My Experience with the Academic Grievance Centre
I found myself in the third week of classes wondering why I was being penalized with a fee on my student account that wasn’t my fault. Due to complications when receiving permission to take a course at another University I had to navigate a confusing network of University offices. I couldn’t drop a course in time and before I knew it I was hit with a late fee of $150 payable immediately– because of administrative slow down. After my two appeals to have it reversed we’re promptly rejected, I felt paralyzed, unsure of what my remaining options really were.
As students we can get caught up in the notion that once the University dictates something we must accept that decision as concrete, and not appeal-able. This is a mentality that the Academic Grievance Centre (AGC) really provides a means of breaking out of. By using officers who act as neutral mediators between students and professors, the Centre is able to help students problem solve by establishing a step-by-step process that is tailored to each situation–working with every party and against no one.
I’d heard about the AGC but I didn’t know if they could help me. I knew I was dealing with a grievance but was it legitimate? I’d been rejected not once, but twice by the Student Fees Office in my appeals and that was after a lengthy description of all the facts of my case. Plus, from what I’d heard around campus the AGC was about being marked unfairly, or having an issue with a Professor or TA so what could they even do? Nonetheless, I decided I’d take a stroll down to their office in the JDUC, in hopes that maybe they could point me in the right direction. To my surprise, after hearing my case, they completely understood my side and were willing to represent me to take it to the next level of appealing to the university. Where I thought I was boxed in, they provided a glimmer of hope and better yet I didn’t have to do a thing. They required the facts, the dates, the emails I’d sent and any updates to my situation, but they took care of the rest. Before I knew it the head of the Academic Affairs Commission was making calls to sort this out and within a week the fee was waived, putting my student account back down to zero.
I have to say: for all of you out there struggling with something at the University you feel might be unfair or even just aren’t sure about the policy of something, or the rights you have as a student then go and check out the Academic Grievance Centre. Located in Room 26 of the JDUC, they are a friendly and willing team, dedicated to your cause. Whether it’s a conflict you’re dealing with, an unfair grade or just questions you might have about academics, the AGC is there for you!
Don’t forget that:
You can always appeal a grade you’re unhappy with.
You can move an exam if you have 3 within 24 hours.
You always have the right to have your assignment remarked.
Yet, most importantly: all the officers are students, so you can feel comfortable knowing that you’re working with people who experience the same academic concerns as you.
Find the Academic Grievance Centre via:
Alma Mater Society of Queen's University
L’Université Queen’s est située sur les terres traditionnelles des peuples Haudenosaunee et Anishinaabe.