What is an appeal?

An appeal is a request that a decision maker at a higher-level review and potentially change a decision made by someone at a lower level.

Before starting an appeal, be sure you know: 

  • The policy under which the decision was made
  • If there is an established appeal procedure under the policy
  • The deadline for starting an appeal
  • The reason for the decision
  • Who has the power to overturn or change the decision

The rules and process for appealing are governed by policy. Normally the appeals process assocaited with a policy will outline the grounds for an appeal, the formal (and informal, where applicable) levels of appeal, deadline(s) for filing an appeal, and any relevant restrictions.

Simply disliking the decision, wanting another chance, believing that it was not your fault, being worried about your future or what your family will think are not reasons for an appeal.

 

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If the President has suspended you from the College for a violation of the Student Code of Conduct, the Academic Integrity Policy or the Sexual Violence or Misconduct Policy, or if your credential has been denied or taken away for disciplinary reasons, there is a different appeal process. See Appeal to the Board of Governors below.

If you received a sanction for an Academic Integrity Violation (loss of marks, an educational sanction or something similar), you can appeal this decision if you think it there was a error in the decision.

Step 1

How to start

Review policy F1004 Academic Integrity so you understand the rules and what the College can and can not do under the policy. Check timeframes and deadline for appealing.

Review any letters or written decisions you received from the Office of Student Conduct and Academic Integrity. This may include earlier decisions and the reasons for them.

Reflect on your reasons for thinking the decision was incorrect. Take time to think about what reasons might be accepted for an appeal. The only reasons (grounds) for an appeal are:

  • What you did was not a violation of the Academic Integrity policy.
  • You have information that wasn’t available when the original decision was made, and this would change the decisions
  • The process for making the decision didn’t follow the policy or procedures and if it had, there would have been a different decision.

If you haven’t shown that you have grounds for an appeal, your request will be denied.

Step 2

Ask for a Decision Review

Within 5 business days of getting an Academic Integrity decision, write to the Office of the Vice President, Students and:

  • Give your name, student ID number and the course name and number.
  • State that you are asking for a Decision Review
  • Explain what decision you are appealing. Include a copy of the decision letter.
  • Explain your reasons (grounds) for thinking the decision was not correct.
  • Explain what you would like from the appeal.

If you have other information or documents that you think are important to your appeal, include them with your request.

The Office of the Vice President Students will review the appeal, and within 5 business days, will tell you if your request will go ahead.

If you have given good reasons (grounds) for the appeal, your appeal will be sent to the Division Chair/Program Manager of the department where the incident occurred. The Division Chair/Program Manager will give you an answer in writing within 15 business days.

If you haven’t shown that you have grounds for an appeal, your request will be denied.

Step 3

Ask for an Academic Integrity Appeal Panel

If you think the Decision Review didn’t follow the correct procedure, you can appeal this if you can show how the Decision Review made a mistake. Simply not liking the decision, is not a reason for an appeal to an Academic Integrity Appeal Panel.

Within 5 business days of getting the decision from the Decision Review, write to the Office of the Vice President, Students:

  • Give your name, student ID number and the course name and number.
  • State that you are asking for an Academic Integrity Appeal Panel.
  • Explain what decision you are appealing.
  • Explain your reasons (grounds) for thinking the correct process was not followed.
  • Explain what you would like from the appeal.
  • Include a copy of the Decision Review letter and any other information you think will support your appeal.

The Office of the Vice President Students will review the appeal, and within 5 business days, will tell you if your request will go ahead.

If you can not show that the decision review made a procedural error, your appeal will be rejected.

If you can show procedural error, the Office of the Vice President Students arrange for a panel of 3 academic professional and a chair who have not been involved in the situation before.

The panel will look at all the information they have. They might ask to meet with you if they need more information. The panel will send you a written decision within 15 business days.

There is no other appeal after this.

If you think a decision made by the Office of Student Conduct and Academic Integrity for non-academic behaviour was wrong, you can appeal this decision.

Step 1

How to start

Review policy E1003 Student Code of Conduct, or B3009 Sexual Violence or Misconduct as relevant, so you understand the rules and what the College can and can not do under the policy. Check timeframes and deadline for appealing.

Review any letters or written decisions you received from the Office of Student Conduct and Academic Integrity. This may include earlier decisions and the reasons for them.

Reflect on your reasons for thinking the decision was incorrect. Take time to think about what reasons might be accepted for an appeal. The only reasons (grounds) for an appeal are:

  • What you did was not a violation of the policy.
  • You have information that wasn’t available when the original decision was made, and this would change the decisions
  • The process for making the decision didn’t follow the policy or procedures and if it had, there would have been a different decision.

If you can not show that your situation meets the reasons (grounds) mentioned above, your appeal will be rejected.

Step 2

Ask for Decision Review

Within five (5) business days of getting a Student Code of Conduct decision, write to the Office of the Vice President, Students asking for a Decision Review:

  • Give your name, student ID number and the course name and number.
  • State that you are asking for a Decision Review
  • Explain what decision you are appealing. Include a copy of the decision letter.
  • Explain your reasons (grounds) for thinking the decision was not correct.
  • Explain what you would like from the appeal.

If you have other information or documents that you think are important to your appeal, include them with your request.

The Office of the Vice President Students will review the appeal. If you haven’t shown that you have grounds for an appeal, the Office of the Vice President Students will deny your request and let you know within 5 business days.

If you have shown acceptable reasons for an appeal, the Office of the Vice President, Students will let you know within 5 business days and may do any of the following:

  • Ask to meet with you before deciding. If you are asked to a meeting, you can have a support person come with you if they are a member of the College community and haven’t been involved with the situation before.
  • Ask for more information from you or from others within the college or from professional outside the College.
  • Decide based on the information they received from you.

After reviewing the information, the Vice President Students will let you know the decision in writing within 15 business days.

There is no other appeal after this.

If you think the Leave of Absence Review Committee’s decision to place you on a leave of absence is wrong, you can appeal this decision.

Step 1

How to start

Review policy E1006 College Mandated Leave of Absence so you understand the rules and what the College can and can not do under the policy. Check timeframes and deadline for appealing.

Review any letters or written decisions you received from the Leave of Absence Review Committee. This may include earlier decisions and the reasons for them.

Reflect on your reasons for thinking the decision was incorrect. Take time to think about what reasons might be accepted for an appeal. The only reasons (grounds) for an appeal are:

  • Essential information that wasn’t known at the time is now available and this could alter the decision.
  • There is clear evidence that the people making the decision were biased.
  • The decision was too harsh given your situation.

If you can not show that your situation meets the reasons (grounds) mentioned above, your appeal will be rejected.

Step 2

Within 7 days of getting a decision letter from the Committee, write to the Office of the Vice President, Students asking for to appeal the decision. If you can’t make your appeal within seven days, write to the

Office of the Vice President, Students explaining why and ask for more time.

In your letter:

  • Give your name, student ID number and the course name and number.
  • State that you are asking for a Decision Review
  • Explain what decision you are appealing. Include a copy of the decision letter.
  • Explain your reasons (grounds) for thinking the decision was not correct.
  • Explain what you would like from the appeal.

If you have other information or documents that you think are important to your appeal, include them with your request.

The Office of the Vice President Students will review the appeal. If you have shown acceptable reasons for an appeal, the Office of the Vice President, Students will do any of the following:

  • Ask to meet with you before deciding. If you are asked to a meeting, you can have a support person come with you if they are a member of the College community and haven’t been involved with the situation before.
  • Ask for more information from you or from others within the college or from professional outside the College.
  • Decide on the information they received from you.

After reviewing the information, the Vice President Students will let you know the decision in writing.

There is no other appeal after this.

If you think Accessibility Services made a mistake about your requested academic accommodation(s), you can ask them to reconsider the decision.

Step 1

How to start

  • Review policy, E1005 Services for Students with Disabilities.
  • Review any letters or email you received from the department.
  • Reflect on your reasons for thinking the decision was incorrect.

Step 2

Contact your Accessibility Consultant and explain why you think the decision was incorrect and ask the consultant to reconsider. If you have documentation that the consultant hasn’t received, provide this to your consultant. You consultant will let you know the answer either verbally or in writing.

Step 3

If your consultant hasn’t changed the decision, write to the Director explaining why you believe the decision was incorrect. Provide good reasons for why you think this way. Ask the Director to reconsider the decision. The Director will review the situation and provide an answer in writing.

Step 4

If you disagree with the Director’s decision, you can ask the Associate Vice-President Students (AVPS) to review the Director’s decision.

You must write to the Associate Vice-President Students (AVPS) explaining why the decision was incorrect, give good reasons as to why you think this way, and give a copy to the Director, Accessibility Services.

The Associate Vice-President Students (AVPS) will review the facts and give you a written answer.

Only the President can suspend a student from the College or deny or rescind a student’s credential for a violation of college policy.

If you have received a letter from the College saying that they have received a recommendation for your suspension, or that your will not receive your credential, or have your credential taken away, the letter will explain the reasons for the recommendation and what to do next.

You will have a chance to write to the President if you disagree with the recommendation.

Step 1

Review the policy so you understand the rules and what the College can and can not do under the policy.

Carefully review the letter from the President’s office. Give special attention to the reasons for the recommendation.

Reflect on the reasons for the recommendation. In most situations, the recommendation will include details of the earlier incidents and how you had been given opportunities to change.

Step 2

Write to the President explaining why you should not be suspended or have your credential denied or rescinded. Check the deadlines.

You will need stronger reasons than just wanting another chance, or that a suspension will have a harmful effect on your life and family.

Step 3

The President will consider all the information, including your letter, and decide. The President’s office will send you a written decision.

If you think the President did not follow the policy when making the decision, you can request and appeal by the Langara College Board of Governors.

If the President has suspended you from the College for a violation of the Student Code of Conduct, the Academic Integrity Policy or the Sexual Violence or Misconduct Policy, or if your credential has been denied or taken away for disciplinary reasons, this is the appeal process.

 

The Board will only consider appeal based on procedural grounds. Procedural grounds include:

  • The student did not receive information about the case and related concerns.
  • The student was not given an opportunity to respond to the concerns.
  • The student was not provided with reasons for the decision.
  • There is clear and demonstrable evidence that the policy or procedures were not followed in a way that significantly affected the outcome of the decision.

The Board will not consider an appeal for any other reason. They will not consider appeals where you simply disliking the decision, want another chance, believe that what happened was not your fault, or are worried about your future or what your family will think.

You will have to show that you have tried all other appeals within the College before you can appeal to the Board.

Step 1

Within 5 days after getting the President’s decision, write a letter and send it to the Langara College Board of Governors.

In your letter:

  • Give your name and student ID number.
  • State that you are asking for an Appeal t the Board of Governors
  • Explain what decision you are appealing. Include a copy of the decision letter.
  • Explain your reasons (grounds) for the appeal.
  • Explain what happened over time (chronology), showing how and where the errors were made.
  • Explain what you would like from the appeal.
  • Include any documents that support your position and explain how the documents are linked to your position.

The Board will select a board member(s) to review your appeal. The Board will send you a written decision after reviewing your appeal.

There is no other appeal after this.

This guide does not explain Registrar and Enrolment Services (RES) appeals and requests. RES appeals and requests include such things as Admissions Appeals, Late Withdrawal (including medical withdrawal), Deferred Standing Request, Final Grade Appeal, Refund Appeals, and others.

For information, please contact:

General Inquiries Email: geninfo@langara.ca

General Inquiries Phone: 604.323.5241

Registrar’s and Enrolment Services Appeals Team: appeals@langara.ca

Send your appeal to the Office of the Vice President, Students

avps.office@langara.ca

Adapted from: http://www.wikihow.com/Write-an-Appeal-Letter

There are situations at college where an appeal of a decision might get you that second chance. Be sure to make the most of it. A letter of appeal is a business letter that must be clear and well written. To write a professional, effective letter of appeal, follow these step-by-step instructions. Your letter should be brief and concise. One or two pages should be sufficient to outline your position. Avoid irrelevant or tangential material.

Before you begin

Before you submit your appeal, take some time to consider your options and gather information. This will help you evaluate your case and prepare. When you file an appeal, you must demonstrate that the decision you are appealing meets the criteria for an appeal. A simple disagreement with or dislike of the decision is not usually enough to support an appeal. It may be a waste of your time if you do not have a valid reason for submitting the appeal. Questions to consider:

  1. What are your options if you do not appeal?
  2. Does my position meet the criteria for an appeal?
  3. Based on the available evidence, do you have a strong enough argument to make your case?

Step 1

Format your letter in business style. From top to bottom, the layout of a business style letter should be as follows:

  • Heading. If you already have letterhead paper use it; otherwise, create a letterhead at the top of your document with your name, student number, address, phone number, and e-mail address.
  • Date. When dating your letter, write out the full date instead of using an abbreviated form, for example "June 16, 2022" or "16 June 2022" and not “6/12/22” or “Jun. 12, 2022”.
  • Inside address. The inside address includes the recipient's full name and title, the name of the institution, agency or company, for which he or she works, and the mailing address.
  • Reference line. This line starts with “RE:” followed by the subject of the letter. For example, “RE: Appeal”. You may wish to include your name and student number, case number, or other information that will allow the reader to identify you.
  • Salutation. The salutation should use the recipient's title and last name, for example “Dear Dr. Smith" or “Dear Mr. Smith”. If you are unsure of the recipient's gender, you should use his or her first and last name, for example “Dear Kim Smith”. If you are unsure of the recipient’s name, "Dear Sir(s)/Madam(s)", or “To Whom It May Concern” are appropriate salutations.
  • Body. Leave some space here, as this is where you will write the actual letter. Where possible, use headers to alert the reader to the content of the paragraph.
  • Closing. Like the salutation, the closing should be formal. "Sincerely," "Cordially," and "Respectfully," are all appropriate choices.
  • Signature block. Leave about four lines of empty space after the closing, so that you can sign your letter after having printed it, and then type your name exactly as you will sign it. For example, if you use your middle initial when you write your signature, use your middle initial in your typewritten name.
  • Notations. If you intend to enclose additional documents with your letter, note this a few lines beneath your signature with the word “Enclosure” or “Enclosures”.  Additional documents should be directly relevant to the arguments stated in the body of the appeal letter. Extraneous or irrelevant documents will not support your case. Number any pages you attach to your letter. Numbered pages help when you refer to content in your additional documents.

Step 2

Write an opening paragraph. You will want to establish the purpose of your letter in the first paragraph. This paragraph is not the place to get into the details. Briefly explain what decision or action you are appealing, give the name of the person who made the decision, and the date on which it was made. You also want to indicate the outcome that you desire.

Step 3

Write the second paragraph. This is where you tell your story. Explain what happened, in chronological order, or the order it happened. Be sure to include dates and all relevant facts. You should also mention any documentary evidence that you have and/or witnesses to the events and make specific reference to any supporting documents you have enclosed. As you describe what happened, be very careful to control your tone, it should remain calm, professional, and factual.

Step 4

Write the third paragraph. This paragraph should be used to describe why your appeal should be granted. Explain why what happened was unfair, against the rules and regulations, and/or why you should be given another chance. Where appropriate, quote and/or refer to guidelines, rules, policy section, appeal criteria or statutes that support your claims.

Step 5

Write a closing paragraph. In this paragraph, you should summarize your main points and state what it is that you want. For example, if you are asking for a change in a ruling made against you, you will want to clearly state that you are requesting a reconsideration of that ruling. You should then thank the reader for his or her time spent considering your appeal. This can be done with a simple sentence such as, “Thank you in advance for your time and consideration.”

Step 6

Print and sign your letter.  Attach all documentary evidence mentioned in the letter and make a copy of everything for yourself. Mail or email the complete package to the recipient.

I don’t understand the policies or procedures. Is there someone who can help?

If you would like to see what college policies apply to you situation, you can contact the Langara Students Union (LSU) Ombudsperson. The LSU Ombudsperson may be able to meet with you to help you understand Langara policies and procedures.

The appeal information talks about reasons or grounds. What does this mean?
You can appeal certain college decisions, but only for specific reasons. These reasons are also called “grounds”. For an appeal to be successful, it must be linked to one of the grounds for that specific appeal procedure. If you send an appeal, but do not explain how your situation meets the grounds it is based on, the appeal will not be successful.

I didn’t mean to violate college policy. Can I appeal?
No. If the only reason you did something was because you didn’t know about the policies or didn’t mean to break the rules, this is not grounds for an appeal. Breaking the rules has an impact on the college community. You may still be found responsible for a violation of college policy whether you meant to break the rules or not.

What is NOT considered grounds for an appeal?

Here are examples of what is not considered when reviewing appeals:

  • Not meaning to break the rules
  • Not knowing about the college policy
  • Requests for leniency not based on grounds
  • Requests for second chances to not violate policy
  • Personal pleas based on the impact (financial, educational, family-related, etc.) that the decision has had on the student

How detailed should my appeal be?
Appeals are an opportunity to have someone look at your situation. It is important not to rush an appeal or send one in panic. Take time to write your appeal so it is clear, well-written and brief – one to two pages should be enough. Ensure your appeal is respectful, professional, and truthful. Be careful to review the tone before sending.

I’ve been asked to attend an appeal panel or meeting. Can someone come with me with me?
Yes. You can ask a support person to attend an appeal panel or meeting with you. A support person does not take part in the meeting. A support person must be a member of the college community and have had no earlier involvement in this matter. The LSU Ombudsperson may be able to help you.

I want to send an appeal, but it’s passed the deadline. Can I still request an appeal?

You must write to the Vice President Students and ask for an extension of time. You will have explain why you could not send the appeal on time. The Office will decide if they will give you extra time.

I’ve been found responsible for a policy violation and my appeal was denied. Will this incident appear on my student record?
Most policy violations do not appear on official student records, including transcripts. Record of violations will only appear on a student’s transcript if the student is suspended from the College.