All students at Capilano University are members of the Capilano Students’ Union. Each student pays a membership fee to the CSU – this fee makes it possible for us to provide student services, and to support advocacy and lobbying efforts with the university and all levels of government to ensure that post-secondary education is accessible for everyone.

The CSU’s advocacy efforts include advocating on a number of issues on behalf of the entire membership, as well as assisting individual students with their own self-advocacy when it comes to issues like harassment, student behaviour, conflict, and academic grade appeals. Navigating the university’s policies and procedures can be confusing, but we are here to help.

The type of assistance you can receive from the CSU includes basic explanation of university policies and processes and guidance in locating the most current information; review and feedback on communications; meeting assistance, including pre-meeting prep and accompanying you to meetings in order to provide personal support, including note-taking.

If you need help, have questions, or even If you aren’t sure if there is an issue, feel free to contact [email protected] to discuss your situation.


It is important to know your rights and responsibilities as recognized by the university and, in particular, to be familiar with the relevant academic policies and procedures, that govern your student experience here at Capilano.

Some of the more commonly accessed policies include the cheating and plagiarism policy and the senate student appeals policy, which outlines when and how students can appeal academic decisions or discipline; other related policies, which are good to be familiar with, if appealing a grade, include the senate student appeals committee mandate and structure and the senate student appeals committee procedure. It is important to note that there are very short timelines to appeal a grade and it is in your best interest to begin the process as soon as possible after receiving your grade.

Write down all the circumstances of your situation while they are fresh in your mind. Create a timeline of all the events relevant in your case, including when you were notified of any discipline, if applicable, against you. Document the names of everyone involved. Get copies of all communications to support your claim, including emails, notes, text messages, Facebook posts and messages, tweets, and so on.
Many people make the mistake of going into meetings unprepared with no clear plan. Prepare ahead of time and plan what you will say by making notes to take with you.

Identify your supporters – who do you trust and feel comfortable talking to? Meeting with your instructors to discuss issues such as unfair treatment or with the university under such circumstances as an academic grade appeal tribunal can be stressful so it’s important to have people you can turn to for help.

Role-playing is a great way to prepare. Ask trusted friends to give you feedback. By anticipating different situations, you can raise your level of confidence.

Confirm the date, time, location and who will be at the meeting with your point of contact. Be sure you know exactly where the location is – room numbering in some areas and of the campus do not follow a logical order.

Be sure you know what time you need to leave and get to the meeting a few minutes early – be prepared for any potential traffic issues along the way. Pack everything you need to take with you, or at least have a list to use, before you leave to make sure you have all you need.

Most importantly, ask yourself what the purpose of this meeting is. Be clear in your own mind why you are going into this meeting and what outcome you’re hoping to achieve, which will help keep your meeting on track.

If at anytime through the process you require assistance, please contact the CSU.


Lori KosciuwDirector, Advocacy