Complaints Procedure

Overview

Preamble

Recalling The Gazette’s commitment to responsible, accurate, timely, honest and objective reporting, The Gazette is accountable for dealing with mistakes, concerns and complaints, with the goal of upholding our integrity and observing our mandate.

1.00   PROCEDURES

1.01   Internal Complaints: 

  1. Any concerns brought forward by an Editorial Board member, staff member or volunteer (collectively referred to as “Member”) will be dealt with by the Editor-in-Chief in consultation with the Human Resources Manager and in accordance with internal corporate policies and procedures.

1.02   Editorial Content Complaints:

  1. Any reader concerned with the editorial content in the newspaper is encouraged to write a Letter to the Editor.
  2. The Editor-in-Chief is the individual responsible for all editorial content in the newspaper. Readers who have concerns or complaints about editorial content are required to speak to the Editor-in-Chief about their concerns or complaints prior to taking any further steps.
  3. Where the Editor-in-Chief considers resolving the matter by addressing personnel, including volunteers, the Editor-in-Chief must bring the proposed resolution to the attention of the USC’s Human Resources Manager.
  4. Where the reader is unsatisfied with discussions had with the Editor-in-Chief, the reader may submit a written complaint to the Chairperson of the Advisory Board. Any complaint submitted must include the complainant’s name and contact information.

    The Chair of the Advisory Board is Scott Colby. Students who wish to submit a formal complaint can email a copy to gazette.advisoryboard@uwo.ca or mail a hard copy to Scott Colby care of The Gazette, University Community Centre, Rm. 263, The University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada N6A3K7.
  5. Advisory Board: Where a complaint is received by the Chairperson of the Advisory Board, the Chairperson shall ensure that the complainant has already tried to resolve his or her concern with the Editor-in-Chief prior to considering the complaint.
  6. The Chairperson will deliver written acknowledgement of receipt of the complaint to the complainant within two weeks of receiving the complaint.
  7. The Chairperson will review the complaint’s validity in light of The Gazette’s Editorial Policy and Code of Ethics and determine whether the complaint will be brought before the Advisory Board.
  8. Complaints that are deemed frivolous or vexatious will not be considered. Complaints concerning content previous to Volume 101 will not be considered; only complaints initiated after the implementation of this Procedure will be reviewed.  The decision of the Chairperson regarding frivolous or vexatious complaints is final.
  9. If a complaint is deemed vexatious or frivolous, the complainant will receive a letter from the Chairperson indicating the Chairperson’s decision and that the processing of the complaint is discontinued.
  10. Complaints are reviewed by the Advisory Board in light of The Gazette’s Editorial Policy and Code of Ethics. The Advisory Board will make written recommendations to the Editor-in-Chief with respect to resolving the complaint. Where the complaint pertains to the Editor-in-Chief, the Advisory Board will submit its recommendations to the President of the USC.
  11. A written response will also be delivered by registered mail to the complainant within two weeks after the Advisory Board has made its decision.  The Board’s written response will include:
    1. any actions to be taken by The Gazette,
    2. any sanctions recommended against The Gazetteor members of its Editorial Board, staff or volunteers; and,
    3. the complainant’s right to make further written complaint to the USC Board of Directors, if complainant is still unsatisfied.
  12. In the event the Board considers making a recommendation that impacts employment or volunteering, the USC’s Human Resources Manager must be brought into the discussion.
  13. USC Board of Directors: If the complainant is unsatisfied with the response of the Advisory Board, the complainant may submit a further written complaint to the USC Board of Directors within two weeks of the written response being mailed to the complainant. The written complaint must include:
    1. a copy of the original complaint;
    2. a copy of the Advisory Board’s response; and,
    3. an outline of the complainant’s ongoing concern.

    This may be sent to Attn: President, The University Students' Council, Room 340, University Community Centre, The University of Western Ontario, London, ON N6A 3K7.
  14. Within one month of the written complaint being received by the President, the President will bring the complaint to the Board of Directors for consideration. The Board of Directors will make written recommendations to the Editor-in-Chief with respect to resolving the complaint. Where the complaint pertains to the Editor-in-Chief, the Board of Directors will deal with the matter itself.
  15. The Board of Directors will also deliver a written response to the complainant and to the Advisory Board within fourteen days of the Board of Directors’ meeting. The written response will outline:
    1. any action to be taken by the USC;
    2. any sanctions recommended against The Gazette or members of its Editorial Board, staff or volunteers; and,
    3. any action to be taken by The Gazette.
  16. In the event that the Board of Directors makes recommendations or decisions that affect employment or volunteering, the Human Resources Manager must be brought into the discussion.
  17. Sanctions: The following is a non-exhaustive list of sanctions that may be imposed:
    1. a formal apology to be issued by The Gazette, and,
    2. suspension of publication or special issues.

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