ASI urges streamlining of appeals process

A resolution to speed up the academic appeals procedure and universalize the process for all college departments passed on its first reading in the Associated Students Inc. Senate meeting April 27.

The academic appeals resolution is meant to create a universal policy for Cal State Long Beach and accelerate the decision-making process. Many of the circumstances surrounding student grievances and appeals are time-sensitive.

“We live in a new day and age where we are able to contact people more quickly and this needs to be reflected in our school policies,” Senator Jorge Soriano said.

In some cases, a decision can take up to three months, Soriano said. During this time, the student is left in limbo.

Student grievances and appeals include timely graduation, academic appeals, grade appeals and issues with cheating and plagiarism. Soriano wrote the resolution along with three other senators: Monica Kozlowzki, Jessica Chen and Debbie Osias.

As it stands now, there are many ways for students to address a grievance or request.

For example, a student who files a grievance can choose to take the grievance to the department chair and then to the dean, where the decision is finalized.

Or a student can choose to have a college committee set up and, when a decision is reached, it is not the end of the line. The student can appeal once more before a university committee reviews the grievance and comes to a final decision.

“Therefore, the system is unbalanced and I feel it is important to have everyone on the same page,” Soriano said.

The resolution simply addresses the need to streamline the process and does not make any changes to the current procedure. The power to change the process lies with the Academic Senate, according to Soriano.

Vice President Lucy Nguyen established an ad hoc — or fair process — committee at the beginning of the semester in order to look into this issue. A steady relationship then formed between the fair process committee, the ASI Senate, the curriculum and educational policy council and the Academic Senate.

“We did a lot of research, since this is an intricate, complicated process we’re talking about,” Soriano said.

The academic appeals resolution passed on its first reading April 27 and will have its second reading Wednesday at the senate meeting.

“We want to educate students on the process and make the process quicker by any means, but we don’t want students to make frivolous appeals,” Soriano said.

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