Student Handbook

Dispute Resolution and Grievance Procedures

Dispute Resolution
The College has adopted procedures to facilitate a fair and effective manner of handling disputes and grievances among members of the College community. When disputes or grievances cannot be resolved by the parties involved, options are available to students who are aggrieved by actions of other community members.

In most cases that cannot be resolved between parties first, mediation or a facilitated conversation is the preferred method of resolving complaints.  Members of the faculty, staff and student body are selected to serve as mediation advisors. Mediation is a voluntary process that leaves the decision-making power to the parties involved in the complaint. Mediators serve as neutral third party facilitators in the mediation process. The goal of mediation is to reach mutually acceptable solutions. Resolutions derived through mediation are considered official agreements endorsed by the College.

Faculty, students and staff who wish to discuss the mediation process or enter into mediation should contact the Office of Student Affairs.  The Dean of Students generally serves as the coordinator of the dispute resolution process. Information on mediation will be provided by the Dean or his designee depending on the exact process determined.

The Conduct Hearing Board provides a formal method of adjudicating disputes and grievances or behavior that is in violation of College policies. A pool of students, faculty and staff are appointed to hear the cases brought before the CHB and to determine findings and when appropriate, recommend sanctions. Each case is heard by a panel of four members of the CHB. The person(s) whom the complaint is filed against receives a copy of the complaint and the opportunity to provide a written response. Both parties are present at the hearing, may have an advisor present, and may call witnesses and provide evidence pertinent to the complaint. Both parties meet with the Dean or Chair of the Conduct Hearing Board before the hearing to discuss the procedures involved.

Situations where there a possibility of harassment or sexual assault are referred to the  Macalester College Harassment Committee.  The twelve members of the MCHC are appointed to assist community members in addressing and resolving disputes and grievances involving harassment or sexual assault.