Office of the Registrar
University Regulations (2008/2009)
4.14 Appeal of Regulations
4.14.1 General Information
  1. Every student has the right to appeal decisions resulting from the application of University regulations.

  2. Appeals will be considered in the case of illness, bereavement or other acceptable cause, duly authenticated.

  3. For assistance in the appeals process, students are advised to consult with the Office of the Registrar.

  4. In preparing an appeal a student may consult advisors or facilitators. Such advisors or facilitators may include a faculty advisor, a counsellor, a representative from the Memorial University of Newfoundland Student Union (MUNSU) or faculty who have made themselves familiar with the appeals process and who are willing to undertake the role of student advisor or facilitator.

  5. Appeals are made before specific committees that exist at the University to provide an objective review of cases. The appeals process is designed to assist students at critical points in their university career, not to intimidate them. Refer also to Appeal Procedures for information concerning where appeals should be directed.

  6. While the University makes provision for students to appeal regulations, the academic, financial or other consequences of the appeals process rests with the students.

  7. A student whose appeal is denied will be advised in the letter of denial of the next avenue of appeal that may be taken. Should a student's appeal be denied by the Senate, the student will be advised that within the University no further appeal is possible.

4.14.2 Appeal Procedures
  1. The responsibility for making an appeal before the appropriate committee of the University rests with the student.

  2. A student who is ineligible to officially register for courses but who wishes to attend classes, laboratories or other educational activities while an appeal is in progress can do so only with the written permission of the academic unit concerned. This provision excludes students charged with an offence under the Code of Disciplinary Procedures for Students. For information regarding the Code of Disciplinary Procedures for Students contact the Office of Student Affairs and Services.

  3. Any student whose request for waiver of regulations has been denied has the right to appeal. Any such appeal should be made in writing clearly stating the basis for the appeal and should be directed as follows:

    • Course prerequisites or co-requisites: to the appropriate committee on undergraduate studies.

    • Departmental Regulations: to the appropriate committee on undergraduate studies where the department refuses to recommend the waiver, or to the Senate Committee on Undergraduate Studies, c/o The Office of the Registrar, where the committee on undergraduate studies denies the request for waiver.

    • Faculty and School Regulations: to the Senate Committee on Undergraduate Studies, c/o The Office of the Registrar.

    • General Academic Regulations (Undergraduate): to the Executive Committee of Senate, c/o The Office of the Registrar.

    • Scholarships, Bursaries, Awards, Medals and Prizes Regulations: to the Executive Committee of Senate, c/o The Office of the Registrar.

4.14.3 Information Required in Letters of Appeal
  1. All appeals must be made in writing clearly stating the basis for the appeal and must be directed to the appropriate University committee.

  2. Reasons for initiating an appeal, including medical problems, bereavement and/or other acceptable cause, must be stated in the letter of appeal.

  3. Students must present independent evidence to corroborate statements made in the letter of appeal. Preferably, this evidence will come from a professional, such as a physician, a counsellor, or a professor. However letters from other knowledgeable parties may be acceptable.

  4. In cases where an appeal is made on medical grounds, medical notes must be sufficiently specific to allow appropriate consideration of the student's case. The note must also clearly state that, in the opinion of the physician, the problem was serious enough to have interfered with the student's work. Students should refer to the policy respecting Information Required for Medical Certificates for more complete information.

  5. Students claiming bereavement as grounds must provide proof of death and evidence of a close personal relationship between themselves and the deceased.

  6. Confidentiality: The committees to which appeals are made do require substantial information about the reasons for the appeal in order to make their decisions. However, the committees also recognize the student's rights to confidentiality. With this in mind, a student may discuss the reasons for his or her appeal with a University or College counsellor, who, with the student's permission and provided sufficient reasons exist, may then write a letter to the appropriate committee confirming that there were sufficient grounds for an appeal without disclosing the special personal and confidential details of the case.

4.14.4 Information Required for Medical Certificates
  1. Students who request permission to drop courses, to withdraw from University studies, to have examinations deferred or to obtain other waivers of University, departmental or course regulations based on medical grounds are required by the University to produce a note from a physician in support of their request. Such notes must be sufficiently specific to allow a proper consideration of the student’s case. The University requires that all medical notes must be on letterhead, must be signed by the physician, must confirm the specific dates on which the student visited the physician and should include details on the following:

    • the degree to which the illness (or treatment, in the case of medication, for example) is likely to have affected the student’s ability to study, attend classes, or sit examinations.

    • the length of time over which the student’s abilities were likely hampered by the medical condition (e.g., recurring and severe back pain over a two-month period would likely have a more adverse effect on studies than a single episode of back pain requiring bed rest for a week).

    • the fitness of the student to resume studies (it is in the student’s best interest not to return to studies prematurely).

  2. Confidentiality: The University respects the confidentiality of all material contained in medical notes. Physicians are strongly advised to retain a copy of the medical note in case the medical note needs to be verified or reissued at a later date.