Accessible * Confidential * Impartial * Independent
The University of Windsor has a new resource for students who do not know where else to turn when they have a question or concern regarding any issues that have occurred at the University.
The Office of the Student Ombudsperson is an accessible, confidential, impartial and independent office that is free to any part-time, undergraduate or graduate student.
It is important to know that the Student Ombudsperson is neither an advocate for the student nor an apologist for the University.
In short, the Office of the Student Ombudsperson is an advocate for fairness for all concerned on the University of Windsor campus.
The Student Ombudsperson builds capacity to help the institution be accountable to its own values and mission statements. In working with individuals, the Student Ombudsperson facilitates fair resolutions that build trust and fortify the relationship between individual and institution.
This service was created and co-funded by the Graduate Student Society (GSS), the Organization of Part-time University of Windsor Students (OPUS) and the University of Windsor Students Alliance (UWSA). These three student associations at the University of Windsor came together in solidarity, once again, to continue improving the student life experience for all students.
The Ontario government introduced legislation that extended the scope of the Provincial Ombudsperson and be included to publically to publicaly-funded universities, municipalities, and school boards, and make other changes to the province's accountability and transparency regulations. People with complaints about their local government or school board, as well as university students, are able to ask the Ombudsperson for assistance, however, stduents must have gone through the Office of the Student Ombudsperson prior to contacting the Office of Ombudsman Ontario. Ombudsman Ontario is also able to launch investigations into 'systemic problems' at universities and make resolutions on how to resolve the, again only after having dealt with the Office of the Student Ombudsperson.
In May 2016, the Office of the Student Ombudsperson sponsored Barbara Finaly, Deputy Ombudsman, to attend the University of Windsor to educate the University community with respect to the newest jurisdiction of the Office of the Ombudsman Ontario as of January 2016.
You may attend the Office of the Student Ombudsperson to discuss any academic or non-academic concerns, including but not limited to, progression issues, supervisory conflicts, and grade disputes.
The Student Ombudsperson will discuss your concern with you, advise you of what your rights and responsibilities are as a University of Windsor student, and prepare you for the next steps by providing you with options of a fair and equitable informal resolution. They will review appeal letters and notes for discussions with persons in authority. If the Student Ombudsperson cannot assist you, they will refer you to an office that can. The Student Ombudsperson can also mediate, facilitate or investigate a situation and make recommendations with respect to university policy, regulations or procedures, if appropriate.
The Office of the Student Ombudperson ensures that confidentiality is maintained to the highest degree possible ensuring to follow the Standards of Practice that is in place for the Association of Canadian College and University Ombudsperson (ACCUO) membership, as well as the Statement of Ethical Principle’s that is in place for the Forum of Canadian Ombudsman (FCO) membership.
Standards of Practice: https://www.uwo.ca/ombuds/accuo_aoucc/english/resources_introduction.html
Statement of Ethical Principal's: http://www.ombudsmanforum.ca/en/?page_id=157