XXVII.A. BSC TERMINATION POLICY & GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE
Per section III.D. of the bylaws, membership may be terminated by the BSC President, the member’s house or apartment, Cabinet, the Conduct Committee, or Staff. If your unit is considering terminating a member, please inform the BSC President, Executive Director and Member Advocate.
XXVII.A.1. Jurisdiction of bodies empowered to terminate membership (this section is purely descriptive)
a. Unit Council terminations are governed by unit policies. Additionally, they must conform to the mandatory sections of the termination policy.
b. AdCom handles cases involving finances, student status, and interpretation of the contract and relevant policies.
c. Conduct Committee handles cases based on investigation. Conduct Committee can terminate membership based on violence committed against people or the member in question, destruction of property, harm to the BSC, or harassment.
d. The BSC President with the concurrence of the Executive Director and Unit President or House Manager may terminate upon the finding that the continued presence of a member in a facility of the corporation constitutes an immediate danger to the safety of other members or themselves. In the absence of the President, the VPOA or VPFA may act as the President. AdCom may reinstate membership.
XXVII.A.2. Appeals (this section is purely descriptive)
a. Appeals of Unit Council terminations that are financial- or workshift-related must be brought to AdCom.
b. Appeals of Unit Council terminations that are not financial- or workshift-related must be screened by Cabinet. Cabinet may send such cases to Board.
c. Appeals of AdCom actions are screened by Cabinet. Cabinet must either deny the appeal, send the case back to AdCom for a new hearing, or send the case to Board.
d. Appeals of Conduct Committee actions are screened by Conduct Committee Appeals Screening Committee and either denied, sent back to ConCom, heard by Cabinet, or forwarded to Board. Appeals of Cabinet actions are screened by Cabinet and heard by the Board of Directors.
e. When any committee is out of session, including Board, AdCom, and Conduct Committee, Cabinet hears all cases and appeals.
XXVII.A.3. Cabinet and Conduct Committee Termination Requirements (amended 5/12/2008 BOD)
a. Neither Conduct Committee nor Cabinet may vote on a motion to terminate the membership of a member unless the member has been notified of the possibility of such an action at least 72 hours in advance. Cabinet may in urgent circumstances waive this requirement if a good-faith effort has been made to contact the involved parties.
b. Unless otherwise stated in BSC policy, a member may be present at any hearing at which a motion to terminate that member’s membership may be voted on.
c. Unless the right is waived by the member, the Member Advocate must be present at any hearing at which a motion to terminate that member’s membership may be voted on. If the Member Advocate has a conflict of interest or is otherwise not available, at the request of the member the BSC President shall appoint a qualified substitute.
d. Unless otherwise stated in BSC policy, a representative of a unit may be present at any hearing at which a motion to terminate a member of that unit is considered.
XXVII.A.4. Appeals Requirements for Terminations
a. Unless otherwise stated in BSC policy, a member may be present at any hearing at which an appeal of the termination of that member’s appeal is heard.
b. Unless waived by the member, the Member Advocate must be present at any hearing at which an appeal of that member's termination is heard. If the Member Advocate has a conflict of interest or is otherwise not available, at the request of the member the BSC President shall appoint a qualified substitute.
c. Unless otherwise stated in BSC policy, a representative of a unit may be present at any hearing at which the termination of a member of that unit is considered.
XXVII.A.5. Screening Requirements
1. A screening committee shall meet to review termination appeals.
2. The screening committee will be composed of: the Operations Manager, the Vice President of Internal Affairs, the Enforcement Committee Chair, and the Member Advocate. The voting members of the committee are the Operations Manager, the Vice President of Internal Affairs, and the Enforcement Committee Chair. The chair of the Screening Committee shall be the Vice President of Internal Affairs.
3. All terminations shall be appealable to the Board of Directors except terminations for payment failure, failure to meet student status, and workshift terminations.
4. The screening committee shall decide the issues and the scope of evidence that is relevant to the appeal. Any new evidence that has arisen since the original termination proceedings shall be given to the President within five business days of the original termination.
5. If the screening committee finds there is new evidence that could not have been presented at the original termination, there was a gross misapplication of policy, or there was a significant procedural error, then the screening committee may consider sending the case back to the original termination body. If the appeals committee determines that the termination body displayed a gross bias, then the committee may consider sending the case to the alternative adjudication body with the authority to terminate. The only two bodies with such authority are the Conduct Committee and Cabinet.
XXVII.B. APPEALS PROCEDURE for TERMINATIONS
XXVII.B.1 Appeals Procedure
When considering an appeal of a member termination, all bodies shall proceed as follows:
1. The order of recognition for opening statements shall be as follows: the Enforcement Committee Chair, member appellant, Member Avocate or other designated representative, staff, other parties to the appeal.
2. The facilitator shall set time limits for opening statements, between 1 and 6 minutes, taking into account the complexity of the issue. The facilitator shall consult the parties of the case beforehand, if possible, and each speaker shall be allotted the same amount of time to speak.
3. The body shall then pose questions to the parties of the appeal. Unless consideration is extended by a simple two-thirds (2/3) vote, consideration shall be limited to fifteen (15) minutes total.
4. All parties to the appeal shall be allowed to make a two minute statement prior to the discussion on the appeal. The staff member making closing statements may be different than the staff member who made the opening statement.
5. The body will then deliberate the appeal. The Termination Appeals body, the Enforcement Committee Chair, and the Member Advocate may remain in the room; all other parties must leave. An exception may be made only with the consent of the appellant, consent of the complainant(s), and an absolute two thirds (2/3) majority vote of the Termination Appeals Body. Unless consideration is extended by a simple two thirds (2/3) majority of the Termination Appeals Body, discussion shall be limited to fifteen (15) minutes total.
6. The scope of review of the Board of Directors is not to retry the case but rather to review the issues relevant to appeal and determine whether procedure was followed and whether policy was properly applied to the relevant facts.
7. The facilitator may rule out of order issues that are not relevant to the scope of the appeal.
XXVII.B.2 Rules on filing of appeals
- a. If any one wishes to appeal a decision of a body, s/he must file a written request, specifying the reasons for the appeal, any new evidence (that could not have been presented at the original hearing), and the action desired, with the appropriate Chair within five (5) working days of the committee’s decision. The staff representative or Enforcement Committee Chair must additionally announce to the body immediately after it has made a decision their intention to possibly appeal the decision, in order to retain their right of appeal. Failure to submit the request within this deadline, unless an extension has been granted shall result in the forfeiture of the right to appeal the Committee’s decision.
- b. If one of the parties to the decision must be notified by mail, s/he shall have fifteen (15) days after the mailing of notification in which to mail or file the written request for appeal.
- c. Once the appropriate Enforcement Committee Chair has received the written request for appeal a report shall be written by the Enforcement Committee Chair. The report should be distributed to all those hearing the case and those involved. This report, when relevant, shall include:
- i. A complete summary of the case, and the action taken by the previous body, along with the reasons for it.
- ii. The written request for appeal filed by the appellant.
- iii. Explanations by each of the other parties to the case of their views, and action desired.
- iv. An explanation by the Enforcement Committee Chair of any relevant BSC policies.
- • All relevant correspondence, dated.
- • Applicable house termination policies.
- • Minutes from all relevant council meetings including the following information:
- o Vote count.
- o Attendence.
- • Workshifts assigned.
- • Workshift sign-out sheets.Workshift history, hours up/down.
- v. Unless an extension is granted by the BSC President or Enforcement Committee Chair, the right of appeal shall not extend beyond the second Board meeting after the meeting where the decision was made.
XXVII.B.3 Termination Appeals Body
1. The Termination Appeals Body shall hear the appeals of member terminations, and shall uphold and adhere to the policies pursuant to the rest of XXVII.
2. The Termination Appeals Body will meet on an ad-hoc basis decided by Cabinet.
3. The Termination Appeals Body shall have seven voting members selected from the voting members of the Board of Directors according to the following criteria:
- a. Three board members must be selected from the “Large House/Apt. Board Rep Rotation List” (comprised of units with occupancies of more than 80).
- b. Three board members shall be selected from the “Medium House/Apt. Board Rep Rotation List” (comprised of units with occupancies from 35 to 80).
- c. One board members shall be selected from the “Small House/Apt. Board Rep Rotation List” (comprise of units with with occupancies less than 35).
- d. No board members from the same unit shall serve on the same instance of a Termination Appeals Body
- e. Once a board rep has served on a Termination Appeals Body they shall not be selected to serve on another instance of the Termination Appeals Body until all other board reps on the same rotation list have served.
4. The Chair (who shall be the VPO), the Executive Director (ED), the Operations Manager (OM), and the BSC Member Advocate (MA), and the Enforcement Committee Chair must attend all meetings of the Termination Appeals Body as non- voting members.
5. Quorum of the Termination Appeals Body will exist only when a majority of voting members are present.
6. When Cabinet determines that a termination appeal should be scheduled, Cabinet shall:
- a. Select the seven board members to serve as the voting members of the Termination Appeals Body in accordance with Section 3 above.
- b. Set a time and date for the Termination Appeals Body to convene to hear the appeal, which must be at least 72 hours, but not more than 14 calendar days, from the date of the Cabinet meeting at which the date is decided.
- c. Provide the appellant with at least 72 hours prior written notice of the hearing appeal date and advise him/her of the services of the Member Advocate.
7. Once per year, in the Spring semester, Cabinet will draft the rotation lists for selection of voting Board members in accordance with Section 3.
8. A Board member who has been selected to serve on an instance of the Termination Appeals Body may only send another Board member from the same rotation list as a substitute.
9. If a Board member fails to attend their assigned convening of the Termination Appeals Body and fails to send an acceptable substitute, the Board member’s unit shall be fined twice the workshift rate times the duration of the meeting.
10. The Chair will prepare a summary of the proceedings of the Termination Appeals Body.
[Board Approved 10/13/12]
XXVII.C. HOUSE LEVEL TERMINATIONS:
It is required that the unit’s termination procedure be fair. Procedurally, the following three elements must be present in a house level termination:
- 1. Ample effort must be made to notify the member in question of the house’s plans to seek termination
- 2. A minimum of two house meetings separated by at least seven days must be held on the matter
- 3. All house level terminations are subject to appeal.
- 4. Must notify member of Member Advocate services prior to termination hearings.
XXVII.D. SUGGESTED HOUSE LEVEL GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE
INTRODUCTION: The purpose of this procedure shall be to allow houses and apartments to discuss problems with a particular member, resolve any matters of fact and determine a fair and appropriate course of action. The Board of Directors shall consider that houses have followed a fair procedure when they adhere to this policy but always reserves the right to overturn a house decision. It is not required that a house follow this procedure in order to terminate a member.
Throughout this policy and unless otherwise indicated the reader shall interpret all majority votes as meaning majority votes of those house members present and voting during a house meeting at which there is quorum. All house members attending may vote unless, in the chair’s opinion, she leaves the meeting for a significant amount of time. The reader shall also interpret feminine pronouns to include the masculine. The term ’house’ shall be defined throughout this policy as being the members of any unit of the BSC. Finally the House President shall also have the same powers as the House Manager unless the policy indicates otherwise.
Quorum for all meetings described here shall consist of not less than twenty-five members in houses with at least 95 members, fifteen members in houses with at least 50 but not more than 94 members, and ten members in houses with less than 50 members.
Termination of membership applies to the entire BSC, not only to the member’s house, and is considered to be a last resort. Accordingly, members having problems with another member should first seek other remedies. Members may seek the assistance of a Conflict Mediator, House Manager or the Member Services Manager.
Grounds for termination shall include failure of the member to meet any of the qualifications or obligations in the BSC Contract, Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws or AdCode, or the Constitution, Bylaws or policies of her house.
STEP ONE: The House Manager may request that the members with grievances and the member in question meet with a conflict mediator to attempt to resolve their problems. If either party refuses mediation or informs the House Manager that they were unable to resolve their problems, the grievance procedure shall continue.
STEP TWO: The House Manager may call a meeting to discuss grievances without a petition but shall also call one if ten percent of the members or four members, whichever is greater, sign a letter to her stating that they are having problems with the member in question and that they would like a house meeting to discuss these problems.
STEP THREE: The House Manager shall then write a letter to the member in question informing her that other members have requested that the house discuss their complaints in an open house meeting. The Executive Director shall help them write this letter if they request assistance. It shall include the date and time of the meeting, a complete list of any written complaints, any house action which the members with grievances have requested and notice that if the member cannot attend the meeting she shall reschedule it with the House Manager for up to one week later. The House Manager shall attach a copy of this policy to the letter and shall also post the letter prominently throughout the house.
The House Manager shall deliver this letter to the member in question at least seven days prior to the meeting. She shall make all reasonable attempts to deliver it in person but may post it on her door or in her room to ensure that she receives it. The member in question may waive the seven-day notice period.
The House Manager shall also inform the BSC President and Executive Director of the proceedings. The BSC President may appoint someone to attend the meeting who can answer questions about BSC policies and procedures. She shall also appoint someone to take minutes during the meeting. The minutes shall indicate what was said and the motions passed or actions taken during the meeting. They shall be confidential but shall be available to the member in question, the current House Manager, the BSC President and the Executive Director. Minutes shall also be available to the Board of Directors if there is an appeal and to AdCom if the house refers the matter there. The member in question may request that the chair record the meeting. Copies of the tapes shall be available only to those who have access to the minutes.
STEP FOUR: Prior to the meeting the members with grievances and the member in question shall agree upon an impartial chair who may be a Conflict Mediator, BSC Executive, member of the Board of Directors, the Member Affairs Manager, House Manager or an unbiased house official. It is strongly recommended that the chair not be a member of the house. If they cannot agree upon a chair the BSC President and Executive Director shall appoint one. The member in question, the members with grievances and the chair shall establish the general procedures for the meeting. It is recommended that the house use Roberts’ Rules of Order. There shall be a procedure to overrule the chair, and the chair shall retain the flexibility to extend time limits during the meeting if necessary. If they cannot agree upon procedures the chair shall establish them.
The member in question and the members with grievances may appoint anyone to represent them at any time. If this person is not a member, she may speak and make motions during any meeting. The Member Advocate shall give first consideration to representing the member in question and may not represent more than one party. It shall be the member’s responsibility to contact the Member Advocate.
STEP FIVE: On the set date there shall be a meeting open to all house members and other individuals requested by those directly involved. At the beginning of the meeting the chair shall ask the member in question if she received the letter described in Step Three. If she did not the chair shall give her a copy. The house shall then discuss all relevant complaints. Anyone at the meeting may ask anyone else present for relevant information.
Members with grievances shall substantiate them with specific examples or evidence if appropriate. If anyone is uncomfortable with discussing a complaint or presenting evidence in the presence of the member in question she shall present this information to the chair before the meeting, and the chair shall ensure that the item is discussed. Evidence may be witness’ statements and other relevant information.
The member in question shall have a full and timely opportunity to respond to any complaint or accusation and may also question and request statements from any other individuals to do so. The chair shall allow closing remarks and the member in question or her representative shall speak last. At this meeting the house may take action only on one or more of the four options below. The procedure shall end at the end of this step if the house takes either of the first two options. The house may:
- 1) Refer the matter to the appropriate Central Level body by majority vote;
- 2) Drop the matter by two-thirds vote;
- 3) Clarify and direct house management by majority vote to enforce both house level and BSC policies; and
- 4) Take any other action by majority vote that the member agrees to. If this involves the member’s transfer to another house, AdCom shall consider the transfer.
Before adjourning the chair shall schedule another meeting at least one week and no more than two weeks later unless the house schedules a later meeting by majority vote and with the agreement of the member in question.
As in Step Three the House Manager shall write a letter to the member in question. In addition to the items in the first letter this one shall include a summary of the outcome of the meeting, a list of the various policy provisions of which she may be in violation and a summary of the procedures the house shall follow in the future.
The House Manager shall also deliver the letter the same way but at least five days prior to the scheduled meeting. The member in question must receive this letter. The House Manager shall distribute the letter and the BSC President shall perform the same functions as in Step Three.
The member in question may postpone the scheduled meeting up to one week for any reason. Then if the she demonstrates her inability to attend the meeting due to emergency conditions, the House Manager shall postpone it as needed.
STEP SIX: If possible, the same person shall chair the second open meeting. She shall read each item on the list of complaints with the policy provisions of which the member in question is believed to be in violation, allow time to discuss each issue and allow the member in question to respond to each complaint. The house may take one or more of the six possible options after discussing all of the items. The chair shall remind the house that a vote to terminate membership shall be a vote on the truth of the complaints. In addition to options one through four the house may:
- 5) Give the member in question a conditional contract by two-thirds vote of all house members present; and
- 6) Specify the grounds for termination by two-thirds vote, and then terminate the person’s BSC membership in bad standing
by two-thirds vote of all house members present.
If the house takes none of the six options the chair shall declare that the matter is dropped pending appeal. The house shall not reconsider terminating the member in question under the same set of complaints.
If a member owes more workshift hours than allowed by written house policy or the Administrative Code (Section IV.A.1.e.), the Workshift Manager must give written notice of possible contract termination due to excessive workshift hours owed. The member will be allowed at least one week to remedy the situation before a house level termination is considered. At the first meeting of a workshift termination the house may consider any of the six options listed in steps 5 and 6.
The Workshift Manager shall follow steps 1 through 6 in conjunction with the House Manager when this section of the Termination Policy is being used.
STEP SEVEN: To appeal the decision to the appropriate Central Level body, ten percent of the members or four members, whichever is greater, or the member in question shall give written notice to the BSC President within five working days of the decision.
XXVII.E. GUIDELINES FOR HEARING A TERMINATION APPEAL AT THE BOARD LEVEL
Information to be included in the Board Packet before the meeting:
(For appeals of a sensitive nature this information should be available at the meeting but not included in the board packet.)
All relevant correspondence, dated.
Applicable house termination policies.
Minutes from all relevant council meetings including the following information:
Whether of not member was present.
Short statement describing the entire process if it is unclear from the above info.
Grounds of appeal statement by member*
For workshift terminations the following information should also be included:
Workshift sign-out sheets.
Workshift history, hours up/down.
- The purpose of this statement is to guide discussion. If the grounds for appeal are procedural, then the meeting can focus on procedure. If the grounds for appeal are special circumstances, then the meeting can focus on special circumstances. If the grounds for appeal are both procedural and special circumstance, the issues can be dealt with in turn.
A worksheet outlining all of these requirements will be provided to the member seeking an appeal. The member advocate can assist the member in filling out the worksheet and determining appropriate grounds for appeal. A similar worksheet will be provided to the House President that requests the above info and asks the house to send a representative to the board meeting. The house may draft a statement to be read at the hearing in place of sending a representative.