Expanded Compassion Policy Protects Students

News Staff - Fri Nov 15, 2013

(Edmonton, AB) – The University of Alberta has updated and expanded its concessions policy for students facing hardship, making it explicit that mental illnesses, as well as reasons related to any human rights protected grounds — such as religious belief, race, or disability — are grounds for the deferral of term work.

Students who are penalized for any of the above-mentioned reasons, such as attending religious holidays, will now be able to appeal based on those grounds.

The policy change, which deals with section 23.3 of the university calendar, goes on to clarify that students can appeal any decisions involving accommodation of term work the same way that they are able to appeal concerns with marking or grading. With a growing focus on student mental health the last few years, the Students’ Union pushed to ensure that compassion for mental illnesses was explicitly stated. Students are pleased with the inclusive nature of the final policy.

"The updated policy clearly demonstrates that the U of A is continuing to grow more compassionate towards the circumstances of our diverse study body," said Dustin Chelen, Students' Union Vice President Academic.

"It allows students equal opportunity to demonstrate their learning, while not being disadvantaged by factors outside of their control."

The policy was amended by a subcommittee of the Academic Standards Committee, with leadership from Dr. Nat Kav, Associate Dean from ALES, Ada Ness from the Registrar's Office, and Dustin Chelen from the Students' Union.

For more information, please contact:
Simon Yackulic
External Communications & Media Advisor
University of Alberta Students’ Union
P: 780.492.4236

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