Ombuds NEWS Spring 2016
Volume 6, Issue 1
...and "hello" from the Office of the Ombudsperson! Our Office assists students in resolving complaints or concerns informally, confidentially, and with neutrality.
In This Issue
Wait... Before you Withdraw!
Email Etiquette
Stay Connected
Spring Student Workshop Series
W8 B4 U Drop!
Withdrawing from courses can affect your eligibility for financial aid, so first consider:
  • In addition to maintaining a 2.0 (undergrads) or 3.0 (grads) GPA, students must complete 67% of all attempted course hours. 
  • Calculate the % by dividing the total hours completed by total hours attempted.
  • Financial aid can be applied to a maximum of 180 hours for the first undergraduate degree and 90 hours for the first graduate degree.
If you are considering withdrawing from a class:
  1. Speak to the professor to find out what an "A student" looks like in this class, to see if you may be able to "stick it out."
  2. Consult your academic advisor for guidance and possible alternatives.
  3. Talk to someone in the One-Stop-Shop to be ABSOLUTELY certain the withdrawal will not affect your eligibility for financial aid.

Click here for information on how to know when to drop a class

E-mail Etiquette 
The way that you communicate with your professor is very important and demonstrates the type of student you are. Most professors expect a student's level of communication to be professional, respectful, and proper in tone.  Most instructors have certain expectations for the messages they receive from you. Below are some tips for writing a successful email to your professor:
1. Include a clear, direct subject line.
  • People often decide whether to open an email based on the subject line. Choose one that lets readers know what they expect to read.  
2. Use a professional email address.
  • You should always have an email address that conveys your name so that the recipient knows exactly who is sending the email. It's best to use your school-issued email address for academic-related correspondences.
3. Think twice before hitting "Reply All."
  • Not only should the e-mail be personally addressed, it should also include personal (i.e., customized) content. For this reason, replying to all is usually not necessary. 
4. Use professional salutations.
  • Don't use laid-back, colloquial expressions like, "Hey, you guys," "Yo," or "Hi, folks. The salutation sets the tone of the email and the response you are expecting. Stay professional and respectful.
5. Use proper spelling, grammar and punctuation.
  • Use exclamation points sparingly. Be cautious with emphasis techniques.
6. Make your message easy to read. 
  • Be concise and to the point. Long sentences or paragraphs are more difficult to read.  Do not make an e-mail longer than it needs to be. Use bullets to set off points you want to make.
7. Do not come across as sounding abrupt. 
  • Read your message out loud. If it sounds harsh to you, it will sound harsh to the reader. If emotions need to be conveyed, delete your email and request a face-to-face meeting to better convey your message.
8. Know that people from different cultures speak and write
  • Miscommunication can easily occur, especially in the written form when we can't see recipients' body language. Be respectful, direct and, if needed, request a face-to-face meeting for clearer understanding
9. Be cautious with humor. 
  • In a professional exchange, it's better to leave humor out of emails unless you know the recipient well. Something that you think is funny might not be funny to someone else or might get lost in translation.
10. Reply to your emails - even if the email wasn't intended for you. 
  • A reply isn't necessary but serves as good email etiquette. "I don't think you meant to send this email to me. I wanted to let you know so you can send it to the correct person."
11. Proofread every message.
  • Your mistakes and typos will not go unnoticed by the recipients of your email. And, depending upon the recipient, you may be judged for making them. Don't rely on spell-checkers. Read and re-read your email a few times, preferably aloud, before sending it off.
12. Double-check that you've selected the correct recipient. 
  • You don't want to send an email accidentally before you have finished writing and proofing the message, or send emails to the wrong person. Delete the recipient's address and insert it only when you are sure the message is ready to be sent.
BONUS! Many messages are time sensitive, but do not respond to every message the moment you get it. If an immediate response isn't required, you should hold off until you've had a chance to read through the entire message in order to create an appropriate response.
Stay Connected






We're Here for You! 

Our goal is to foster a cohesive sense of community by being an advocate for fair and equitable treatment for faculty, staff and students. We help to:

  • Support individuals' capacities and responsibilities for making decisions about their lives
  • Foster an environment of mutual respect and cooperation
  • Lend support for developing the use of understanding rather than coercion as a basis for resolving conflicts and disputes

Office of the Ombudsperson
Beginning in February, our Office will offer mini-workshops each month on the last Wednesday of the month. Stay tuned for announcements preceding each workshop, and refer to our calendar for upcoming workshop information. 
 Spring Student Workshop Series
February 24
Enjoy College Life and Study? How to do both using Effective Time Management 

March 30 
Do I study or party? Managing Multiple Priorities

April 27 
Meeting With Your Professor?
Using Effective Communication in the Midst of Power Dynamics

Our Office provides:

  • Consultation
  • Mediation
  • Facilitation 
  • Training and Education
  • Conflict Coaching
Contact Us

Quick Links
Join Our Mailing List
Good Communication Tips  
1. Be sure your body language is respectful and your tone is sincere.

2. Give as much information as you can.

3. Get information by asking clarifying questions.

4. Paraphrase back to check for understanding.

5. Don't assume anything!