Visit the Office of the Student Ombuds with any questions or concerns – no issue is too big or too small! Contact us as soon as possible. While no concern or conflict is too big or too small for us to help with, the sooner you reach out for assistance with your concern, the more options you’ll have to resolve it effectively. You can talk with us in confidence about any University-related concerns or questions.
Contact us if you:
- Would like to talk confidentially about an issue or situation
- Need help communicating with someone within the University
- Are unsure of the policies or procedures that apply to your problem or issue
- Would like to know what resources or options are available
- Need an objective perspective on a problem
- Want information about how to file a formal complaint, appeal, or grievance
- Feel a policy or procedure is not being followed properly
- Feel that you have been unfairly or inequitably treated
- Are not sure where else to turn for help
The term ‘ombuds’ (also known as ‘ombudsman’, ‘ombudsperson’ or ‘ombuds officer’) has origins in Sweden and there are varying types of ombuds with different roles, functional responsibilities, and standards of practice. At Georgetown, we are organizational ombuds who are independent, informal, impartial and confidential. We provide a confidential resource for our students, faculty, staff and alumni to discuss their workplace or academic issues and/or concerns.
- Clarify policies and procedures
- Offer an impartial perspective
- Identify resources
- Provide options to issues
- Provide coaching for difficult conversations
- Recommend constructive change in University policy
- Facilitate team discussions
- Conduct mediations
- Conduct conflict resolution workshops and presentations
- Provide customized workshops and presentations
- Send an email to email@example.com, or
- Call (202) 784-1081 and leave a voice message with your name, the date and time, and the best way to reach you (phone, text, email).
The Ombuds will contact you as soon as possible (within 24 – 48 hours).
We are confidential. Our process is informal and initiated by the visitors to the office. We emphasize developing strategies you can use before you decide it’s necessary to use one of Georgetown’s formal administrative processes.
If you aren’t sure where to take your concern, the ombuds is a safe place to start. Working with us is off the record, which sometimes makes talking about problems a little less intimidating.
Conversations with our office are confidential; a cornerstone of our principles of the International Ombuds Association. However, confidentiality cannot be promised if there is imminent risk of serious harm, or the Student Ombuds is legally compelled to disclose.
Undergraduate and graduate students are welcome to discuss issues relating to:
- Grade disputes
- Student-instructor misunderstandings
- Thesis and dissertation concerns
- Disciplinary matters
- Disability issues
- Interpersonal issues
- Roommate conflicts
- Other concerns
Sooner is better than later. While no concern or conflict is too little or too big for us to help with, the sooner you reach out for assistance, the more options you’ll have to resolve your concerns effectively. You can talk with us in confidence about any issues related to Georgetown University.
Contact us if:
- You would like to talk confidentially about an issue or situation
- You need help communicating with someone within the University
- You are unsure of the policies or procedures that apply to your problem or issue
- You would like to know what resources or options are available
- You need an objective perspective on a problem
- You want information about how to file a formal complaint, appeal, or grievance
- You feel a policy or procedure is not being followed properly
- You feel that you have been unfairly or inequitably treated
- You are not sure where else to turn for help
The Office of the Student Ombuds does not retain any information that would identify the individual who visits our office. We keep statistical data about the categories of concerns visitors discuss, as well as general demographic data, which is aggregated. In other words, no one will be able to attribute the issue discussed with any of our student visitors.
All visits are scheduled for an hour in a comfortable, confidential setting. The Student Ombuds will briefly explain the role of the Office and what to expect, and then you’ll be free to discuss your problems, concerns or complaints. The Student Ombuds will listen to you and then explore options and/or resources towards pursuing a resolution. You do not need to bring anything, but if you have documents (email exchanges, course documents, letters of discipline, performance evaluations, etc.) that you think are pertinent to your concerns, you are welcome to bring them. Since the Office of the Student Ombuds does not maintain records, we will return those documents back to you at the end of the visit.