The Ombuds office is a place where Camosun students can go for help in dealing with conflicts or disputes on an informal basis. The office is independent, impartial and confidential. Our services are free of charge.
Here to help
When you visit the Ombudsman, you can expect that he will listen carefully to what you have to say and will try to understand what your goals are. The Ombudsman will find the regulations that are relevant to your situation and help you decide what your options are.
Remember, you are in control of the process – you decide what to do about your situation and you can decide to withdraw your case at any time.
The Ombuds office offers an informal avenue to clarify and resolve your problem and often to receive information which will allow you to solve the problem on your own. Students often come to the Ombuds office as a way to resolving their problem without escalating it beyond their intentions.
By using the Ombuds office you can gain insight into a complicated situation and develop a clearer perspective on your issue or concern. You will increase your ability to deal effectively with a problem and identify as well as clarify options available to you.
Some common problems that we encounter include:
- being unsure about which College policy or procedure applies to your situation
- needing assistance or information in appealing a grade, academic decision, request to withdraw etc.
- believing that a College policy or procedure has been applied in error or unfairly
- having a problem which requires someone to help negotiate a solution or facilitate communication between you and another member of the College
- issues of a non-academic nature such as housing, immigration and day-care problems
Confidentiality is important so that people can freely speak their mind to clarify their problems without fear of retribution or loss standing with friends or peers. That means the Ombudsman will not disclose who used – or did not use – the office. The Ombudsman makes, and keeps, the promise of confidentiality in the hopes that individuals will feel safe using Ombuds services.
For this reason, confidentiality is assured to the extent of the law. No disclosure is made without the knowledge and consent of the person coming to the Ombudsman.
As a student, you never give up your right to formal procedures. At any time you may use existing avenues of appeal (even after successful work with the Ombudsman). Working with the Ombudsman is completely voluntary. You can choose another alternative to resolving your problem at any time.
What doesn't the Ombudsman do?
The Ombuds office cannot get involved in procedures that are covered by a collective agreement with a certified bargaining unit or in any disputes that do not involve students. The Ombudsman cannot act as your advocate (the role of the Ombudsman is to hear all sides of a dispute in a neutral and objective manner).
The Ombudsman does not handle formal grievances or legal issues nor give legal advice. The Ombudsman does not have the authority to make or over-turn decisions for administrators. The Ombudsman does not determine "guilt" or "innocence" nor does the Ombudsman assign sanctions.
Services for Students
In addition to the Ombuds office, Camosun offers many support services for students.
- Indigenous Advisors
- Camosun College Student Society
- Campus Safety
- Centre for Accessible Learning
- International Counselling
Remember, you can always come to the Ombuds office, whether as a first stop, to seek information, or as a last resort in a sticky situation.