Do You Know Your Rights?
There are a lot of policies, rules and regulations that students are expected to know and follow at Mount Royal University. But along with those rules come rights for students. Check the MRU Academic Calendar for a guideline of general student rights and responsibilities. It is important to be aware of your student rights so you can exercise them when the need arises.
SAMRU’s Student Advocacy Coordinator can provide confidential support and options to individual students dealing with academic and non-academic advocacy concerns. If you have questions about the topics below, or another concern affecting your success at Mount Royal, visit the Student Advocacy Office in Z303 to learn more.
Discrimination, Harassment and Human Rights
Mount Royal University is committed to providing a respectful and inclusive environment for all members of the campus community. Students are to be treated equally and fairly at MRU; discrimination, harassment (including personal and sexual harassment), bullying and cyberbullying will not be tolerated. Forms of harassment which are not permitted include remarks, jokes or actions which demean or humiliate another person and which deny an individual their dignity and respect.
MRU’s Code of Personal Conduct requires respect for the dignity of all persons, fair and equitable treatment of all persons, and respect for diversity. Under the Alberta Human Rights Act and MRU’s Diversity and Human Rights Policy, no individual at MRU shall be discriminated against on the basis of race, religious beliefs, colour, gender, physical disability, mental disability, ancestry, age, place of origin, marital status, source of income, family status or sexual orientation.
For more information, contact MRU’s Diversity and Human Rights department.
Code of Student Conduct
MRU’s Code of Student Conduct provides a comprehensive list of student rights, including the right to have classroom standards for academic and non-academic conduct communicated without ambiguity; to have consequences for a misconduct allegation communicated clearly; to have classroom standards applied with consistency and fairness; to the presumption that you have not committed misconduct until otherwise established by impartial decision-maker(s) on a balance of probabilities; to have your case heard by impartial decision-makers in a reasonable time determined by the Office of Student Conduct; to be informed of the services of a Students’ Association representative; to be accompanied and assisted through the process by a person of your choice; to choose whether or not to present evidence, call your own witnesses, and ask questions of witnesses, and the right to have access to appeal procedures as described in the Code. The Code of Student Conduct deals with issues of both academic dishonesty and non-academic misconduct.
To learn more about MRU’s Code of Student Conduct, click here.
Withdrawal from a Course
Students have the right to drop out of a class without it affecting their GPA. If you drop a course during the ‘Add-Drop period,’ you can receive your tuition back minus applicable fees as determined by Mount Royal. There is no transcript notation when you drop a course by the end of the add-drop period.
You can also withdraw from a class later in the semester up to and including the Withdrawal Date as listed in the current MRU Academic Calendar. Although there is no tuition refund for a Withdrawal, officially withdrawing from a course results in a ‘W’ grade on your transcript. To withdraw you must complete a Course or Complete Withdrawal Request Form and submit it to the Office of the Registrar before the deadline.
Under very special circumstances, a Withdrawal with Cause (WC) grade may be granted to students after the official Withdrawal Date. Students who find themselves in specific circumstances of illness or severe emotional distress must complete a Request for Late Withdrawal Form and a Release of Information for Instructors Form prior to the last day of classes and submit the applicable supporting documentation.
To learn more about withdrawing from a course, check MRU’s Academic Calendar.
Final Grade Appeals – Undergraduate Courses
Students have the right to appeal a final grade and the responsibility to prove there is merit to do so. How you prove this merit- verbally or in writing-is your choice, aside from the required forms applicable at different levels of the process. Mount Royal revised the final grade appeal process recently, so make sure you’re up to date on these changes and details before you launch into a final grade appeal.
There are three separate processes for final grade appeals, with different levels, and criteria for each:
1. Appeal of Final Grade: Undergraduate Courses
2. Appeal of Final Grade: Continuing Education & Extension
3. Appeal of Final Grade: Languages Institute
The focus of the following information is based solely on a final grade appeal in undergraduate courses. For information on the differences between these appeals and the processes for each, check out this copy of the final grade appeal policy on the MRU website.
Students have the right to a final grade appeal up to 20 days after the last day of the final exam period of the semester the applicable course was offered in. Don’t delay! If you’re past this deadline you will likely lose the right to appeal the grade in that course.
Students can appeal the final course grade by following a sequence of steps. At every step, there are different criteria or grounds to consider. These criteria are based solely on evaluation of academic work. For example, allegations of unfair assessment based on non-academic factors are not dealt with in this policy. There are 3 sequential levels for an appeal of final grades in undergrad courses:
Level 1: Involves you having a discussion/consultation with your course Instructor. (No filing of forms is required at this level)
Level 2: Involves a final grade review with the Chair of the Department where the course is offered (See Registrar’s Office for the applicable form)
Level 3: May involve a final grade appeal to the Dean of the Faculty to which that Department is connected (See Registrar’s Office for the applicable form)
As a student, you have the right to one additional level of final grade appeal beyond the instructor level. This means that you may not have the right to appeal at every level, as long as your appeal was heard at level one and either of level 2 and/or 3.
The Student Advocacy Coordinator or his/her designate can assist you as a consultant at any stage or level of this appeal and can often be a support/meeting attendant, with informed consent of the other party, at your meeting. Meeting attendants are not meant to be advocates for your case, but rather are there to help you feel a sense of support with their presence at your meeting while you self-advocate and share your appeal grounds. The Student Advocacy Coordinator can help you fine tune your self-advocacy skills. You have the right to choose the self-advocacy skills you want to work on from the services offered and to set up an appointment as soon as you can by contacting SAMRU’s Student Advocacy Coordinator here.
For more information and additional details on Final Grade Appeals for Undergraduate Courses, check out SAMRU’s Student Advocacy Resource Library.
Students also have the right to defer final exams. There is an application process to be followed and you must have a valid reason for deferring an exam. These include: personal illness, bereavement, personal injury, religious observances, unavoidable and unanticipated demands in caring for dependents, more than two final exams scheduled on one day, and two or more exams being scheduled at the same time. You may also defer if you become ill in the middle of writing a final exam. Remember, it is up to you to exercise this right – if you have grounds to defer an exam and do not apply before or during the exam, you may not be granted a deferral!
To learn more about Exam Deferrals, check MRU’s Academic Calendar.
Academic standing is a way of indicating whether a student is meeting MRU’s academic standards. Your academic standing may affect your eligibility to register in credit courses. There are several academic standings at MRU which can be assigned to you based on your cumulative grade point average (cGPA). These include Good Standing (cGPA of 2.0 or higher), Academic Warning, Academic Probation and Requirement to Withdraw.
As a proactive best practice, consider checking your academic standing after each semester. Even if you are placed on academic warning, probation, or requirement to withdraw, you may potentially have your status upgraded if you show significant improvement in your cumulative GPA. If you are placed on Requirement to Withdraw, you may see holds on your account which prevent you from registering in credit courses. There is a formal process for appealing a Requirement to Withdraw status, and timelines may be tight. Consider consulting with the Student Advocacy Coordinator for additional support and information.
To learn more about Academic Standing, check out SAMRU’s Student Advocacy Resource Library.
For more information on student rights, including information on complaints and grievance processes not discussed above, contact SAMRU’s Student Advocacy Coordinator. The Student Advocacy Coordinator can provide confidential assistance and support for students as they navigate university processes.
Student Advocacy Coordinator, Z303
Phone: (403) 440-7792