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Student Handbook 2017-2018

College Policies

Absences for Pregnancy or Childbirth

In accordance with Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, absences due to pregnancy or related conditions, including recovery from childbirth, shall be excused for as long as the student’s doctor deems the absences to be medically necessary.  When the student returns to the College she shall be reinstated to the status she held when the leave began, which includes the opportunity to make up any missed work.  The College may offer the student alternatives to making up missed work, such as retaking a semester, taking part in on-line instruction, or allowing the student additional time in a program to continue at the same pace and finish at a later date.  For more information, please contact the Dean of Students at 508.854.4294.

Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Notice

Quinsigamond Community College is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, religion, age, veteran status, genetic information, gender identity or sexual orientation in its programs and activities as required by Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and other applicable statutes and college policies.  The College prohibits sexual harassment, including sexual violence.  Inquiries or complaints concerning discrimination, harassment, retaliation or sexual violence shall be referred to the College’s Affirmative Action and/or Title IX Coordinator, the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission or the United States Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights.

Policy Statement on Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity and Diversity

The Board of Higher Education of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is responsible under Chapter 15A of the General Laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for the overall governance of the public higher education system, which includes the fifteen Community Colleges. The Board of Higher Education and the Boards of Trustees of the Community Colleges maintain and promote a policy of non discrimination on the basis of race, creed, religion, color, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability, genetic information, maternity leave, military service and national origin (“protected class(s)/classification(s).”  Further, this policy prohibits retaliation and incorporates by reference, and where applicable, the requirements of Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1968; Titles I and II of the Civil Rights Act of 1991; Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and its regulations found at 34 C.F.R. part 106; Equal Pay Act of 1963; Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1988; Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990; Section 402 of the Vietnam-era Veterans Readjustment Act of 1974, Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA); Age Discrimination Act of 1975; Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, as amended; Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993; Federal Executive Order 11246 of 1965, as amended by Executive Order 11375 of 1967; Federal Executive Order 12900 of 1994; Federal Executive Order 13145 of 2000; Federal Executive Order 13160 of 2000; Federal Executive Order 13166 of 2000; Massachusetts Civil Rights Act; Massachusetts General Laws Chapters 151B, 151C, and Chapter 149; directives of the BHE, the Boards of Trustees of the Community Colleges and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; and other applicable local, state and federal constitutions, statutes, regulations and executive orders.

Non discrimination requires the elimination of all existing unlawful discriminatory condi¬tions, whether purposeful or inadvertent. The Community Colleges are continuing to systematically examine all policies and procedures to be sure that they do not, if imple¬mented as stated, operate to the detriment of any person on the basis of a protected classification.  The Colleges shall require that the practices of those responsible in matters of employment and education, including all supervisors and faculty, are non discriminatory. Should the College discover discrimination in treatment or effect in any employment, educational or service decision, action, inaction or practice within the College, all appro¬priate corrective and/or disciplinary actions shall be taken under the direction of the President of the College subject to any applicable collective bargaining agreement or other policy or procedure of the College.

The Community Colleges are committed to a policy of Affirmative Action, equal opportunity, equal education, non discrimination, and diversity. They are committed to providing a learning, working and living environment for their students, employees and other members of the College Community, which values the diverse backgrounds of all people. The Colleges are committed to assuring that the “College Experience” is one that challenges, empowers, supports, and prepares its students to live in, work in, and value our increasingly global and diverse world. The Colleges believe that the diversity of socio economic, racial, ethnic, religious, gender, sexual orientation, age and disability backgrounds of members of the College Community enriches the institutions and their various constituencies. The Colleges will not tolerate behavior based on bigotry, which has the effect of discriminating unlawfully against any member of their communities.

The Community Colleges provide equal access to educational, co-curricular and employ¬ment opportunities at the Colleges for all applicants, students and employees in compliance with all applicable laws, regulations and policies. All benefits, privileges and opportunities offered by the Colleges are available to all students, employees and other persons having dealings with the institutions on a non discriminatory basis. The Colleges are committed to taking a pro active Affirmative Action posture with respect to their recruitment, selection and promotion of students and employees.

The purpose of the Affirmative Action component of this Policy is to establish a set of programmatic objectives, which shall provide for the recruitment, access and advancement of qualified persons from within the protected classes/classifications recognized under this Policy with respect to employment and enrollment opportunities. The intent of this  Policy is to responsibly recognize, and to whatever extent possible, resolve the effects of past societal discrimination and the impact which that discrimination has had, not only on victims of such discrimination, but on the total academic, educational and social system as well. It is not intended and should not be used to discriminate against any applicant, employee, or student because of a protected classification.

In response to that recognition, the Colleges, through their Boards of Trustees and Presidents, fully endorse the plan of action set forth in this Policy and shall oversee and monitor its implementation through the Affirmative Action Officer and other assigned personnel.

The following specific policies are established:

• Equal opportunity and affirmative action shall apply to all segments of the College; full and part time employment; day and continuing education; the curriculum and offerings of the College.

• Equal opportunity and affirmative action shall be applied to the recruitment process for employment and/or access to education.

• Students will have access to the College, programs of study, activities, and other resources intended to serve them, according to the policies of the individual Colleges.

• Equal employment opportunity and affirmative action will be realized in all personnel employment, including recruitment, application for employment, hiring, benefits, compensation, training, promotion, and termination.

• All policies, procedures, privileges, and conditions of the College will follow and incorporate applicable equal opportunity and affirmative action rules and regulations.

The above stated policies are intended to be applied broadly with the goal of promoting equal opportunity and diversity in Community Colleges. The Community Colleges pledge to apply all policies consistently, fairly, and vigorously. Attempts to subvert or abuse these policies will not be tolerated.  Appropriate disciplinary action will be taken in the case of an infraction.  Such disciplinary action shall be consistent with the appropriate collective bargaining agreement, if applicable.

All policies are made in compliance with laws and regulations and executive orders promulgated by the federal and state governments and other appropriate agencies and authorities, where applicable.

For more information, click here. 

POLICY AGAINST PROHIBITED CONDUCT

 

a. Introduction

 

The mission of the Community Colleges is to educate, train and prepare our students to live and work in our increasingly global and diverse workforce. It is our commitment to take all possible steps to provide an inclusive and diverse learning, living, and work environment that values diversity and cultural tolerance and looks with disfavor on intolerance and bigotry. Any condition or force that impedes the fullest utilization of the human and intellectual resources available represents a force of destructive consequences for the development of our Commonwealth and ultimately, our nation.

 

b. Definitions

 

Prohibited Conduct includes: Discrimination, Discriminatory Harassment, Gender-Based Harassment, Sexual Harassment, Sexual Violence and Retaliation. These terms and all Protected Class(s)/Classification(s) are defined under the “Definitions” section of this Policy.

 

c. Policy Prohibitions

 

The Policy prohibits all conditions and all actions or omissions, which deny or have the effect of denying to any person their rights to equity and security on the basis of their membership in or association with a member(s) of any protected class. This policy reaffirms the values of civility, appreciation for racial/ethnic/cultural/religious pluralism and pre-eminence of individual human dignity as preconditions to the achievement of an academic community, which recognizes and utilizes the resources of all people.

 

In order to promote an atmosphere in which diversity is valued and the worth of individuals is recognized, the Colleges will distribute policy statements and conduct educational programs to combat all Prohibited Conduct.

 

The prohibition on Prohibited Conduct contained in this Policy shall apply to and be enforced against all members of the College community, including, but not limited to, faculty, librarians, administrators, staff, students, vendors, contractors and all others having dealings with the institution.

 

d. Conduct That is Not Prohibited

The Community Colleges are committed to protecting, maintaining and encouraging both freedom of expression and full academic freedom of inquiry, teaching, service, and research. Nothing in this policy shall be construed to penalize a member of the College community for expressing an opinion, theory, or idea in the process of responsible teaching and learning. Accordingly, any form of speech or conduct that is protected by the principles of academic freedom or the First Amendment to the United States Constitution is not subject to this policy.

 

 

e. Complaint Procedures

The Community Colleges have established a specific internal Complaint Procedure to help resolve claims and complaints of violations of this Policy on their campuses (see Section L).  Any applicant for employment or admission, any student or employee, and any other member of the College community who believes that he or she has been subjected to Prohibited Conduct may initiate a complaint as outlined in the Policy’s Complaint Procedures.  Further advice or information may be obtained by contacting the Affirmative Action Officer or Title IX Coordinator.

 

f. Duty to Cooperate

Every faculty member, librarian, administrator, staff member and College employee has a duty to cooperate fully and unconditionally in an investigation conducted pursuant to this Policy’s Complaint Procedure, subject to the provisions of any relevant collective bargaining agreements.

 

This duty includes, among other things, speaking with the Affirmative Action Officer, Title IX Coordinator or other authorized personnel or investigator and voluntarily providing all information and documentation which relates to the claim being investigated.  The failure and/or refusal of any employee to cooperate in an investigation may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.

 

g. Duty to Report

 

  • General Responsibility to Report Prohibited Conduct

No member of the College community who receives a complaint of Prohibited Conduct can ignore it; he or she should give to the person making the complaint as much assistance in bringing it to the attention of the Affirmative Action Officer or Title IX Coordinator as is reasonably appropriate given his or her position at the College and relationship with the person making the complaint.  Therefore, all students, faculty, staff, and administrators are strongly encouraged to report to the Affirmative Action Officer or the Title IX Coordinator any conduct of which they have direct knowledge and which they in good faith believe constitutes a violation of this Policy.

 

  • Reporting of Title IX Offenses by Responsible Employees

Allegations involving Title IX Offenses shall be reported by all “Responsible Employees” to the Title IX coordinator or official designee as soon as the employee becomes aware of it.  A Responsible Employee includes any College employee: who has the authority to take action to redress Title IX Offenses; who has been given the duty of reporting Title IX Offenses to the Title IX Coordinator or other appropriate school designee; or whom a student could reasonably believe has this authority or duty.  Responsible Employees shall include, but are not be limited to, College trustees, administrators, department chairs, program coordinators, campus police, club/activity advisors, coaches, managers or supervisors.

  • Mandatory Reporting of Abuse Under State Law

 

Children (a person under the age of 18) may be students at the College, or may be engaged in activities sponsored by the College or by third-parties utilizing College facilities.  In such instances, where an employee has reasonable cause to believe that a child is suffering physical or emotional injury, resulting from among other causes, sexual abuse, the employee and the College may be obligated to comply with the mandatory reporting requirements established at M.G.L. Chapter 119, Section 51A-E.  In such cases, the employee is directed to immediately report the matter to the College’s Affirmative Action and/or Title IX Coordinator, who, in consultation with other officials, shall contact the Commonwealth’s Department of Children and Families and/or law enforcement.  An employee may also contact local law enforcement authorities or the Department of Children and Families directly in cases of suspected abuse or neglect.  State law also maintains mandatory reporting requirements for certain occupations where elderly and disabled abuse or neglect is suspected.  For more information on these reporting requirements please contact the College’s Affirmative Action Officer.

 

Any member of the College community who has a question about his or her responsibilities under this Policy should contact the Affirmative Action Officer or Title IX Coordinator.

POLICY AGAINST Sexual Harassment

 

a.   Introduction

It is the goal of the Community Colleges to promote an educational environment and workplace that is free of sexual harassment.  Sexual harassment of students or employees occurring in the classroom or the workplace is unlawful and will not be tolerated by the Community College. Further, any retaliation against an individual who has complained about sexual harassment or retaliation against individuals for cooperating with an investigation of a sexual harassment complaint is similarly unlawful and will not be tolerated.  To achieve our goal of providing a workplace free from sexual harassment, the conduct that is described in this policy will not be tolerated and we have provided a procedure by which inappropriate conduct will be dealt with, if encountered by students or employees.

Because the Community Colleges take allegations of sexual harassment seriously, we will respond promptly to complaints of sexual harassment and where it is determined that inappropriate conduct has occurred, we will act promptly to eliminate the conduct and impose such corrective measures, including disciplinary action where appropriate and consistent with applicable collective bargaining agreements.

b.   Definition of Sexual Harassment

Sexual Harassment is defined under the “Definitions” section of this Policy.

 

The legal definition of sexual harassment is broad and applies to any individual of either gender who participates in the college community, including a student, faculty member, administrator or any other person having dealings with the college. In addition, other sexually oriented conduct, whether it is intended or not, that is unwelcome and has the effect of creating a hostile, offensive, intimidating, or humiliating workplace or academic environment to male or female workers or students may also constitute sexual harassment.

 

All employees and students should take special note that, as stated above, retaliation against an individual who has complained about sexual harassment, or retaliation against individuals who have cooperated with an investigation of sexual harassment is unlawful and will not be tolerated by the Community Colleges.

 

c. Complaints of Sexual Harassment

 

If any member of the College Community believes that he/she has been subjected to sexual harassment, he/she has a right to file a complaint under this policy, either in writing or orally.

 

All complaints of sexual harassment shall proceed under this Policy’s Complaint Procedure.  To file a complaint a person may do so by contacting the College’s Title IX Coordinator, or designee.   A report of an allegation of sexual harassment may also be presented to other “Responsible Employees” at the College.  These persons are also available to discuss any concerns a person may have and to provide information about the Policy on Sexual Harassment and the complaint process.

 

d. Sexual Harassment Investigation

 

A complaint of sexual harassment will be promptly investigated in a fair and expeditious manner. The investigation will be conducted in such a way as to maintain confidentiality to the extent practicable under the circumstances. Our investigation will be conducted in accordance with this Policy’s Complaint Procedure and will include a private interview with the person filing the complaint and with witnesses. The person alleged to have committed sexual harassment will also be interviewed.  Once the investigation is completed, the College will, to the extent appropriate, inform the parties of the results of that investigation.

 

If it is determined that a violation of this policy has occurred, the College will act promptly to eliminate the offending conduct, and where it is appropriate also impose disciplinary action.

 

e. Disciplinary Action

 

Discipline for violating this Policy may include, but is not limited to,  mandatory counseling or training, verbal or written warnings, suspension, termination from employment, or expulsion from the College.

 

f. Consensual Relationships

 

  • Faculty/Administrator/Staff Member Relationships with Students

 

A romantic and/or sexual relationship, consensual or otherwise, between a faculty member, administrator or staff member and a student is looked upon with disfavor and is strongly discouraged.  No faculty member shall have a romantic and/or sexual relationship, consensual or otherwise, with a student who is being taught or advised by the faculty member or whose academic work is being supervised or evaluated, directly or indirectly, by the faculty member.  No administrator or staff member shall have a romantic and/or sexual relationship, consensual or otherwise, with a student who the administrator or staff member supervises, evaluates, advises, or provides other professional advice or services as part of a College program or activity.

 

  • Relationships Between Supervisors, Subordinates or Co-Workers

 

A consenting romantic and/or sexual relationship between a supervisor and subordinate or co-workers may interfere with or impair the performance of professional duties and responsibilities and/or create an appearance of bias or favoritism.  Further, such relationships could implicate state ethics laws and/or result in claims of sexual harassment, discrimination or retaliation. Therefore, such workplace relationships are strongly discouraged.

 

 

 

 

g.   State and Federal Remedies

In addition to the above, if you believe you have been subjected to sexual harassment, you may file a formal complaint with the governmental agencies set forth below.  Filing a complaint under this Policy does not prohibit you from filing a complaint with these agencies. Each of the agencies has a short time period for filing a claim (EEOC - 300 days; MCAD - 300 days).

United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC")

One Congress Street

10th Floor Boston, MA 02114

(617) 565-3200.

 

The Office For Civil Rights (“OCR”)

U.S. Department of Education

            John W. McCormack Post             

            Office and Courthouse, Room 222

Boston, MA  02109

(617) 223-9662

 

Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination ("MCAD")

Boston Office:                        Worcester Office:

One Ashburton Place              Worcester City Hall

Rm. 601                                  484 Main St., Rm. 320

Boston, MA 02108                 Worcester, MA 01608

(617) 994-6000                       (508) 799-8010

 

Springfield Office:                New Bedford Office:

436 Dwight St., Rm. 220        800 Purchase St., Rm. 501

Springfield, MA 01103           New Bedford, MA 02740

(413) 739-2145                       (508) 990-2390

Policy against Sexual Violence

a. Introduction

Sexual violence is prohibited under state law and the College’s Policy on Affirmative Action.  Sexual violence is prohibited pursuant to Title IX of the Educational Amendment Act of 1972, which states: No person in the United States, shall on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal assistance.

 

All reported or suspected cases of sexual violence shall be reported to the College’s Title IX Coordinator.  Please refer to the Complaint Procedures for specific complaint procedures and guidelines (see Section L).

 

The College prohibits retaliation against any person who presents a formal or informal complaint of sexual violence or who testifies or offers evidence connected with a complaint.  Retaliation is a violation of this policy whether or not the underlying claim of sexual violence is confirmed.

 

b. Sexual Violence Defined

 

Sexual violence is defined under the “Definitions” section of this Policy.

 

c. Reporting Complaints of Sexual Violence

 

A victim of sexual violence has the right to file (or not file) an Affirmative Action Discrimination Complaint Form with the College.  The process for filing a complaint is outlined under the Policy on Affirmative Action’s Complaint Procedure.  For more information or assistance with filing a complaint, please contact the College’s Title IX Coordinator.  If the Title IX Coordinator is the subject of a complaint, the President shall designate another College official to administer the Complaint Procedures.  A victim may also choose to file a criminal complaint, in which case the Title IX Coordinator and/or Campus Police can assist the victim with that process.  Reporting the incident to the Title IX Coordinator or Campus Police does not obligate the victim to file criminal charges.

 

d. College’s Investigation

 

The College is obligated to investigate all allegations of sexual violence, even if the alleged victim chooses not to file a formal complaint and/or participate in the investigation.  Additionally, a complaint filed in another forum, including a criminal or civil complaint, shall not delay the College’s investigation of a complaint of sexual violence.  The College shall promptly and thoroughly investigate all such allegations in accordance with the Policy on Affirmative Action’s Complaint Procedure and shall provide the victim with periodic updates on the status of the investigation.  A person found to have committed an act of sexual violence shall be subject to disciplinary action ranging from mandatory counseling and/or training, verbal or written warnings, suspension, expulsion from the College or termination from employment, as well as criminal prosecution.

e. Victim Identification

Personal identifiable information about a victim will be treated as confidential and only shared with persons with a specific need to know and/or who are investigating and/or adjudicating the complaint, delivering resources or support services to the victim or as public safety requires.  The College does not publish the names or other identifiable information of victims in the campus police department’s Daily Crime Log, in any Timely Warnings issued or online.  In accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, a victim may request that no directory information maintained by the College be released absent his/her prior, written consent.

 

f. Interim Protective Measures

Title IX requires the College to take reasonable steps to ensure equal access to its education programs and activities and protect individuals from Prohibited Conduct, including taking interim protective measures before the final outcome of an investigation. The College shall take these steps promptly once it has notice of an allegation of Prohibited Conduct, including sexual violence. Examples of interim protective measures include, but are not limited to, the following:

 

  • access to counseling services and assistance in scheduling an appointment, on or off campus;
  • imposition of an interim suspension or on-campus “no-contact” order;
  • rescheduling of exams and assignments;
  • providing alternative course completion options;
  • changing class schedules, including withdrawing from a course without penalty;
  • changing work schedules or job assignments;
  • limiting access to certain College facilities or activities pending resolution of the matter;
  • voluntary leave of absence;
  • providing an escort to ensure safe movement between classes and activities; and/or
  • providing academic support services, such as tutoring.

The specific interim measures implemented and the process for implementing those measures will vary depending on the facts of each case.  The College will consider a number of factors in determining what interim measures to take, including, for example, the specific needs expressed by the victim; the severity or pervasiveness of the allegations; any continuing effects on the victim; whether the victim and respondent share the same classes, dining hall schedule, transportation, or job location; and whether other judicial measures have been taken to protect the victim (e.g., civil protection orders).

In general, when taking interim protective measures, the College shall minimize the burden on the victim.  To the extent permitted by law, the victim shall be notified of any interim measures taken by the College concerning the respondent. Even under those circumstances where a victim does not wish to pursue a complaint and requests confidentiality, the College must take immediate action to protect the victim while keeping her or his identity confidential.

 

 

g. Amnesty

Students may be hesitant to report sexual violence out of concern that they, or witnesses, might be charged with violations of the College’s drug/alcohol policies.  While the College does not condone such behavior, it places a priority on addressing allegations of sexual violence. Accordingly, the College may elect not to pursue discipline against a student who, in good faith, reports, witnesses or possesses personal knowledge of an incident of sexual violence.

 

h. Protections for Victims of Sexual Violence

 

A person subjected to sexual violence shall:

  • Be provided with a copy of the College’s Sexual Violence – Victim’s Rights and Information Advisory, which shall include information concerning counseling, health, and mental health services, victim advocacy and support, law enforcement assistance, and other services available on and off campus;
  • Have the right to pursue, or not pursue, assistance from campus administration officials or campus law enforcement;
  • Not be discouraged by College officials from reporting an incident to both on-campus and off-campus authorities;
  • Be provided assistance in contacting local law enforcement if requested and have the full and prompt assistance and cooperation of campus personnel should a civil and/or criminal complaint be pursued;
  • Be free from any suggestion that they somehow contributed to or had a shared responsibility in the violent act;
  • Receive the same level of support at any proceeding before College officials as is permitted to the accused party, including the presence of a personal advisor during any disciplinary proceeding and the right to be notified in a timely manner of the outcome of such proceedings and any appeal right available;
  • Receive full and prompt cooperation from College personnel in obtaining and securing evidence (including medical evidence) necessary for any potential criminal proceedings;                               
  • Have access to existing College counseling and medical professionals, victim support services, and to obtain referrals to off-campus counseling and support services if desired;
  • Be permitted to attend classes, work and participate in College activities free from unwanted contact or proximity to the respondent  insofar as the College is permitted and able;
  • Be permitted to request changes to an academic schedule if such changes are requested by the alleged victim and are reasonably available; and
  • Be informed of any no-contact or no-trespass orders issued to the respondent by the College and the College’s commitment to honor any court-issued restraining or protective orders, to the extent permitted by law.

 

i.    Recommended Procedures for a Victim of Sexual Violence

For a person subjected to an act of sexual violence, there can be time-sensitive decisions to make about sexually transmitted infections, pregnancy, and collecting physical evidence in the event of prosecution.  Individuals who have been victims of sexual violence are advised as follows:

  • Protect Yourself and Get Medical Attention – A victim should be advised to go to a safe place as soon as possible and seek medical attention immediately.  Injuries and exposure to disease may not be immediately apparent. A medical examination can provide necessary treatment and collect important evidence. It is recommended that a physical exam be conducted within 72 hours of the violence. Submitting to a physical exam does not mean that a victim is required to press charges. This action merely preserves the option to do so.  Designated College personnel can assist in providing transportation to the hospital.

 

  • Preserve Evidence - It is important to preserve all physical evidence following an act of sexual violence.  Physical evidence may be necessary in the event criminal prosecution is pursued.  If possible, a victim should be advised not to wash, eat, drink, douche, clean, use the bathroom, or change clothes. If clothes are changed, all clothes that were worn at the time of the incident should not be cleaned and should be placed into an unused or a clean paper bag.

 

  • Health and Support Services - Various health and support services are available on and off campus for students and employees who have experienced sexual violence.  For information about such services, including counseling, please contact the Affirmative Action and/or Title IX Coordinator.

 

j.   Rape Crisis Center Contact Information

 

The following is a list of Rape Crisis Centers in Massachusetts.  As the following contact information may be subject to change, current contact information on rape crisis centers in Massachusetts can be found at the Commonwealth’s Executive Office of Health and Human Services’ Website under “Consumer” information at http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/.

 

Greater Boston Area

Boston Area Rape Crisis Center, Cambridge, 617-492-7273 Hotline, 617-492-6434 TTY

 

Northeastern Massachusetts

North Shore Rape Crisis Center, Beverly, 800-922-8772 Hotline, 978-921-8729 TTY

Rape Crisis Services of Greater Lowell, 800-542-5212 Hotline, 978-452-8723 TTY

YWCA of Greater Lawrence, 877-509-9922 SA Hotline, 978-686-8840 TTY

 

Central Massachusetts

Rape Crisis Center of Central Mass., Worcester, 800-870-5905 Hotline, 508-852-7600 TTY

Rape Crisis Center of Central Mass., Fitchburg, 800-870-5905

Wayside Victim Services, Milford, 800-511-5070 Hotline, 508-478-4205 TTY

Voices Against Violence, Framingham, 800-593-1125 Hotline, 508-626-8686 TTY

 

Southeastern Massachusetts

A Safe Place, Nantucket, 508-228-2111 Hotline, 508-228-0561 TTY

Independence House, Hyannis, 800-439-6507 Hotline, 508-778-6782 TTY

Women Support Services, Vineyard Haven, 508-696-7233

Greater New Bedford Women Center, New Bedford, 888-839-6636 Hotline, 508-996-1177 TTY

New Hope, Attleboro, 800-323-4673 Hotline/TTY

Stanley Street Women Center, Fall River, 508-675-0087 Hotline, 508-673-3328 TTY

Womansplace Crisis Center, Brockton, 508-588-8255 SA Hotline, 508-894-2869 TTY

 

Western Massachusetts

Elizabeth Freeman Center, Pittsfield, 413-443-0089 Hotline, 413-499-2425 TTY

Everywoman Center, Amherst, 413-545-0800 Hotline, 888-337-0800 TTY

NELCWIT, Greenfield, 413-772-0806 Hotline/TTY

YWCA, Springfield, 800-796-8711

YWCA of Western Mass, Westfield, 800-479-6245 Hotline/TTY

 

These Rape Crisis Centers offer FREE services to survivors of sexual violence, including:

 

  • 24/7 hotline counseling, information, and referral;
  • Will go with survivors to hospitals and/or police stations 24/7;
  • Will go with a survivor to court;
  • Provide one-to-one counseling and support group counseling; and
  • Provide primary prevention education; professional training; outreach.

 

Alcohol and Other Drugs

Alcohol Consumption

Quinsigamond Community College prohibits the unlawful possession, use or distribution of illicit drugs and or alcohol on its property or as part of any campus activity. Students under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or having them in their possession, will be sanctioned under the College Code of Conduct.

 

Federal, state and local sanctions for unlawful possession or distribution of illicit drugs range from probation and forfeiture of property to fines and imprisonment. For example, the sanctions against an individual for distribution of, or possession with intent to distribute, controlled substances include imprisonment for several years up to a maximum of life imprisonment, with fines up to $4 million. Sanctions can increase for repeat offenders or for offenses resulting in death or serious bodily harm, and can be doubled for each of the following occurrences: distribution to persons under 18 years of age, distribution within 1,000 feet of a school, including the College Campus School, or employing someone under 18 in the distribution. Attempt or conspiracy to commit a crime can be treated as severely as the intended offense. Many of the state and federal statutes that prohibit the illegal distribution of controlled substances provide for minimum mandatory prison sentences. Conviction for violation of any state or federal drug law can lead to ineligibility for any federal benefit, including grants and loans. Thus a student can make themselves ineligible for student loans through drug conviction.

 

Massachusetts makes it illegal to be in a place where heroin is kept and to be “in the company” of a person known to possess heroin. Any person in the presence of heroin, risks conviction of a serious drug offense. Sale and possession of “drug paraphernalia” is illegal in Massachusetts

Alcohol’s effect on you -- Alcohol goes directly into the bloodstream, physically affecting the whole body. Some illnesses and health problems caused by alcohol include:

Hangovers. Headaches, nausea, vomiting, aches and pains all result from drinking too much. Drinking to the point of drunkenness makes you sick.

Weight gain. Alcohol is not water. A beer has about 150 "empty" calories that provide few if any nutrients.

High blood pressure. Along with being overweight, high blood pressure is associated with many serious health problems.

Depressed immune system. Impaired immunity makes you more likely to contract viral illnesses such as flu and infections.

Cancer. 2-4% of all cancer cases are related to alcohol. Upper digestive tract cancers are the most common, hitting the esophagus, mouth, larynx, and pharynx. Women who drink prior to menopause are more likely to develop breast cancer. Your risk of skin cancer doubles if you drink slightly more than "moderate levels." Some studies implicate alcohol in colon, stomach, pancreas and lung cancer. And let's not forget the liver...

Liver disease. Heavy drinking can cause fatty liver, hepatitis, cirrhosis and cancer of the liver. The liver breaks down alcohol at the rate of only one drink per hour.

Alcohol poisoning. Drinking large amounts can result in alcohol poisoning, which causes unconsciousness and even death. Breathing slows, and the skin becomes cold and may look blue. Don't let a person in this condition "sleep it off." Call 911.

Heart or respiratory failure. Excessive drinking can have serious results. Heart or respiratory failure often means death.

Illegal Offense

Sanction

Statute

Using, altering, selling or distributing false ID or driver’s license

Up to $200 fine or up to 3 months’ imprisonment

MA Gen Law 138 §34B

Transporting alcoholic beverages in a vehicle by driver under 21 years of age

Up to $50 fine for first offense; up to $150 fine for subsequent offenses AND suspension of driver’s license for 90 days

MA General Law 138 §34C

Furnishing alcoholic beverages to another under 21 years of age

Up to $2,000 fine and/or up to 1 year imprisonment

MA General Law 138 §34

Making, stealing, altering, forging or counterfeiting a driver’s license or identification card or for possessing or using such a license or identification card

Fine up to $500 or up to five years in prison; immediate suspension of driver’s license for up to 1 year

MA General Law 90 §24B

Purchasing or attempting to purchase alcoholic beverages if under 21 years of age, including using a false ID

Fine of $300 and suspension of driver’s license for 180 days

MA General Law 138 §34A

Having an “open container” of alcohol as a passenger in a vehicle

Fine of $100 up to $500

MA General Law 90 §24I

Driving under the influence, if under the age of 21, is driving with a blood alcohol level of .02 as a percentage by weight of alcohol in the blood

Fines not less than $500 and up to $5,000; mandatory suspension of license for 180 days and up to 1 year and/or up to 2.5 years’ imprisonment for the first offense. Subsequent offenses carry significantly higher penalties.

MA General Law 90 §24 (1)(a) and §24P

Driving under the influence, if over the age of 21, is driving with a blood alcohol level of .08 as a percentage by weight of alcohol in the blood

Fines not less than $500 and up to $5,000; suspension of license for 1 year and/or up to 2.5 years’ imprisonment for the first offense. Subsequent offenses carry significantly higher penalties.

MA General Law 90 §24 (1)(a)

Refusal to submit to a breathalyzer test

Immediate suspension of a driver’s license for minimum of 180 days. If under 21 years of age OR previously convicted of driving under the influence, immediate suspension of driver’s license for 3 years or longer.

MA General Law 90 §24(1)(f)(1)

Causing serious bodily harm while driving under the influence of alcohol

2.5 to 10 years’ imprisonment and a fine up to $5,000; revocation of driver’s license for 2 years

MA General Law 90 §24L

Other long-term effects of heavy alcohol use include loss of appetite, vitamin deficiencies, stomach ailments, sexual impotence, central nervous system damage, and memory loss. Finally, let’s not forget alcoholism. Alcoholism is a disease to which some people seem predisposed. Alcoholics are unable to control their drinking--how much, when, and if. Alcoholism puts you at great risk for other health problems, and it can shorten your life by more than 10 years. Alcoholism cannot be cured, but it can be treated. Through education, treatment, and self-help support such as AA, people can learn to live alcohol-free and feel good.

Possession, Use, Manufacture, or Distribution of Drugs

(Consistent with the Code of Conduct) Quinsigamond Community College complies with all state and federal laws with regard to the possession, use, manufacture, and/or distribution of unlawful substances. All such activities are strictly prohibited on all College property, in College vehicles, and at all off-campus College-sponsored events.

 

How Drugs affect you:

Like many prescription drugs, "recreational" drugs come with potentially harmful side effects that can have serious and long-term effects on your health.

High doses of many of the drugs, or impure or more dangerous substitutes for these drugs, can cause immediate life-threatening health problems such as heart attack, respiratory failure, and coma. Combining drugs with each other or with alcohol is especially dangerous.

Barbiturates and tranquilizers are commonly abused prescription drugs. They can cause hangover-like symptoms, nausea, seizures, and coma. Overdose or mixing these drugs with alcohol can be fatal.

Cocaine can cause such long-term problems as tremors, seizures, psychosis, and heart or respiratory failure.

LSD can cause nausea, rapid heart rate, depression, and disorientation. Long-term effects include paranoia and psychosis.

Marijuana and hashish can cause rapid heart rate and memory impairment soon after use. Long-term effects include cognitive problems, infertility, weakened immune system, and possible lung damage.

Narcotics such as heroin can bring on respiratory and circulatory depression, dizziness, impotence, constipation, and withdrawal sickness. Overdoses can lead to seizures and death.

PCP, in addition to triggering unpredictable and violent behavior, can cause dizziness, numbness, high heart rate and blood pressure, convulsions, and in high amounts fatal heart and lung failure or ruptured blood vessels.

Stimulants such as amphetamines have health effects that include high heart rate and blood pressure, headache, blurred vision, dizziness, impotence, skin disorders, tremors, seizures, and psychosis.

Information, Training, and Assistance

The College annually sponsors a variety of alcohol and drug education programs for students. The Office of Health and Wellness and the Counseling Office maintain a comprehensive list of support services in the community.

Notification to Families for Campus Alcohol Policy Violations

Consistent with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act/Buckley Amendment, the campus may notify the parents or legal guardians of students under twenty-one years of age each time they have been determined to be in violation of the campus alcohol policy.

 

Children on Campus Policy

While Quinsigamond Community College is an open and welcoming campus, it is primarily an educational institution. As a general rule, children will not be permitted in the classroom, or in any other areas of the College where their presence may interfere with the learning or work environment. Students, visitors and staff need to be aware to the following parameters that the College has established concerning children on campus:

A parent, legal guardian, or a responsible adult must supervise children at all times on the QCC campus.

Children may be allowed in the classroom only with prior approval of the faculty member and not on a reoccurring basis.

Prior written approval must be obtained from the appropriate facility manager before a child can utilize campus facilities such as the Fuller Student Center, Math Center, General Academic Areas Tutoring Center, Writing Center or the Athletic Complex. The parent, legal guardian, or a responsible adult must be present at all time.

The staff in the Campus Children’s School supervise only children who are enrolled in the Campus Child Care program.

Quinsigamond Community College employees cannot be responsible for the care and supervision of children.

Electronic Communications

 

The college uses Qmail as an official means of communication with students.  All students are expected to read their college email regularly and respond appropriately. If students choose to forward their Qmail to another email provider, they are still responsible for receiving all college communications.  The college also has an Emergency Alert text messaging system. Students can choose to sign up for this service through The Q, the college’s student and faculty portal.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy ACT Definitions

Quinsigamond Community College abides by the Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, Chapter 766 of the General Laws of Massachusetts. No student’s academic or personal records will be released without the student’s written consent, except to those specifically exempted in the legislation.

 

Quinsigamond Community College reserves the right to disclose “directory information” in accordance with regulations published by the Department of Health, Education and Welfare for enforcing the Family Rights and Privacy act of 1974. For the purpose of this institution, “directory information” includes the following information: a student’s name, student’s address, major field of study, dates of attendance, full-time/part-time status, degree and awards received, and participation if officially recognized activities and sports.

 

For the purpose of this Policy, Quinsigamond Community College uses the following definitions of terms:

Student – Any person who attends, or has attended, Quinsigamond Community College.

Education Records – Any record (in handwriting, print, tapes, film, or other medium) maintained by Quinsigamond Community College, or by a party acting for the College which is directly related to a student, except:

A personal record kept by a staff member, if it is kept in the personal possession of the individual who made the record, and information contained in the record has never been revealed, or made available to any other person, except the maker’s temporary substitute

An employment record of an individual whose employment is not contingent on the fact that she, or he, is a student, provided the record is used only in relation to the individual’s employment.

Records maintained by Quinsigamond Community College Public Safety Department, if the record is maintained solely for law enforcement purposes, is revealed only to law enforcement agencies of the same jurisdiction and the Department does not have access to education records maintained by the College.

Records maintained by the Health Office, if the records are used only for treatment of a student and made available only to those persons providing the treatment.

Alumni records which contain information about a student after he or she is no longer in attendance at the College.

Records Directory

Types Location Custodian
Admissions Records Registrar’s Office
Room 152A
Registrar
Cumulative Academic
Records
Registrar’s Office
Room 152A
Registrar
Health Records Registrar’s Office
Room 152A
Registrar
Financial Aid Records Financial Aid
Room 165A
Director of Financial Aid
Financial Records Business Office Room 07A Comptroller
Progress Records Registrar’s Office
Room 152A
Registrar
Disciplinary Records Assistant Dean of Students Office Room 383A Custodian Vice President of Enrollment and Student Services
Occasional Records (Student education records not included in the types listed above) The appropriate official will collect such records, direct the student to their location, or otherwise make them available for review. The college staff person who maintains such occasional systems records.

Student Notification of Rights

The Family Educational rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. They are:

  1. 1. The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days of the day the College receives a request for access.Students should submit to the registrar, dean, head of the academic department, or other appropriate official, written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The College official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the College official to whom the request was submitted does not maintain the records, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
  2. The right to request an amendment of student's education records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading or otherwise in violation of the student' s privacy rights under FERPA. A student who wishes to ask the College to amend should write the College official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record the student wants changed, and specify why it should be changed. If the College decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the College will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
  3. The right to provide written consent before the College discloses personally identifiable information from the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
  4. The right to be notified annually by the College of what student record information the College designates as "directory information," and the right to request that no student information be designated as directory information.

The College identifies the following student information as directory information: a student's name, student's address, major field of study, dates of attendance, full-time/part-time status, degree and awards received, and participation if officially recognized activities and sports.

Directory information may be released by the College to a requesting third-party without a student's prior written consent. A student has the right to request that none or only some of his/her student record information be designated as directory information. A student must notify the College's Registrar, in writing, within two (2) weeks of the beginning of each academic semester if he/she does not wish to have any or some of his/her student information designated as directory information.

Notwithstanding the College's definition of directory information, the Department of Defense (the “DOD”), pursuant to the Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act of 1997 (the “Solomon Amendment”), identifies the following information as “student recruiting information”:  NAME, ADDRESS, TELEPHONE LISTING, AGE (or year of birth), PLACE OF BIRTH, LEVEL OF EDUCATION (e.g., freshman, sophomore), DEGREE AWARDED, MOST RECENT EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTION ATTENDED, and CURRENT MAJOR(S).

If the College receives a request for student recruiting information from the DOD, or one of its affiliated agencies, the College will release the student recruiting information requested.  Because the information sought by the DOD may include information not designated as directory information under the College’s policy, compliance with the DOD’s request may result in the release of personally identifiable information.  When student recruiting information is released pursuant to a DOD request, notice of the request and the release of the information will be posted in a conspicuous location in the College's Registrar's Office for a period equaling one academic year.

If a student has exercised his/her right to request that no information be designated as directory information, then no information shall be released to any third party, including the DOD.

5. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the College to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is:

Family Policy Compliance Office

U.S. Department of Education

400 Maryland Avenue, S.W.Washington, DC 20202-5901.

Annual Notification

Quinsigamond Community College is required by Section 99.7, of the FERPA Regulations, to provide students annual notification of their FERPA rights. Quinsigamond Community College uses the following methods to notify students annually: Students will be notified of their FERPA rights, annually, by publication in the Student Handbook and by mail.

Record of Requests for Disclosure

Quinsigamond Community College will maintain a record of all requests for information from a student’s education records, except when the disclosure was made to:

  1. The eligible student.
  2. A school official who has been determined to have legitimate educational interest.
  3. A party with written consent from the eligible student.
  4. A party seeking Directory Information only.

The record will indicate the name of the party making the request, any additional party to whom it may be redisclosed and the legitimate interest the party had in requesting or obtaining the information. The record may be reviewed by the parents or eligible student.

Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

The U.S. Department of Education requires each college to have a policy that ensures all students receiving financial aid maintain satisfactory progress toward completing their program of study. Federal regulations require students to maintain satisfactory academic progress toward the completion of their degree or certificate program in order to qualify for financial aid. Financial Aid applicants will be reviewed at the end of each payment period to determine if the standards are met. For most programs, a payment period is a semester. For the Nurse Education Evening, Nurse Education Advanced Placement LPN, and Nurse Education Advanced Placement Paramedic programs, the payment period may encompass more than one traditional semester. Students in these programs should contact Financial Aid for assistance in determining changes to their status while enrolled in these programs.  

Important Definitions:

Academic Progress is based on all terms of enrollment. The review will be performed on your entire QCC academic transcript, regardless of whether or not financial aid was received or whether the Fresh Start Option was granted.  

Attempted Credits:

  • All credits in which you were registered at the end of the add/drop period, including those with grades of F, W, X, I, IR, and WA, including all attempts at repeated courses
  • All earned credits (e.g. transfer credits and credits earned through prior learning)

Earned Credits:

  • Courses that you have completed and have earned credit for
  • Repeated courses where credit has been earned may only be counted once
  • Transfer credits
  • Credits earned through prior learning (e.g. challenge exams, portfolio assessment, or CLEP/Advanced Placement)

Audited (AU) classes are not considered attempted or earned and are not eligible for financial aid.   

Criteria:

Student progress will be measured based on the total number of attempted credits on the transcript at each review. Student records will be reviewed against all three of the following criteria:

I. Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA)

Total Attempted Credits  Cumulative GPA
1-15 50%
16 or more 2.0

II. Minimum Earned Credits (Completion Rate)

Calculate by taking “Total Earned Credits” divided by “Total Attempted Credits”.

Total Attempted Credits Completion Rate
1-15 50%
16 or more 66.67% (two-thirds)

III. Maximum Time Frame

You must complete your certificate or degree program by attempting no more than 150% of the total credits required for that program. If you are not enrolled in a program at the time the assessment is completed, your determination will be made using the General Studies program degree requirements. All attempted coursework that has been or could be applied to your current major according to the degree audit will be counted toward the maximum timeframe calculation. Up to 30 credits of developmental courses (courses numbered below 100) and all English as a Second Language (ESL) coursework will be excluded from this calculation. 

Example: You are in an associate degree program that requires a total of 62 credits. You have a total of 85 applicable credits attempted at the end of the academic year. You need 15 more credits to complete your program. You cannot complete your program within the maximum time frame (62 credits X 150% = 93 credits and you need 85 + 15 = 100 credits). You are no longer eligible for financial aid funding.  

SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS STATUSES

Good: You have met all three of the Satisfactory Academic Progress criteria.

Warning: If you do not meet the GPA or Completion Rate standards, you will be placed on Warning for one semester. You are still eligible for financial aid, but if you do not meet the standards during your Warning semester, you will be placed on Suspension. If you meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress standards during your Warning semester, you will return to Good standing.

Suspension: If you do not meet all of the Satisfactory Academic progress criteria following a Warning or Probation semester, you will be placed on Suspension. You will also be suspended if you do not meet the Maximum Time Frame Criteria. While on Suspension, you are not eligible for any form of financial aid, including student loans. If you are academically dismissed from the College, you will be placed on Suspension.

Probation: If you appeal a Suspension and it is approved, you will be placed on Probation for at least one semester during which time you will be considered for financial aid. Your progress will be reviewed at the end of each Probationary semester. If you meet the standards, you will return to Good standing. If you meet the terms of your academic plan but fail to meet the overall Satisfactory Academic Progress policy criteria, you may remain on Probation as stated in your academic plan. If the standards are not met, you will be placed on Suspension.  

REGAINING ELIGIBILITY FOR FINANCIAL AID WITHOUT AN APPEAL

You may be reconsidered for funding after you have successfully completed at least one semester without the benefit of financial aid. To return to Good standing, you must again meet all of the criteria described above and notify the Financial Aid Office that you would like to have your eligibility for funds re-evaluated. If you successfully complete at least one semester without the benefit of financial aid but do not meet the criteria, you may submit a complete appeal for consideration.

You are responsible for notifying the Financial Aid Office if you receive a grade change that results in you meeting the standards for Satisfactory Academic Progress.  

EXAMPLES

  • You just completed your fourth semester at QCC. During your first semester you attempted and completed 12 credits. During your second semester you attempted 12 credits, but had a family emergency and had to withdraw from all of your classes. You attempted and completed 6 credits during your third semester, but only completed 6 out of 9 credits in your fourth semester because you received an X grade in one of your classes. Therefore, you have attempted a total of 39 credits, and have successfully completed 24 credits which gives you a 61% completion rate. The standard is 66.67%, so you would be placed on Financial Aid Suspension.
  • You are in an associate degree program that requires a total of 62 credits. You have a total of 93 credits attempted at the end of the academic year. You have reached your maximum time frame (62 credits X 150% = 93 credits) and are no longer eligible for financial aid funding. You will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension.

Information Systems Policy

  1. Introduction -- The Quinsigamond Community College Information System has been designed and developed to support and enhance information resources for the students, faculty, and staff of Quinsigamond Community College in their college related activities. This is accomplished by providing computing facilities including electronic mail capabilities, Internet access, and appropriate data access for on-campus use of the college community. The intent of this policy is not to limit usage but to ensure stability of both the academic and the computing environment. As such this policy is a dynamic document that will be modified as needed. This policy applies to all members of the College community and refers to all electronic resources at the College. Resources provided as part of the College’s Information System, including, but not limited to, electronic mail capabilities, Internet access, and appropriate data access, may be used only for college business, and/or for purposes specifically authorized by the College. Any person who uses the College Information System consents to all of the provisions of this policy and agrees to comply with all of its terms and conditions and with all applicable state, federal, and international laws and regulations. Violators of College policies are subject to disciplinary action, including but not limited to loss of computer and network access privileges. All actions may be appealed by the user according to the established college appeal process.
  2. Disclaimer
    1. All systems hardware, software, and data are the property of Quinsig-amond Community College and are subject to audit by the College and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
    2. Quinsigamond Community College may, at its own discretion, examine, move, or delete files, including electronic mail.
    3. The school makes no warranties of any kind, whether expressed or implied, for the services it is providing.
    4. The College will not be responsible for any damages suffered while on this system, including loss of personal data due to system outages or irresponsible use.
    5. Quinsigamond Community College is not responsible for offensive material obtained by any user using college information systems.
  3. III. Information System Acceptable Use Policy
    1. Copying material bearing copyrights or patents without proper licensing or authority is prohibited.
    2. Accessing material or data belonging to other QCC information systems users without proper authority is prohibited.
    3. Using college information systems for political lobbying (see Appendix A) or commercial purposes is prohibited.
    4. To copy or remove software from College microcomputers is prohibited.
    5. Installation of system hardware or software by unauthorized personnel is prohibited.
    6. Use of college information systems that is offensive or harassing is prohibited. (see Appendix B)
    7. Use of college information systems which violates ANY college policy is prohibited.
    8. Viewing or transmission of any material that violates any state, federal, or international law is prohibited.
    9. Use of college information systems to gain unauthorized access to any system or data is prohibited.
  4. IV. Electronic Mail Policy
    1. The College does not guarantee privacy or confidentiality of any electronic mail.
    2. Use of electronic mail to violate this or ANY College policy is prohibited.
    3. Any use of electronic mail which does not respect the image and reputation of the college is prohibited.
    4. The user bears sole responsibility for all transmissions using his/her assigned e-mail address.
    5. Concealment or misrepresentation of names, addresses, or affiliations in electronic mail is prohibited.
    6. Use of electronic mail for commercial purposes is prohibited.
    7. Use of electronic mail that is threatening or offensive or intended for harassment purposes is prohibited. (see Appendix B)
    8. Electronic mail is part of the business record of the college and may be inspected or subject to discovery in litigation and Freedom of Information Act requests.
  5. Prohibition on Viewing or Distributing Obscene Materials -- A user may not access, download, store, or transmit obscene materials through the college’s computer network system.
  6. Acceptance of Personal Responsibility -- The user is solely responsible for all materials viewed, stored, or transmitted from QCC-based computers. QCC expects, however, that users will comply with all College rules and state and federal laws related to Internet use. Failure to do so may result in the suspension or revocation of a user’s access privileges and disciplinary measures, including the possibility of civil and/or criminal liability as described in Appendix C.

Information Systems Acceptable Use Policy (appendices)

Appendix A

Pursuant to Massachusetts Campaign Finance Laws, no governmental resources (including computers, fax machines, modems, printers, and/or copy machines) may be used by any person (including a public employee, whether during work hours or otherwise) in order to promote or oppose a political candidate or ballot questions or for the purpose of disseminating materials that advocate a particular vote on a ballot question or a political candidate. Further, in addition to the prohibition of any type. A user may not access, download, store, or transmit obscene materials through the College’s computer network system.

Appendix B

No member of the community, under any circumstances, may use Quinsigamond Community College’s computers or networks to libel, slander, or harass any other person. The following shall constitute computer harassment: (1) using the computer to annoy, harass, terrify, intimidate, threaten, offend, or bother another person by conveying obscene language, pictures, or other materials, or threats of bodily harm to the recipient or the recipient’s immediate family; (2) using the computer to contact another person repeatedly with the intent to annoy, harass, or bother, whether or not any actual message is communicated, and/or where no purpose of legitimate communication exists, and where the recipient has expressed a desire for the communication to cease; (3) using the computer to contact another person repeatedly regarding a matter for which one does not have the legal right to communicate, once the recipient has provided reasonable notice that he or she desires such communication to cease; (4) using the computer to disrupt or damage the academic research, administrative, or related pursuits of another; and (5) using the computer to invade the privacy, academic or other- wise, of another, or the threatened invasion of privacy of another.

Appendix C

Any user that violates this policy will be subject to disciplinary action. Further, inappropriate use, whether intentional or not, may result in civil and/or criminal liability, and/or a violation of the Electronic Communications Privacy Laws, defamation, copyright and/or trademark infringement laws and/or sexual harassment and discrimination laws.

Appendix D

Authority to perform audit and discovery procedures can only be given by the President or the President’s designee. Occasionally, to preserve system security and stability, it is necessary to perform actions that result in the loss of data or the removal of software. Whenever possible, the user will be notified prior to any action taking place. However if system security or stability is at risk, the action will be performed first and the user will be notified at the earliest possible convenience.


Non-Discrimination and Accommodation For Persons with Disabilities

It is illegal to discriminate against an otherwise qualified individual with a disability.  The Community Colleges recognize the multitude of barriers that confront persons with disabilities in access to both employment and education. Consistent with state and federal statutes that affirm and protect the equal opportunity rights of persons with disabilities, the Community Colleges adopt a policy of non‑discrimination and equal opportunity for otherwise qualified persons with disabilities.  Any employee or student who believes he/she has been a victim of discrimination due to a disability may file a complaint pursuant to the Complaint Procedures found at Section L of this Policy.

 

 

 

a.   In Employment

 

The Community Colleges will take constructive measures to ensure equal opportunity in all areas of employment including recruitment, selection, upgrading, opportunities for training and development, rate of compensation, benefits and all other terms and conditions of employment.  Further, the Colleges will periodically examine all existing employment policies, practices and facilities to ensure that they do not pose a disparate impact for otherwise qualified persons with disabilities.  Where such disparity is found, it will be corrected as quickly and completely as is reasonable under existing circumstances.  Accordingly, all College facilities may not be available and accessible at a particular time.

b.   In Education

 

The Colleges will periodically examine all existing admissions, student support and other student life policies, practices and facilities to assure that they do not pose a disparate impact for otherwise qualified disabled students. Where such disparity is found, it will be corrected as quickly and completely as is reasonable under existing circumstances.  Accordingly, all College facilities may not be available and accessible at a particular time.  The Colleges will adopt a policy of non‑discrimination with respect to admissions, access to programs and facilities and services for all otherwise qualified disabled persons.

 

c.   Reasonable Accommodations

 

A “reasonable accommodation” under state and federal law is defined as “modifications or adjustments to an application process, job, work environment, the way in which work is customarily performed, or a course of study that permit a qualified individual with a disability to perform the essential functions of a position or to enjoy the benefits and privileges of employment or education equally with persons without disabilities.”

 

 

 

 

Reasonable accommodations in employment may include, but are not limited to:

 

  • making existing facilities used by employees readily accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities;
  • job restructuring;
  • modification of work schedules;
  • providing additional unpaid leave;
  • acquiring or modifying equipment or devices; and
  • providing qualified readers or interpreters.

 

The Community Colleges are not required to lower performance standards to make an accommodation and are not obligated to provide personal use items, such as eyeglasses or hearing aids.

 

Reasonable accommodations in education may include, but are not limited to:

 

  • in-class aids, such as note takers;
  • extended time for examination;
  • quiet rooms or alternate locations for testing;
  • alternatively formatted testing; alternatively formatted textbooks and other course materials; and/or
  • access to assistive technology.

 

Possible course reductions or substitutions on the basis of a disability will be carefully evaluated.

Students with disabilities must meet the essential requirements of all academic degree programs.

 

a. Interactive Process

 

State and federal laws define the “interactive process” as an ongoing communication between, among other parties, employer and employee, college and student, with a known disability in an effort to provide reasonable accommodation. Both parties must engage in the interactive process and communicate directly with each other in order to formulate and effective accommodation plan.  Neither party can delay nor interfere with the process.

 

b. Undue Hardship and Fundamental Alteration

 

The Community Colleges are required to make reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities unless doing so would impose an undue hardship on the operation of a College’s business or result in a fundamental alteration of a job or academic course or program. Undue hardship means an action that requires significant difficulty or expense when considered in relation to factors such as a College’s size, financial resources, and the nature and structure of its operation.  Fundamental alteration is a change that is so significant that it alters the essential nature a job or an academic course or program.

                               

 

 

c. Process for Requesting a Reasonable Accommodation

 

An employee or job applicant seeking a reasonable accommodation for a disability may contact the College’s Office for Human Resources.  A student or student applicant seeking a reasonable accommodation for a disability may contact the College’s Disability Services Office.  All requests for an accommodation are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.  Individuals seeking accommodations should be prepared to submit current medical documentation for review in the accommodation process.

.

Parking

All students/visitors are required to park
ONLY in the upper five parking lots
located on the east side of the campus.
Lot 1 row 1 is designated staff/faculty
parking until 4:00 pm. Any overflow will be
on the soccer field only when directed by
QCC Police and end at 3:00 pm. Parking
decals ARE required and may be
obtained at the Fuller Student Center.

Medical Parking Permits

Students who are disabled permanently or temporarily may apply for a special medical parking permit through the Office of Disability Services, Room 246A, located on the second floor of the Administration Building. As part of this process, applicants will be required to fill out an application form and have their physician sign and authorize the application for the obtainment of special parking privileges.

Motorcycle Parking

All motorcycles are to be parked in the designated motorcycle parking are located on the southwest corner the Administration Building adjacent the rotary. Decals are not required.
Violations of the parking regulations will result in Commonwealth of Massachusetts parking violations and can lead to non-renewal of license and registration and/or vehicle being towed.


The parking fee is $20, per semester, fall and spring.


Prohibited Parking Areas – Tow Away Zones

The following parking/traffic procedures authorize the towing of vehicles parked or standing, in such manner or in such areas are further described, or in any way under the control Quinsigamond Community College.Fees: All towing and storage of towed vehicles will be at the owner’s expense. Towed vehicles may be picked up from the towing contractor upon the showing of proper identification and making the required payment. All fees levied shall abide by the laws of the State set forth by Massachusetts General Laws and shall follow the outlined structure below:


If a tow is called in and then cancelled, and if the truck has not left the towing company’s yard, there shall be NO CHARGE levied to the owner of the vehicle. Once any piece of towing equipment has been attached to the vehicle, A TOW FEE WILL BE LEVIED and it will be up to the vehicle owner/operator to negotiate with the tow company. The Department of Public Safety cannot provide transportation to the towing company. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the owner or operator of the vehicle to find transportation to the tow company.

  • Fire Lane -- No parking is permitted in any area designated as a fire lane via painted lines and/or posted signs.
  • Emergency Vehicle Access Lanes -- No parking is permitted in any area designated for Fire, Police, or Ambulance. These areas also include the service roads on campus and the areas around the entrance to campus buildings, as well as all campus roadways. They are considered TOW ZONES STRICTLY ENFORCED.
  • Solid Green Markings -- These areas are no parking areas. They are considered TOW ZONES STRICTLY ENFORCED.
  • Loading Zones -- The areas designated as loading zones have appropriate signage identifying their locations. Dumpster locations are also considered loading zone areas. They are considered a TOW ZONE.
  • Escorts -- Members of the Public Safety Staff are available to escort students from their classroom building to the upper lots. If you would like to access this service contact: Public Safety at 508.854.4444. Campus Police TTY 508.854.2805
  • Handicapped/Reserved Parking -- Handicap and Reserved Parking areas are clearly marked by appropriate lines and signage. This regulation is TOW ZONE STRICTLY ENFORCED.
  • Overnight Parking -- Overnight parking from 10:00 pm–6:00 am is prohibited on campus. Extenuating circumstances that dictate a vehicle to be left overnight, must be approved through the Campus Police.

Any Vehicle that has received five or more parking violations is subject to being towed, as are those vehicles that are found to be parked in areas designated as TOW ZONES:

  •  Upon any sidewalk – Upon any crosswalk
  •  Within (10) feet of a fire hydrant – Blocking a Driveway – Obstructing exit or entrance
  •  In front of any barricade temporarily or permanently erected
  •  On land not designed for vehicular traffic such as walks, lawns, and open fields
  •  In front of a gateway, entrance or other open area

THESE ARE CONSIDERED STRICTLY ENFORCED TOW ZONES

Traffic Rules

 

  • The speed limit on campus is 10 M.P.H. (unless otherwise posted)
  • Please observe all STOP, DO NOT ENTER, ONE WAY, ARROWS, signage, etc.
  • Do not drive or park on walks, paths or grassy areas.
  • Observe all crosswalk markings by allowing pedestrians the right of way.

Any vehicle with five or more unpaid violations will be placed on a Tow List. When found, these vehicles will be towed by the Campus Police. Vehicles will continue to be towed until the existing tickets have been paid.

Parking Fines

Penalties established pursuant to Section 13, Chapter 15A, General Laws of the Commonwealth.

1 Failure To Display Parking Decal $20
2 Parked In A Lot Where Decal Does Not Apply $20
3 Overnight Parking $25
4 More Than 12" From The Curb $20
5 Parking On Or Over Space Markings $20
6 Double Parking $25
7 One Way Operation $25
8 Blocking Gateway, Entrance To Field
Service Road Or Pathway
$20
9 Counterfeiting, Altering, Defacing, Or
Transferring A Registration Or Decal
$25
10 Parking In Delivery Or Service Zone $20
11 Parked Upon Crosswalk Or Sidewalk $25
12 Firelane (Subject To Immediate Tow) $30
13 Obstructing Snow Removal (Subject To Immediate Tow) $20
14 Parked In Tow Zone (Subject To Immediate Tow) $30
15 Parking On Land Not For Vehicular Traffic $30
16 Emergency Vehicle Area (Subject To Immediate Tow) $30
17 Obstructing Building Entrances Or Exits
(Subject To Immediate Tow)
$30
18 Parked In A Reserved Space (Subject To Immediate Tow) $30
19 Failure To Stop $50
20 Disregard Of Police Officer’s Direction $25
21 Failure To Stop For Pedestrian In Crosswalk $100
22 Within 10' Of Fire Hydrant $50
23 Handicap Parking  (Subject To Immediate Tow) $200
24 Blocking A Handicap Ramp $200
25 Exceeding Campus Speed Limit $50
26 Littering From A Motor Vehicle $25
27 Other $20–$200

Plagiarism


Our purpose in the classroom is to seek the truth; this work requires trust and honesty between teacher and student. If we are not honest about what we know and don’t know, our learning will always be impaired. Because our teaching and learning depends on this honest communication, we expect all students to understand what plagiarism is and why it is unacceptable.


Plagiarism means taking someone else’s ideas or words and presenting them as one’s own. The offense can take many forms including cheating on a test, passing in a paper taken from the Internet or from another student, or failing to properly use and credit sources in an essay. Sometimes the issue is subtle, involving getting too much help on an assignment from someone else. In every instance, plagiarism means cheating both oneself and the owner of the source. Since the cheating sabotages a student’s learning experience, consequences range from no credit for the assignment to failure for the course and possible expulsion from the college.


See Plagiarism section in Code of Conduct

Pluralism

The Community Colleges have historically been a major contributing element to the emergence of our nation as one of the most technologically and economically advanced societies of the world. The important role that the Community Colleges can play is profoundly dependent upon the extent to which they may draw from the full collective of intellectual resources within each College’s community of scholars, students, and administrators. Any condition or force that impedes the fullest utilization of the human and intellectual resources available represents a force of destructive consequence for the development of our Commonwealth and, ultimately, our nation.


Community college students, faculty, staff and visitors must be free from conduct that has the purpose or effect of interfering with an individual’s academic or professional performance and creating and intimidating, hostile or demeaning educational or employment environment. Therefore, the Community Colleges establish a policy of unequivocal condemnation of all forms of ethnic, religious, cultural, or racial intolerance within the fifteen college communities.


This policy condemns all conditions and all actions or omissions, including all acts of verbal harassment or abuse, which deny or have the effect of denying to an individual his/her rights guaranteed under the law. The policy reaffirms the doctrine of civility, appreciation for pluralism and the pre-eminence of the individual human dignity as preconditions to the achievement of an academic community that recognizes and utilizes the resources of all persons while recognizing and reaffirming the tenets of academic freedom. The Community Colleges recognize their obligation to protect the rights of free inquiry and expression, and nothing herein shall be construed or applied so as to abridge the exercise of rights under the Constitution of the United States and other federal and state laws.


The Community Colleges will vigorously strive to achieve diversity sufficiently reflective of our society. However, diversity alone will not suffice. There must be a unity and cohesion in the
diversity which we seek to achieve, thereby creating an environment of pluralism. The Community Colleges bear a responsibility by edict and an obligation  by social morality to promote understanding and acceptance of ethnic, cultural, religious and racial diversity as we strive to create an atmosphere of dignity for all individuals and groups within our system of higher education. The President or his/her designee will take reasonable measures to prevent and discourage harassment and will act positively to investigate alleged harassment and to effect a remedy or resolution when an allegation is determined to be valid.

Smoking

Quinsigamond Community College recognizes the medical evidence that indicates that smoking is a serious health hazard, and that this health hazard extends to non-smokers subject to second-hand smoke. The College recognizes its responsibility in providing a healthful working and learning environment. As a result, this policy was developed to establish rules and regulations concerning smoking on the QCC campuses.
This policy pertains to all staff, students, and visitors on QCC campuses, in QCC facilities and in vehicles owned, operated and controlled by QCC.
Definitions:
“Smoking” or “smoke”: Possessing a lighted tobacco product or the lighting of a cigar, cigarette, pipe or other tobacco product.

Policy:
• Smoking is prohibited within the confines of college grounds, any college building, or college vehicles (smoking is only to be permitted in private vehicles on campus).
• The sale of tobacco products on campus is prohibited.

Sanctions:

As with all college policies, successful implementation of this policy requires college-wide cooperation, and all members of the college community are asked to assist. Violations of the smoke-free campus policy should be reported to the violator’s division dean or to the administrative supervisor in charge of the area where the violation occurred.

Repeat violators will be subject to disciplinary action, which may include participation in a smoking cessation workshop, completion of community service, payment of fines, or subjection to the appropriate student or employee progressive discipline process.

The full written version of the policy that was affirmed by the QCC community and Board of Trustees may be found at:http://www.qcc.edu/files/president/policies/smoke-free_campus_policy.pdf

Solicitation Policy

The College President shall ensure that the following policy guidelines are implemented and administered on her respective campus in a fair, impartial, and uniform manner and without discrimination on grounds of race, color, religion, national origin, age or sex.
In an effort to ensure non-interference with the educational activities and business operations of the College, the College President or his/her designee shall prohibit all private profit and nonprofit organizations, agencies and/or otherwise permitted as follows:

  1. The College President or his/her designee may permit federal, state and municipal agency representatives to have access to the campus for any purpose for which said agency representatives are legally authorized to do so; provided, however, the College President or his/her designee retains the authority to regulate the time, place and manner of such access to minimize any interference with the educational activities and business operations of the College.
  2. The College President or his/her designee may, upon request, waive the general prohibition against soliciting as stated above upon determination that (a) the purposes of the campus solicitations shall be for the general interest or benefit of the College, students, faculty, or staff; and (b) the proposed solicitation shall not disrupt the continuity of business operations and/or educational activities of the College.
  3. The College President or his/her designee shall maintain a record of all on-campus solicitation requests and the disposition of such request.

Student Action Activity Policy

Students wishing to provide information, collect information, or poll the campus community in general are asked to provide a written letter requesting that such activity take place on campus grounds or in campus buildings to the Director of Student Life and Leadership.  The director will provide the requesting student(s) with the Request for Student Action Activity form which must be completed and returned prior to the activity.  This allows the college the opportunity to maintain awareness of these actions and to support the ability of the community to make constructive commentary on issues affecting the student body and the greater community.  It also allows for the thoughtful preparation of presentations on the part of the student(s) involved.

Student(s) organizing such action activities are responsible for upholding the Rules of Student Conduct at all times during the activity.  They are also responsible for removal of all literature or other materials that they may be providing as part of the activity, or to arrange with the Director of Student Life and Leadership for space to have continuing display of their material.  They must also respect the rights of other members of the community to differing opinions on the topic being presented.  Outside speakers must be listed and pertinent to the activity. 

All alleged violations of the Student Action Policy will be referred to the Dean of Students for possible adjudication through the Student Code of Conduct System.

 

Student Grievance Policy

Policy Goal: Conflict Resolution

Before invoking the Student Grievance Procedure, a reasonable effort shall be made by those involved in a dispute to resolve it amicably.  A dispute is most effectively handled and resolved by those closest to the problem, having the best understanding of the issues, and having the ability to formulate a mutually acceptable resolution.  Therefore, it is in the best interest of the student, the potential subject of a Grievance, and the College to resolve disputes through open and cooperative dialogue.  Only when such efforts are unsuccessful should the Student Grievance Procedure be invoked.  Throughout all phases of the Student Grievance Procedure, all reasonable efforts shall be made to maintain confidentiality in accordance with applicable law.

Definitions

  1. Complaint: the informal, unwritten stage of an allegation of mistreatment.
  2. Day: as used in this policy, shall mean a calendar day.
  3. Grievance: a written grievance filed by a student with the person designated by the President as the Student Grievance Officer specifically alleging an abridgment of his or her rights as a student.
  4. Grievant: the student filing the Grievance.  The Grievant must have been a registered student of the College at the time of the alleged mistreatment.
  5. Instructional Period: the academic semester, summer session or intersession when a grievable act or omission occurs.  The Instructional Period shall end on the last day of final exams.
  6. Responding Party: the person against whom a complaint or Grievance is directed.
  7. Senior Officer: senior level employee who reports to the President for the Responding Party's work area.
  8. Student Grievance Officer: a College employee assigned responsibility for administering the Student Grievance Procedure, including the maintenance of specified records.  The Student Grievance Officer shall ordinarily be the Senior Student Affairs Officer.  If this individual is the person against whom the Grievance is filed, the President shall designate another College official to act as the Student Grievance Officer.
  9. Substantial Evidence of Error or Injustice: for purpose of Grade Appeals, substantial evidence of error or injustice is defined as:
    1. The assignment of a course grade to a student on some basis other than performance in the course; or
    2. The assignment of a course grade to a student by resorting to unreasonable standards different from those which were applied by the same instructor to other students in that course; or
    3. The assignment of a course grade by a substantial, unreasonable and unannounced departure from the instructor’s previously articulated standards.
  10. Time: the number of days indicated at each level shall be considered as a maximum.  All reasonable efforts shall be made to expedite the process, but the President or his/her designee may extend the time limits in extenuating circumstances with notice to both parties in writing, or by mutual written agreement between the Grievant and the Responding Party.

Utilizing The Student Grievance Procedure

The Student Grievance Procedure may be used by a student to address alleged abridgment of the student's rights, as stated in the College's Student Handbook and/or Policy Guide. The student Grievant or the Responding Party may consult with the Student Grievance Officer at any time.  The College's Student Grievance Officer is the Vice President of Enrollment and Student Services or designee.


The Student Grievance Procedure may not be used to address allegations of discrimination, including sexual harassment.  When a student believes that he/she has been discriminated against due to his/her race, creed, religion, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information or national origin, the College's Affirmative Action Grievance Procedure is a mechanism for resolution. The College's Affirmative Action Grievance Procedure is contained in the College's Affirmative Action Plan. The College's Affirmative Action Officer is located in the Human Resources office.


If a Grievance involves a grade dispute, a student shall process the Grievance in accordance with the Student Grievance Procedure. However, if a grade dispute raises issues of discrimination or sexual harassment, the Grievance should be processed in accordance with the College’s Affirmative Action Grievance Procedure and the Affirmative Action Officer shall conduct the process in collaboration with the Senior Academic Officer or designee.


Claims of physical or sexual assault shall not proceed under the Student Grievance Procedure. A claim of physical assault alleged against a student shall be reported to the Code of Conduct Officer. A claim of physical assault alleged against an employee shall be reported to the Human Resources Office. In both cases, law enforcement authorities shall also be notified. A claim of sexual assault shall be reported to the College’s Affirmative Action Officer and/or Title IX Coordinator and law enforcement authorities and shall proceed under the College’s Affirmative Action Plan. In matters involving physical or sexual assault, alleged victims are strongly encouraged to independently report the incident to the law enforcement authorities. The College’s Campus Police/Security Department can assist with the reporting process.


At any Level of the Student Grievance Procedure, either party may request mediation by contacting the Student Grievance Officer. Mediation shall be mutually agreed upon, and not unreasonably refused by either party.  The Student Grievance Officer shall select an impartial mediator who shall be mutually agreed upon and not unreasonably refused by either party, make the arrangements, determine the timetable for the mediation process, and inform the parties of the timetable in writing. Where practicable, a mediation session shall be conducted no later than thirty (30) days after requested and agreed to by the parties. The purpose of mediation is to resolve the dispute to the satisfaction of both parties. If a mediated resolution cannot be achieved, the Grievant may proceed with the Grievance Process. The Grievant has the right to be accompanied by any advisor of his/her own choosing and at his/her own expense throughout the grievance process. The advisor may be an attorney. An advisor’s role is limited to personally advising the Grievant only.  An advisor is not permitted to participate directly in any aspect of the grievance process.


Except for under extenuating circumstances, as determined by the President or his/her designee, failure by a party to comply with the Student Grievance Procedure during the course of a Grievance may result in the waiving of the noncompliant party's rights under the Procedure.

Grade Appeals

Complaints or Grievances filed in connection with assigned grades represent a special case within the Grievance procedure. Grading reflects careful and deliberate assessment of a student's performance by the instructing professional(s). As such decisions are necessarily judgmental the substance of those decisions may not be delegated to the Grievance process. Nevertheless, the College recognizes that in rare cases the process of grading may be subject to error or injustice.


Except as otherwise provided by a separate appeal procedure for a clinical program as approved by the President of the College, a student who alleges an error or injustice in the grading process may file a Grievance under the Student Grievance Procedure. A grade appeal Grievance shall proceed no further than Level Two, Step Two. For purposes of a grade appeal, the Senior Academic Officer of the College, or his/her designee, shall serve as the Student Grievance Officer throughout the grade appeal process.


If the faculty member who assigned the challenged grade is no longer employed by the College or is not available within the timelines specified (see "Time" definition), the student may initiate his/her Level One complaint with the chief administrator of the appropriate instructional division (who shall be identified by the Senior Academic Officer).


If at any level substantial evidence of error or injustice is produced, the grading process may be remanded to the instructor of record for reassessment.  If after reassessment, the dispute remains unresolved, the matter shall be referred to the Senior Academic Officer, or his/her designee, for final review.  If the instructor of record is no longer available, the Senior Academic Officer or his/her designee shall instead reassess the grading process.

Level One:

Informal Procedure
This is the informal stage where most complaints are resolved.  The Grievant and the Responding Party should consult with the Student Grievance Officer at this time. A Grievant initiates the informal phase of the Grievance process.  The Grievant shall first present his/her complaint orally and informally to the Responding Party.  This shall be done in a reasonable period of time, not exceeding thirty (30) calendar days following the instructional period when a grievable act or omission occurs. The Responding Party must respond to the Grievant's complaint within ten (10) days.  Though this phase of the process is informal, the parties may present their positions in writing.  If the matter is not resolved informally within ten (10) calendar days from the date a response to the complaint was due, the Grievant may proceed to Level Two.

Level Two:

Formal Procedure
Prior to filing a written Grievance at Level Two, a Grievant must consult with the Student Grievance Officer.  The Responding Party should also consult with the Student Grievance Officer at this phase of the process.


L2 – STEP ONE
The Student Grievance Officer shall notify the parties in writing when a complaint is not resolved informally at Level One.The Grievant may, within ten (10) calendar days after receipt of the Student Grievance Officer's written notice, file with the Student Grievance Officer a Grievance.  The Grievance shall contain the following information:  the name and title of the person(s) against whom the Grievance is directed, a statement of all known facts, documents and materials supporting the grievance, a list of individuals who have information pertinent to the grievance, and the relief sought by the Grievant.  All supporting documents, if any, shall be attached to the grievance as part of the Grievance.  The Grievance shall also state the date it is filed and that it is being filed at "Level Two, Step One."


The Grievance may be filed with the Student Grievance Officer by email, regular mail, certified mail, or in hand.  Thereafter, the Student Grievance Officer shall deliver the Grievance, and all supporting documents, if any, to the Responding Party within five (5) calendar days.  If the Responding Party is unavailable at the time the Grievance is filed, the Student Grievance Officer shall use reasonable means to deliver the Grievance within a reasonable period of time.


The Responding Party shall forward a written Level Two - Step One response to the Student Grievance Officer within ten (10) calendar days of his/her receipt of the Grievance.  The Student Grievance Officer shall deliver the written response to the Grievant within five (5) calendar days of receipt.


L2 – STEP TWO (Supervisor Level)
If the Grievance is not resolved to the satisfaction of the Grievant within ten (10) calendar days after his/her receipt of the Step One response, or if no written response is submitted, the Grievant may within ten (10) calendar days after the written response was received or due, request the Student Grievance Officer to forward the Grievance and response, if any, to the supervisor of the Responding Party, with a copy to the Senior Officer of the work area of the Responding Party.


The supervisor shall investigate the Grievance and confer with the Senior Officer.  The supervisor shall forward his/her written decision to the Student Grievance Officer, within ten (10) calendar days after receipt of the Step Two Grievance.  Thereafter, the Student Grievance Officer shall deliver the decision to the Grievant and the Responding Party within five (5) calendar days. At any time before the issuance of the Supervisor's Step Two decision, the Senior Officer may request that the parties meet to discuss the issue and attempt to resolve it. Grade appeals do not go beyond this Step (Level Two - Step Two) per the section on Grade Appeals.
No new issues or allegations may be raised by either party after Step Two.


L2 – STEP THREE (Student Grievance Committee Level)
If the Grievance is not resolved to the satisfaction of the Grievant within the period allowed at Level Two - Step Two, the Grievant may request a hearing before a Student Grievance Committee.  Such a request must be in writing and presented to the Student Grievance Officer within ten (10) calendar days from the issuance of the Supervisor's Level Two - Step Two decision.


Within ten (10) calendar days of the Student Grievance Officer's receipt of the Grievant's request for a hearing, the Student Grievance Officer shall arrange a hearing before a Student Grievance Committee.  The Student Grievance Officer shall use reasonable efforts to schedule the hearing at a time mutually convenient to the parties.  At least twenty-four (24) hours prior to the hearing, the Student Grievance Officer shall provide each member of the Committee and all parties to the Grievance with copies of the Grievance, responses to the Grievance, decisions issued, and all relevant supporting documentation and materials.  The Committee's make-up and hearing rules are discussed later in this policy.


The Committee shall deliver its findings and recommendations to the Student Grievance Officer within ten (10) calendar days following the hearing.  A copy of the Committee's findings and recommendations shall be delivered to the President or his/her designee, within five (5) calendar days of receipt.Within ten (10) calendar days of the President's receipt of the Committee's findings and recommendations, the President or his/her designee, shall issue a written statement accepting, modifying or rejecting the Committee's recommendations.
The decision of the President, or his/her designee, shall be final and binding on all parties.

Complaints or Grievances filed in connection with assigned grades represent a special case within the Grievance procedure. Grading reflects careful and deliberate assessment of a student’s performance by the instructing professional(s). As such decisions are necessarily judgmental, the substance of those decisions may not be delegated to the Grievance process. Nevertheless, the College recognizes that in rare cases the process of grading may be subject to error or injustice.


Except as otherwise provided by separate appeals procedures for clinical programs as approved by the President of the College, a student who alleges an error or injustice in the grading process may file a Grievance under the Student Grievance Procedure. A Grade Appeal Grievance shall proceed no further than Level Two, Step Two. For purposes of a Grade Appeal, the Chief Academic Officer of the College, or his/her designee, shall serve as the Student Grievance Officer throughout the Grade Appeal process.


If the faculty member who assigned the challenged grade is no longer employed by the College or is not available within the timelines specified (see “Time” definition), the student may initiate his/her Level One complaint with the Chief Administrator of the appropriate instructional division (who shall be identified by the Chief Academic Officer).
If at any level substantial evidence of error is produced, the grading process may be remanded to the instructor of record for reassessment. If the instructor of record is no longer available, the Chief Administrator of the appropriate instructional division or his/her designee shall instead reassess the grading process.

Membership of the College Student Grievance Committee

The composition of the College's Student Grievance Committee shall consist of five members:  one student, one unit professional, one faculty member, one non-unit professional and one unit classified employee.  The President or his/her designee shall appoint each member from among the recommendations submitted by the Student Grievance Officer.


Service on the Committee shall be voluntary, provided that a member who has a personal interest in a particular Grievance shall be ineligible to serve on the Grievance Committee.  All College employees serving on the Student Grievance Committee, and acting within the scope of their official duties on the Committee, shall be protected from liability to the full extent provided under Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 258, and eligible for indemnification as provided for pursuant to M.G.L. Chapter 258, Section 9.


All Student Grievance Committee members, as well as all others in attendance at a student Grievance proceeding, shall maintain the confidentiality of the proceedings.  The Student Grievance Officer shall attend all Committee hearings but shall not vote.

Student Grievance Committee Hearing & Decision Guidelines

The following guidelines provide the framework for conducting a Student Grievance Committee Hearing:

  1. Prior to the hearing, the newly impaneled Committee shall meet to elect a Committee Chairperson.  The Chairperson shall be selected by a simple majority vote.
  2. The Chairperson on the Committee shall be responsible for conducting the hearing and drafting the decision of the Committee, but shall vote only in the event of a tie.
  3. All hearings shall be closed and deliberations of the Committee shall be confidential and conducted in private.
  4. The Grievant and the Responding Party shall be in attendance at the hearing.  Each party may be accompanied by an advisor at the hearing.  The advisor, however, may not participate in the hearing or question witnesses.  Either party may at anytime during a hearing consult in private with his/her advisor.
  5. Witnesses may be asked by the Committee to remain outside of the hearing room until they are called to testify.
  6. The Grievant will address the Committee first.  The Grievant will state the nature of his/her Grievance and may present relevant evidence and/or witnesses in support of the Grievance.
  7. The Responding Party may respond to the Grievant's allegations and present relevant evidence and/or witnesses in opposition to the Grievance.
  8. Once the parties have presented their respective positions, the Committee may question the parties and/or witnesses.
  9. After the Committee has questioned the parties, each party will be given the opportunity to question the other party and their respective witnesses.  All questions must be directed through the Committee.  If the Committee determines that a question is relevant to the Grievance, the party or witness to whom it is addressed will be asked to respond.
  10. Following the parties' questioning of each other, the Committee will have another opportunity to question the parties and witnesses.
  11. Hearings before the Committee shall not be subject to the formal rules of evidence. In all cases, the hearing shall be conducted in a fair and impartial manner.
  12. If a party to a Grievance fails to appear for a scheduled hearing, the Committee has the discretion to proceed with the hearing and issue its findings and recommendations in the party's absence.
  13. The decision of the Committee shall be based on the relevant evidence presented at the hearing.  The decision shall be in writing and include:  a list of all documentary evidence and witnesses presented; a summary of the testimony offered by both parties and their respective witnesses; the findings of the Committee and its recommendations.  Copies of the decision and recommendations of the Student Grievance Committee shall be forwarded by the Student Grievance Officer to the President or his/her designee for review and final disposition.  The President or his/her designee shall accept, reject or modify the Committee’s decision and/or recommendations and issue a final written decision.
  14. All findings and decisions reached under this Procedure shall be based on a “preponderance of evidence” standard (i.e.; more likely than not). Any action taken hereunder shall be reasonable under the circumstances, in accordance with applicable College rules and procedures and be grounded in fundamental fairness.

Withdrawal

A student may withdraw his/her complaint or Grievance at any time.  Withdrawal must be accomplished in writing or by oral agreement confirmed in writing.

Retaliation

No member of the College community shall retaliate or threaten to retaliate against, interfere with, restrain, or coerce any student in the exercise of his/her rights under the Student Grievance Procedure or his/her participation in any Grievance proceedings.

Collateral Rights of Person Grieved by Student

If the recommendations made at any level of the Grievance procedure result in sanctions against a college employee, the sanctions shall be regarded as administrative actions subject to all conditions of applicable collective bargaining agreements and College or Board of Higher Education personnel policies.

Alternative Forums

Filing a Grievance in accordance with the Student Grievance Procedure in no way abrogates a student's right to file a complaint with an appropriate state or federal agency or in another forum.

Weapons and Firearms Policy

Except for authorized law enforcement purposes, no weapons of any kind are allowed on QCC campus. (Consistent with the College’s Code of Conduct)