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 use the following process:
- To get the ball rolling, you can either:
- contact us via the form below and you will receive a response within one working day; OR
- attend a 10-15 minute consultation during our Drop-In Clinic between 2-4 PM Monday to Thursday on Level 4 Union House at the Parkville campus.
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, instant chat, face to face, or telephone.
We close for some public holidays and over the Christmas/New Year break.
Please note that the UMSU Advocacy Service will be closed from Monday 23 December 2019 – Wednesday 1 January 2020. We will re-open on Thursday 2 January, and will resume our Drop-In Clinic on Monday 6 January, with normal operating hours. We will respond to all enquiries from Thursday 2 January.
The University is also closed from Wednesday 25 December – Wednesday 1 January. All administrative processes cease during this time.
Please don’t forget to hit submit when you have filled out the form! You should receive a confirmation email after successful submission.