Dear Ethel | Issue 26

Dear Ethel | Issue 26

Dear Ethel,

My mum’s really sick and I may have to drop everything to go home any day. Dad’s not working at the moment and I don’t want to ask him for money because everything is going towards mum’s medical bills. Is there anywhere I can get some financial help? Also, what happens if I miss my exams?


I’m so sorry to hear about your mum and I understand that you may need to get home pretty quickly. You might be eligible for assistance through the university’s emergency fund. This is a one-off payment to assist in ‘emergencies’ or where financial assistance is needed due to circumstances beyond your control. To find out more about this, drop in and see one of the friendly advocates at OUSA Student Support Centre. We’re in the little cottage at 5 Ethel Benjamin Place. The advocate will explain how the fund works and will prepare an application on your behalf. They can also help you explore other options for financial assistance. 

If you need to be home because of a family emergency and you miss an exam, you can apply for Special Consideration. You will find information about who can apply for Special Consideration, what needs to be supplied, and how to apply, on the university’s website: We recommend that you have a chat to one of our advocates if you need to apply for special consideration. It is very important that you get good documentary ‘evidence’ to support your application. An advocate will help to make sure you have everything you need to maximise your chances of having special consideration approved. They can also take care of any follow-up admin on your behalf if you’re not in Dunedin and help with appeals if you apply for special consideration and are declined. 

There are all sorts of other practical things that OUSA Student Support might be able to help with, so drop in and have a chat. The situation you are in is stressful, so it’s really important that you look after yourself. Spend time with friends, cook healthy meals, exercise, and get plenty of rest!

Thinking of you and your family. 

Whole lotta love, 

-Ethel xox

This article first appeared in Issue 26, 2016.
Posted 11:57am Saturday 8th October 2016 by Student Support.