The procedure for dealing with formal complaints is as follows:

6.2.1 Junior members

Any junior member of the College who believes him or herself to have a justifiable complaint of inappropriate behaviour and who has exhausted the informal stages envisaged in the Dignity and Respect Policy should not hesitate to discuss the matter with their Tutor, or any other Tutor or Fellow, the College Nurse or the Chaplain, or the relevant officers of the JCRS or MCRS. Reports or complaints involving only junior members will be passed on for consideration to a monitoring Group consisting of the Senior Tutor, a female Fellow, a male Fellow and another Tutor not involved with the junior member(s) concerned, the three members of the Group other than the Senior Tutor being chosen by the Head of House. The Head of House may also invite a person with suitable professional expertise from outside the College to be a member of the Group. The Group will investigate and discuss complaints. It is hoped that many problems will be resolved at this level. If not, then the Monitoring Group may refer the case to the Dean who may, upon investigation, refer the matter to a Board of Discipline or take such other action as is considered appropriate. Confidentiality will be respected whenever possible, although it must be realized that this will become increasingly difficult the further a case proceeds .

6.2.2 Senior members

Reports or complaints concerning a Senior Member will be passed to an Ombudsman. There shall be two Ombudsmen, one male and one female, and they will be senior members of the University and will be appointed annually by the College Council; they shall be external to and independent of the College. Complaints of harassment by a Senior Member may be made by any senior or junior member of the College to any Tutor, Director of Studies, Fellow of the College, the College Nurse or the Welfare or Women’s Officer of the JCR or MCR, who may refer the matter to one of the Ombudsmen. The College Council shall give the Ombudsmen jurisdiction to investigate complaints made against senior members of the College; they will be given powers to conciliate and settle them wherever possible.

The method of investigation which the Ombudsmen will use will be left entirely to their discretion, but the subject of any complaint shall have the right to hear the substance of any allegation against them and to respond before the Ombudsman takes any action. In each and every case, the Ombudsmen shall report the outcome of their enquiries to the Master or Vice-Master as they think fit. The Master or Vice-Master will then bring the matter before the College Council if they believe it is appropriate or necessary. The procedures for disciplinary action (in terms of suspension or removal) concerning Fellows are governed by Statute 13 and Statute 20.3. The Master will have responsibility for ensuring that all those involved in any complaint are fully aware of the outcome of these procedures.

Reports or complaints concerning harassment by non-Members of the College (e.g. external Directors of Studies or Supervisors) will be referred to the Monitoring Group, which will take appropriate action.

6.2.3 Staff

Reports or complaints concerning harassment by or of members of the College staff will be referred to the Bursar, as the appropriate Officer.

6.2.4 Student Complaints Procedure

A Student Complaints Procedure exists to cater for any student grievance not covered by the College’s disciplinary procedures and its Respect and Dignity Policy. Its terms of reference are as follows:

  • There shall be a Student Complaint Committee comprising two Fellows from Classes A to C and one student of the College nominated by the JCR or MCR as appropriate. The Fellows shall be drawn from a panel nominated annually by the College Council which shall comprise no fewer than ten Fellows in Classes A to C and excluding Tutors, the Bursar, the Dean of Chapel and Chaplain. When called upon to act, the Committee will also include a Fellow of another college drawn from the panel created for this purpose.
  • The Student Complaint Committee shall deal with matters which fall within the jurisdiction of the College, and for which there is no other procedure or remedy available. It shall not have jurisdiction in such academic matters as examinations, or in other matters where procedures are laid down by the College Council.
  • A student should first approach a Tutor or his or her Director of Studies with the complaint. That person shall try to resolve the complaint informally or through conciliation if this is appropriate. The Tutor or Director of Studies shall keep a written note of the complaint and of any action taken.
  • If other remedies have been exhausted within the College, a student may seek redress by making a complaint in writing to one of the College Moderators. The student should specify the remedy that is sought. The College Moderators are experienced senior members of the Fellowship appointed annually by the College Council.
  • The Moderator shall investigate the complaint as quickly as possible and shall report in writing to the student within 14 days.
  • If, upon investigation, the complaint appears to the Moderator to be trivial or unjustified, the Moderator may dismiss it summarily or take no action upon If the complaint is not dismissed, the Moderator may take such actions as he or she deems appropriate which, having regard to the interests of justice and fairness, may includethe option to seek to dispose of the matter informally. If that course is taken the Moderator should so inform the Master.
  • If the Moderator decides not to resolve the matter informally, he or she shall make such recommendations as he or she considers appropriate and shall report in writing to the Master with the finding and recommendations.
  • The Committee will arrange a hearing within 14 days of receipt of the appeal. If it is received in the last 14 days of Full Term or during a vacation, the hearing shall be held within the first 14 days of the next term. For these purposes the Long Vacation research period shall be counted as a term. The student and any person against whom the complaint lies shall have the right to be heard. It shall be within the power of the Committee to decide whether that hearing shall be oral or in writing. In an oral hearing, each person may be accompanied by one friend.
  • The student may appeal from the decision of the College Moderator to the Student Complaint Committee. A Tutor may help the student with this procedure. The Master will be responsible for convening the Committee but shall then play no further part in its deliberations. The student or Tutor should apply in writing to the Master within 14 days of receiving notice of the Moderator’s decision.
  • The Committee shall reach a decision as speedily as reasonably practicable.
  • The results of the appeal will be reported to the Master. If the appeal is upheld the Committee shall make proposals for its redress. If it is not upheld, the decision shall be communicated to the relevant parties. The Committee may make recommendations to the College Council through the Master. The College Council shall then make all reasonable attempts to implement the recommendations as quickly as possible.
  • The student shall have a right of appeal from the Committee to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (formerly the Visitor) in accordance with Statute 2 of the College Statutes.
  • The Master shall make an annual report to the July meeting of the College Council (in unreserved business) about any complaints under (iv) that have been made during the year. When a student’s complaint or appeal is upheld, the College Council shall reimburse the student for any reasonable and proportionate incidental expenses incurred in making the complaint or appeal.