the Complainant(s) and/or Respondent(s) are either employees or students and the conduct is likely to have an impact on campus life and/or activities, or if the conduct poses a threat of danger to an employee or student.

As part of our commitment to providing a working and learning environment free from harassment, discrimination, and sexual misconduct, this policy shall be widely disseminated to the university community through orientations, websites, handbooks, and other appropriate channels of communication. In addition, the university shall provide periodic awareness training for employees, students, as well as investigatory training for Title IX response team members. Prevention education and awareness campaigns will be offered to students throughout the year.

The complete policy including procedures and resources relating to this policy is available here.

Photo and Videotape Policy

Graceland University takes photographs and videotapes of students throughout the year. These images often include students in classrooms, residence halls, microlabs, at athletic events and other university activities. Graceland reserves the right to use these photographs and videotapes in the promotion of the university. Students who enroll at Graceland University do so with the understanding that photographs may be taken which would include them and these photos may be used in university publications, newspapers and other media for promotional purposes only. Names of students may be released to the press regarding student involvement in academic and extracurricular activities.

Dismissal or Removal

The university may dismiss or remove a student whose mental or physical condition constitutes a threat or undue burden to himself/herself or others. A student may also be suspended/expelled for cause if his or her actions are found to be detrimental to the university community. In case of suspension/expulsion for cause, the student will receive failing grades for the semester. Re-enrollment requires permission from the Dean of Students.

Grievance Procedure for Students**

Graceland University will generally handle complaints or concerns of students through the grievance procedure. This procedure is designed to handle situations expediently. Academic issues will be handled under the supervision of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, student-related ones by the Vice President for Student Life, athletics-related ones by the Athletic director, etc. Graceland University will handle complaints or concerns with sensitivity, confidentiality, and with respect to the Graceland community.

PROCEDURE Any member of the Graceland student body who has a complaint or concern may initiate the following informal and formal actions. Access of information provided by the complainant will be available only to those persons on a reasonable need-to-know basis.

Informal Procedure. The purpose of the informal procedure is to provide an opportunity to mediate a mutually acceptable resolution between the parties. A complainant is encouraged to use the informal procedure prior to a formal complaint process.

  1. A complainant may initiate an informal procedure for resolution by contacting the Dean of Students or designee of the Dean of Students (Lamoni) for counseling and assistance or the respective School Dean (Independence) or designee.  In the case of academic matters, the designee will be the chair of the division or dean of the school.
  2. In an informal procedure, the university official will counsel the complainant concerning options and, at the complainant’s request, may help the complainant mediate the complaint informally.
  3. If the complainant chooses to proceed with an informal complaint, the university official will inform the accused person(s) of the nature of the complaint, identity of the complainant and the actions available. If the complainant chooses not to proceed with an informal or formal complaint, no written record of the complaint will be kept.
  4. An informal mediation process must be addressed within seven days. If mediation is successful, the results of that process are final. Unsuccessful resolution moves the matter to the formal procedure level of mediation. The process of complaint, response, and mediation will not normally exceed ten calendar days.
  5. A written summary of the informal mediation proceedings will be made and retained by the university official, at the level where the matter is resolved. A copy of the summary will also be sent to the appropriate vice president, where it will be filed in his/her office.

Formal Procedure.

  1. If a complaint cannot be resolved informally or if the complainant chooses to take the complaint through the formal procedure, the complainant may elect to initiate the formal complaint procedure.
  2. A formal complaint must be made, in writing, to the Dean of Students or designee of the Dean of Students (Lamoni), or respective School Dean (Independence) or designee. The written complaint must include the following information: name, address and telephone number of the complainant; date(s) and location of the occurrence; evidence on which the complaint is based and redress sought by the complainant.  In the case of academic matters, the designee will be the chair of the division or dean of the school.
  3. The Dean of Students or designee of the Dean of Students (Lamoni), or respective School Dean (Independence) or designee will normally begin an investigation. An investigation of the complaint will normally begin within seven days of receipt of the written complaint.
  4. The investigation will provide an opportunity for both the complainant and the accused person(s) to submit facts and to identify witnesses to be interviewed. The investigator shall be authorized to interview witnesses identified by any party. Upon completion of the investigation, the investigator will provide a written report of the formal investigation which details the findings and any recommended actions. If the facts are so disputed that the investigator cannot make fact findings, the investigator shall issue a finding of probable cause to institute further proceedings.
  5. If the report recommends action against a faculty member that could lead to severe sanctions, including possible dismissal, the investigator shall recommend that the Dean of Faculty initiate the process leading to official hearings in accordance with the principles and procedures specified in the faculty handbook.
  6. If the report recommends action against a person who is not a faculty member, the investigator shall recommend that the designated university official initiate official hearings and appropriate procedures as detailed in the Student Handbook or Personnel Handbook.
  7. If no probable cause is shown from the investigation, the complainant may appeal, in writing, to the President of the university within 72 hours of the no probable cause finding. The complainant will be notified from the President’s Office in writing of his/her decision, which is final.

**Issues dealing with harassment, including sexual harassment, will be handled in accordance with the University Harassment Policy. Issues involving student final grades are not subject to this grievance policy. Refer to the "Student Appeal of Final Grade" policy and procedure.