Advocacy

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Sarah Furgason

Advocacy & Governance Coordinator

Advocacy

STUDENT ADVOCACY

Do you need representation at a meeting with your faculty? Wondering how to apply for a Final Grade Appeal? Curious about how University policies affect you? Wondering where to go for support?

The University of British Columbia Students’ Union Okanagan was created to advocate for its membership, and is committed to ensuring that your voice is heard and that you are treated fairly at UBC. All advocacy cases are kept confidential, and UBCSUO’s advocacy services are free to UBCSUO Members. Check out this page for information on the types of advocacy issues as well as UBCSUO and other University supports & advocacy services.

UBCSUO Advocacy

The UBCSUO provides information and support to students facing the bureaucratic challenges and disciplinary committees of UBC. We strive to do our absolute best to provide students with information about UBC’s policies and procedures when they are in a formal conflict with the university. But, we are not lawyers, and do not provide legal advice! Rather, we are here to offer confidential and effective support to any undergraduate and graduate student at UBC in regards to the disputes outlined below.

  • Grade Appeals - if you feel that the assessment of your coursework and/or final grade reflects any of the following statements then you have the right to file a grade appeal:
    • Assessment has not been made on the same basis as other students in the same class.
    • Assessment has resulted in your final grade not being consistent with the grading outlined in the course syllabus
    • Some or all of the grade material was not properly assessed
  • Faculty Conflict - if you feel you are having issues communicating with your faculty (leadership, professors, administrative staff).
  • Equity Issues/Concerns - if you feel you are not being treated fairly and/or equitable by UBC administration or departments.
  • Academic Accommodations - if you feel your needs are not being met to engage in academic activities and fulfill essential course and program requirements.
  • Other - does your concern not fit into the other categories? Please select other and use the text box to describe your concern.

RESOURCES

 

POLICIES

NEED INFO?

 

HOW TO APPEAL A GRADE

Check out the UBC Academic Regulations and Grading Practices

  1. Talk to your instructor.
  2. Review the criteria for grading with your instructor. Sometimes they’ll give you the answer sheet, or their rubric, or whatever. Again, visit the UBC Calendar for information about viewing marked examinations.
  3. If you have reason to believe that you weren’t graded fairly, you can fill out a Review of Assigned Standing and submit it to the Registrar’s Office. The UBCSUO can help you complete the paperwork on that.

If filing with the dean’s office doesn’t get you anywhere, you can file an appeal with the Senate’s Committee on Academic Standing here.

DISPUTES BETWEEN A GRADUATE STUDENT AND SUPERVISOR

Communication is probably the most important aspect of the student/supervisor relationship. The Ombuds Office is the expert on building communication frameworks and resolving differences, so they can help you make your relationship more productive.

MISSED AN EXAMINATION

For everything except finals, you can contact your instructor first, then the head of your department to problem-solve a missed assessment. This includes papers, midterms, quizzes, and any other interim assessment. For finals, however, the process is more formal.

WITHDRAWALS

“Dropping a course” means de-registering from a course and getting a full refund on tuition and the whole thing gets wiped from your record and it’s like nothing ever happened. 
“Withdrawing form a course” means receiving a “W” standing on the course and no letter grade. There’s a deadline for withdrawing, which depends on the length of the course and the session it’s offered in.

QUALITY OF INSTRUCTION

If you’re not satisfied with the quality of instruction in a course, you should contact the head of the department the course is offered in. The Ombuds Office can help you with that.

MAJOR/MINOR APPLICATIONS

The primary criteria programs used in figuring out where to put you is your grades. Sometimes, however, your faculty will consider other qualifications. If you’ve worked in a field, or have some other experience, approach your faculty and ask if they will consider other qualifications. If you have to write an appeals letter, the Ombuds Office can help.

FAILED A YEAR

Every faculty has their own conditions for advancement from year to year. If you fail a year, you may appeal the requirement to withdraw. The Ombuds Office can help you put together an appeal. Before you do that, though, talk to your academic advisor, and they’ll help you determine your options.

PRACTICUM AND CO-OP DISPUTES

If you have a dispute with your supervisor at a co-op or practicum placement, you should work with your faculty advisor or coordinator first. You should make this contact as soon as problems emerge in order to avoid complications – the sooner you address the problem, the better chance you have of solving it.

The Ombuds Office can be really helpful in this situation because your faculty advisor or coordinator is split in their responsibilities. They have to look after you, and they have to maintain their relationship with the employer. The Ombuds Office can help because they have no vested interest, and therefore no possibility of a conflict.

 

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