Student Complaints

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FIU Law Procedures for Student Grievances

IF YOU NEED TO REPORT AN EMERGENCY, DIAL 911 OR CALL THE FIU UNIVERSITY POLICE AT 305-348-2626.

Reporting Academic Misconduct Grievance Against an FIU Law Student

Under the FIU Law Student Code of Conduct, FIU Law student complaints involving the Academic Misconduct [defined below] or Other Forms of Misconduct [defined below] committed by another FIU Law student should be reported either in writing or orally to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Under the FIU Law Student Code of Conduct, the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs has sole authority to investigate the allegations and decide to initiate proceedings under the FIU Law Student Code of Conduct.

Given student privacy considerations, the reporting student will not be apprised of the results of the Associate Dean’s investigation or of her/his decision whether to initiate proceedings.

[Academic Misconduct Definition] Academic Misconduct includes plagiarism; use of work completed by another student; re-submission of work completed for another law school class; unauthorized collaboration; unauthorized assistance from a third party; copying another student’s examination; unauthorized use of materials during examination; unauthorized departure from an examination room; unauthorized departure with– or discussion of—an examination; cheating by substitution; violation of examination security; attempts to enlist the assistance of third parties to engage in academic misconduct; failure to comply with the directive of an FIU Law official; interference with library materials; and disruption of library materials, resources, or spaces. For further definition of Academic Misconduct, please see Section 1.02 of the FIU Law Student Code of Conduct.

[Other Forms of Misconduct Definition] Other Forms of Misconduct under the FIU Law Student Code of Conduct include: misrepresentation of facts regarding admission to, or withdrawal from, FIU Law or any class or program at FIU Law; signing the attendance roster for another student who is absent from or late to a class; falsification of information presented to an employer; adjudication for violation of a criminal law of the State of Florida or the United States. For further definition of Other Forms of Misconduct, please see Section 1.03 of the FIU Law Student Code of Conduct.

Reporting a Conduct Grievance Against an FIU Law Student

All other student conduct, other than Academic Misconduct and Other Forms of Misconduct, defined above, is governed by the FIU Student Code of Conduct, which is administered by the FIU Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution. A conduct grievance includes theft, threat, stalking, smoking, trespassing, physical or verbal abuse, sexual misconduct, organization violation, hazing, fraud, harassment, bullying, bias-related incident, or any other concerning conduct.

Conduct grievances involving another FIU Law student can be reported either in writing or orally to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs or the Associate Dean for Student Services. The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and/or the Associate Dean for Student Services may pursue an informal resolution of the complaint with the aggrieved student. If the Associate Dean determines that the complaint involves conduct that warrants resolution by The Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution and/or the FIU University Police, the Associate Dean will submit an Incident Reporting Form and/or contact the FIU University Police.

An FIU Law student may also submit a report directly to the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution by completing an Incident Reporting Form and/or by contacting FIU University Police at 305-348-2626. The report should be filed within 90 days of the incident or obtaining knowledge of the incident, whichever is later. However, the SCCR Director may extend the filing time in certain cases.

Given student privacy considerations, the reporting student may not be apprised of the Associate Dean’s decision to report the incident to the FIU Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution and/or the FIU University Police. The FIU Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution and/or the FIU University Police will determine whether to disclose the results of their investigations to the reporting student; FIU Law will not directly disclose those results to the reporting student.

Reporting Concerning Behavior of an FIU Law Student

IF YOU WITNESS A DIRECT THREAT OF HARM OR A CLAIM OF A WEAPON ON CAMPUS, WHETHER THE THREAT OR CLAIM IS MADE IN PERSON, IN WRITING, OR ONLINE CALL 911 AND UNIVERSITY POLICE AT 305-348-2626.

FIU Law students are encouraged to report any behaviors exhibited by other FIU Law students that may indicate psychological or emotional crisis. These behaviors include: alcohol or substance abuse; financial constraints; death in the family; sexual assault or violence; feelings of sadness; hopelessness; desperation; eating disorders; relationship violence; medical concerns; struggling to fit in; keeping up with academic demands; anger; thoughts or threats of harm to oneself or others; strange or unusual acts or practices; aggression; extreme mood swings; or any other concerning behavior.

These reports can be made directly to Panthers Care. These reports will be handled on a case-by-case basis by the FIU Dean of Students, who will review the information and determine the appropriate response, which may include meeting with the student of concern, gathering additional information from faculty or staff, or contacting the reporting student for more information.

Given student privacy considerations, the reporting student may not be apprised of the FIU Dean of Students’ response.

Reporting Academic Grievance Against a Faculty Member

FIU Law student academic grievances against a FIU Law faculty members are governed by the FIU University Graduate School Academic Grievance Procedure. Academic grievances include: unprofessional conduct by a professor; improper admission counseling; improper counseling by an adviser; arbitrary grading for coursework, comprehensive examination, thesis, or dissertation; and arbitrary non-renewal of a graduate assistantship or arbitrary dismissal from a course or program.

Under the University Graduate School Academic Grievance Procedure, the reporting student must first attempt to informally resolve the academic grievance with the faculty member. If an informal resolution cannot be reached, then the student must meet with the faculty member’s department director, if applicable. If the faculty member does not report to a department director, or if a resolution cannot be reached with the department director, then the student must meet with the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs to reach an informal resolution. If an informal resolution cannot be reached within thirty university days after the initial contact with the faculty member, then the reporting student has a right to seek a formal resolution of the academic grievance through the procedure outlined in the FIU University Graduate School Academic Grievance Procedure.

Reporting Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct by a Faculty Member, Administrator, or Other FIU Law Employee

FIU Law student grievances against FIU Law employees involving discrimination, harassment, or sexual misconduct are governed by University Policy and the Equal Opportunity in Education Act, commonly known as Title IX. Any student who has experienced or witnessed discrimination, harassment, or sexual misconduct by an FIU Law Employee can file a Title IX complaint with the FIU Equal Opportunity Programs and Diversity Office by filing an anonymous complaint using the Ethical Panther Reporting Hotline at (844) 312-5358 or online at https://compliance.fiu.edu/hotline.html. A student may also speak with a Title IX Coordinator by calling 305-348-1509.

Student Conduct Code Complaints

These should be addressed to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs as provided for under Article 3.01 of the Student Code of Conduct.

Complaints Implicating Compliance with ABA Standards

FIU College of Law is subject to the American Bar Association’s Standards for Approval of Law Schools. Those Standards may be found on the ABA’s website at http://www.americanbar.org/groups/legal_education/resources/standards.html. Any student at the law school who wishes to bring a formal complaint to the Administration about a significant problem that directly implicates the law school’s program of legal education and its compliance with the ABA Standards should take the following steps:

A.      All complaints should be submitted in writing either by hand or by email to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

B.    The writing should describe in detail the nature of the complaint and demonstrate how it implicates the law school’s program of legal education and the school’s compliance with (a) particular identified ABA Standard(s).

C.    The writing must provide the name of the student submitting the complaint, the student’s official FIU Law email address and a phone number for further communication about the complaint.

The complaint will be acknowledged via email or phone with in three (3) business days of receipt. Within ten (10) business days of acknowledgement of the complaint, the Dean or the Dean’s designee shall either meet with the complaining student or respond to the substance of the complaint in writing. In the response, the student will receive either a substantive response to the complaint or information about what steps are being taken by the Law School to address or further investigate the concerns raised in the complaint. The Law School will maintain a record of all complaints in the Dean’s Office.