Fee for academic appeals denied

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By Caroline Alphonso

Ryerson students won’t have to pay for academic appeals.

Of the 28 recommendations made by the school’s appeals review committee, placing a $25 to $50 fee at the third level of a student’s appeal process dominated the conversation at last Monday’s academic council meeting.

At the end of the discussion, Ryerson president Claude Lajeunesse stepped in to squash the fee.

Jim Dianda, chair of the appeals review committee, said charging a fee would discourage any frivolous appeals.

“It was to encourage students to carefully assess their case and see if there was enough merit of RyeSAC to continue with it,” Dianda said.

At the third level of an appeal, the student has a hearing before a committee of academic council members — one student and two from staff and faculty. An average of 50 appeals reach the third level every year.

The recommendation by the appeals review committee said the only way the fee would be refunded was if the appeal was upheld or brought before the committee.

But RyeSAC’s executive assistant Dennis Loney, who handles academic appeals, said students shouldn’t have to pay to have their cases handled.

“Students don’t file an appeal for frivolous reasons,” said Loney. “[The appeals review commitee] seems to think that by charging this fee then students are just going to stop appealing, there are not going to be any problems with appeals and it will be taken very seriously by students now.”

In the first stage of the academic appeal process, a student submits a letter to the chair of the department and receives a response. If the appeal has been turned down, the student can write a letter to the dean within 10 days and will receive a response. If it is negative again, the student can ask for a hearing within 10 days.

Academic council will discuss the other recommendations on changing the appeal process at next month’s meeting.

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