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Centre for Academic Policy Support (CAPS)
The Centre for Academic Policy Support (CAPS) is a confidential student support service run by students, for students. CAPS is run by Feds’ Academic Affairs Commissioner (AAC), who is trained to assist fellow Waterloo undergraduates throughout their experience in navigating academic policy in the instances of filing petitions, grievances and appeals. We believe in students helping students, and that’s what we’re here to do.
How it Works
To access support simply send an email to your AAC with your UWaterloo email address. This email should contain a brief explanation of your situation and what you would like support with. You will receive a response within 48 hours during regular business days (Monday-Friday).
If you are:
- Seeking exception from normal faculty or University rules and regulations (i.e. filing a petition)
- Feeling like you have been treated unfairly or have been discriminated against by a member of the University (i.e. filing a grievance)
- Unhappy with a decision made and believe you are able to establish grounds for an appeal (i.e. filing an appeal)
And if you are unsure of how to proceed with the situation, contact us and we will support you as you go through your case.
Some of the things we do:
- Help students define and articulate problems.
- Explain possible options, including but not limited to: speaking to an advisor, direction to campus or community services, supporting informal resolution, formal process.
- Provide clarity on University policy, for example: distinguishing between petitions and grievances, or the difference between Faculty Committee on Student Appeals (FCSA) vs University Committee on Student Appeals (UCSA).
- Walk students through applicable timelines and deadlines.
- Direct students to the proper forms and where to obtain required documentation.
- Providing templates, flowcharts, and summaries of university policy which are pertinent to a student’s situation.
Some things we are confused with doing, but do not do:
- Formally represent students in their cases. While we can offer comfort by accompany students to their hearing, students may bring a lawyer or professor as their formal representation.
- Provide legal counsel.
- Deal with matters concerning Ontario Human Rights Commission complaints.
- Guarantee any sort of result from your case.
- Share your specific case details outside of the VPEd portfolio, without your consent.
Your Academic Rights
The Academic Rights Handbook provides valuable information to help undergraduates understand what their academic rights are at Waterloo and guide them through the process of petitions, grievances, and appeals.