Welcome to the Office of Student Ombuds Services
The Office of Student Ombuds Services is a campus resource for all Cal Poly students. The Ombuds staff are committed to hearing about students’ experiences. The office offers a safe place to go for assistance in resolving any university related issue, concern, conflict, or complaint. All communications with the office are strictly confidential, informal, impartial, and independent. (The only exception is when there appears to be imminent risk of serious harm to self or others or issues about sexual misconduct.)
The Ombuds staff advocate for fair processes and cooperative resolutions. Download our brochure for more information.
When to visit Student Ombuds Services?
- When you don’t know where to go or whom to ask
- When you feel you are getting the run-around
- When you feel you have been treated unfairly
- When you want to discuss a sensitive question or issue
- When you are unsure what polices or procedures apply
What is an Ombuds?
An Ombuds is one who assists individuals and groups in the resolution of concerns or conflicts. The name “ombudsman” (om budz man) comes from Swedish and literally means “representative.” Originally: “an official appointed by the Swedish parliament to investigate complaints against… central government and the civil service” (Oxford English Dictionary).
The Ombuds Does:
- Provide a safe place to discuss issues
- Communicate informally, off the record
- Confidentially listen to you and your concern
- Assist in clarifying issues
- Answer questions
- Explain university policy and procedures
- Provide information regarding campus resources
- Suggest referrals
- Brainstorm and explore options
- Track trends and general issues
- Recommend policy changes to remedy recurring problems
The Ombuds does NOT:
- Advocate for any individual or group
- Make decisions for you
- Offer legal advice
- Hear formal complaints
- Participate in any formal process
- Maintain records
Notice: The Office of Student Ombuds Services is not a university office of notice. The office will not receive formal complaints to be investigated and processed within the existing university procedures. However, the Ombuds can refer students to a university office that does receive formal complaints.