What to Expect During a Meeting
Welcome to your compass on campus!
The Student Ombuds is guided and informed by the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice of the International Ombuds Association (IOA). The Student Ombuds does not advocate for any individual point of view and does not participate in any formal grievance process.
- Listen to concerns and/or issues
- Remain impartial
- Explore options and resources
- Maintain confidentiality
- Clarify University policies
- Coach for difficult conversations
- Coach for email responses
- Provide facilitation between parties
- Provide informal mediation
- Refer you to formal complaint processes
- Bring systemic concerns to the attention of the University for resolution
- Take sides
- Breach confidentiality
- Conduct formal investigations
- Make or change policy
- Make formal management decisions to resolve the concern
- Take action on a concern without permission
- Mandate changes in policies, procedures or the attitude and behavior of others
- Accept notice on behalf of the University
Special Note from the Ombuds…
When a visitor comes to my office for the first time, whether that’s in person or on Zoom, I always take time at the beginning of the meeting to introduce myself and explain how Ombuds practice confidentiality, impartiality, independence and informality. I may ask the visitor to provide some background about themselves – for instance, are they undergraduate or graduate students, or if there are any other relevant identities they feel comfortable sharing, and then I let the visitor talk and explain the issue or concern they’re having. I work together with the visitor to problem-solve and explore options that may help them to resolve a dispute or conflict or to navigate campus resources in a way they may not have thought about previously. My main goal is to make visitors feel comfortable, supported and heard.
Ready for a consultation?
If you need to speak to the Student Ombuds about a university-related question, concern or dispute, contact the office via email at email@example.com, call 202-784-1081 or schedule an appointment.