FAQ

General

A case’s chances of success depend entirely on the particularities of the case.

When consulting with one of the SRC’s advocates, you will be given their general impressions regarding your chances of success. This opinion is based solely on the Centre’s past experiences, and in no way guarantees the outcome of the appeal.

The answer to this question depends entirely on the type of appeal you are pursuing. Consult our page on appeals and regulations for more information on more specific types of cases.

You will notice that in many cases, there aren’t any fixed deadlines to submit an appeal. This is the case for requests for retro-active drops and some complaints. However, even in the absence of fixed deadlines, it is always prudent to file your appeal as early as possible.

In the case of human rights related complaints, you have 12 months from the date of the last incident to file your complaint. This is true both internally with the University’s Human Rights Office and with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.

The Student Rights Centre strongly believes that all students who address the University deserve a response within a reasonable delay.

When your addressee does not respond, begin with a follow-up message.  If the recipient does not answer your second attempt, consult their supervisor and inform them of your situation. You may also ask the SRC to follow-up on your behalf.

Before consulting a supervisor, make sure to have allotted a reasonable amount of time for your addressee to respond.

Such a “reasonable amount of time” varies from one case to another. At times, one should expect more than a month’s delay. The SRC will outline what is understood by a “reasonable amount of time”, given the nature of your case.

Yes. This is a part of the University’s academic regulation 8.3 and the student responsibilities concerning academic affairs. Moreover, your professor may specify your obligations concerning class attendance in the course syllabus. Your professor also has the right to refuse you access to a final exam if you have did not abide by these requirements. This being said, policies related to class attendance that go beyond the University regulation must be listed in the course syllabus.

To begin, you have to know the numeric value of all your grades.

Grade

Value (%)

Numerical Value

A+

90-100

10

A

85-89

9

A-

80-84

8

B+

75-79

7

B

70-74

6

C+

66-69

5

C

60-65

4

D+

55-59

3

D

50-54

2

E

40-49

1

F

0-39

0

Here is an example of a semester’s grade report:

Course

Letter Grade

Credits

Numerical Value

Grade Point Average

ENG 1100

E

3

1

3 x 1 = 3

PHI 1102

A

3

9

3 x 9 = 27

MAT 1302

B

3

6

3 x 6 = 18

PSY 1101

C

3

4

3 x 4 = 12

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  1. Add up all your grade point values
    3 + 27 + 18 + 12 = 60
  2. Add up all your credits
    3 + 3 + 3 + 3 = 12
  3. Divide the result obtained at Step One by the result obtained at Step Two
    60 ÷ 12 = 5.0 is your grade point average

Academic Fraud

  • According to the Regulation on Academic Fraud, expulsion is one of the most severe sanctions. Within the last ten years, the Student Rights Centre staff has seen this sanction imposed in four cases out of hundreds of cases.
  • In the majority of cases, students found guilty of academic fraud receive a written warning, a grade of zero for the work in question, or for part of the work in question, a failing grade for the course, or failing grade for the course with the addition of 3 to 30 credits to the requirements of their program (sanctions 2a to 2g).
  • Sanctions vary according to the severity of the fraudulent act in question, attenuating circumstances and the intent of the student. A student found guilty of academic fraud on more than one occasion will likely be sanctioned more severely.
  • The only sanction that plans for a mention on your transcript is sanction k) inclusion of a permanent statement on the student’s official transcript: Sanction pursuant to contravention of the University regulation on fraud.
  • Otherwise, your sanction will not appear on your transcript. This being said, any failing grade received as a result of the application of a sanction will of course appear on your transcript. That failure will not be accompanied with a note indicating it is the result of academic fraud.
  • To answer this question you must first ask yourself if you consider that you are indeed guilty of contravening the regulations on academic fraud. By accepting the accelerated process you recognize that you breached, whether voluntarily or involuntarily, the regulation and a sanction will be imposed, even if you made an honest mistake. A letter will be placed in your file indicating the sanction. This letter will not specify whether the infraction was voluntary or involuntary.
  • If you are unsure about which process to chose, do not hesitate to consult us. You may also opt for the accelerated process, keeping in mind that once a sanction is proposed, you may chose not to sign the accelerated process agreement letter and your case will automatically be referred to the regular process.
  • The Student Rights Centre observed that more and more students opt for the accelerated process because they wish to resolve the matter as soon as possible – regardless of their belief with regard to their innocence. We have also been witness to students being pressured unduly into opting for the accelerated process. In our opinion, it is best to defend yourself fully if you believe that you are innocent. Although the regular process does take longer than the accelerated process, the delays encountered by students have improved in recent years.
  • When a student if found not guilty, it is understood that the accusation was unfounded – it is as if the allegation never happened.
  • All documents used to accuse you will therefore be destroyed.
  • Professors are not obligated to inform students if they are suspicious of academic fraud and may chose to refer the situation to the dean.
  • Thus, professors who sanction you directly do so in an informal manner, without triggering the official procedures outlined in the university regulation.
  • Many cases of academic fraud are dealt with informally. Depending on the situation, this may be to the student’s advantage. For example, a student who recognizes their mistake may be happy to be sanctioned directly by the professor and avoid the stress associated with the formal procedure.
  • Some professors approach students who they suspect have committed academic fraud before referring the case to the faculty. While this can be an opportunity to explain yourself and potentially have the case resolved, keep in mind that anything you tell your professor can be used by the university in the context of the formal academic fraud proceedings.
  • If you feel that the professor’s informal sanction is unfair, consult the SRC to see what can be done.
  • According to the current interpretation of the academic regulation, yes.
  • This situation unfortunately arises frequently. In fact, an important number of student who consult the Student Rights Centre have simply made honest mistakes in their referencing.
  • According to the regulation on academic fraud, a student’s intention or ignorance of the regulations are not sufficient grounds for finding that the student is not guilty. You may be found guilty of academic fraud, even if you plagiarized accidentally or in good faith.
  • In the context of your defence, it is important to explain why and how you made a mistake. What happened, exactly? Are you a student who writes academic papers often? If you have made a citation error, did you cite the source in your bibliography?
  • Although this is not an official sanction listed in section 2 of the regulation, you can always offer alternative sanctions: rewriting your assignment; writing a new assignment; or writing a summary of the regulations pertaining to academic fraud are some ideas. The University is under no obligation to consider alternative sanctions.
  • At the Student Rights Centre, we denounce this strict interpretation of the regulation. To not consider a student’s intentions in determining whether or not there is plagiarism is a great injustice that we continue to fight. Thankfully, over the years we have observed that the student’s intention was taken into account when considering the appropriate sanction.                
  • Cases of academic fraud are decided on the balance of probabilities. If the University has brought forth an allegation of academic fraud against you, it usually means that there is enough evidence, on the balance of probabilities, to find you guilty.
  • Once accused, you will therefore have to offer a defence that will allow the committee to conclude, on the balance of probabilities, that the allegation is not sufficiently founded.
  • Speaking in terms of criminal law, you are not innocent until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt.

About the Student Rights Centre

You have already paid! As a student of the University of Ottawa, you will notice that part of your fees go to the Student Federation. A small portion of those fees serve to fund the Student Rights Centre.

The Student Rights Centre never gives legal advice. The Centre’s personnel are not lawyers.

When confronted with an unjust situation many students express the desire to retain the services of a lawyer. Such a reaction is understandable but we recommend you begin by consulting the Student Rights Centre (it’s already paid for!)