SCAPA taking student views into full account

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Re: “Abuse concerns drive medical note forum”
Mar. 26, 2008

To the editor:
It is important to note that the Senate Committee on Academic Policy and Awards is, as its name implies, a committee of Senate. It reports to the university’s Senate and not to university administration as suggested in the editorial.

This is important because it means all constituencies at the university will have the opportunity to discuss any proposed changes and vote on them. It should also be noted that both graduate and undergraduate students sit on SCAPA and will have the opportunity to discuss proposals at the committee stage.

Currently, the ad hoc Committee of Associate Deans charged with preparing the draft policy has contacted a wide array of stakeholders, including representatives from Student Health Services, emergency physicians, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, university administrators, academic counsellors, Registrarial Services and the University Students’ Council. The process of consultation is ongoing. It is expected that a policy proposal will come to SCAPA in June.

Second, the editorial suggested students would have to acquire a standardized medical form in person from their dean’s office, prior to visiting a doctor or medical clinic. This is not correct.

The draft policy already contains provisions that will ensure that the standardized medical form will be available (in downloadable PDF format) from a variety of university websites.

Furthermore, students who do not secure medical documentation when they visit a doctor or clinic will be able to request documentation at a later time. The important thing is that students who are ill are seen, assessed and treated " documentation is required only if academic accommodation is required.

Third, the procedure for students attending Student Health Services will not be changed " students will continue to sign a release of information form or records release in their Faculty Academic Counselling office.

As The Gazette noted, SCAPA’s goal is to formulate a policy fair to all students: any suggestions that advance this objective are welcome and can be sent electronically to
"Michael Milde
Associate Dean (Academic), Arts and Humanities, Chair of SCAPA
"Margaret Kellow
Associate Dean (Academic), Social Sciences
"Kem Rogers
Associate Dean, Basic Medical Sciences Undergraduate Education

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