Student Grievance Policy And Procedures

1.    PURPOSE AND SCOPE

The Sydney College of Divinity (SCD) is committed to living out its vision and values in establishing and maintaining a harmonious and supportive environment conducive to study and personal development. SCD has a responsibility under legislation to ensure that students are not subjected to discrimination, harassment, vilification, victimization, or other forms of unfairness. SCD recognizes that students may sometimes feel they have experienced disadvantage or distress and will ensure that grievances are responded to promptly, in a consistent and transparent manner, with minimum stress and maximum protection for all concerned.

SCD’s Student Grievance Policy and Procedures provides a mechanism for addressing grievances arising out of any kind of situation or process affecting the student, whether academic or non-academic. It applies to all students currently or previously enrolled in SCD courses delivered by the SCD teaching bodies or Research Degrees Program, regardless of the location of the campus at which the grievance has arisen, the student’s place of residence, or the mode of study.

Definition:     ‘Teaching body’ refers to any Member Institution (MI) and the SCD Korean School of Theology (KST).
Clarification:     St Andrew’s Greek Orthodox Theological College (SAGOTC), located at 242 Cleveland Street REDFERN NSW 2016, is a teaching body and member institution (MI) of the SCD.

This policy allows that some grievances may proceed from the level of the teaching body to that of SCD itself, if they have not been resolved within the teaching body, while other grievances may originate within SCD, including in the SCD Research Degrees Program (e.g. involving SCD governance or management, or any aspect of the Research Degrees Program). Students no longer enrolled in an SCD award and wishing to lodge a grievance retrospectively should direct their grievance to SCD itself.

Ultimate responsibility for oversight of the proper implementation of the Student Grievance Policy and Procedures is vested in the Council of SCD.

The SCD’s Student Grievance Policy and Procedures is communicated to all SCD students, and to both academic and support staff. It is placed:

•    on the SCD website;
•    in the SCD Handbook;
•    on each MI website; and
•    in each MI Handbook.

Staff training in the procedures takes place with the induction of new staff in each of the SCD teaching bodies by the Head of the teaching body and in the Office of the Dean by the Dean. Periodic revisions of the procedures are communicated to all staff by the Dean, and appropriate professional development in the area is arranged by the Head of the teaching body or the Dean, as relevant.

Definitions:

•    ‘Head’ in this policy refers to the MI Principal or the Dean of Students (Korean Program), the latter delegated by the Dean.
•    ‘Office of the Dean’ refers to the head office of SCD, its management hub, in which are based the Dean; the Directors of Coursework, Research, Student Administration, and Finance; and various support staff. Staff at Director level or above may be assigned to roles related to Student Grievances.

Clarification:

•    The ‘Head’ of SAGOTC is His Eminence Archbishop Stylianos of Australia, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in Australia.
•    The Dean of the SCD is Professor Diane Speed.

The Head advises the SCD Director of Student Administration at the beginning of each year who will undertake the roles of Grievance Handler and Student Advocacy Officer for the year in that teaching body (for definitions of these roles see below at 2.2).

The Director of Student Administration holds a central record of the annual appointments, for communication as needed, and also keeps a record of grievances brought to SCD itself and their outcomes for at least seven years.

These procedures do not replace any other responsibilities that may arise under other Higher Education Provider policies or under statute law.

Any allegation of abuse of vulnerable persons or other unlawful acts must be reported at once to the Dean, who takes the appropriate further action.

No part of the grievance process requires any payment on the part of the student.

Note that some academic grievances require modifications to the general grievance process in that they involve decisions of the Academic Board and its committees. These are set out below at 3.6 and entail:

3.6.1    grievances regarding coursework assessment;
3.6.2    research student grievances regarding supervision, progress, candidature, and examination.

The Guidelines for Students Lodging a Grievance document, appended to the policy itself, is a shorter text providing students with an introduction to the grievance process.

2.    PERSONS AND RESPONSIBILITIES IN THE GRIEVANCE PROCESS

Any member of staff, whether employed by SCD or by an MI, may have a role in the formal grievance process, depending on the particular circumstances. The key persons and their responsibilities under this policy are as follows:

2.1.1    Heads of Teaching Bodies: MI Principals and the Dean of Studies (Korean Program)

The Heads appoint a Grievance Handler and Student Advocacy Officer from amongst their staff for grievances lodged with the teaching body and ensure that, for any student who does not find the appointed Grievance Handler or Student Advocacy Officer acceptable, an acceptable alternative is provided.

If a grievance is not resolved through discussion facilitated by the Grievance Handler, the Head will interview the student, make a decision, and communicate the decision to all parties involved in the process. If the student wishes to pursue the matter further, the Head directs the Grievance Handler to refer the student to the SCD Grievance Handler and ensures that a record of the grievance process is retained for at least seven years in the teaching body.

2.1.2    Dean

The Dean appoints a Grievance Handler and Student Advocacy Officer from amongst the SCD Directors based in the Office of the Dean for grievances lodged with SCD, including those concerning the Research Degrees Program, or referred to SCD by a teaching body and ensures that, for any student who does not find the appointed Student Advocacy Officer acceptable, an acceptable alternative is provided.

The Dean receives prompt notification of any allegation of abuse of vulnerable persons or other unlawful acts and takes the appropriate further action.

If a grievance is not resolved through discussion facilitated by the SCD Grievance Handler, the Dean appoints a Grievance Committee as set out under 3.4.2 and directs the Grievance Handler to communicate the outcome to the student. If the student wishes to pursue the matter further, the Dean either arranges for the External Grievance Officer to investigate and report on the matter (for domestic students) or refers the student to the Overseas Student Ombudsman (for overseas students).

The Dean is delegated by Council to bear overall responsibility for the grievance process and to report to Council the outcome of any grievance process involving the External Grievance Officer or the Overseas Student Ombudsman.

The Dean ensures that a record of the SCD grievance process is retained for at least seven years.

2.2.1    Grievance Handlers

The Grievance Handler is a staff member appointed by the Heads of the teaching bodies and by the Dean in respect of SCD, including its Research Degrees Program, to act as the initial go-to person for advice and information regarding the nature of the grievance process and the facilitator of the grievance process, as set out at 3.4.1 and 3.4.2, and is given appropriate training. If a grievance originates in a teaching body but is referred to SCD, the teaching body’s Grievance

Handler will relinquish his/her role and the SCD Grievance Handler will take up the role.

The Grievance Handler acts with promptness, courtesy, and impartiality towards all parties to the grievance. The duties of the Grievance Handler include:

•    facilitating exchanges between complainant and respondent, and recording the results;
•    documenting the overall process including decisions made or actions taken; and
•    making appropriate referrals.

For a teaching body the Grievance Handler may be, for example, the Registrar. For SCD itself, including its Research Degrees Program, the Grievance Handler is regularly the Director of Student Administration.

2.2.2    Student Advocacy Officers

The Student Advocacy Officer is a staff member appointed by the Heads of the teaching bodies and by the Dean in respect of SCD, including its Research Degrees Program, to provide personal assistance and support for the student throughout the grievance process, as set out below at 3.4.1 and 3.4.2, and is given appropriate training.

This person’s service is provided free of charge to the student.

The Student Advocacy Officer ensures that the student has full information about the process and appropriate advice as needed throughout the process, accompanies the student to meetings if requested by the student, and communicates with the student promptly, respectfully, and sensitively. The Student Advocacy Officer refrains from discussing details with anyone but the student unless the student requests otherwise, and is tasked solely with supporting the student to achieve a just and proper outcome.

In relevant circumstances, the Student Advocacy Officer refers the student to counselling or health services.

If a grievance originates in a teaching body but is referred to SCD, the teaching body’s Student Advocacy Officer will relinquish his/her role and the SCD Student Advocacy Officer will take up the role.

For a teaching body, the Student Advocacy Officer may be, for example, a lecturer with pastoral experience. For SCD itself, including its Research Degrees Program, the Student Advocacy Officer may be the Director of Coursework or the Director of Research, depending on the circumstances.

2.2.3    Other Staff within Each Teaching Body and the Office of the Dean

If any Grievance Handler (2.2.1) or Student Advocacy Officer (2.2.2) is unacceptable to a student wishing to lodge a grievance, another staff member is appointed to this role by the Head of the teaching body or the Dean, as relevant, in consultation with the student.

2.3.1    External Grievance Officer

The External Grievance Officer is a person of demonstrable authority and experience in Higher Education, who is not otherwise employed by SCD or any MI. This person is appointed by the Dean to investigate grievances of domestic SCD students if these are not resolved through the normal processes set out below and is approached by the Dean in such circumstances.

At present this person is Rev Dr Mark Harding, Dean of the Australian College of Theology.

2.3.2    Overseas Students Ombudsman

The Overseas Students Ombudsman is a person appointed by the Government to investigate complaints about problems that overseas students may have with private education and training in Australia: http://www.oso.gov.au/.

3.    GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE

3.1    Before an Issue Becomes a Grievance

Students are encouraged, wherever possible, to resolve concerns or difficulties directly with the person(s) concerned. Within the teaching bodies the Deans of Students and Student Counsellors are available to assist students at this level.

In the Office of the Dean, the Director of Student Administration is available to offer general advice.

Clarification:    At SAGOTC, students may consult the resident chaplain in the first instance regarding a concern. This is the Very Rev. Archimandrite Father Sophronios Konidaris.

3.2    What is a Grievance?

A grievance is a written statement of concern, or complaint, presented to a person in authority within SCD or one of its teaching bodies that requires an action or a response from the institution concerned. A grievance may relate to any situation or process affecting the student, whether academic or non-academic, and may be against a person or persons within any teaching body or SCD itself.

The person designated ‘Grievance Handler’ is normally the first person to contact.

Clarification:    At SAGOTC, the Grievance Handler is the Registrar, Anastasios Kalogerakis.

Definitions:

•    the person bringing the grievance is referred to as ‘the complainant’;
•    the person(s) against whom the grievance is made is referred to as ‘the respondent(s)’.

A grievance is not part of the regular student feedback on course units and teaching, but rather a complaint about a personal situation. SCD will not normally act on anonymous complaints. Staff must, however, refer to the Dean all complaints, anonymous or otherwise, about abuse of vulnerable persons or other unlawful acts, and together they will inform the police.

SCD requires that records of grievances lodged and resolved within the teaching body to the satisfaction of the student be retained within the teaching body concerned for at least seven years, in case the complainant or any staff member should subsequently have reason to refer to the previous matter. At the same time, however, SCD regards a grievance resolved without referral to SCD itself as a matter that has not reached the level of a formal grievance on which SCD may be required to report to a Government authority. A record of any grievance lodged with SCD itself will be treated as a formal grievance and records will be retained for at least seven years.

General Principles for Staff in the Grievance Process

Staff assisting at any point in the grievance process should do everything in their power to ensure that the following principles are upheld:

(a)    Confidentiality: All parties have a basic obligation to maintain confidentiality. Generally fairness requires that the respondent knows who has lodged a grievance.
(b)    Procedural Fairness: Both the student complainant and the respondent must receive appropriate information, support, and assistance in resolving the grievance.
(c)    Freedom from Unfair Repercussions or Victimization: SCD will take all necessary steps to ensure that victimization does not occur. Any staff member who is shown to have victimized a student will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action.
(d)    Sensitivity: All grievances must be dealt with sensitively, and with care for all involved.
(e)    Timeliness: Grievances must be dealt with as quickly as possible: undue delay in responding to a grievance may provide grounds for further complaint. The aim is to achieve resolution of a complaint within four weeks of the complaint being lodged. Both complainant and respondent should be kept informed of the progress of the complaint and advised if resolution of the matter is likely to extend beyond four weeks, in writing if requested.

3.4    Process

Under normal circumstances, a coursework student enrolled at a particular teaching body may be expected to lodge the grievance with that teaching body. The student may, however, believe (rightly or wrongly) that the matter will not receive appropriate attention from the teaching body. Any student may choose to lodge the grievance directly with SCD itself.

If a student who lodges a grievance at a teaching body is not satisfied with the outcome and wishes to pursue the matter further, the teaching body’s Grievance Handler ensures that the student is referred to the SCD Grievance Handler and that all relevant information and documentary evidence is passed on to that person.

If the student remains unsatisfied following investigation by SCD itself and wishes to pursue the matter further, the Dean refers it to the External Grievance Officer (for domestic students) or refers the student to the Overseas Students Ombudsman (for overseas students).

At no point will either the complainant or the respondent be victimized or discriminated against. The student remains enrolled in his or her program whilst the grievance process is ongoing.

3.4.1    Lodgement of Grievance with the Teaching Body

The student should approach the designated Grievance Handler at the teaching body, but if that person is unacceptable the student may ask the Head of the teaching body to provide another staff member to carry out this function.

The Grievance Handler:

•    obtains an informal initial account of the presenting problem from the student;
•    makes sure the student has access to the SCD’s Student Grievance Policy and Procedures;
•    makes sure both the complainant and the respondent are aware that they may be supported/accompanied by a friend or family member throughout the process;
•    provides the student with the Student Grievance Notification Form to fill out and receives the completed form, which the student may complete either independently or after seeking advice from the Student Advocacy Officer (as below);
•    directs the student to the designated Student Advocacy Officer or, if that person is unacceptable to the student concerned, directs the student to the Head of the teaching body, who will, in consultation with the student, provide an alternative Student Advocacy Officer from amongst the staff of the teaching body. If no member of staff within the teaching body is acceptable to the student, the grievance is referred to SCD itself through the SCD Grievance Handler.

The Student Advocacy Officer meets with the student as soon as possible and ensures that the student:

•    fully understands the overall process and his or her rights;
•    feels reasonably comfortable discussing the matter in confidence with the Student Advocacy Officer;
•    understands that the Student Advocacy Officer is not able knowingly to support falsehood;
•    is able to articulate the particular issue of concern clearly;
•    has assembled relevant information and evidence.

If necessary, the Student Advocacy Officer provides:

•    advice on how to complete the Student Grievance Notification Form;
•    any additional records or institutional information;
•    referral to counselling or health services.

The Student Advocacy Officer arranges for the student to have ready contact and advice as needed throughout the process and accompanies the student to meetings if requested by the student. The presence of the Student Advocacy Officer does not preclude the presence, in addition, of a friend or family member. The Student Advocacy Officer refrains from discussing details with anyone but the student, unless the student requests otherwise, and is tasked solely with supporting the student to achieve a just outcome.

Clarification: At SAGOTC, the Student Advocacy Officer is Basilios Psilacos, Faculty Member.

The Grievance Handler:

•    provides a copy of the completed Student Grievance Notification Form to the Head of the teaching body;
•    facilitates discussion between the student and the respondent(s) with the aim of reaching an agreed outcome;
•    completes the Grievance Response Form with the student and provides the student with a copy of the completed form;
•    reports the outcome to the Head of the teaching body.

If the matter has been resolved to the student’s satisfaction, the Head provides the student with a letter noting the conclusion of the grievance process and the outcome and directs the Grievance Handler to store the Grievance Response Form with relevant records for at least seven years. These records remain confidential, except that any party to the grievance will be allowed supervised access upon request.

If the matter has not been resolved, the Head of the teaching body will interview the student, make a decision and communicate the decision to all parties involved in the process.

If the student wishes to pursue the grievance further, the Grievance Handler refers it to the SCD Grievance Handler to be addressed by SCD itself.

3.4.2    Lodgement of Grievance with the SCD

A grievance may be lodged initially with the SCD without the steps set out at 3.4.1 above, in the case of research students or others who prefer to do so because of the nature of their grievance against the teaching body, or it may be referred to the SCD from a teaching body if it remains unresolved by the process set out at 3.4.1. In the latter case, after the SCD Grievance Officer receives the referral from the teaching body’s Grievance Handler, the SCD’s Grievance Handler and

Student Advocacy Officer take over those roles from the teaching body.

The process in SCD largely mirrors that in the teaching body.

The SCD Grievance Handler:

•    obtains an informal initial account of the presenting problem from the student;
•    makes sure the student has access to the SCD’s Student Grievance Policy and Procedures;
•    makes sure both the complainant and the respondent are aware that they may be supported/accompanied by a friend or family member throughout the process;
•    provides the student with the Student Grievance Notification Form to fill out and receives the completed form, which the student may complete either independently or after seeking advice from the Student Advocacy Officer (as below);
•    directs the student to the designated Student Advocacy Officer or, if that person is unacceptable to the student concerned, directs the student to the Dean, who will, in consultation with the student, provide an alternative Student Advocacy Officer from amongst the SCD Directors.

The Student Advocacy Officer meets with the student as soon as possible and ensures that the student:

•    fully understands the overall process and his or her rights;
•    feels reasonably comfortable discussing the matter in confidence with the Student Advocacy Officer;
•    understands that the Student Advocacy Officer is not able knowingly to support falsehood;
•    is able to articulate the particular issue of concern clearly;
•    has assembled relevant information and evidence.

If necessary, the Student Advocacy Officer provides:

•    advice on how to complete the Student Grievance Notification Form;
•    any additional records or institutional information;
•    referral to counselling or health services.

The Student Advocacy Officer arranges for the student to have ready contact and advice as needed throughout the process and accompanies the student to meetings if requested by the student. The presence of the Student Advocacy Officer does not preclude the presence, in addition, of a friend or family member. The Student Advocacy Officer refrains from discussing details with anyone but the student, unless the student requests otherwise, and is tasked solely with supporting the student to achieve a just outcome.

The Grievance Handler:

•    provides a copy of the completed Student Grievance Notification Form to the Dean;
•    facilitates discussion between the student and the respondent(s) with the aim of reaching an agreed outcome;
•    reports the outcome to the Dean.

If the matter has not been resolved, the Dean:

•    appoints a Grievance Committee of two or three persons with relevant experience, external to the part of SCD in which the grievance arose with no more than one employed in any part of SCD, to investigate and report on the matter as soon as possible but at least within four weeks;
•    provides the Committee with relevant materials, including any further submission from the student;
•    invites one person to chair and coordinate the report of the Committee;
•    receives the report of the Committee;
•    directs the Grievance Handler to communicate its contents to the student, including clear and comprehensive written advice about the outcome.

The Grievance Handler:

•    provides clear and comprehensive written advice to the student about the outcome of the Committee’s report;
•    completes the Grievance Response Form with the student and provides the student with a copy of the completed form;
•    informs the Dean of the student’s response.

If, after either the facilitated discussion or the Grievance Committee process, the matter has been resolved to the student’s satisfaction, the Dean provides the student with a letter noting the conclusion of the grievance process and the outcome and directs the SCD Grievance Handler to store the Grievance Response Form with relevant records in the Office of the Dean for at least seven years. These records remain confidential, except that (i) any party to the grievance will be allowed supervised access upon request, and (ii) SCD may be required to report the matter to a Government agency.

If the matter remains unresolved by the process outlined above and the student wishes to pursue it further, the Dean either arranges for the External Grievance Officer to investigate and report on the matter within four weeks (for domestic students) or refers the student to the Overseas Student Ombudsman (for overseas students). In the former case, the Dean reports the outcome of the External Grievance Officer’s investigation to the student and to Council. In the latter case, the student receives a response from the Ombudsman. The Dean reports the process to Council, including the Ombudsman’s response if that has been made known to the SCD. In either case, the Dean ensures that the Grievance

Notification and Response Forms and other records are stored in the Office of the Dean for at least seven years, with the same conditions of confidentiality as above.

3.5    Possible Outcomes

Depending on the point at which the process is concluded, possible outcomes might be:

•    the student, having received advice and support, addresses the matter directly with the respondent and an agreement is reached;
•    a mutually acceptable resolution, such as modification of the issue, is reached through mediation at one or other level;
•    the findings of the External Grievance Officer or the Overseas Students Ombudsman are implemented at the direction of the Dean;
•    the student receives an apology and any fault on the part of the teaching body or SCD is addressed appropriately;
•    the teaching body or SCD reviews its procedures with the aim of avoiding similar problems in the future while maintaining appropriate standards;
•    the student gains a better understanding of the issue and accepts the position of the teaching body or SCD.

3.6    Special Cases within the Grievance Regulations

Some grievances require modifications to the general grievance process in that they involve decisions of the Academic Board and its committees. These are:

•    grievances regarding coursework assessment;
•    postgraduate research candidate grievances regarding supervision, progress, candidature, and examination.

3.6.1    Grievances Regarding Coursework Assessment

In the first instance a student may appeal to the lecturer concerned against the result given in any item of assessment when:

•    the student believes that some error in grading has been made; or
•    the student has concerns about the grade awarded.

This dialogue may proceed either informally or with the facilitation of the Grievance Handler and advice of the Student Advocacy Officer, using the Student Grievance Notification Form, as the student prefers. In the case of ongoing disagreement, the Head is notified and appoints a second examiner, either from the staff of the teaching body concerned or, by agreement, from other SCD faculty. The Head considers both the original and the second result and reaches a decision, which is communicated to the student. If the student wishes to pursue the matter further, the student may lodge a formal grievance as set out at 3.4.1, if this has not already been initiated, and appeal formally to the board of studies of his or her teaching body through the Head, who forwards both the original and the second results for the board’s consideration. When the board has reached its decision and communicated it to the student, the Grievance Handler completes the Grievance Response Form with the student and forwards it to the Head. The board of studies of the teaching body may or may not include a member external to the teaching body.

A failed final grade in a course unit is the only ground on which an appeal can be made to the SCD Academic Board.

Where a student believes that the review procedures in the teaching body have not been properly followed with regard to an appeal against a failed final grade in a course unit, the student may appeal to the SCD Academic Board through the Head of the teaching body. The Head requests the intervention of the SCD Academic Board through the Dean and provides it with the completed Grievance Notification and Response Forms and other relevant documentation, including both the original and the second results. Documentation must include the student’s alleged evidence that proper review procedures have not been complied with by the teaching body.

The appeal must be submitted in writing to the Academic Board Chair within ten working days of receipt of the determinative outcome of the appeal to the teaching body.

The student remains enrolled whilst the grievance process is ongoing.

The decision of the Academic Board is final.

If the student does not accept the decision of Academic Board and wishes to pursue the matter further, the Dean will proceed as per the final paragraph in section 3.4.2.

3.6.2    Grievances Regarding Postgraduate Research Student Supervision, Progress, Candidature, and Examination

These grievances refer to:

•    unsatisfactory supervision;
•    disputes relating to satisfactory student progress;
•    issues relating to candidature, including final extension; and
•    the outcome of thesis examination.

3.6.2.1    Disputes Involving Supervision, Progress, or Final Extension

The student must make reasonable attempts to resolve the grievance through discussion with the supervisor(s) and the Director of Research, before entering into formal grievance procedures.

If the matter is resolved either informally or following the initial steps of the grievance process set out at 3.4.2, any changes to existing records must be considered and ratified by the Research Committee and, where relevant, reported by the Research Committee to Academic Board.

If there is no resolution and the student wishes to pursue the matter further, the student may lodge a formal grievance as set out at 3.4.2, if this has not already been initiated, and request the Dean to move to establish a Grievance Committee. In this case the Grievance Committee will be summoned to meet and make a recommendation within ten working days. It has three members: the Chair of Academic Board (Chair), a member of the Research Committee, and the Dean. The recommendation is notified to the student, the Research Committee, and Academic Board, which may either accept the Grievance Committee’s report or decide differently. The Dean notifies the student of the outcome.

Whether the student accepts the decision of Academic Board or not, the SCD Grievance Handler completes the Grievance Response Form with the student and further actions are undertaken as set out at 3.4.2 above to address either situation.

The student remains enrolled whilst the grievance process is ongoing.

3.6.2.2    Disputes Involving the Outcome of Thesis Examination

The examination process for all four SCD research degrees is set out in the Research Degrees Regulations under item A.15 and repeated for the individual degrees at B.4.6, C.4.6, D.4.6, and E.4.6, respectively. In each case, if the Research Committee infers uncertainty from the examiners’ reports overall, there is provision for the appointment of an additional examiner or an oral or written examination to guide the Research Committee’s final recommendation and Academic Board’s decision regarding the final outcome.

If the student does not accept the determination of Academic Board and wishes to pursue it further, the student may lodge a grievance with the Dean using the SCD Student Grievance Notification Form. Assuming the role of Grievance Handler in this situation, the Dean refers the student to the Student Advocacy Officer for support and arranges for the matter to be referred to the External Grievance Officer or the Overseas Student Ombudsman and brought to a conclusion as set out at 3.4.2.

GUIDELINES FOR STUDENTS LODGING A GRIEVANCE

If any student currently or previously enrolled in a Sydney College of Divinity (SCD) course feels that he or she has been subjected to discrimination, harassment, vilification, victimization, or other unfairness, the student may lodge a formal, written complaint about this in accordance with the SCD’s Student Grievance Policy and Procedures, available through the SCD website at scd.edu.au and also through the websites of all SCD teaching bodies within SCD.

A formal complaint is known as a ‘grievance’. The person making the complaint is the ‘complainant’ and the person(s) against whom the grievance is made is/are the ‘respondent(s)’.

A formal complaint may be about an academic or a non-academic matter related to a student’s personal experience. It is quite distinct from the regular student feedback on course units and teaching.

Some grievances may be lodged at a teaching body where the SCD coursework awards are delivered, while other grievances may be lodged with SCD itself as the responsible Higher Education Provider. Grievances lodged by research degree students are covered by the arrangements pertaining to the SCD level. It is possible for a grievance to be lodged initially with a teaching body and then be referred to SCD if it is not satisfactorily resolved within the teaching body.

SCD’s Student Grievance Policy and Procedures applies to all students currently or previously enrolled in SCD courses regardless of the location of the campus at which the grievance has arisen, the student’s place of residence, or the mode of study.

Ultimate responsibility for oversight of the proper implementation of the Student Grievance Policy and Procedures is vested in the SCD Council, which delegates oversight of the grievance process to the Dean. The process is carried out by designated persons (i) in each of the teaching bodies and/or (ii) in the Office of the Dean (for the SCD level). At both levels a person appointed as the Grievance Handler acts as the basic go-to person and facilitator of the process, and another person appointed as the Student Advocacy Officer is provided solely to assist the student in working through the process for a just outcome. The student has the right to an alternative Grievance Handler and/or Student Advocacy Officer if the person appointed is not acceptable for any reason. The student may, in addition, choose to be accompanied by a friend or family member throughout.

If a grievance is not resolved at the teaching body or SCD level, the matter is referred by SCD to an External Grievance Officer, for domestic students, and overseas students are referred directly to the Overseas Students Ombudsman.

The student is not asked to pay anything to anyone throughout the grievance process.

A student wishing to lodge a grievance, or simply to enquire about the process, should normally approach the person designated as the Grievance Handler in the place concerned, but may approach the Principal, Dean of Studies (Korean Program), or SCD Dean, as relevant, or any other member of staff to seek initial help.

APPENDIX:

ST ANDREW’S GREEK ORTHDOOX THEOLOGICAL COLLEGE

PERSONS OF RESPONSIBILITY IN 2017

For the purpose of compliance with the Student Grievance Policy and Procedures of the SCD, the following persons at SAGOTC are noted within the Policy:

‘Head’                

His Eminence Archbishop Stylianos of Australia, College Dean
Consultation by appointment through his personal secretary,
the Very Rev. Archimandrite Father Kyrillos Zisis
Tel: (02) 9690 6100 or heritage@greekorthodox.org.au

‘Resident Chaplain’        

The Very Rev. Archimandrite Father Sophronios Konidaris
Mobile: 0412 885 072 or frsophrony@gmail.com

‘Grievance Handler’        

Anastasios Kalogerakis, Registrar
Tel: (02) 9549 3102 or registrar@sagotc.edu.au

‘Student Advocacy Officer’    

Basilios Psilacos, Faculty Member
Tel: (02) 9549 3104 or bpsilacos@sagotc.edu.au

See also:

SCD Student Grievance Notification Form

SCD Student Grievance Response Form