Student Ombuds Services

Working Toward Cooperative Resolutions

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens when you go to the Office of Student Ombuds Services?
The Ombuds will provide a comfortable and safe place for you to discuss your concern.
You’ll be asked to complete an intake form that requests a description of the issue and contact information so that follow up can be made. This information is destroyed after the case is closed.
The Ombuds will explain that she is a campus resource to assist in resolving any university related concerns confidentiality and Informality.
The Ombuds will listen to your concern, ask clarifying questions and explore options that you may want to use to resolve your issue.
What happens to the information provided to the Ombuds? How can I be sure that my information and contact with the Ombuds remains confidential?
The office does not maintain any permanent records. All information is destroyed that has identifying information after the case is closed or at the end of the quarter.
Is the Ombuds an advocate for students?
An advocate usually supports or argues on someone’s behalf. The Ombuds is not an advocate for students but nor does the Ombuds represent the university. The Ombuds is a neutral resource. The Ombuds is an advocate for fair and equitable processes and procedures.
How can I get in touch with the Ombuds?
The Ombuds has daily drop-in hours Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon. Additionally, students can call the office 805-756-1380 or email to schedule an appointment that best meets his/her schedule. Issues can also be discussed over the phone if that is more convenient for the student.
Do I have to bring anything to my appointment with the Ombudsman?
Students should bring as many facts as possible regarding the situation, including documents, emails, (sent or received) dates, persons involved etc. Detailed information helps clarify the issue for exploring options.
What if the informal process does not work?
If the student is not satisfied with the informal process or hoped for a different outcome, she/he can pursue a formal route. The Ombuds can refer a student to an office that receives formal complaints. When appropriate, that office can investigate the matter and make a decision or judgment about the outcome or remedy.
Can I use the Ombuds services if I have filed a grievance or retained an attorney?
No. The office is an informal resource. The hope is that the informal process can address the issue before it goes to a formal grievance or complaint or is addressed by an attorney.
Are there issues Student Ombuds Services does not address?
Student Ombuds Services does not address issues between Cal Poly students and private individuals, companies or organizations not affiliated with Cal Poly. Additionally, Ombuds Services does not handle formal complaints, or legal issues of any kind. (You may consult with Student Ombuds Services either before or after using a formal process.)
What types of issues are brought to the Office of Student Ombuds Services?
Any university-related issue is appropriate to raise at the Ombuds Office. The majority of the issues are in the academic realm: some examples are grades, absences, make up exams, additional class meetings/work, and student faculty misunderstandings. Other common issues include student employment, registration, fees, and appeals.
Why does the Ombuds Office Exist?
The office is available on campus to support students’ opportunities for success. Student Ombuds Services provides students with a safe and confidential place to share questions and concerns, to consider multiple sides of an issue, and to explore options for informal resolution.

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