Ombudsperson

HELPING TO RESOLVE STUDENT CONCERNS.

• Need guidance on how to address a situation such as grade appeals, class withdrawal, financial assistance, or a health problem?
• Want clarification on a campus policy or procedure, but don’t know where to go?
• Caught up in red tape?

Consider accessing a University Troubleshooter or Ombudsperson. The WSU Tri-Cities Student Ombudsperson was established to open channels of communication between students and the university community by providing an identifiable person to listen to student concerns. Our objective is to connect students to faculty and administrators who will listen, answer questions, interpret policies/procedures and provide guidance on the appropriate steps to consider for a resolution.


AS A RESULT OF INTERACTING WITH THE STUDENT OMBUDSPERSON, A STUDENT SHOULD EXPECT TO:

• Receive a timely response to the initial inquiry;
• Experience a confidential environment for discussion;
• Receive information about the role of the Student Ombudsperson;
• Receive information about the University policy/procedure and appropriate process that addresses the inquiry; and
• Identify and evaluate options to address or resolve the inquiry; and,
• Gain perspective on how to address future issues or concerns.


TIPS FOR RESOLVING A SITUATION:

• When in doubt, STOP and see the student ombudsperson first. If you have a question or anticipate something that may need to be addressed, become a Student Talking Out the Possibilities (STOP) with a Student Ombudsperson.
• Start early. Do not wait until that last moment. Even if you have a preliminary question, the Student Ombudsperson can point you in the right direction.
• Learn about the policies and procedures. If applicable, ask about the policy and procedure that relates to your concern. It will describe the parameters and if there are any exceptions.
• Document your interactions. Keep a record of whom you spoke to, when you spoke to him/her, and the outcome. This is good practice for life.
• Be respectful. Some situations will lead to frustration, but try to keep a cool demeanor. Individuals are more willing to listen and respond when they are engaged in a conversation where respect is exhibited.