Common Concerns

The following are snapshots of some of the common concerns that students, undergraduate and graduate, come to the OSO for assistance. If any of these situations sound familiar to you, please contact our office to schedule an appointment.

Academic Concerns

Grade disputes
“I was doing really well in my class.  I attended every session, did all of the homework, and turned in my projects on time.  However, I just checked my grade online and it says I have a C.  When I emailed the professor to ask about it, he said my last project was missing a required section.  I checked the syllabus and can’t find anything about this.  I don’t think my grade is fair, and the professor is telling me there is nothing I can do.”

Scholastic dishonesty
“I just checked my grade online, and it says I got a 0 on my midterm!  When I emailed the professor to ask her about it, she said she believed I cheated and I am being referred to the Dean of Students.  What does that mean?  What is going to happen next?”

Problems with dissertation committees/faculty advising
“My advisor just imposed a new rule that all candidates must complete a certain number of trials in experiments before we can defend.  My dissertation is completed, and I am ready to start applying for jobs. I just heard about this last year, and I haven’t finished all of the trials yet.  Can he make me do this?”

Academic dismissal
“I just got a notice that I am being dismissed from my program.  I am so close to finishing my degree!  What are my options?”

Conflicts with professors, processes, departments, or other students
“I’ve recently felt that the professor is singling me out in class. He/she has been either making rude remarks or comments that refer to a conversation we had or an email I sent her. She’s not saying my name directly, but now I feel uncomfortable in class. Can I do anything about this?”

Enrollment, academic advising, or registration problems
"I failed a class last semester because of some serious personal problems. I would like to get it dropped from my record. Is that possible?"

Final exam conflicts
“My professor moved the day of the final exam, and it conflicts with another final. Neither professor is willing to let me take the test at a different time. What can I do?”

Other Concerns

Financial aid issues
“My financial aid was revoked, but there were mitigating circumstances that should be considered. How can I appeal this decision?”

Student employment concerns
“I'm a resident assistant, and my supervising professor is asking me to work on some research that seems unethical. I don't really know how to handle this.”

How We Can Help

The OSO strives to help students find resolutions for their concerns. The following are a few examples of how the OSO was able to help.

  • “The OSO office helped ease my anxiety by explaining the Student Judicial Services process and helping me figure out what my options are at each stage.  I felt a lot better after speaking with them”
  • "The Ombudsperson helped me think of what I wanted to say to my professor before I contacted him about my grade dispute.  She gave me feedback about how to improve my communication skills to articulate my concerns and explain why I thought my grade was unfair.”
  • “The OSO explained university policy about grades, syllabi, and final exams that I didn’t even know existed.  They were really helpful in helping me brainstorm options about what to do next.”