Policy Updates

May 2020 Policy Meeting

10.5 Student Refunds

Policy Statement - removed # 2- student loans, as these are Title IV funds and covered in #1

Procedures - B. Title IV Funds:  For students with federal grants or loans, Return of Title IV Funds regulations determine the amount of aid earned at the point of withdrawal, based on the student’s last date of attendance. The federal pro rata formula is used to determine aid earned for students who withdraw from course(s) on or before the 60% point in the payment period or period of enrollment. The Return of IV Funds calculation determines only the amount of Title IV to be returned by the college and/or the student due to withdrawal. 

Procedures - D. Refund Appeals - Added “or receive a DR grade per the Attendance Policy” 

6.24 Drug & Alcohol

Minor grammatical changes only

6.22 APSS Code of Ethics

No changes

14.6 Hazard Communication

No changes

6.2 Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination

IX. Definitions: Updated the definitions of (d) Sexual Orientation, (e) Gender Identity, and (f) Gender Expression, to correspond with our Transgender Equal Opportunity policy.

X.c) Process: Updated procedures regarding when an external investigator will be retained: If a senior member of the Offices of Executive Leadership, Human Resources, or General Counsel is the subject of the investigation, then the college will consider the use of an external investigator to conduct the investigation.


February 2020 Policy Meeting

14.1 Risk Management

  • Updated contacts, revised titles throughout policy
  • Updated Related Documents
  • X. F.  Updated subcommittees of the RMOT

14.2 Firearms, Explosives or Weapons

  • Consolidated the language in section X. Procedures

14.10 Service Animals - no proposed changes

6.3 Unlawful Harassment

V. Entities Affected by this policy: Clarified that persons on campus as independent contractors or participating in college-sponsored programs are covered by this policy. 

VII. A. College Documents: Added additional policies under “Related Documents”: EO and Non-discrimination, Transgender EO, Non-discrimination on the basis of disability, Sexual Misconduct policy, Student Code of Conduct, APSS Code of Ethics, and Administrator Code of Ethics.

VIII. Contacts: Changed policy owner to Director of EO Compliance. Listed Executive Director Human Resources as a contact person. Added Director of Student Life & Conduct as contact person.

IX. A. ii. Listed other protected statuses which have their own policies, and directed readers to review those respective policies.

IX. A. iii. Referenced definition of Bullying in the Student Code of Conduct and Administrator Code of Ethics.

IX. A. iv. Removed references to cyberstalking and cyberbullying, as those are covered in more detail in other policies (Student Code of Conduct, Administrator Code of Ethics, and Sexual Misconduct).

X. Procedures: Updated all procedures for reporting a complaint, investigation and appeals to match the Equal Opportunity and Non-discrimination policy. Specific updates to procedures:

X. A. i. Added additional complaint reporting options, including Ethics Hotline, Human Resources, and the Director of Student Life and Conduct.

X.A. iv. Added requirement that all employees must cooperate with investigation.

X. C. Added statement that if a senior member of Executive Leadership, HR or General Counsel is the subject of the investigation, then the college will consider the use of an external investigator.

X. D. Conclusion: Added additional specific information around sanctions for employee and student misconduct.

X. E. i. 3 Appeal: Added requirement that an appeal must be based on specific reasons, including whether appropriate procedures were followed, whether the decision was supported by evidence, and whether all relevant information was available at the time of the original investigation.

X. F. Added language that a person’s chosen representative cannot be a potential witness.

X. H. Bargaining Agreements: Added statement that any investigation and disciplinary proceeding will comply with relevant collective bargaining agreements.


November 2019 Policy Meeting

14.12 Open Flames

  • In Section IX., Definitions: 
    • Added “…industrial torches, kitchen stoves and ovens, Sterno-type chafing fuel, butane table-side burners…”
    • Removed “…that are becoming increasingly prevalent...”
  • In Section X.B.1., Procedures:  added “…hospitality…” in the list of exceptions
  • In Section X.B.2.d., Procedures:  removed “McCabe Marlowe House”, and replaced it with “Lettinga Hall”
  • In Section X.B.2.h, Procedures:  added “Spectrum Theater performances”


11.9 Energy Conservation

  • In Section VII., Related Documents (Page 1): 
    • Removed “Policy Manual Procedures”
    • Changed from “Energy Conservation Guidelines” to “Energy Conservation Procedures”
    • Added “Appliance Policy”
  • In Section II.D.3. Procedures (Page 3):  Removed entire subsection that reads, “Where possible and in accordance with applicable codes, backflow devices will be downsized.  The Facilities Department will maintain a list of backflow devices for the campus.”

Energy Conservation Procedures listed within Policy

  • In Section 2.1., Appliances:  added “See Appliance Policy”
  • In Section 2.2., Appliances:
    • Removed “radio/compact disc/tape decks”
    • Added  “…other personal music players…”
  • In Section 4.3., Temperature Guidelines:
    • Removed “2007 ‘Conditions for Thermal Comfort’”
    • Added “Thermal Environmental Conditions for Human Occupancy”


6.1 Transgender Equal Opportunity

III. Policy Statement: Expanded statement to include gender non-conforming students.

VII. Related Documents:

  • Added references to other applicable policies.
  • Moved information regarding available resources to the Procedures Section (X.I).
  • In section X.I., included information about new resources and provided greater clarity about current resources. 

IX. Definitions:

  • Added the definition for “Cisgender: “a person whose gender identity corresponds with the sex the person was identified as having at birth.”
  • Added “intersex” to the definition of “Sex”.
  • Added examples to the definition of “Sexual Orientation” for further clarity.
  • Modified language in definition of “Transgender” to simplify definition and be more inclusive.
  • Added the definition for “Gender Nonconforming: “Exhibiting behavioral, cultural, or psychological traits that do not correspond with the traits typically associated with one's sex.”
  • Updated definition of “Transitioning” to provide more information and be more inclusive.
  • Clarified policy by adding definitions for “legal name” as distinct from “preferred name”.

X. Procedures:  Throughout “Procedures” section, the phrase “consistently asserted at college” was removed to allow for individuals to access resources under the Transgender Equal Opportunity policy, even if they identify as non-binary or otherwise do not “consistently assert” a specified gender identity.

X. A. Procedures - Campus Records: This section was updated to include expectations around using “preferred name” in email and mail communications. A link is also provided where people can learn where preferred name (as opposed to legal name) can be expected to appear on campus.

X. B. Procedures - Restrooms: This section was clarified to use term “all-gender restroom” instead of “unisex restroom” and state that everyone can use all-gender restrooms or single-occupancy restrooms.

X. C. Procedures - Privacy. Added reference to GRCC’s FERPA policy and an explanation of directory information.

X. G. Procedures - Locker Room Accessibility. Added explanation that locker room access is originally assigned based on a student’s application for admission. Clarified that individuals can go to the Director of Equal Opportunity Compliance to request changes to their locker room access or access to a private area.


October 2019 Policy Meeting

14.5 Campus Closing Due to Inclement Weather & Emergency Conditions

  • Edited reason for policy to state “Safety and security for all students, employees and visitor and protection of college assets”.
  • Under IX. Definitions - Updated building information and building names
  • Under X. Procedures (B) - Identified decision target time frame between 5:30 and 6:00 AM
  • Under X. Procedures (B–2)  - Included that GRCC Police report as scheduled
  • In footnote 1 - Changed “assistant” director to “associate” director

11.2 Grants Policy

  • Changed the use of the word “funder” or “funding agency” to “sponsor” throughout.
  • Updated the department name throughout.
  • Updated titles as necessary.
  • Updated references to OMB Circulars to OMB Uniform Guidance, which changed in 2014.
  • Corrected the titles of department forms.
  • Updated some definitions (sponsor, sub-award, sub-recipient, contract) to be consistent with those used in the GRCC Grant Guide to Administration. Source for new definitions was https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/29/99.105.
  • Revised Grant Development Process information to ensure it aligned with the way the work is actually conducted by the department. Specifically:
    • Noted that the department will provide a timeline for project completion.
    • Clarified post-award procedures.
    • Noted that the department will provide technical assistance throughout the project period and will conduct annual file reviews.
  • Project Director is defined in section IX
  • Updated text to include “or delegate” after references to the responsibilities of the Accounting Specialist.
  • More broadly defined Sub-award to include all grant award situations rather than just federal.
  • More broadly defined Sub-Recipient to include all grant award situations rather than just federal.
  • In section X.C., 6, added language to explain why the Grants Department performs file reviews.

6.19 Freedom of Information Act

  • Changed “Grand Rapids Community College” to GRCC throughout.
  • Under Section VII, added CRIIA (Confidential Research and Investment Information Act), LEIN (Law Enforcement Information Act), and Crime Victim’s Rights Act.
  • Under IX. C, added “text messaging.”
  • Under X.B, updated the contact email address, and added additional language to describe what should be submitted in the FOIA request (…“and a written request that describes a public record sufficiently to enable GRCC to find the public record”).
  • Under X.D, added #3 which states, “If fees are warranted, then additional response time is as well.”
  • Under X.E.3, added “summaries” to what will be provided by GRCC with each written response.
  • Under X.G.2.b, added “detailed itemization of fees.”
  • Under X.G.2.d., changed the price per sheet of paper from 10 cents to 5 cents per page.
  • Under X.I, changed “head of Grand Rapids Community College” to “President of GRCC.”


June 2019 Policy Meeting

8.3 College Sponsored Student Travel

  (NEW “College Sponsored Student Travel Guiding Risk and Liability Practices and   Procedures” document created also)

  • Added language around examples of travel experiences covered by the policy
  • Replaced “chaperones” with “volunteers”
  • Added items under “Related Documents”
  • Updated “Contacts” list
  • Updated “Definitions”, including “College Sponsored Student Travel” and “class trip”
  • All items under “Procedures” were updated.  Four common procedures were created to support all college sponsored student travel experiences.
  • Updated “Forms” required for travel

12.9 Facility & Grounds Use Policy

  • Add language to purpose statement:
    • The college makes its facilities available for public use as long as such use does not interfere with the primary purpose of education or compromise the safety and security of students, faculty or staff.
  • Listed all related policies under College Policy section.
  • Under Section IX-Definitions
    • Added including leased properties under #1 – Facilities & Grounds
    • Added #3 – Non-GRCC Space – off campus spaces regularly scheduled by GRCC for college activities.
  • Under Section X – Procedures:
    • Combined 2b & c to state – GRCC events/meetings by approved GRCC groups/unit, including athletic and student events carried out by officially recognized teams, student clubs, organizations and programs.
    • New language for GRCC Co-sponsored events (now 2.c) 
      • GRCC co-sponsored events with other academic organizations and/or community organizations.  The GRCC department coordinating the event must identify a liaison to be on site for the entire event.
    • Added statement under External Groups and Organizations (now 2.d)
      • This includes community events which may require campus resources
    • Section 3 – Fees
      • Added language to 3.d – The college, at its discretion, may make facilities available for local non-profit agencies at a reduced rate.
    • Added Section 4 – Resources
      • Campus Catering - Food Services for campus events must be provided by approved college catering and banquet service providers.  In the event these entities are unable to provide services, third party catering services may be considered. 
      • Parking – Event and guest parking is available in GRCC parking ramps for a fee.  GRCC Parking Rates
      • Network –   GRCC provides guest access to the WIFI network on campus.  Event specific network access may be requested.
      • AV/Media – Services are limited and may require third party providers.

11.4 Travel Policy

Section VII – added related document Policy 8.3 Student Travel policy and related documents.

Section VIII – added Director of Budget & Business Services

Section X

  • B. Added verbiage to include faculty, adjunct faculty, athletic travel, and staff.
    • B.1-3 combined into one statement
    • B.4. becomes B.2. Added statement – All student travel must be arranged with College approved travel agent.
  • C.
    • C.1. Changed from Assistant to Finance VP to Assistant to Appropriate Dean or VP.
    • C2. Added airfare greater than $500 and/or for employee groups of three or more must be scheduled by College Approved travel agent.
    • C3. Added $500 limit for personal employee purchase of airfare.
    • C4. Added statement for utilizing Purchasing process to facilitate travel related purchases and avoid advanced charges by employees.
    • C5. Added reimbursement policy for expenses after travel is completed.

Section XI – changed Online Leave of Absence form to Leave of Absence Electronic Form.  Added with embedded link: Disability Accommodation Request Form

Expenditure Limits

  • 1. Clarified meal receipt requirement for travel within 25 miles of main campus.
  • 2. Added “Actual distance for mileage will be determined using mapquest.com address to address.  When multiple routes are available, an average is taken.” As exact from Reimbursement policy.
  • 4. Clarified reasonable tip allowance of 20% for ground transportation and cab service.  Removed bellhops as its allocation is in the meal per diem incidentals.

14.7 Use of College Vehicle

- Changing titles of persons listed under “Contacts”

6.4 Sexual Misconduct Policy Changes

III.A. Added “sexual misconduct” to policy statement to define that phrase.

III.B. Removed Consensual Relationship policy language

III.C. Updated “Duty to report” section to clarify when duty to report is triggered.

III. D. Simplified “retaliation” definition language and clarified that retaliation protections apply to any party.

III. E. Added “intentionally, maliciously” to prohibition on false statements.

III. F. Clarified employees who are considered confidential employees- includes members of Crisis Assessment Team when acting in that role, and licensed mental health professionals who are employed in a counseling role for the college. Added reference to confidential resources: this may include off-campus options, including counseling/mental health support.

III. G. Clarified the connection between “Classroom Speech” and potential sexual harassment claim; emphasized appropriate considerations in making a determination of whether classroom speech violates this policy.

VI. Added “applicants for employment” in “Who should Read This policy”.

IX.A. Defined “Complainant” in definition section; throughout policy, “victim” was changed to “Complainant”. “Victim” remains in the policy in Clery-definitions and in reference to Clery-specific requirements, as well as references to victim advocacy efforts.

IX.B. Updated consent definition to clarify that consent is in reference to any activity covered by this policy, not just sexual activity. Changed language about “physically helpless” to “physically incapacitated”.

IX.E. Updated definition of Employee to include all groups covered by Background check policy.

IX. F. Defined “Respondent” to parallel definition of “Complainant”.

IX. K. Clarified non-consensual elements in “Sexual Exploitation” definition and changed language prohibiting a party from “transmitting” STI/HIV to “exposing”.

X.A.2 Emphasize nature of educational programming (primary prevention programming and ongoing awareness campaigns) includes programming offered to new and returning students/employees.

X.B. Throughout “Investigation Procedures”, updated Title IX office location to Bostwick Office Suites.

X.B. Investigation Procedures: updated to clarify that either party can receive protective measures (also called supportive measures). Add information about potential transportation changes as protective measures, and clarify that college can instigate protective measures on its own. Provides Title IX Coordinator as contact person for requesting protective measures.

X.B.2 Updated Investigation Procedures to clarify resources offered (Stafford suggested we emphasize this here).

X.B.3. Updated Investigation Procedures to clarify that if Title IX coordinator proceeds with complaint after withdrawal of a complaint by Complainant, Title IX coordinator will notify complainant and explain decision to proceed.

X.B.4. Clarified options regarding confidentiality, including information about FERPA and opting out of disclosure of directory information.

X.B.5. Updated resources section to include YWCA legal resources available and MCEDSV’s Sexual Assault Hotline. Included additional guidance around preserving evidence. Added Visa/Immigration assistance as community resource.

X.B.6.b. Updated Investigations process to clarify timelines, per Clery, for each stage of investigation. Clarified that we’ll provide notice to parties of delays and reason for delay.

X.B.6.c. Updated Investigations process to clarify use of Advisors, per recent court decisions. Advisors may be used throughout investigations and will have role to cross-examine other party/other party’s witnesses at hearing stage. Advisor will be provided if party does not have one and wishes college to appoint one to serve. Clarifying language that Advisor is not legal representative.

X.B.6.d. Added clarifying language around various methods of initiating Title IX complaint, including anonymous options.

X.B.6. f Emphasized that both parties will have timely and equal access to evidence and information at all formal and informal proceedings and meetings.

X.B.6.h. Removed prohibition on using informal resolutions, such as mediated conversations, for sexual assault, per updated OCR guidance. The requirement that both parties agree remains.

X.B.7. c. Clarifying that both parties receive simultaneous notice of decisions at each stage, and that final decision will include explanation of how the standard of evidence was applied. Also clarifying that appeal information will be simultaneously provided.

X.B. 8.c. Added option for Respondent to elect to proceed straight to hearing process after a finding and receive sanction from hearing panel, if appropriate, instead of from Student Conduct. Also including clarification that doing so does not affect right to request hearing or appeal.

XIII. Updated policy history to reflect changes.

6.24 Drug & Alcohol Abuse and Prevention

  • Added to the policy statement "Grand Rapids Community College prohibits the unlawful possession, use, and sale of alcoholic beverages and illegal drugs on campus. The GRCC Police is responsible for the enforcement of state underage drinking laws and enforcement of Federal and State drug laws."
  • Replaced the Prevention and awareness section with, "In compliance with the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act, Grand Rapids Community College publishes information regarding the College’s educational programs related to drug and alcohol abuse prevention; sanctions for violations of federal, state, and local laws and College policy; a description of health risks associated with alcohol and other drug use; and a description of available treatment programs for GRCC students and employees. A complete description of these topics, as provided in the College’s annual notification to students and employees, is available online at:https://www.grcc.edu/humanresources/drugandalcoholabuseresources"
  • Change the revision cycle from every September to every June to align with the Annual Security Report deadline. 

These changes are as a result of a current Annual Security Report review completed by D. Stafford and Associates.   


May 2019 Policy Meeting

11.1 Employee Reimbursement

Section VI – changed to include EBCOs & BCOs

Section VII – Added Employee Reimbursement Request Form and Employee Mileage Reimbursement Request form to Related Documents

Section VIII – changed policy owner to Director of Budget & Business Services

Section X

  • A.  Removed “if required” from leave of absence
  • B. Added sentence regarding “six-month limitation”
  • D. Clarified and condensed acceptable forms of supporting documentation to reimbursement requests.
  • E. Removed current section and replaced with existing F.
  • F. Added employee responsibility verbiage regarding uncompleted travel and reimbursements prior to.
  • G.
    • 1.a.i Added $500 limit for employee purchased airfare.
    • 1.a.ii Clarified definition of reimbursable airfare and related expenses.
    • 1.a.iii Added from section 1.a.vii sentence to include non-payment for coupons, sky miles, and/or complimentary tickets.
    • 1.a.iv Removed last portion of section regarding example of acceptable travel days before and after conference.
    • 1.a.vii Deleted and added to section 1.a.iii
    • 1.b.i Clarified mileage reimbursement language
    • 1.b.ii Defined mapquest as company recognized mileage site.
    • 1.b.iv Added language regarding denial of extra travel day(s) allocation for driving in lieu of air travel.
    • 2.b Clarified language of acceptable proofs of payment.
    • 2.c Clarified language of non-reimbursable hotel room charges
    • 2.d Clarified language of reasonable tips.
    • 2.e Clarified language of in-room dining expenses
    • 3.b Removed example of meal per diem calculation from policy.  Referenced Reimbursement Procedures.
    • 3.c Removed example of meal per diem calculation.
    • 3.e Clarified language of reasonable tipping.
    • 4.a. Removed

Section XI. – changed Online Leave of Absence form to Leave of Absence Electronic Form

14.16 Health & Safety Policy

  • No changes recommended for this policy.  It is general enough to stand the test of time but specific enough that the policy is still relevant.

6.14 FMLA

  • Section IV.C. – Added the words “domestic partner**” after “spouse*,” and added the following verbiage at the end of the section:

**Note: Effective January 1, 2016, the Domestic Partner program expands eligibility criteria for enrollment in specific Grand Rapids Community College’s benefit plans. Under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Domestic Partners will be treated the same as spouse.

  • Section VIII Policy Owner – Removed the words “Coordinator for Adjunct Faculty & FMLA” and replaced with “Payroll & FMLA Coordinator”
  • Section IX.A. – Removed the words “12 months” at the end of the first sentence and replaced with “fiscal year.”
  • Section X.A. – Expanded definition of notification process
  • Section X.B. – Added specifics regarding timelines
  • Section X.E. – Condensed to broadly cover and define paid and unpaid leaves
  • Section XI. Forms – added Disability Accommodation Request Form


April 2019 Policy Meeting

9.9 Naming Opportunities

  • Added language in Section III, Paragraph E, subsection 1, “The naming of buildings in recognition of a donor or honoree implies a promise to that donor or honoree that the facility will be permanently maintained, or if change is unavoidable, that an alternative means of recognizing the donor or honoree will be found at that time.”
  • Removed language in Section III, Paragraph E, subsection 1, "Should the building be demolished or sold, the designation shall be terminated.”

3.1 Institutional Review Board

no changes


February 2019 Policy Meeting

10.1 Tuition and Fees (revision)

  • Residency changes listed under X. Procedures: Rates 2. - updated Veterans requirement due to regulatory requirement - Public Law 115-251 (effective March 1, 2019)

11.6 Use of College Equipment off College Property

  • No changes

11.15 Purchasing (revision)

  • Added s. Debarment under “Procedures”

14.14 Building Access (Key/Raider Card)

  • Reason for the policy was updated to read “…to enhance personal safety for all members of the college community; to protect moveable physical assets of the college and to facilitate timely access in case of emergency.” While removing unnecessary language.
  • Removed the definitions of standard hours of operation, extended hours for employees, and normal business hours
  • Added definitions of General Employee Access, Administrative and operational Access, Emergency Response team Access, and Extended Access
  • The following sections under Procedures were changed, or added:
    • B. added…”and approving electronic access based on role and responsibility. Credentialing of electronic access is assigned primarily using the Peoplesoft system with additional permissions granted using the request/extended access request forms.”
    • Removed Standard Employee Access language
    • Removed Extended Access Language
    • C. added… “Access to academic and office buildings for students and the general public is limited to the standard hours in each building. Standard hours are outlined in the GRCC Campus Buildings Schedule and may change by semester.
    • D. added…” Disabling or propping open electronically secured doors provides a threat to personal safety and a risk to property and is against college policy.
    • Removed Exceptions…
    • Changes under Section D: Keys and/or RaiderCard Access will be allocated on the following basis include items in red:
  • (1) No change
  • (2) When a change in access or additional access is necessary after initial on boarding Department Heads, Program Directors or Immediate Supervisors will be responsible for initiating the access process for their employees as the “Requesting Party” on the Building Access Request Form.
  • (3) Fulltime faculty and staff will be granted access based on role and responsibility and have keys to their internal work areas (offices).
  • (4) Adjunct faculty will be granted access by semester based on active instructional assignment
  • (5) Students may be granted electronic access based on enrollment or with approval of their department head or supervisor. Student employees may also check keys out from GRCC Police as needed, with approval of their supervisors.  Students will not be assigned physical keys to any College door.
  • (6) All employees, vendors, and contractors must clear a criminal background check prior to receiving access.
  • (7) Grand master keys and 24/7 electronic access will be granted only with the approval of the President or his/her designee.
  • (8) GRCC Police must receive a signed access request form authorized by the Executive Director or Associate Dean, before access is granted.
  • (9) no change
  • (10) RaiderCards and Key are non-transferrable. It is the responsibility of each card/key holder to report a lost or stolen card/key directly to the GRCC Police Department. Individuals may be subject to costs associated with replacement as per the key agreement or RaiderCard policy.
  • (11) Key and electronic access transfers from one person to another are prohibited. Anyone possessing or using a RaiderCard without authorization will be subject to disciplinary action and/or criminal charges where appropriate.
  • (12) no change
  • (13) no change
  • E. changed wording to: “Facilities staff, along with GRCC Police Officers, are responsible for confirming all buildings are secure based on building schedules and when the campus is closed.”