How Ombuds Can Help
WHAT DOES THE OMBUDSPERSON DO?
The Ombudsperson assists in resolving student fairness issues and in fostering respectful learning and working environments by:
- Providing information about resources, procedures and regulations, and student rights and responsibilities.
- Investigating concerns about the application of rules, policies or procedures affecting students.
- Problem-solving, mediating or facilitating communication.
- Training and coaching (groups or individuals) in the areas of fairness and conflict resolution.
- Recommending changes in procedures or policies affecting students.
- Stimulating discussion at the institutional level.
The Office offers a confidential service within the bounds of law. Confidentiality is important to ensure that people can discuss concerns without fear of repercussions.
The Ombudsperson does not take sides in disputes but seeks to protect the rights of all people involved. The Office is an advocate for fair and respectful treatment.
The Ombuds office reports to an advisory committee with representatives from the undergraduate and graduate students’ societies, staff, faculty and the University administration. The Ombudsperson produces an annual report that is available to all members of the University community.
WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU CONTACT THE OMBUDSPERSON
A consultation with the Ombudsperson is confidential. People often receive enough information to solve the problem themselves. You can make inquiries without providing personal information and you can decide what options you want to follow.
The Ombudsperson will:
- Listen and try to understand what happened and what your goals are.
- Identify policies, procedures or practices relevant to your situation.
- Assist you in determining your options.
- Provide guidance or feedback about an appeal.
- Help identify constructive approaches for raising concerns.
The Ombudsperson may, with your permission:
- Talk to someone about your situation.
- Assist in resolving the problem informally.
- Investigate the situation.
WHEN SHOULD I CONTACT THE OMBUDSPERSON?
The Ombudsperson can provide guidance if you’re not sure where to begin, or serve as a last resort after you’ve tried other channels. Feel free to discuss your concerns with the Ombudsperson when you:
- Want to clarify your options, rights or responsibilities.
- Need to understand which policies or procedures apply to your situation.
- Feel you have been treated unfairly, or think a University policy or rule has been applied erroneously or unfairly.
- Have a problem that requires someone to facilitate communication or a resolution between yourself and a member of the University community.
- Are appealing a grade, withdrawal or other academic decision.
- Have a problem that you think cannot be resolved by following available procedures.
- Seek information or referrals about non-academic issues affecting your studies (landlord-tenant, etc.)
WHO CAN USE THE OFFICE?
Current, former or prospective students and other members of the University community with questions about student-related issues, fair procedures or conflict.
HOW DO I CONTACT THE OMBUDSPERSON?
Please call or email to make an appointment at a time that is suitable for the student and ombudsperson.
Phone: (250) 721-8357
The Ombudsperson will contact you within 1 – 3 business days.
The Ombuds office is an independent service co-funded by the Uvic Undergraduate Students’ Society, the Graduate Students’ Society and the University administration.