ASUS introduces Appeals Resource Centre

Student society hopes to support students facing academic penalties 

The Centre will be a go-to destination for guidance in the appeals process.
The Arts and Science Undergraduate Society (ASUS) is introducing the ASUS Appeals Resource Centre (AARC) in the hopes of aiding students in the complicated process of submitting academic appeals. 
Headed by two co-chairs, Ashanti Francis and David Niddam-Dent, both ArtSci ’22, the AARC will be available for student use starting Nov. 29.
Francis and Dent sat down with The Journal to speak more to what this resource entails. 
“We provide support to students who are in the process of making academic appeals, whether those are related to academic integrity or academic regulations,” Francis said in an interview with The Journal. 
According to Francis, AARC is the only support currently offered to students navigating the appeals process.
“A lot of the time students know what they want to say within their appeals letter, but they don’t exactly know how to say it, and they don’t know how to fit it within the framework of academic appeals,” she said.
Penalties for failing to adhere to academic regulations can range from failing a class to requiring to withdraw from Queen’s for one to five years. A successful appeal can save a student from these consequences.
“Last year, as ASUS President, I gained firsthand exposure into the appeals process, from the adjudicative perspective, but also in watching students make their case on issues that are really important for academic career when you’re looking at a number of academic regulations, as well as academic integrity,” Niddam-Dent said.
Niddam-Dent said seeing students struggle to make the best case for themselves inspired him to create a service that provides extra help in the process. 
The AARC team is comprised of five trained student volunteers who’ve been working with sample cases every week in preparation to help in the best way they can. 
“Seeking support for academic appeals and the nature of academic appeals can be very intimidating,” Francis said. 
Francis and Niddam-Dent are committed to building a relationship of trust between students seeking help and students providing it. 
“These are trained students who are ready to help in all aspects of the appeal, who’ve seen appeals before in a number of different facets and contexts,” Niddam-Dent added.
Niddam-Dent said that the AARC team has been working closely with the Faculty of Arts and Science to ensure they’re not duplicating existing efforts, nor exceeding the scope of what’s comfortable for a student organization.  
“Once students fill out the form, a member of our team will be in touch, and we’ll be setting up our first meeting and students can expect […] individualized and personalized attention to their case as our volunteers help them out,” Niddam-Dent said. 
Niddam-Dent and Francis said students can seek help from the AARC regardless of the extent of guidance they need—from proofreading to a full walk-through of the appeals process. AARC volunteers are eager to be of support. 
“We hope we’re going to be able to be of service regardless of what students are looking for,” Niddam-Dent said. 

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