Whole lotta love | Issue 7

Whole lotta love | Issue 7

You’ve Got Rights, Baby!

The thing about being part of a massive bureaucratic institution with its own jungle of rules, policies and procedures is that we sometimes accept what the institution decides about us without question, because it’s bigger than us.

Maybe you’ve been the recipient of one of those ominous letters summoning you to the proctor’s office, delivered to your residence by Campus Watch. Of course you’re not given any idea what on earth you’re being summoned for. But it ain’t looking good, and you’ve got to stew for an entire day because your summons is for the next morning.

You rock up to the proctor’s office, get told you’ve done “x”. What happened for you appears at odds with what CW has reported to the proctor. Regardless, you are severely reprimanded and slapped with a fine of varying proportions depending on what “x” you are guilty of. Yes, guilty. This is no regular justice procedure. A regular procedure goes (in part) something along the lines of: You are alleged to have done “x”. You have the right to talk to a lawyer. This is the evidence we have to suggest you did “x”. Here’s a copy of that evidence for you and your lawyer. What do you have to say for yourself? What evidence can you present to dissuade us?

After meeting with the proctor, most students slink back into the sunlight that seems to hold no warmth anymore as they contemplate new depths of poverty and imminent starvation.

But, despite this insular carriage of justice, you have some rights. You can take a support person when you see the proctor. You can appeal the proctor’s decision. You may not be told either of these are options, but they are. You have seven days to appeal the proctor’s decision to the provost. Of course, you might have gone through the proctorial system and feel you got what you deserved. Fair enough. But if you’ve been chewed up, spat out and you think it’s not OK, you’ve got rights, baby! Use ’em! As always, OUSA Student Support Centre at 5 Ethel B is here to help, so drop on in.

Hopefully your university years will be blissfully free of bumps but, if not, we can help negotiate the bureaucratic behemoth that does, in fact, provide you with some rights!
This article first appeared in Issue 7, 2015.
Posted 2:51pm Sunday 12th April 2015 by Student Support.