Loyola students: forget waiting in an endless shuttlebus line to get to the downtown CSU Advocacy Centre. You now have your very own office at the Loyola campus.
“We opened up the advocacy centre in the Hall Building at the beginning of the semester, and a couple of weeks later we came to the realization that not only it was a service in high demand, but students also wanted access at Loyola,” explained CSU VP Academic and Advocacy Ralph Lee.
The new office has been open for just over a week and it has already attracted a lot of students, Lee said. “It shows why it was a good idea, it’s obviously needed here.”
The CSU Advocacy Centre responds to questions, concerns or problems about any aspect of the university. The service helps students wade through university bureaucracy and advocates on their behalf for academic or non-academic problems such as disputes and defence against accusations of academic misconduct.
“The Student Union has always been able to help students, but there’s never been an actual centre created,” said Lee, “What I’ve done with it is that I’ve just expanded it and turned into an actual more structured office.
In the case that students are charged with a violation of the code of academic conduct or the code of rights and responsibilities, they receive a letter from the Dean with the contact number for the university’s advocacy services.
Lee is fighting to get the CSU Advocacy Centre’s contact number on those letters, to make students more aware of the options that are offered.
“We’re hoping that now that we’ve shown that we are a professional service that runs Monday to Friday on both campuses, we’re trying to get the university to put our names and our number on this letter, so students can get good advice and have a choice at least.”
Lee is one of the three student advocates that run the centre. Along with April Lehner and Jean-Marc Bouchard, he is well versed in the university’s rules and regulations and is dedicated to helping his peers.
Bouchard working for students now
Bouchard used to work for the university’s advocacy services, but resigned to protest emergency powers granted to the rector – such as that of unilateral expulsion – after the Sept. 9 riots.
“He resigned because of that,” said Lee, “But he’s still a great student advocate. So when I met with him, I decided that students need him and so we hired him to work at the student advocacy centre.”
Students now have the choice between the university and the CSU’s advocacy services. By opening up an office at Loyola, Lee has given students even more choices. “Every time students see an advocate, they will get solid advice and representation at all levels,” he said.
CSU Advocacy offices are located at H-644 and beside the cafeteria at Loyola. For more information call 848-7461.