Slide ADVOCACY Know your rights.

Your advocacy team is here to provide unbiased information and guidance about your rights and responsibilities. We offer non-judgemental support and services to BCIT students in a safe space. If you are experiencing conflict, you can come to speak to us. We can also accompany you to a meeting with BCIT, or to review a letter you’re writing to them.

What we can’t do is speak for you. We can help you navigate the system, but we aren’t here to find loopholes, or to provide advice about any conflicts that aren’t related to BCIT. We will listen to your concerns and provide you with the available options. We’ll do our best to explain relevant BCIT policies and procedures and answer your questions about them. We are here to empower and support you to resolve any issues you have at BCIT.

Policies
Advocacy Logo

DANIELLE LANDETA-GAUTHIER
Advocacy Manager
604.432.8279  |  advocacy@bcitsa.ca

ASK THE ADVOCATE

The BCIT Student Association Advocacy Office is committed to providing confidential, unbiased, and non-judgemental support and services to all BCIT students. In our collaborations with BCIT, we value fairness, transparency, and accountability, and we strive to uphold these values as we advocate for all students. We consider our office to be safe(r) space that is inclusive to students of all backgrounds, including but not limited to, their abilities, genders, orientations, and creeds. Our office does not tolerate harassment, racist remarks, discrimination, bullying, or violence of any kind. We aim to empower students to use their voices to self-advocate and exercise their rights.

Post an anonymous question or comment below pertaining to a personal conflict/issue, or BCIT Policy and Procedure. The Advocate will share their advice here for the benefit of all students. No personal information is required. Check this page often for an answer to your question. If you would like to receive a personal response, you must provide your contact information.

Policies
Advocacy Responses

Question 1

Question

How do I appeal a grade?

Answer

As per policy 5104 Academic Integrity and Appeals and procedure 5104-PR1 Academic Decision Review Process, your first step is to speak with your instructor to get some information on why you received the grade you did, and if there is any way you could remediate it. If after speaking with your instructor you wish to pursue an appeal, you have 20 days from the day you received your grade to file an appeal with your associate dean. You can find the paperwork necessary here. You fill out this paperwork, go to the Student Information desk in SW1 and pay the $26 grades appeal fee, then take your receipt, paperwork, and supporting documents to your associate dean. From there your associate dean will assign someone to reassess your grade. It is important to start this process as soon as you wish to appeal the grade. Waiting until the end of term to appeal your mid-term may not be accepted, as it is assumed that you would have appealed it at the time. A word of note: sometimes when a student has a grade appealed, they may get assessed at a lower grade than the one they are appealing. It is important to clarify this with your program before you consider an appeal.

Question 2

Question

I have been told I am failing my course due to too many absences. Is this fair?

Answer

As per policies 5101 Student Regulations and 5103 Student Evaluation, while full attendance is expected, if an instructor assigns a percentage to attendance, it needs to be clearly laid out in the Course Outline. If you did not receive a hard copy of the course outline, you may access it on-line at http://www.bcit.ca/study/outlines/  It is the students’ responsibility to be aware of what instructor expectations are, and to seek clarity if need be. If you did not receive a course outline, and one is not available on-line, please speak with the advocate.

Question 3

Question

I think my instructor is unfair and is treating me differently from other students, what can I do?

Answer

As laid out in policy 7507 Harassment and Discrimination, all BCIT students have the right to a learning environment that supports respect, diversity, and human rights, and one which is free from harassment and discrimination. Students have the right to safely pursue academic success, and to be treated with dignity and civility by all those within the BCIT community. If you feel that you are being treated unfairly based on protected grounds, please contact BCIT’s Harassment and Discrimination office (http://www.bcit.ca/harassment/) for immediate assistance. You may also want to consider filing a Student Complaint (http://www.bcit.ca/judicial/complaints.shtml) and you are encouraged to work with the advocate if you choose this route. It is important to document the incident(s) with as much objective information as possible, including the time and date of the incident, what happened, who was involved, and if there were any witnesses. Students are strongly encouraged to speak in confidence with the advocate if they have a complaint or concern about an instructor.

Question 4

Question

Q: I learned that my instructor reported me to the Associate Dean for cheating. What does this mean and what should I do?

Answer

As laid out in procedure 5104-PR1 Procedure for Violations of Code of Academic Integrity, if an instructor suspects you’ve cheated or plagiarized, they have a responsibility to act on that suspicion. You should receive an email which outlines the allegations, but don’t be alarmed by this email — this doesn’t mean you’re automatically guilty. In the email, you should receive an invitation to meet with the investigator where you will be able to share your side of the alleged incident. If you are not afforded an opportunity to provide your side of the story, please see an Advocate ASAP. Remember that cheating and plagiarizing are serious offences in higher education, and it’s important that you’re maintaining academic integrity throughout your time here at BCIT. If you knowingly violated policy, consider owning this mistake. An Advocate can walk you through what to expect and also attend any meetings with you.

Aside from working directly with students, we also liaise with BCIT staff and faculty and make recommendations for changes to the BCIT policies and procedures. We also host events, workshops, and discussions on concerns raised by students, and we attend committee meetings, when appropriate, to represent student interests.

Creating a Culture of Consent

In this two-hour workshop, we explore the different forms of sexual violence, consent, and the concept of rape culture. By engaging in activities and discussions, we will unpack myths about sexualized violence and learn about consent in our relationships in a safe(r) and sex-positive space.

QPR: Suicide Intervention and Prevention

In this workshop, you will be
equipped with the skills to support
someone who is experiencing
suicidal thoughts. The facilitators
will teach participants how to
recognize the warning signs of
suicide. Participants will learn how
to approach the person about
their feelings, make appropriate
referrals, and ultimately persuade
them to live.

“What the f*@& am I doing??”

This workshop is offered once
per term for set-reps and student
executives. It covers what policies
and procedures students should
know about, how to engage in
conflict resolution, and how to
effectively communicate.

Advocacy 101

This workshop is ideally offered
at the beginning of the term,
within the first week of classes.
We can inform your class
about our services, as well as
how students can advocate for
themselves. If time allows, we can
also include information about
conflict resolution and effective
communication.

When students register to attend BCIT they do so with the understanding that they are agreeing to conduct themselves in a way that respects all BCIT policies and procedures. These policies and procedures are easily accessible online. Because of the ease with which students can access these policies, it is expected that they are not only familiar with them, but also understand the consequences they may face if they are found to have breached BCIT policy. Ignorance is no excuse, and therefore reactions of “But I didn’t know this!” will not be accepted. Please take note of the following policies and procedures, as they are a sample of just some of the important regulations that guide all members of the BCIT community.

While our offices are located on the Burnaby campus, we regularly travel to other campuses. Because
of this, we are not always available for drop-ins. Making an appointment is highly recommended.