Ombuds Office


My name is Jennifer Schneider and I am the
student Ombuds here at the university of South Florida. I help student service as a neutral
third party resource for students who have complaints or concerns or challenges with
the university. The Ombuds office operates under four general principles. The first one
is confidentiality, everything that students share in the office is completely confidential
and that includes issues related to title 9. The second one is independence I am not
necessarily part of any other group or department on campus umm the third one is impartiality.
My job description requires that I not necessarily always act in the best interest of the university
but also that I don’t advocate for students. And then the last one is informality we don’t
use banner we don’t keep university ID’s, we don’t keep names we don’t keep contact
information. I think sometimes students come to the Ombuds office because they want an
advocate they want someone to fight for them they feel that they’ve been wronged and
they want someone to go to the party to the department to the faculty member and say fix
this for the student and I don’t fix anything that’s not my role so I can listen and I
can help the student see varying points of view and hopefully help them empathize with
the other party and the policies that are related and help them understand the bureaucracy
that the University of South Florida and every other large public institution is. USF I have
to say is really good about listening and understanding special circumstances and special
situations and recognizing that we see students who have academic concerns we also see students
who have issues and concerns that aren’t necessarily related to grades. We see that
a lot with first year students it’s just hard to learn hard to learn the systems and
the timelines and the deadlines and so I would just really encourage the parents to encourage
the students to keep up with email and to check OASIS constantly because they’re often
assumptions that students make. I know my son is heading off to school soon and I’ve
been helping him navigate just the admissions processes at universities and its easy to
want to just jump in and navigate that on the students’ behalf I would strongly encourage
parents to get the students involved in those processes so that they understand what’s
necessary and what goes into that. GO BULLS!

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