Student Appeals FAQ

Find below some of the most commonly asked question pertaining to filing an appeal and having your appeal heard by the Senate Student Appeals Board. To go back to the Student Appeals form page click here. 

  1. What is an academic appeal?
    An academic appeal is a mechanism to allow students to challenge an academic decision made with regards to their record, status or degree progression. Appeals are heard through a sub-committee of Senate, the Senate Student Appeals Board.The Senate Student Appeals Board has the authority to hear appeals related to:

    1. Program or degree requirements or deadlines;
    2. Final grades;
    3. Registration status decisions of the Registrar or Dean (e.g. backdated withdrawals, retroactive registrations); and
    4. Academic integrity findings and outcomes imposed under the Academic Integrity Policy;
    5. Accommodation of student activities under Faculty Handbook 3:C.14; and
    6. Other academic decisions relating to an individual student.Appeal procedures and types are outlined in Brock’s faculty handbook. You can find the policy language at:Undergraduate: brocku.ca/university-secretariat/faculty-handbook/section-3/#17._appeals
      Graduate: brocku.ca/university-secretariat/faculty-handbook/section-3/#11._Graduate_Appeals
  2. Can I appeal academic probation? Can I continue to take courses while on academic  probation?
    No. There is no appeal for Academic Probation. Being placed on academic probation will not result in an interruption to your studies. However, students must attain a minimum 60 percent overall average on total courses attempted while on Academic Probation to be allowed to continue with their studies.
  3. Who can appeal?
    Appeals may only be brought by Brock students and must be brought prior to graduation. Appealing to the Student Appeals Board is the final recourse in dealing with academic appeals.
  4. How is an appeal filed?
    To submit an appeal to the Senate Student Appeals Board, students must submit a completed Notice of Appeals Request form along with a statement letter clearly outlining what they are appealing and a requested remedy (i.e. early return from suspension, modification of penalty etc.) along with require documentation as outlined in the accompanying Appendix which will be presented as evidence to support your appeal.The process and Notice of Appeals Request form can be found at:
    brocku.ca/registrar/senate_appeals/
  5. What type of supporting documentation should I submit in support of my appeal?
    Appeals must clearly state the arguments and expectations of the student. The responsibility is on the student to demonstrate the validity of the appeal and to provide full and appropriate supporting documentation.Examples of appropriate documentation based on the grounds of the appeal include, but are not limited to:Health: Relevant medical documents – (e.g. Letter or Medical Certificate from Brock University Student Health Services, physician, counsellor, social worker, etc.)
    Compassionate: Unforeseen emergency/natural disaster – Travel arrangement documents, legal issues documents such as summons or subpoena, eviction notice, etc.; death of an immediate family member – copy of the obituary/death certificate naming the deceased
    Bias : Any documentation that can demonstrate a reasonable apprehension of bias on the part of the decision maker
    Procedural Error: emails, screenshots that illustrate a procedural error that substantially affected a decision or outcome.
    Course Management: emails, screenshots that illustrate the failure by an instructor or university administer to follow academic policies and regulations.
  6. What happens after I have filed my appeal?
    A staff member will review your appeal package for completeness. You will be contacted to confirm receipt of your appeal package, advise you on the process, and any further steps required.
  7. How long does it take to have an appeal heard?
    There are many factors that are considered in determining a review date for your appeal. Once your appeal package is complete, a meeting is dependent on committee member scheduling, senate rules regarding timelines for agendas, the volume of appeals received, and the process and timelines in place to gather additional documentation. An administrative coordinator will consult with you on potential dates and timelines.
  8. Do I have to participate in a hearing, or can my appeal be reviewed based on my paper submission?
    Appeals relating to an academic decision with a relevant decision maker qualify for a hearing if requested (see Notice of Appeal form for more information). However, a hearing is not mandatory. A hearing will proceed should the appellant opt for one upon confirmation of attendance by the appellant and relevant decision maker.In those circumstances, and in accordance with the rules of natural justice, students appealing to the Student Appeals Board have a right to a fair hearing. This includes the right to be notified of a date where your appeal will be considered, the right to attend and present verbal arguments and the right to question the Dean (or Dean’s designate) or the Registrar. Student must inform the Student Appeals Board of their intention to attend the meeting.
  9. How long does it take for my hearing to be scheduled after I submit my appeal?Please see below for a schedule of timelines outlining the appeals process:
    1. Step 1 – Student appellant to submit to the Senate Student Appeals Board a completed appeal request form, along with a personal statement letter, all mandatory documents, and any additional documentation to illustrate grounds for appeal. Please refer to Academic Calendar or Faculty Handbook for all appeals deadlines.
    2. Step 2 – Coordinator will email student appellant acknowledging receipt of appeal.
    3. Step 3 – Coordinator will review appeal for completeness and will email student appellant if more information/clarification is required.
    4. Step 4 – Once appeal is accepted for consideration by the Senate Student Appeals Board, the Coordinator shall provide a copy of the appeal submitted by the student to the applicable decision maker of the appeal for supplemental information/comments relevant to appeal. The responding faculty must provide a written response of appeal to the Senate Student Appeals Board within 5 business days from mailing date of appeal and a copy of response will be sent to the student appellant.
    5. Step 5 – The Coordinator shall provide a copy of the supplemental information/comments, if submitted by the faculty, to the student appellant for a final response. The student appellant has 5 business days from mailing date of faculty response to provide final written response to the Senate Student Appeals Board.
    6. Step 6 – The Coordinator will compile all documents received by the student appellant and applicable decision maker and include in agenda package to the Board for review in advance of a hearing. The Board will receive all materials at least 3 business days prior to a hearing/meeting
    7. Step 7 –
      1. For an oral hearing:
        The Coordinator will provide student appellant and faculty with potential meeting dates of the Senate Student Appeals Board for consideration.
        **Note: a hearing will be confirmed once student appellant and faculty agree on a mutual date and the Senate Student Appeals Board has quorum as outlined in the Faculty Handbook.
      2. For a written appeal:
        The Coordinator will notify student appellant of the next meeting of the Senate Student Appeals Board, when the written appeal will be reviewed.
    8. Step 8 – Decision
      Following the hearing, the Board will retire to deliberate in camera and will make its decision by majority vote. Notice of the decision will be provided to the student appellant and the decision maker following the hearing. A decision will be provided by email to the student and the academic record of the student will be updated within 5 business days of the hearing. A formal letter outlining the board’s decision will be provided to the student within 15 business days of the hearing.
  10. Who can I bring with me to a hearing?
    Students are entitled to bring one support individual to act as an advisor, which can include the University Ombudsperson.
  11. Are hearings open to the public?
    All hearings are closed to the public and all hearing discussions and deliberations will be held in camera.
  12. How long will my hearing take?
    A typical hearing takes up to 1 hour in length depending on the complexity of the file. The Committee convenes immediately following the hearing to deliberate.
  13. What can I expect at my hearing?
    Students and faculty participants will normally wait to be called into the Student Appeals Board meeting. Once admitted, the Chair of the Senate Student Appeals Board will introduce themselves and explain the hearing process. Committee and hearing participants will have an opportunity to provide introductions. The student may make a brief statement of up to 5 minutes. Following this, the Dean, Dean’s designate or faculty member will follow and may make a brief statement of up to 5 minutes. Members of the Board are provided with an opportunity to ask questions. Either party, beginning with the Associate Dean or faculty member may make a brief concluding statement of up to 5 minutes. The student and the Dean, Dean’s designate or faculty member will be asked to leave the meeting at which point the Board will deliberate in making a decision.
  14. What are the potential decisions that can be made by the Board?
    The Board may make one of the following potential decisions:

      1. Deny the appeal;
      2. Grant the appeal;
      3. Grant the appeal and refer the matter back to the decision matter with guidance;
      4. Grant or deny the appeal in part subject to conditions; or
      5. Defer the appeal pending submission of further documentation.
      6. The Board may make one of the following potential decisions:

    The Board may not:

    1. award a numerical grade;
    2. grant any penalty, sanction or outcome which is demonstrably more punitive than the penalty, outcome, or sanction that is being appealed; or
    3. require any actions contrary to a university policy or collective agreement.
  15. How long after the hearing will I have to wait to receive a decision?
    A decision will be provided by email to the student and the academic record of the student will be updated within 5 business days of the hearing. A formal letter outlining the board’s decision will be provided to the student within 15 business days of the hearing.
  16. What makes an appeal successful?
    Appeals must clearly state the arguments and expectations of the student. The responsibility is on the student to demonstrate the validity of the appeal and to provide full and appropriate supporting documentation. Dissatisfaction with University policy and ignorance or neglect of published deadlines will not constitute sufficient grounds for appeal.
  17. How can the Brock Ombudsperson help with my appeal?
    The Brock Ombudsperson provides free, confidential, independent and impartial assistance to students on all appeals related to final grades, academic requirements/decisions, academic suspension, appeals of decisions related to backdated withdrawals, charges of academic misconduct and scholarship award appeals. They are also able to provide feedback and resources, assist with informal problem-solving and facilitate communication.Please visit brocku.ca/ombuds/ or contact the Ombudsperson at kbarker@brocku.ca to learn more.
  18. How do I connect with an Academic Advisor?
    To contact, the Central Academic Advising team, email adviser@brocku.ca. To connect with a specific department academic advisor, go to Find Your Advisor.

Additional resources (links):

    1. Academic Calendars
      1. Undergraduate Calendar – Brock University Undergraduate Calendar
      2. Graduate Calendar – Brock University Graduate Calendar
    2. Office of the Ombudsperson – brocku.ca/ombuds/
    3. A-Z Learning (Boost) – brocku.ca/student-life-success/learning-services/
    4. Student Wellness and Accessibility Centre – brocku.ca/health-wellness-accessibility/
    5. FHB section 3.c.17 – brocku.ca/university-secretariat/faculty-handbook/section-3/#17._appeals
    6. Pre-appeal procedures and timelines chart – Appeals_Pre-Appeals-Procedure-Timeline_Appendix-1-approved-Senate-691.pdf
    7. Academic advising directory – brocku.ca/academic-advising/find-your-advisor/
    8. Academic Progression flowchart – brocku.ca/academic-advising/wp-content/uploads/sites/93/Academic-Progression-Flowchart.pdf