Written by Michelle Curry
Now in my third year at university, I have learned to advocate for myself when I believe I have been unfairly treated.
However, there are so many rules, policies, and procedures of tertiary study that it is really hard to navigate and find an answer.
This can also be hard when you are upset and cannot think clearly to know what to do or where to go for help.
One of my friends who is also a Charles Sturt staff member recommended I get in touch with the student advocacy team when I sat in her office in tears after receiving a poor grade and feedback from an assessment for the second time that session.
This was after successfully challenging the previous grading of the second assessment task in the same subject.
I had never heard of the student advocacy team before, and it was helpful to know there was free support available.
Someone who would be able to listen to my story and be able to know exactly how to help me.
The student advocacy team at Charles Sturt provides you with advice and assistance whether you are on campus or an online student on:
• academic or general misconduct
• equity, diversity and inclusion
• appeals process
• academic progress
• review of grade
• special consideration
• student feedback and complaints
They are available to be contacted via their website for advocacy and support which is located in the student portal.
The website also contains a list of resources that are helpful especially when it is outside of business hours. They work in conjunction with many other departments within the university to support students.
The process of contacting the student advocacy team was really simple.
I completed an online form that allowed me to clearly explain my circumstances attaching all relevant supporting documentation.
Within three days of completing the online form, I received an email stating that I had a case to be considered for a review, and they would step me through the whole process.
Despite feeling like I was the only person who had ever gone through this, the student advocacy staff member stated they had dealt with cases like this before and knew exactly what to do.
I had received advice from friends that I should just let it go and be happy with a pass, however, I have always been told to believe in yourself and back yourself when you have been unfairly treated.
Especially when I had worked extremely hard with the academic skills team, inbuilt tutor, and library staff before submitting this assessment.
I contacted my lecturer again, structuring the email I had worked on with the student advocacy team.
Two days later my assessment paper was remarked, and I finished the subject with a distinction. It was such a relief to know that I had support from the student advocacy team and that I was not dealing with this alone.
From time to time, you may face challenges within your degree however there are a lot of support services available.
You just need to take that first step and ask for help.
Get in contact with the Advocacy and Support Team here.
Find the support you need by using the Charles Sturt Support Services Directory.