Our Service Model
We operate from a self-help paradigm, where we seek to empower and equip students to deal with their matter themselves via the provision of policy and strategic advice, and feedback. In some instances, such as for formal University hearings, we also provide advocacy and representation.
We see building students’ capacity to negotiate the systems and processes involved in a University education, as part of that education.
The Service is primarily delivered by four full time professional advocates, and a Student Services Officer. The Service is available to over 60 000 enrolled students, so the demand on our Service can be extremely high at times. For this reason, and to ensure everyone seeking assistance gets the most appropriate and timely assistance, we ask that you contact us via the form below and you will receive a response within one working day.
We are working remotely due to COVID-19 restrictions. Our on-campus activities and drop-in clinic will not be operating until further notice. Please note there will be no interruptions to our levels of service to you and we are still willing and able to support you any way we can. To get our assistance please send us a message through our contact form below and we will be in touch with you as soon as we can.
The first contact allows us to provide immediate preliminary advice, and if necessary, to assess the best way to provide further assistance to you. For this reason, providing detailed information regarding your issue, the steps you have taken to resolve it to date, and including as much relevant documentation as possible will assist us to respond quickly and effectively. Relevant documentation may be letters that your faculty have sent you, copies of emails or other correspondence, and/or support documents from a health care practitioner, psychologist or counsellor.
If you are responding to a notice from the University, or submitting a complaint/grievance, in the first instance we may provide you with preliminary advice via email to assist you to begin a rough draft. We can then review and provide feedback on this over email in order to make best use of appointment times.
Depending on your situation, needs and preferences, and our availability – we can provide advice via email, zoom, or telephone.
We close for some public holidays and over the Christmas/New Year break.
We are currently experiencing an extraordinarily high demand on the service and we will respond to you as soon as we possibly can. Please read this information before you submit this form to see if any of the following circumstances relate to you.
This is to give you some direction to get started with your issue so we can help you quickly and more effectively.
We will be prioritising students who have followed our instructions and have urgent deadlines.
If you need to respond to something from the University, we are encouraging students to make a start on drafting written submissions in the first instance, which we can then provide feedback on.
SHOW CAUSE NOTICES
If you are contacting us because you have noticed a sanction on your enrolment in relation to your academic progress, or received a Show Cause notice to attend a meeting, you should read the advice and information on our website which relates to this process: umsu.unimelb.edu.au/support/advocacy/academic-progress. There is a specific video for how this process has changed in Semester 2, 2020, so watch this first.
If you have received a Misconduct Allegation – please review the advice here: umsu.unimelb.edu.au/support/advocacy/misconduct/. You should also make a start on your written submission so we can review everything together to help you faster.
If a decision has been made by a CAPC or a Misconduct Committee and you wish to appeal it, please review our dedicated Appeals advice page for guidance and a template to help get you started: umsu.unimelb.edu.au/support/advocacy/appeals/.
We will endeavour to respond to all enquiries as quickly as possible during this busy period. Information on a range of issues is available by clicking on the links on the right hand side of this page (or under our form if you are on your mobile).
Please don’t forget to hit submit when you have filled out the form! You should receive a confirmation email after successful submission.