How We Operate
Standards of Practice
The Student Ombuds assists the visitor in identifying options that might bring resolution to a problem, suggests appropriate referrals, or might offer to mediate in a dispute.
The Student Ombuds adheres to the International Ombuds Association (IOA) Standards of Practice and by the principles and policies regarding students’ rights and responsibilities enumerated in the Academic Policies at Georgetown University.
Code of Ethics
The Student Ombuds adheres to the International Ombuds Association (IOA) Code of Ethics. This means that the services are:
Confidentiality is essential to the work of the Student Ombuds. The Student Ombuds will not identify you or discuss your concerns with anyone without your permission. The only exception to confidentiality is if the Student Ombuds believes that disclosure of information is necessary in order to prevent imminent risk of serious harm to self or others.
The Student Ombuds conducts her work independent from any other office or department at Georgetown. In order to effectively carry out her role, the Student Ombuds works hard to merit the trust of all members of the Georgetown community.
The Ombuds is “neutral” and acts an impartial or multipartial manner by listening to all perspectives without judgment or stake in the outcome. The Ombuds is not an advocate for any party in a dispute, regardless of their association with Georgetown. The Ombuds considers the interests and concerns of all parties and seeks ways to create mutual understanding and resolve disputes with the purpose of helping to achieve a fair and equitable outcome.
The Student Ombuds’ services are informal and “off the record.” The Student Ombuds has no formal authority to change any decision or policy at Georgetown, nor does she conduct formal investigations. The Student Ombuds will explain and clarify the formal processes available at Georgetown, but she does not have a role in them. Talking with the Student Ombuds does not put Georgetown “on notice” of any potential legal claim or policy violation. If you wish to let Georgetown know of a potential ethical, policy or legal violation, the Student Ombuds will work with you to find the proper channel for making that complaint.