Volume 91, Issue 38

Wednesday, November 5, 1997

Nip it in the bud


Students' appeals for academic help are popular

By Sara Marett
Gazette Staff

Western's problem solver will release her top 10 list of students' concerns this week in the 1996-97 ombudsperson report.

Although the list of problems and concerns addressed by ombudsperson Frances Bauer outlines more than a typical top 10 list, the number of cases handled in the 1996-97 school year is approximately 700 – a number which is within the range of past years.

The report states grade appeals and petitions to be the most frequent problems dealt with by the ombudsperson. It also shows the faculty of social science to have the highest number of reported cases.

Bauer said academic appeals are the most common problem she sees, particularly involving students who don't meet the progressional requirements in their program.

The crucial aspect of any ombudsperson is their impartiality when dealing with a problem and Bauer claims she has a checklist to ensure she acts impartially in her report.

However, Bauer said there has been a few times in recent years when she has had to remove herself from a situation because of her inability to act impartially.

The ombudsperson is funded by the University Students' Council and the university's administration, but neither group acts as a direct employer or oversees her impartiality.

VP-academic Greg Moran said the ombudsperson is very much an independent entity and it is important for her to keep her autonomy in order to operate impartially.

"The USC does nothing to ensure her impartiality," said USC general manager Jim Walden. He added she must have her own means to regulate impartial operation.

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Copyright The Gazette 1997