St. Lawrence University has adopted this internal grievance procedure for the prompt and equitable resolution of complaints alleging violations of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). Section 504 and the ADA provide that no qualified individual with a disability shall, by reason of such disability, be excluded from participation in or be denied the benefits of the services, programs, or activities of a covered entity or be subjected to discrimination by such an entity.
Grievable issues include, but are not limited to, a denial of a requested accommodation, the inadequacy of an accommodation, the inaccessibility of a program or activity due to disability, or discrimination or harassment based on disability.
All complaints should be addressed to the attention of the Vice President for Community and Employee Relations at 229-5509.
The following procedures apply:
- A complaint should be filed in writing or verbally with the Section 504 Coordinator, and shall contain the name and address of the person filing it, and briefly describe the nature of the complaint and the alleged violation of the regulations.
- A complaint should be filed within thirty (30) days after the complainant becomes aware of the alleged violation. Complaints received later than thirty (30) days after complainant became aware of the alleged violation may be dismissed as untimely.
- An investigation, as may be appropriate, will follow the filing of a complaint. The investigation shall be conducted by the University’s Section 504 Coordinator (or another University official acting at the Coordinator’s request). These procedures contemplate a prompt and informal, but thorough investigation which affords the complainant, the subject of the complaint, and other interested persons, if any, an opportunity to submit documents and information relevant to the consideration of and resolution of the complaint. The exact scope, timing, and procedures of the investigation shall be set by the Coordinator (or other University official acting at the Coordinator’s request).
- A written determination as to the validity of the complaint and a description of the resolution, if any, shall be issued by the University’s Section 504 Coordinator (or other University official acting at the Coordinator’s request) and a copy forwarded to the complainant normally no later than fifteen (15) working days after receipt of the complaint.
- The University’s Coordinator shall maintain the files and records relating to complaints filed.
- Any party to the investigation can request reconsideration of the Coordinator’s (or other official’s) determination if he or she is dissatisfied with it. Requests for reconsideration should be made within seven (7) days of the receipt of the determination and/or recommendation(s) to the appropriate senior officer of the University, i.e., Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs, in complaints where a faculty member is the accused, the Vice President for Administrative Operations in complaints where a staff member is the accused, the Vice President and Dean of Student Life where a student is the accused, the Vice President for Administrative Operations in complaints where the issue is university facilities, the Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs, in complaints where the issue is academic accommodations. (In cases where a decision of one of these Vice Presidents is in issue, a different senior officer will be appointed by the President or his/her designee to hear a request for reconsideration.) The senior officer has thirty (30) days to respond to the request for reconsideration. Decisions of the senior officer are final.
- The right of a person to a prompt and equitable resolution of the complaint filed hereunder shall not be impaired by the person’s pursuit of other remedies, such as the filing of a Section 504/ADA complaint with the responsible federal department or agency. Use of this grievance procedure is not a prerequisite to the pursuit of other remedies.
- This procedure shall be construed to protect the substantive rights of interested persons, to meet appropriate due process standards, and to assure that the University complies with Section 504/ADA and implementing regulations.
- Retaliation against any complainant under this grievance procedure or against any person who assists a complainant in his/her pursuit of a complaint under this grievance procedure is prohibited.