Academic Counselling Newsletter

January, 2020



Dear Arts and Humanities Students, 


WOW! Can you believe it is 2020? We sincerely hope you all had a restful break, and are excited to be back on campus! It can be a rough transition to come back after a long break, so we want to remind you to be kind to yourself and make sure to plan your time well. Take advantage of the new year to get organized and plan some time for self care as well, even if that means a few minutes a day of mindfullness, or a gym membership to burn some stress. 

  In this month’s edition of the Newsletter:

      1. Important Dates
      2. Academic Counselling: What we do
      3. Missed classes
      4. If you're struggling
      5. Grades
      6. Wellness events


1. Important Dates 

  • January 6 - Classes resume 
  • January 14th - Last day to add a second term half course or second term full course 
  • January 22nd - Last day to recelive applications for ugrad/Prof graduation online: In Absentia February Convocation
  • January 31st - Deadline to apply for relief against a final grade in a first-term course
  • Intent to register opens

You can find a more comprehensive list of important dates in the academic calendar on the Western website:

2. Academic Counselling: What we do


Remember that we are here to assist you with your Academic needs and can guide you to the right areas for other needs.

 What we can assist with:

  • Academic advice, course selection
  • Course changes, withdrawals, special permissions
  • Progression requirements and mandatory withdrawal
  • Requests for academic accommodation for major illnesses, compassionate issues or other problems that would affect your attendance and performance in courses
  • Requests for special examinations or extensions for term-work
  • Appeal procedures/interpretation of Senate regulations
  • Graduation issues

As always, if you feel your mental health is suffering, reach out to someone. You are not alone. Our Campus Services are here to assist –

For full information about our services and procedures, please take a look at our website:


  3. Missed Classes, Tests, Assignments, Exams, etc.

If a situation arises in which you miss a significant amount of classes, or any assignment, test, exam, etc., you should seek official accommodation. Usually students are not excused from any course responsibility without a professionally documented reason, i.e., illness, death in the family, legal commitment, etc. Any request for accommodation must come through the Faculty counselling office in University College room 2230. If you have to miss an exam, assignment, etc., due to illness, you should see a doctor right away, both to be treated and to document the illness. For documentation, don't wait too long since some doctors will not issue notes to excuse you from an exam if you aren't exhibiting any symptoms of the illness that caused your absence. In turn, you must submit your documentation to your academic counsellor no later than two business days after the date specified for resuming responsibilities.

By the way, for medical accommodations, you must use the Student Medical Certificate that can be found at the following link:

 Please also see the information about the new initiative - Self Reported Absences. It is very important you read the information and know exactly what this initiative is about.

4. If You're Struggling

Should you run into any difficulties whatsoever during the course of your studies, please don't hesitate to communicate with your instructors if it involves a single course. If the difficulties affect more than one course, or you feel that they are too personal in nature, then please stop by the Academic Counselling Office in University College room 2230 to see one of our academic counsellors, Amanda Green and Ben Hakala. Anything you relate to our counsellors is done so in private and any dealings with course instructors, or any other individual, is done in complete confidentiality. There are stringent privacy laws in this province and we adhere to them. Counsellors are also able to direct you to the appropriate support services if you require counselling that goes beyond academic counselling.

You do not need an appointment to see a counsellor. Just check in with Carrie at the reception desk when you arrive. We have drop-in office hours Monday through Thursday from 9:30-noon and 1-4, and on Fridays from 9:30-noon.

Please check our website for any changes to drop-in hours

 5. Grades

If you are uncertain why you received the grade you received on a piece of work or for a course, you may ask your professor for an explanation. If her/his explanation doesn’t satisfy you, then you have every right to appeal to the undergraduate chair of the department offering the course. This is your education and you have a right to an explanation of how you were evaluated in a course. Ultimately, you have the right to submit a formal appeal if you do not believe that your work has been assessed fairly.

The appeal process is spelled out in the University Senate regulations and is a confidential process. Ordinarily, the instructor is not involved in the appeals process.


6. Western Health and Wellness


Happy 2020 everyone!

Your Academic Counselling Team,

Dr. Jan Plug, Ben, Amanda and Carrie