Student Petitions FAQs

Q: Why do I have to pay a fee?
Q: What if I’m not sure whether my request is eligible for petition?
Q: Can I present my case in person?
Q: Can I make more than one request in a single petition?
Q: Will my petition be approved?
Q: Who decides whether or not my petition is approved?
Q: Who will have access to the information accompanying my petition?
Q: What should I include in my letter?
Q: How much additional documentation should I include?
Q: What should be included in non-medical letters of support?
Q: I’m petitioning for an extension to submit an application. Should I include that along with the petition?
Q: What should my medical documentation show?
Q: Do I have to use OCAD U’s Student Medical Certificate?
Q: Who should I ask to complete the Student Medical Certificate?
Q: If I'm registered with the CSD, do I need to submit a Medical Certificate?
Q: What could hold up my petition?
Q: Will the fee be refunded if my petition is denied?
Q: Will I be told why my petition was not approved?
Q: What if I disagree with the grounds on which my petition was denied?
Q: What if I obtain additional documentation related to a denied petition?

Q: Why do I have to pay a fee?

A: The fee is an administrative charge that covers the cost of processing the petition documents. While some universities do not charge a petition fee directly, that cost is likely covered elsewhere in a student’s ancillary fees.

Q: What if I’m not sure whether my request is eligible for petition?

A: The student may contact the Records Administrator prior to submitting a petition to discuss its viability. Please email regservices@ocadu.ca.

Q: Can I present my case in person?

A: While you can come in to discuss your case with the Records Administrator, you cannot present yourself to the decision-making committee. This is not practical due to the limited amount of time committee members have to consider a large number of petitions and the need for a paper trail. As a post-secondary student, you should be able to compose an effective one-page letter describing your case.

Q: Can I make more than one request in a single petition?

A: You can include multiple requests of a single type (e.g. course adds, withdrawals, or extensions to submit work), but we discourage the inclusion of different types of requests in a single petition (e.g. a late add and an extension). This can significantly increase the complexity of your petition and slow down the approval process. If there are unrelated requests in your petition, supported by different grounds, it will be returned.

Q: Will my petition be approved?

A: We cannot say before receiving and investigating a petition whether it will be approved. There are many factors that influence the decision. You may inquire as to the viability of your petition prior to submitting it, but this will only confirm that we can accept it, not that it will be approved.

Q: Who decides whether or not my petition is approved?

A: Student petitions are considered by the University Registrar along with two or more of the University's Deans. This committee will consider what is in the best academic interest of the student filing the petition, within the confines of University policies and fairness for all students.

Q: Who will have access to the information accompanying my petition?

A: Your petition letter and other documentation will only be viewed by the Records Administrator, the University Registrar, the Associate Deans, Academic Affairs, and the Dean, Graduate Studies. The information you provide will not be disclosed to other persons or departments without your written consent, unless required by law.

Q: What should I include in my letter?

A: Your petition letter should include information related to the course(s) involved (term, course code, section, title, and instructor) and a summary of the extenuating circumstances that are the grounds for your request. Stick to the facts of the matter. Your petition will be processed more quickly if you include all the relevant facts in your letter, backed by supporting documents.

Q: How much additional documentation should I include?

A: Only include documentation necessary to support your grounds for petitioning as explained in your letter. The authority and verifiability of the documentation is more important than the quantity. Please note that you should not include information of an overly sensitive nature – such as psychiatric assessments or medical diagnoses – unless it is specifically requested.

Q: What should be included in non-medical letters of support?

A: Any letter should clearly indicate who the writer is, his or her credentials, and what the relationship with the student is (e.g., counselor, course instructor). The content should be directly relevant to the student’s petition request – not a general character reference – and the writer should have first-hand knowledge of these circumstances.

Q: I’m petitioning for an extension to submit an application. Should I include that along with the petition?

A: In most cases, yes. If you’re petitioning for an extension to submit an independent study application, change of major or similar form, you should include this along with the petition in order to expedite the process. If your petition is approved, we will proceed directly to processing the accompanying application.

Q: What should my medical documentation show?

A: Your medical documentation should confirm that your capacity for taking action or making decisions was negatively impacted by a health-related issue. It is important that the event the petition concerns took place within the period your medical documentation covers.

Q: Do I have to use OCAD U’s Student Medical Certificate?

A: While it is preferable that you do, we can accept other medical documents, as long as they are signed by a doctor and verifiable. The Student Medical Certificate provides the precise information that we need, while other medical forms may not.

Q: Who should I ask to complete the Student Medical Certificate?

A: Your medical certificate should be signed by a physician, psychiatrist, surgeon, dentist, or clinical psychologist, as appropriate to the nature of the medical issue. While it is preferable that you see a physician at the Health & Wellness Centre on campus, we understand that this is not always practical or that you have a practitioner more familiar with your medical history. If you were seeing a practitioner elsewhere during the period in question, that may be the best place to have your medical certificate completed.

Q: If I'm registered with the CSD, do I need to submit a Medical Certificate?

A: If you are petitioning on medical/disability grounds and have already provided to the CSD medical documentation that relates to the petition, you do not need to submit a Student Medical Certificate. If you disclose that you are registered with the CSD, we will follow up with them to confirm this and to determine whether you had academic accommodations in place that relate to the petition.

Q: What else could hold up my petition?

A: Ensure that your student account is clear and free of any holds (tuition, library, outstanding documents, AV desk, etc.). You should monitor your OCAD U student email and respond promptly to any requests for information related to your petition. If all holds are not cleared and required/requested documentation received within one month of submission of a petition, that petition will not be approved and will be deemed closed.

Q: Will the fee be refunded if my petition is denied?

A: The petition fee is a non-refundable administrative fee that covers the cost of processing the petition documents. In some cases the fee may be refunded when a petition is deemed invalid, but this is rare.

Q: Will I be told why my petition was not approved?

A: When you are notified of the petition decision you will not receive an explanation. You can request additional details from the Records Administrator, but these will only be provided if available and at the Records Administrator`s discretion.

Q: What if I disagree with the grounds on which my petition was denied?

A: A petition decision is final. If you believe that there was a procedural irregularity in the petition process, you may appeal the decision to the Senate Student Appeals Committee. A written request must be delivered to the Student Advising Centre no later than 15 business days after the date the decision was sent to you.

Q: What if I obtain additional documentation related to a denied petition?

A: In some rare cases, you may ask that a denied or cancelled petition be reconsidered based on new information. This would have to be information supporting your case that was not previously available. As always, it should be documented and verifiable. You may contact regservices@ocadu.ca to inquire about reopening a closed petition.