Spotlight: Centre for Academic Policy Support (CAPS)

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Vivien Pham
Communications Assistant
Thu, 08/15/2019 - 14:30

Name: Centre for Academic Policy Support (CAPS)
Location: Student Life Centre 2118G
Year Established: 2017

Do you feel like you’ve been marked unjustly in one of your courses? Have you been accused of academic misconduct? Would you like to submit a petition because you were unable to complete work due to extenuating circumstances?

If you’re faced with these sorts of troubles, the last thing you need is to struggle with the process of submitting an academic appeal.

That’s why the Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association (WUSA) has established the Centre for Academic Policy Support (CAPS), a service that assists students with petitions, grievances, and appeals that may impact their academic progression or transcript. 

Before CAPS, students who reached had questions about petitions, grievances, and appeals were given assistance on an as-needs basis, said Academic Affairs Commissioner Maya Venters. Together with former Vice President Education Andrew Clubine, Venters worked to formalize this ad-hoc assistance into a full WUSA service. 

“We decided this needed to be done after we realized how many students are in need of petition, grievance, and appeal assistance and don’t know where to go, or wish to speak to a student peer rather than their advisors,” Venters said.

“We decided this needed to be done after we realized how many students are in need of petition, grievance, and appeal assistance and don’t know where to go, or wish to speak to a student peer rather than their advisors,” Venters said.

CAPS is run by students just like you who have gone through these processes themselves. Having experience with the process helps student peers like Venters assist students who are going through the same thing better. They’ve handled cases involving:

  • plagiarism
  • mental health
  • physical injuries
  • family and financial troubles
  • missed exams
  • and grade remarking.

“Many students need to file a petition, grievance, or appeal some point during their undergraduate career - I’ve filed a few myself - so it’s helpful if you understand the services we have to offer before you get yourself into a challenging spot,” said Venters.

If you need help Policy 70, 71, or 72, CAPS can help you by:

  • summarizing policies
  • providing templates to submit
  • and narrowing down what documentation to include and who to reach out to when filing a case.

Since CAPS is a relatively new service, Venters and WUSA are trying to spread the word to let students know that this support is available when you need it.

Learn more about your academic rights to better your understanding of Waterloo’s policies by visiting the CAPS webpage, Facebook, or sending them an email.