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Advocacy, Policies, and Resources

Do you need representation at a hearing? Wondering how to apply for a Final Grade Appeal? Curious about how University policies affect you? Wondering where to go for support?

The University of Manitoba Students’ Union was created to advocate for its membership, and is committed to ensuring that your voice is heard and that you are treated fairly at the University of Manitoba. The Vice President Advocacy serves as the official representative for UMSU members and as their official advocate. All advocacy cases are kept confidential, and UMSU’s advocacy services are free to UMSU Members. Check out this page for information on types of advocacy issues as well as UMSU and other University supports & advocacy services.

Academic Accommodations

There are several accommodations that students can pursue to better their ability to succeed in their academic. These accommodations can be granted for students with accessibility needs, students who have experienced extreme unexpected hardship, and other circumstances.

Authorized Withdrawals

An Authorized Withdrawal (AW) is an approved withdrawal from all or some courses in a given period for medical or compassionate reasons.

AW’s can be approved under the following grounds:

1) Medical: When a serious event, including but not limited to illness, accident, or injury affects a student’s ability to attend classes and/or complete course requirements

2) Compassionate: When an extraordinary personal circumstance, including but not limited to a serious illness or death of a significant person in a student’s life affects a students ability to attend classes and/or complete course requirements.

An AW application must include the following:

1) An official Request Form – Available at your Deans office, at Student Advocacy, at the UMSU VPA’s office, or online here.

2) Letter of Explanation – written by the student detailing the circumstances or symptoms that affected the student. A template is available online here.

3) Supporting Documentation – any documentation that supports the students medical or compassionate grounds such as: letters from health care professionals and other medical documents, a funeral program or obituary, a police report or auto incident report, travel documents, etc.

Important Information:

– Requests for an AW can be considered for currently enrolled classes, as well as classes dating back 3 academic years

Requests for an AW are to be submitted directly to a student’s faculty

Students can apply for AW’s in classes that they have completed, have partially completed, or that they have Voluntarily Withdrawn (VW) from

An AW will show up on a student’s History, but will not show up on their official transcript

If an AW is granted, a student can apply for a tuition refund within a year of when they took said course(s)

To view the policy and procedures on Authorized Withdrawals, click here.

Deferred Exams and Supplementals

A deferred examination may be granted to a student who is unexpectedly unable to write an exam as scheduled, or a student who knows in advance that they are unable to write an exam at a scheduled time. Deferred exams and Supplemental Exams are under the discretion of a student’s faculty/school or academic unit.

Grounds for a deferred examination:

1) participation in an inter-university, provincial, inter-provincial, national, or international scholastic or athletic event

2) religious obligations

3) a medical condition

How to apply:

– Students who cannot write an exam due to unexpected illness must file an application for a deferred exam with the office or their Faculty, School, or academic unit in which they are registered.

– students who are requesting a deferred exam due to a known grounds must file an application 20 days prior to the day of scheduled exam

– The application must explain the reasons for the deferral, and normally must be submitted withing 48 hours of the scheduled date of the exam.

– The application must be accompanied by a medical certificate or other relevant documentation confirming the reason for deferral, the inability of the student to write at the scheduled time, and when applicable, the period of incapacity.

Rescheduling Deferred Exams

If the application for a deferred exam has been approved by the Student’s Faculty/School/academic unit, the head of the unit the course was offered in will try to reschedule the exam within 30 working days from the end of the exam series. Accommodations can be made for courses that are prerequisites, for programs requiring successful completion of an academic year before proceeding, and students who are potential graduands

If the exam cannot be rescheduled within 30 working days of the end of the exam series, the deferred exam will be written in the next exam series, or the head of the academic unit  and course instructor may assign a grade without examination (based on term work and assignments)

Supplemental Exams

Supplemental exams are offered by some faculties to students who have not achieved the minimum result in required courses. Within the limits of the students’ faculty, the student who is granted a supplemental is given the opportunity to re-write a final exam.

To view the procedure on Deferred & Supplemental exams, click here.

Extensions

Extensions can be granted to students on coursework for various reasons, up to the discretion of the course instructor. Typically, the extension rules and regulations will be laid out in the course Syllabus. If the extension rules are not listed in the Syllabus, students should inquire to their instructors as soon as possible.

If you do not think that your request for an extension was handled properly, you can seek assistance from the Student Advocacy Office, or from the UMSU Vice President Advocacy. Extensions will vary by students and by courses.

Voluntary Withdrawals

A Voluntary Withdrawal (VW) is a registration option that allows students to withdraw from a course(s) after the Registration Revision Period (typically the 10th day of classes) and before the Voluntary Withdrawal Deadline (typically the 48th day of classes) without academic penalty. For a course spanning two terms, the VW deadline is typically the end of the Registration Revision Period of the second term.

A VW will show up on a student’s Official Transcript as a ‘VW,’ and a student is not eligible for a tuition refund should they choose to VW from a course.

There is no limit to the number of VW’s a student can have, but student will be subjected to Limited Access should they want to retake the dropped class within the following 3 Academic Terms. Limited Access means that they will be unable to register in a class that they have VW’d until after the regular registration period is over.

There is no form or application process needed for a VW. It can be completed through a student’s Aurora account.

For more information on Limited Access and the Repeated Course Policy, click here.
To view the policy on Voluntary Withdrawals, click here.

Academic and Non-Academic Discipline

The University of Manitoba has various rules and regulations that dictate the behaviour expected from students and staff. Violations to these regulations can result in disciplinary action being taken against a student. For information on the types of disciplinary action that can be pursued against students, and to find out what to do should you find yourself in a situation like this, check out the options below.

Academic Misconduct

According to the University of Manitoba, Academic Misconduct can be defined as “any conduct that has, or might reasonably be seen to have, an adverse effect on the academic integrity of the University.

Types of Academic Misconduct

  1. Plagiarism: the presentation or use of information, ideas, sentences, findings, etc. as one’s own without appropriate citation in a written assignment, test, or final examination.
  2. Cheating on Quizzes, Tests or Final Examinations: the circumventing of fair testing procedures or contravention of exam regulations. Such acts may be premeditated/planned or may be unintentional or opportunistic.
  3. Inappropriate collaboration: when a Student and any other person work together on assignments, projects, tests, labs or other work unless authorized by the course instructor.
  4. Duplicate Submission: cheating where a Student submits a paper/assignment/test in full or in part, for more than one course without the permission of the course instructor.
  5. Personation: writing an assignment, lab, test, or examination for another Student, or the unauthorized use of another person’s signature or identification in order to impersonate someone else. Personation includes both the personator and the person initiating the personation.
  6. Academic Fraud: falsification of data or official documents as well as the falsification of medical or compassionate circumstances/documentation to gain accommodations to complete assignments, tests or examinations.”

Written Notice to Student

If a student has been thought to have committed an act of Academic Misconduct and there is sufficient evidence to initiate an investigation, the student should expect a written notice with the following information included:

  1. That an investigation will be proceeding, nature of the allegations, and information of any potential holds;
  2. The student will be given an opportunity to respond to the allegation, with notice of who will be in attendance should it be an in-person meeting;
  3. Information about the student’s right to an Advocate (and where they can seek an advocate);
  4. Dates to respond by and where the Student can get a copy of the procedure, Bylaws, or other relevant procedures;
  5. The students right to appeal decisions.

Following the investigation process (which can be viewed in detail in the Student Academic Misconduct Procedure) the Student should expect a decision notice in writing with a summary of the allegation, processes and timelines, and evidence found, as well as the conclusion of whether or not Academic Misconduct was found, reasons for the conclusion, a summary of disciplinary action, and information on the student’s right to appeal.

Potential disciplinary action:

– Reprimands
– Developmental actions (such as community service within the University, educational activities, etc.)
– Probationary actions (such as conditions attached to future conduct)
– Suspension of a variety of sorts (from class, the department, the faculty, the school, etc.)
– A particular grade on the assignment/test/exam or course
– Expulsion
– Others as seen fit.

For more information about procedures involved in Student Academic Misconduct, click here.

Non-Academic Misconduct

According to the University of Manitoba, Non-Academic Misconduct can be defined as: “any conduct that has, or might reasonably be seen to have, an adverse effect on the integrity or proper functioning of the University or the health, safety, rights or property of the University or members of the University Community.

Types of Non-Academic Misconduct:

  1. Threats of harm or actual harm by any means (including electronic means)
    to another person, including but not limited to: discrimination, hazing, harassment, possession or use of dangerous object in violation of applicable laws, sexual assault, stalking behaviour/harmful repetitive behaviour, and violence;
  2. Property-related misconduct, including but not limited to: theft, threats to or damage of University property, and vandalism;
  3. Inappropriate or disruptive behaviour, including but not limited to: actions that interfere with the learning environment/require inordinate time of faculty and staff, alcohol or substance abuse, disorderly behaviour, indecent exposure, and unprofessional conduct;
  4. Abuse of the process of University policies, procedures or regulations,
    including but not limited to: abuse of computer privileges, breach of student residence rules & regulations, failure to comply with previously imposed disciplinary action, and frivolous/vexatious complaints or appeals.

Based on the conduct in question, the student may be subjected to other University policies in addition to the Student Non-Academic Misconduct Procedure (such as the Sexual Assault Policy, Use of Computer Facilities Policy & Procedure, etc.)

Written Notice to Student:

If a student has been thought to have committed an act of Non-Academic Misconduct and there is sufficient evidence to initiate an investigation, the student should expect a written notice with the following information:

  1. That an investigation will be proceeding, nature of the allegations, and information of any potential holds;
  2. That the student will be given an opportunity to respond to the allegation, with notice of who will be in attendance should it be an in-person meeting;
  3. Information about the student’s right to an Advocate (and where they can seek an advocate);
  4. Dates to respond by and where the Student can get a copy of the procedure, Bylaws, or other relevant procedures;
  5. The students right to appeal decisions.

Following the investigation process (which can be viewed in detail in the Student Non-Academic Misconduct and Concerning Behaviour Procedure) the Student should expect a decision notice in writing with a summary of the allegation, processes and timelines, and evidence found, as well as the conclusion of whether or not Non-Academic Misconduct was found, reasons for the conclusion, a summary of disciplinary action, and information on the student’s right to appeal.

Potential disciplinary action:

– Reprimands
– Developmental actions (such as community service within the University, educational activities, etc.)
– Probationary actions (such as conditions attached to future conduct)
– Suspension of a variety of sorts (from class, the department, the faculty, the school, residence, facility, privileges, etc.)
– Written apology, restitution, or fines;
– Expulsion
– Others as seen fit.

For more information about the procedures involved in Student Non-Academic Misconduct and Concerning Behaviour, click here.

Requirements to Withdraw

In certain Faculties/Colleges/Schools (mostly professional programs) a student may be required to withdraw at the request of the University Senate due to “unsuitability for the practice of the profession to which the program of study leads.”

If such a requirement is in place for your Faculty/College/School, it can most likely be found in the Academic Calendar for said Faculty/College/School. Students can also speak to an academic advisor about relevant policies. A student may also request a copy of their Faculty or School’s professional unsuitability bylaw from the general faculty or school office.

Suspension, Probation, and Expulsions

Suspensions & Expulsion

A Suspension or Expulsion may be issued for different reasons. If a student has been found to have committed an act of Academic or Non-Academic Misconduct, they may face reprimands as determined by the relevant Disciplinary Authority, or they may face a suspension or expulsion of privileges for a definite or indefinite period of time. Such a suspension or expulsion could apply to:

– A particular course(s)
– A department
– A Faculty/College/School
– The University
– A Residence

Should a suspension be received, the student can either wait until the suspension is lifted, or appeal the decision. In most cases, a suspension will be removed from a student’s transcript upon their request to the Registrar following the end of their suspension period.  For more information on the appeal process, refer to the section on “Appeals.”

Should an expulsion be received for a definite period of time, the student can either wait until the time has elapsed and reapply through normal channels, or appeal the decision. If an expulsion for an indefinite period of time is received, the student can either apply to the relevant Disciplinary Authority to have the expulsion lifted, and if granted, can reapply through normal channels, or they can appeal the decision. During an expulsion, other University Faculties/Schools/Colleges may deny registration to their program, or to courses within their program. The expulsion will also be listed on a students transcript, and may be removed through a written letter by the Disciplinary Authority to the Registrar.

A suspension or academic probation may also occur as a result of poor academic performance. Each program has its own rules and regulations about academic progression, including minimum performance requirements. Students can refer to their program’s website, or speak to an academic advisor in their Faculty/College/School for information on requirements.

Appeals

There are various different types of appeals and reasons to file one. Some appeals are related to academic issues, some are in regards to disciplinary findings, and others can be related to tuition and accommodations. To learn more about the different types and how to pursue an appeal, check out the options below.

Academic Disciplinary Appeals

If a student has been found to have committed an act of Academic Misconduct and is assigned disciplinary action, the student typically has the right to appeal the decision unless it is a decision of the University Disciplinary Committee (the final level of appeal). In all cases, the written decision letter given to the student should describe the route to be taken for appeal.

How to Appeal a Finding

An appeal may be pursued typically on the grounds of either the finding (of fault/wrongdoing) or the disciplinary action (the punishment assigned), or both. The original decision will typically be made by academic staff or a department head. To appeal the original decision by academic staff or a department head, the student must submit their appeal to the appropriate office within 10 working days from receipt of the decision letter, as described in their decision letter. A Dean or Director may also issue the first decision, or they may receive the first appeal submitted. Student have the right to seek advice and assistance from a Student Advocate during the appeal process.

An appeal of the original decision will be reviewed by either the Dean or Director or the appropriate Local Disciplinary Committee (each Faculty will have such a body, and membership may vary but 1 student and 1 faculty member must be present for quorum). The process for this will look similar to that of the original investigation (see section on “Academic Misconduct”). If the first appeal is heard by a Dean or Director, and if that decision is the appealed, it will proceed to the appropriate Local Disciplinary Committee.

University Disciplinary Committee

Should a student wish to appeal the finding of a Local Disciplinary Committee, an appeal must be submitted to the relevant officer in the Office of the University Secretary, who will deliver it to the University Disciplinary Committee (UDC) which is the final level of appeal. The composition of the UDC can be found in the Student Discipline Appeal Procedure. The appeal must be submitted within 10 working days from receipt of the decision letter, and details for submission of the appeal will be laid out in the decision letter of the Local Disciplinary Committee. The decision of the University Disciplinary Committee is final and cannot be appealed (unless the student chooses to pursue a Judicial Review, which is external to the University).

Important to Note:

  • Should the student choose to appeal a disciplinary decision, the new finding and resulting disciplinary action may be the same, less severe, or more severe.
  • Only under certain circumstances may the student be granted an extension to the 10 working days granted to submit an appeal.
  • At the level of a UDC hearing, a student has the right to seek legal council instead of a student advocate should they choose (not necessarily a free service).

To view the procedure on Student Discipline Appeals, click here.

Admission Appeals

If a student applies to the University of Manitoba and is unsuccessful, it is first recommended the student contact the Admissions Officer for the program to inquire about the decision making process of their application. Admissions Officers can be contacted through the Admissions Office.

Following this, if the student would like their application to be reconsidered, they can submit their request to the Chair of the Admissions Committee within 10 days of reciept of notice of non-admission. Information about the relevent Chair can be obtained through the Admissions office.

Should the student still be not granted admission following an appeal to the Chair, a student may appeal to the Senate Committee on Admission Appeals. Requests for appeal must be submitted to the University Secretary (Room 312 Administration Building, University of Manitoba) within 10 working days of receipt of notice of non-admission. It is important to note that decisions of the Senate Committee are based on whether policies and procedures were followed, and not subjective issues or other aspects of the application.

To view the Senate Committee on Admission Appeals policy & procedures, click here.

Final Grade Appeals

Reasons for A Final Grade Appeal:
A student may appeal a final grade(s) for a variety of reasons. Typically, an appeal may be filed due to reasons such as:

– miscalculation of marks (ex. your term marks show that you should have received a higher grade)

– misgrading of paper/exam (ex. you believe there was an error made in grading your paper/exam)

– application of an evaluation or grading system which was not included in the course outline (ex. the course evaluation process was changed during the course, and was not laid out in the course outline or approved by class consensus)

– unfair or inequitable process in determining the final grade

– Other reasons not mentioned (should consult with a Student Advocate)

Types of Final Grade Appeals:
There are three types of final grade appeals that can be granted:

  1. Re-reading/grading of the final exam (if grade being appealed was based only on the final exam)
  2. Re-reading/grading of the final exam and review of term mark calculation (if grade being appealed was based on the final exam as well as term work)
  3. Review of term mark calculation (if grade being appealed was based only on term work)

How to file a Final Grade Appeal:

– discuss concerns with your professor/instructor and see if things can be resolved informally

– if still unresolved, fill out a Final Grade Appeal Form (available from registrar’s office or online here)

– Submit the completed form (with or without an accompanying letter), as well as a copy of the exam/work to be reviewed, a copy of the course outline, and any other documents, to the Registrar’s Office (400 UMSU University Centre) with a payment of $35.00 within the appeal time frame.

Important information regarding Final Grade Appeals:

– Students have the right to seek advice/assistance from a student advocate throughout a Final Grade Appeal process

– The $35.00 fee will only be refunded if the Final Grade Appeal is granted

– A Final Grade cannot be lowered through a Final Grade Appeal process.

Further Appeals:
If a Final Grade Appeal is denied and a student is not satisfied with the decision, they have the right to appeal to the Faculty/College/School, and then to the Senate Level (Senate Committee on Appeals). The Appeal process at higher levels looks similar to the process described in “Academic Disciplinary Appeals,” except that Senate Committee on Appeals does not assign disciplinary action, but rather determines whether decisions about accommodations, awards, or academic progress should be upheld, partially upheld, or struck down.

To file a Final Grade Appeal to the Dean or Director of a Faculty/College/School, contact the general office for said Academic Unit and inquire about the submission process.

To file a Final Grade Appeal to the Senate Committee on Appeals, an appeal can only be filed on the following grounds:

  1. failure of the Faculty/College/School or Dean/Director to follow procedures
  2. failure of the Faculty/College/School or Dean/Director to follow the rules of natural justice
  3. failure of the Faculty/College/School or Dean/Director to reasonably consider all factors relevant to the decision being appealed
  4. that a Faculty/College/School governing document has become inapplicable through lapse of time or was unfairly applied
  5. that there is an apparent conflict between a Senate governing document and a Faculty/College/School governing document
  6. failure of Senate, the Faculty/College/School or Dean/Director to comply with applicable legislation

To view the Senate Committee on Appeals Policy & Procedure, as well as relevant documents, click here.

Non-Academic Disciplinary Appeals

If a student has been found to have committed an act of Non-Academic Misconduct and is assigned disciplinary action, the student typically has the right to appeal the decision unless it is a decision of the University Disciplinary Committee (the final level of appeal). In all cases, the written decision letter given to the student should describe the route to be taken for appeal.

How to Appeal a Finding

An appeal may be pursued typically on the grounds of either the finding (of fault/wrongdoing) or the disciplinary action (the punishment assigned), or both. The original decision will typically be made by academic staff or a department head, or the Director of Student Residences. To appeal the original decision by academic staff or a department head or director of student residence, the student must submit their appeal to the appropriate office within 10 working days from receipt of the decision letter, as described in their decision letter. A Dean or Director may also issue the first decision, or they may receive the first appeal submitted. Student have the right to seek advice and assistance from a Student Advocate during the appeal process.

An appeal of the original decision will be reviewed by either the Dean or Director or the appropriate Local Disciplinary Committee(each Faculty will have such a body, and membership may vary but 1 student and 1 faculty member must be present for quorum). The process for this will look similar to that of the original investigation (see section on “Non-Academic Misconduct”). If the first appeal is heard by a Dean or Director, and if that decision is the appealed, it will proceed to the appropriate Local Disciplinary Committee.

University Disciplinary Committee

Should a student wish to appeal the finding of a Local Disciplinary Committee, an appeal must be submitted to the relevant officer in the Office of the University Secretary, who will deliver it to the University Disciplinary Committee (UDC) which is the final level of appeal. The composition of the UDC can be found in the Student Discipline Appeal Procedure. The appeal must be submitted within 10 working days from receipt of the decision letter, and details for submission of the appeal will be laid out in the decision letter of the Local Disciplinary Committee. The decision of the University Disciplinary Committee is final and cannot be appealed (unless the student chooses to pursue a Judicial Review, which is external to the University).

Important to Note:

  • Should the student choose to appeal a disciplinary decision, the new finding and resulting disciplinary action may be the same, less severe, or more severe.
  • Only under certain circumstances may the student be granted an extension to the 10 working days granted to submit an appeal.
  • At the level of a UDC hearing, a student has the right to seek legal council instead of a student advocate should they choose (not necessarily a free service).

Additional Information:

  • If the appeal is involving the decision of a University Librarian, the student must the appeal to the Senate Committee on Libraries, who will then appoint a Library Appeals Committee.
  • The UDC is the highest appeal board for all disciplinary bodies at the University, including the Registrar, Vice-President Administration, Vice-Provost Student, the President, and more.

Term Work Grade Appeals

Reasons for a Term Work Grade Appeal:
A student may appeal term work grades for a variety of reasons. Typically, an appeal may be filed due to reasons such as:

– miscalculation of marks

– misgrading of paper/exam (ex. you believe there was an error made in grading your paper/exam)

– application of an evaluation or grading system which was not included in the course outline (ex. the course evaluation process was changed during the course, and was not laid out in the course outline or approved by class consensus)

– unfair or inequitable process in determining the final grade

– other reasons not mentioned (should consult with a Student Advocate)

How to file a Term Work Grade Appeal:

– discuss concerns with your professor/instructor and see if things can be resolved informally

– submit the completed form (with or without an accompanying letter), as well as a copy of the exam/work to be reviewed, a copy of the course outline, and any other documents, to the Cashiers Office (138 UMSU University Centre) with a payment of $35.00 within the appeal time frame (10 days from receipt of term work grade).

Important information regarding Term Work Grade Appeals:

– Students have the right to seek advice/assistance from a student advocate throughout a Term Work Grade Appeal process

– The $35.00 fee will only be refunded if the Term Work Grade Appeal is granted

– A Term Work Grade cannot be lowered through a Term Work Grade Appeal process.

Further Appeals:
If a Term Work Grade Appeal is denied and a student is not satisfied with the decision, the student should contact the Student Advocacy Office or the UMSU Vice President Advocacy for advice.

For more information on grading process & final grades, click here.

Tuition Fee Appeals

Tuition Fee Appeals may be granted to students for a variety of reasons, mostly related to medical or compassionate issues. To apply for an appeal, a student must have either withdrawn (VW) from a course or have obtained an Authorized Withdrawal (AW). Appeals dating back more than one academic year will typically not be considered (consult an advocate if you believe you should be considered past this time frame).

Reasons for a Tuition Fee Appeal:

– Medical Grounds (physical or mental/psychological)

– Critical Illness (illness or death of immediate family member or similar circumstance)

– Relocation (due to employment commitments of student, spouse, parent/guardian)

– Military Commitments (unforeseen & interfering with studies)

– Late Evaluation of Transfer Credit(s) (evaluation of transfer credit towards a U of M program was received late)

– Administrative Situation (change of program, administrative error, or oversight)

– Other (unique circumstances that don’t fall into above categories)

Process to file a Tuition Fee Appeal:

  1. Ensure course has been withdrawn(VW) or AW’d
  2. Ensure appeal is filed within 1 academic year
  3. Fill out Tuition Fee Appeal Form and include a typed explanation of reason for appeal (max 1 page), as well as copies of all required documentation that applies to your reason for appeal
  4. Submit Appeal package to the Registrar’s Office (400 UMSU University Centre)

Further Appeals
If a student’s Tuition Fee Appeal is denied and the amount in question is more than $500.00, the student may submit an appeal to the University fee appeals committee. For more information on this process, contact the Registrar’s Office.

Other Appeals

For information on any appeals not listed on this website, contact a Student Advocate from the Office of Student Advocacy or the UMSU Vice President Advocacy at vpa@umsu.ca.

Course and Procedure Complaints

The University of Manitoba has rules in place to ensure that students are treated fairly and respectfully in terms of their studies. This includes rules and deadlines for informing students about course evaluation methods, as well as ensuring respectful and appropriate relationships between Academic Staff and students.

Course Outline Issues

Provision of Course Outline & Content

It is the responsibility of Academic Staff to provide a course outline to all students registered in their class and review the contents with the students within the first week of classes. The outline can be given through paper copy, and/or through Aurora or UM Learn. The course outline MUST contain:

  1. Name of Instructor, along with email, phone number, and office number
  2. List of required materials
  3. Course description outlining topics, goals, and academic requirements.
  4. Expectations for class attendance and penalties if any
  5. Description of evaluation procedure and methods including weighting of the components that will contribute to the final grade, how the numeric grade will be converted to a letter grade, and information on how/whether instructions/grading rules/rubrics will be provided (so long as it doesn’t interfere with equity requirements of multi-sectioned courses)
  6. How evaluative feedback will be given to students (method, time frame, form, etc.)
  7. Information on office hours/Instructor availability
  8. Schedule of term assignments and tests
  9. Information on practice followed for late submission
  10. Statement of parameters for use of electronic/mechanical devices used\
  11. Statement regarding recording classes
  12. Reference to Student Accessibility Services
  13. Statement regarding academic integrity

Changes to Course Outline:
If the Academic Staff wishes to change either the method of evaluation or the format of assignments in the course outline after it has been distributed to students, they must:

– In a timely fashion discuss the proposed changes with students and ask for feedback, provide a copy of the revised outline to the Unit Administrator, and confirm changes in writing to the students within the first week of the change either through paper copy or through Aurora or UM Learn.

– If the weighting of assignments is changed retroactively, as student who wants to be graded in accordance to the original outline must let the Academic Staff know within 5 working days of receiving the new outline.

If you believe that there is an issue with your course outline, or do not believe that changes were made fairly or in a timely manner, contact the Student Advocacy Office or the UMSU Vice President Advocacy.

For more information on responsibilities of Academic Staff in regards to students, view the policy and procedures here.

Responsibilities of Academic Staff

There are several rights that students are granted in relation to their academics, and there are several responsibilities of Academic Staff in relation to students that are mandated in University Policy to be complied with. The Responsibilities of Academic Staff with regard to Students Policy & Procedure outline these, and include rules and standards regarding:

  1. Course content
  2. Policy and regulations compliance
  3. Course Outline requirements
  4. Provision of policies and resources to students
  5. Learning materials
  6. Changes to course outlines and timing requirements
  7. Interactions with students (including conflicts of interest)
  8. Instruction expectations and responsibilities
  9. Adherence to Senate-approved evaluation policies
  10. Complying to schedules and rules regarding reporting student grades
  11. Rules for holding on to term work
  12. Class sizes

If a student believes that this policy has been violated, or if they have questions about the responsibilities of Academic Staff, they can refer to the Policy & Procedures here or contact a student advocate through the Office of Student Advocacy or the UMSU Vice President Advocacy.

Conflicts with Instructors

There are several conflicts that can arise between Instructors and Students, some of which apply to University Policies, and others that do not. If the reason for conflict or issue appears to be a result of discrimination, unfair treatment, or harassment, then the student may have grounds to file a complaint.

Grounds for Complaint: 

– Discrimination based on actual or presumes membership/involvement in a group rather than on basis of merit

– Discrimination based on any Protected Characteristic (listed on page 8 here)

– Discrimination based on actual or assumed association with another individual/group whose identity/membership is determined by any Protected Characteristic

– Failure to reasonably accommodate the special needs of a person or group, if needs are based on a Protected Characteristic

– Personal Harassment (defined on page 9 here)

– Human Rights Based Harassment (connected to any Protected Characteristic)

– Sexual Harassment (defined on page 10 here)

– Sexual Assault (defined on page 11 here)

Actions that do not qualify as grounds for complaint:

– Critical/positive evaluation of student’s work

– A legitimate peer review or critique of research/academic work

– Disagreement with the Instructor in taught material/opinions (unless targeted or relating to above grounds)

If a student believes that they have a legitimate conflict or complaint, they can seek advise from a student advocate, the UMSU Vice President Advocacy, or staff from the office of Human Rights and Conflict Management. If the complaint is regarding a legitimate accessibility concern, the student may want to contact Student Accessibility Services, or their Accessibility Adviser if already registered.

Should a student wish to make a formal complaint, they can apply through the office of Human Rights and Conflict Management. A student may also choose to pursue Informal Resolution, and can attempt to do so directly with the instructor, or through the office of Human Rights and Conflict Management.

If a student proceeds to file a formal complaint and after a preliminary assessment the complaint is dismissed, the student has the right to appeal the decision by giving written notice to the Designated Officer within 10 working days from the date of the receipt of the Human rights and Conflict Management Officer’s decision. The grounds for appeal as well as the appeal process can be found on pages 14-15 here.

Equity Issues and Complaints

Human Rights Violations

The University of Manitoba is home to a diverse groups of Staff, Faculty, and Students, and is committed to ensuring that all of our community members are treated with respect and dignity. Should you face any sort of violence, harassment, discrimination, or other inappropriate treatment, there are policies in place to ensure your rights and dictate proper disciplinary action.

If you think that your rights have been violated, contact the Office of Human Rights and Conflict Management.

Discrimination

The University of Manitoba prohibits discrimination of any kind, whether it be through teaching and evaluation methods, through professional dialogue, or through interactions on or off campus.

Discrimination is described in the U of M Respectful Work and Learning Environment (RWLE) Procedure as: “an intentional or unintentional act of omission resulting in:

  1. Differential treatment of an individual or group on the basis of:
    – said individual’s actual/presumed membership in a group rather than on merit
    – any Protected Characteristics
    – said individual or group’s actual/presumed association with another individual or group whose identity/membership is determined by a Protected Characteristic
  2. Failure to make Reasonable Accommodation for the special needs of an individual or group, if those needs are based upon a Protected Characteristic

Protected Characteristics:

Protected Characteristics are those listed in The Human Rights Code (Manitoba) as being protected, including:

  1. Ancestry, including colour & perceived race
  2. Nationality or national origin
  3. Ethnic background or origin
  4. Religion/creed, or religious belief, association, or activity
  5. Age
  6. Sex, including sex-determined characteristics such as pregnancy or circumstances related to pregnancy
  7. Gender identity
  8. Sexual orientation
  9. Marital or family status
  10. Source of income
  11. Political belief, association, or activity
  12. Physical or mental disability or related characteristics/circumstances, including reliance on a service animal, wheelchair, or other remedial appliance/device
  13. Social disadvantage

Examples of Discrimination:

The following are examples of discrimination that an individual could face in an academic setting.

– A professor is not treating you fairly in class because you are a woman
– A professor will not grant you an accommodation that is reasonable in nature
– A scholarship is offered for all students, except those from your cultural group
– Rules within a class or policy disadvantage you in a systemic manner

For more details about discrimination, as well as more detailed examples, please refer to pages 7-9 of the RWLE & Sexual Assault Procedure.

Personal Harrassment

According to the University of Manitoba Respectful Work and Learning Environment Procedure, Personal Harassment refers to “offensive behaviour directed towards another person and not connected to a Protected Characteristic, including but not limited to:

  1. A severe incident/series of incidents of objectionable and unwelcome conduct or comments, directed toward a specific person or group, which does not serve a reasonable work or academic purpose, and objectively would have the effect of creating an intimidating, humiliating, hostile, or offensive work or learning environment
  2. Verbal or written abuse, threats, or intimidation that objectively is humiliating or demeaning
  3. Objectionable and unwelcome conduct or comments that objectively impacts the mental or physical health of another person

If you think that you may have experienced a case of Personal Harassment, you can contact the UMSU Vice President Advocacy for advice on the matter, or the Office of Human Rights and Conflict Management.

For more details about personal harassment, as well as more detailed examples, please refer to pages 9-10 of the RWLE & Sexual Assault Procedure.

Sexual Violence Definitions & Resources

According to the World Health Organization, sexual violence is defined as ” any sexual act, attempt to obtain a sexual act, unwanted sexual comments or advances, or acts to traffic, or otherwise directed, against a person’s sexuality using coercion, by any person regardless of their relationship to the victim, in any setting, including but not limited to home and work.

Sexual Violence is an umbrella term that can be used to describe several different sexually based harms, including but not limited to:

  1. Sexual Assault
    – Any form of sexual touching or the threat of sexual touching without the individual’s consent.
  2. Sexual Harassment
    – Unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that detrimentally affects the working, learning, or living environment, or leads to adverse consequences for the one directly subjected to the harassment.
  3. Stalking
    – Engaging in conduct that causes an individual to fear for their physical or psychological safety, such as repeatedly following or communicating through any means with someone, engaging in threatening conduct, or keeping watch over the place where the individual happens to be.
  4. Indecent Exposure
    – Exposing one’s body to another individual for a sexual purpose or coercing another individual to remove their clothing in order to expose their body, without their consent.
  5. Voyeurism
    – Non-consensual viewing, photographing, or otherwise recording another individual in a location where there is an expectation of privacy and where the viewing, photographing or recording is done for a sexual purpose.
  6. Distribution of a sexually explicit photograph or recording
    – The distribution of a sexually explicit photograph or recording of an individual to one or more individuals other than the individual in the photograph or recording without the consent of the individual in the photograph or recording.
  7. Stealthing
    – Non-consensual condom removal during sexual intercourse.
  8. Coercion and abuse of power dynamics
    – Obtaining or attempting to obtain a sexual or sexually related act from an individual without their consent by means of physical force, psychological intimidation, blackmail, abuse of a position of power, or other threats, as well as obtaining or attempting to obtain a sexual or sexually related act from an individual who is unable to give consent such as being drunk, drugged, asleep or incapable of understanding the situation.

At the University of Manitoba, cases of Sexual Assault fall under their own standalone policy, the Sexual Assault Policy. Sexual Harassment and other forms of sexual violence fall under the Respectful Work and Learning Environment Policy (RWLE). The procedures for dealing with issues such as these are laid out in a shared procedural document, the RWLE and Sexual Assault Procedure. PLEASE NOTE: That both of these policies are currently undergoing review, and may change in the near future.

Consent

As defined in the RWLE & Sexual Assault Procedure, consent refers to “the voluntary agreement of the person to engage in the sexual activity in question.” Further, consent can be defined as an ongoing, enthusiastic, yes. Consent is NOT obtained in the following examples:

  1. It is NOT consent if the person submits or doesn’t resist due to the use of force, threat or fear of force, or use/threat/fear of force being used on another person.
  2. It is NOT consent if blackmail or fraud is used to obtain sexual activity.
  3. It is NOT consent if a position of authority, a position of power, or a position of trust is used to obtain sexual activity.
  4. It is NOT consent if the person directly involved is not the one expressing consent.
  5. It is NOT consent if the person is incapable of giving consent – if they are below the age of consent, if they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, if they are asleep or unconscious, or if due to some other mental of physical incapacity.
  6. It is NOT consent if the person expresses, by words or by conduct/body language, a lack of agreement to engage in sexual activity.
  7. It is NOT consent if the person has previously consented, but is now withdrawing their consent.
    **In general, if you have to question whether consent is present in a situation, that should be a sign to check with your partner, and ask them clearly and verbally if what is happening is okay. If they don’t seem into it – they probably aren’t. If they seem upset – they probably are. If they say they aren’t in the mood, they aren’t playing hard to get – they probably aren’t in the mood! ENTHUSIASM is key!**

For information on where to go for assistance, how to respond to disclosures, what to do if you or someone you know has been assaulted and more, check out the University’s Sexual Violence Support & Education Website here.

Further information, including self-care activities and a full resource guide, can be found in Your Voice Matters: A Colouring Book and Resource Guide for Survivors and Allies of Sexual Violence, available at 101 UMSU University Centre.

To learn more about national action to combat sexual violence on campus, check out the National Our Turn Action Plan here.

Reporting Sexual Violence on Campus

At the University of Manitoba, the process of reporting a case of sexual violence is laid out in the RWLE & Sexual Assault Procedure.

  1. If you or someone you know has been assaulted and is wondering whether or how to report, they may want to seek guidance from one of the support resources available on or off campus, such as:
    A Student Support Case Manager
    A Student Counselor
    A Student Advocate
    A Human Rights & Conflict Management Officer
    The U of M Health & Wellness Educator
    Klinic
    The UMSU Vice President Advocacy
    You can also access a more extensive list of supports here.
  2. If you have decided that filing a complaint and pursuing resolution is right for you, you will need to contact the Office of Human Rights and Conflict Management (HRCM). Remember, you do not need to do this alone, and a support person or an advocate can help you through the process. Through HRCM, you can choose one of two resolution processes: A formal complaint, or an informal resolution process.- An informal resolution is an option for those who do not wish to make a formal complaint and would like to try and resolve the situation through an informal process. This requires an agreement to participate by all parties involved, and can take a variety of forms such as: guided facilitation, mediation, restorative measures, circle discussions, and more.- A formal complaint must be submitted in writing to the office of HRCM. A guideline for making a complaint can be found here. Once a complaint is filed, the HRCM Officer will do a preliminary assessment and determine within 30 working days of reciept of the complaint if an investigation will take place. If the HRCMO has decided against investigating, the complainant has the right to appeal the decision. If the complaint proceeds to investigation, an Investigator will be appointed, who will conduct interviews, review documents and evidence, etc., and complete the investigation typically within 90 working days. They will then provide the findings in writing to the HRCMO, and if a breach of policy has been found, disciplinary action may be pursued by the Designated Officer (the individual with jurisdiction over discipline of the case). For more information on the process, please refer to pages 12-24 of the RWLE & Sexual Assault Procedure.
  3. Please note that an individual who has been assaulted may also make a report through other means such as:
    – to Security Services, who will then pass it on to HRCM
    Silent Observer, an anonymous reporting mechanism provided online through Security Services.
  4. Confidentiality in disclosing sexual violence is guaranteed except in a few significant situations:
    – If there is reason to believe that the safety of the University Community is at risk (the University may take action with or without permission by the person disclosing)
    – If the individual disclosing (or involved in the situation) is under the age of 18.
    – If there is an immediate threat of serious physical harm to the person disclosing or to another person.
  5. Regardless of whether or not an individual pursues action through the University of Manitoba, they have the right to file a report with the Police. To find out more about this process, or to learn about resources, refer here.

Other Advocacy Issues

Graduation Issues

There are multiple issues that can arise regarding graduation. The following are common questions raised:

Q: How do I declare my intent to graduate? 
A: This can be done through your Aurora account. Log in, Click on ‘Enrolment & Academic Records,’ click on ‘Declarations,’ and click on ‘Declare Graduation Date.’ Here you should be given the option to declare Graduation for the upcoming graduation session.

Q: I want to declare my graduation in Aurora, but there are no options available?
A: You are likely either too late or too early to declare. The deadline for declaring graduation is typically the end of revision period in the term you expect to finish courses.
–   for Spring graduation, declare by mid January
–   for Fall graduation, declare by late July/early August
–   for February graduation, declare by mid September

Q: I’m not sure what degree requirements I have left to finish?
A: You can make an appointment with an Academic Adviser in your Faculty, and ask them to perform a graduation check. They will let you know what requirements you have completed, and which you have yet to complete.

Q: I need proof/confirmation of my Degree or Eligibility to Graduate. Where can I get this?
A: The Registrar’s office can provide you with several options which you can find here.

Q: I think that an administrative error/oversight has occurred that could impact my ability to graduate when expected. What can I do?
A: Contact a Student Advocate to seek advice if you think an error has occurred that was not your fault. If your faculty advised you wrong, or if another mistake was made the University may still be able to grant you your degree.

Q: I’m planning to graduate in February, but there is no convocation at that time. What will my Graduation process look like?
A: For February Grads. parchments are mailed approximately 2 weeks after your graduation date. While there is no convocation ceremony at this time, February Grads are automatically included in Spring convocation ceremonies and will receive an email with information to their U of M accounts approximately 4-6 weeks before Spring Convocation. They will also give you a congratulatory note on stage that looks the same as the diploma that other grads receive, so you won’t stick out!

Q: I’m looking for information about Graduation Awards, Convocation, and other general info. Where do I go? 
A: The University of Manitoba has a web page dedicated to graduation and convocation. You can find most answers to general questions here.

If the question that you have isn’t here, contact the Registrar’s office, your Faculty/College office, or a Student Advocate to inquire.

Student Visas, Permits, Loans & Other Issues

Student Visas/Permits
Sometimes issues can arise with study permits, visas, and other important and necessary requirements for your study at the University of Manitoba. The Manitoba Government has information available on permits and other required documentation that you can find here. If you are needing to extend your visa or permit, or have other questions about your studies here, you can look for more information through the Federal Government here. If you still aren’t able to find the information you need, contact an Adviser, the International Centre, or a Student Advocate. If these folks are unable to help, they can likely connect you with somebody who can!

Works Permits
If you are an International Student and are looking to work during your studies either on or off campus, or if you are interested in co-op/internships, or working after graduation, you can learn more about what is required by the Manitoba Government here. You may also want to look at the Federal Government’s website for more information on work & student work permits. If you still aren’t able to find the information you need, contact an Adviser, the International Centre, or a Student Advocate. If these folks are unable to help, they can likely connect you with somebody who can!

Student Funding
There are many funding opportunities available for International Students, whether new or returning. New students may be able to receive an entrance scholarship, and returning students can apply for student scholarships and International Student Bursaries. For more information on these, refer to the Financial Aid & Awards website here. In times of hardship, you may also be able to access an Emergency Loan, or a Hardship Loan through UMSU. Refer to the next website section below for information on there. If you still have questions about funding, you can contact the Financial Aid & Awards office here.

Provincial Health Coverage
In addition to the UMSU Health & Dental Plan, International Students are able to apply for coverage under the Manitoba Health plan. Students can apply either in person at Manitoba Health (300 Carlton Street), or by mail. If applying in person, you will need to bring a copy of your study permit, your passport, and a completed Manitoba Health registration form. For more information on Health Coverage, please refer to the U of M website here.

Other Issues
If you are an International Student and are facing a problem that isn’t listed here, feel free to reach out to the UMSU Vice President Advocacy (vpa@umsu.ca).

Hardship and Financial Aid

UMSU Hardship Fund

The UMSU Hardship Fund is available for UMSU members who are facing significant financial hardship. This is defined as a financial barrier to one’s University education caused by an unforeseen or unexpected circumstance that is outside of the control of the individual. The following criteria must be met to qualify for a Hardship Loan:

  1. The student must be an UMSU member and be currently registered as an undergraduate student at the University of Manitoba
  2. The student must have recently endured financial hardship
  3. The student must be able to provide proof of hardship
  4. The student must have already exhausted all other funding sources available

To access an online copy of the Application form, click here: Hardship Request Form
To view the Hardship fund policy in full, click here: Hardship Fund Policy

To submit an application, you can either fill out the form and send a copy to the UMSU VPA at vpa@umsu.ca, or drop off the form at the UMSU Front Desk (101 UMSU University Centre). Physical copies of the form are also available at the front desk.

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Q: What type of situations qualify as a Hardship?
A: There are many different situations that can arise and cause an individual to struggle financially. The following are reasons that have been considered Hardship in the past:

– Struggles back home, causing family members to be unable to send funds for food/rent
– Unexpected health issues that have incurred costs, or caused an individual to lose wages
– The loss of a job or other source of income
– Safety concerns or relationship issues causing an individual to have to relocate and find different housing
– Fees required to apply for other University Supports that are required due to other hardship (ex. Doctors notes, assessment fees).
– Delays in receipt of funds from EI, Disability benefits, student loans, etc.

Q: Is there anything that the funds cannot be used for/won’t be approved for? 
A: UMSU Hardship loans cannot be used to pay for tuition or to cover basic living expenses

Q: What type of funding options are available?
A: Funding options are as follows:

  1. Transit – A student may be administered a transit grant of bus tickets or a pass
  2. Loan – The most common option. Re-payment is flexible and no interest is charged on the loans, but an agreement with UMSU must be signed before reciept of any loaned funds. Typically, loans do not exceed $500.00, and there must be an expectation that the student will be able to pay back the loan. If a student has an unpaid loan and applies for another, the VPA will use their discretion, but chances of receiving a secondary loan with outstanding debt is unlikely.
  3. Grant – Only in extreme circumstances where it is deemed that the student will likely be unable to pay back the funds, and if the circumstances are extreme and unexpected enough that nothing could be planned for in advance, a grant may be given. Typically, grants are not to exceed $300.00.

Q: How can I apply for a loan?
A: Students can fill out a Hardship Application Form and submit it to the UMSU VPA either by email (vpa@umsu.ca) or in person (through the UMSU Front Desk). Once the application is recieved, students will typically be asked to come in for a meeting to discuss the details in person. All information is kept confidential, and cases are only handled and approved by the UMSU Vice President Advocacy (and in certain cases, the UMSU General Manager).

Q: Can I apply for a loan more than once? 
A: Yes, student may apply for a loan more than once throughout their undergraduate degree. However, if previous loans are not paid off, a second loan may not be approved unless there is ample reason given.

Q: How does the loan re-payment process work? 
A: As every case of Hardship is unique, re-payment plans are flexible and are made on a case-by-case basis. The purpose of this fund is not to add additional hardship, but to alleviate the pressures being faced due to unexpected Hardship. Payment plans can be on a monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly, or other time basis and the amount to be paid per payment can vary. If hardship continues and you think you may not be able to make a payment, we ask that you contact the VPA to discuss the situation. All loans are expected to be paid off in full by the end of the Academic Term (April 30th), and should any loans remain unpaid, reminder letters will be sent to all loan recipients.

University Emergency Loans

The University of Manitoba emergency loan program provides short-term assistance to students who experience unexpected and immediate financial expenses or constraints. This includes, but is not limited to, unanticipated personal living costs, and unexpected delays in government loans, and other award funding. In order to be considered for an Emergency Loan a student must:

– Be enrolled as a full-time student in the current academic session to which you are applying for.
– Have repaid all outstanding emergency aid from previous academic sessions;
– Have obtained a passing grade of “D” or better on all courses taken in the previous academic session;
– Provide documentation indicating that they will be receiving sufficient funding to meet tuition and living costs for the academic session (Government Loan Notice of Assistance, loan documents, sponsorship letter);
– Be able to explain clearly why emergency assistance is required and how the loan will be repaid.

For more information and to access the application for, refer to the U of M website here.

Other Financial Aid

For information on Awards and Scholarships, click here.

For information on Government aid programs such as student loans, click here.

For information on the Work-Study program offered at U of M, click here.

For funding opportunities exclusive to Indigenous students, click here.

For funding opportunities for International students, click here.

For information on U.S. student funding, click here.

For all additional questions, contact the office of Financial Aid and Awards at 204-474-9531, or in person at 422 UMSU University Centre.

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University Services and Resources

Student Accessibility Services

Student Accessibility Services (SAS) provides support and advocacy for students living with accessibility concerns, including: hearing, injury-related, learning, mental health, medical, physical, visual or temporary disabilities. SAS can act as a liaison between students, faculty, staff and service agencies, and also operates the SAS Exam Centre on campus.

Student Advocacy Centre

The Student Advocacy Office provides confidential services students regarding complaints and grievances, both academic and non-academic. This centre can serve as a general information source for students regarding their rights and responsibilities, as well as aid students in the resolution of any problems or concerns resulting from academic and/or discipline decisions.

Student Counselling Centre

The Student Counselling Centre (SCC) offers a variety of confidential services to help students with  difficulties affecting their academic success and overall well-being. Students can utilize professional counselling services as well as workshops and support groups with for emotional difficulties (ex. anxiety, depression, trauma, etc.), interpersonal problems (ex. couple counselling and relationship advice, professional relationships with advisers and faculty, etc.), stressful life situations (ex. coping with course loads, work stress, etc.) and more.

Student Support Case Management

The Student Support Case Management team can provide students advice and information for a variety of personal and academic issues, both on and off campus. This includes resources and supports, safety plans, assistance in creating a support plan to meet your individual needs/goals, consultation on how to handle a concerning situation, and more.

Human Rights & Conflict Management

The Office of Human Rights and Conflict Management (HRCM) aims to promote a respectful working and learning environment at the U of M, in which individuals are treated equitably and diversity is valued. HRCM can be utilized for information about or the use of University Policies & Complaint processes (ex. Respectful Work and Learning Environment and Sexual Assault Policies & Procedures). They also provide a variety of informal conflict resolution supports for students, staff, and faculty.

Other Student Supports

The Student Guide and Student Affairs Website provides information on a variety of student supports on campus, including but not limited to: Health & Wellness, Health Services, Career Services, Spiritual Care & Chaplains Services, English Language Services, and more!