The Students' Union Advice Refresher

Top issues

  • Academic cases – appeals, plagiarism and cheating, mitigating circumstances, etc.
  • Complaints – against University staff, services, or the institution as a whole
  • Housing – contract checking, disputes with landlords or housemates, repairs
  • College and University disciplinaries
  • (Worth noting that a high number of students also report with mental well-being issues, whether self-reported or diagnosed – particularly the case with academic issues)

How do we work?

  • Students can email us, call us, or drop-in at the front desk. If it’s a quick enquiry, we’ll aim to answer it straight away or within 24 hours. If it requires a follow-up, we’ll set the student up with a 30-minute appointment
  • As dual-role staff, we aim to respond to enquiries and book appointments in afternoons only, but if a student needs immediate attention we will see to them as soon as possible
  • Any Lancaster student can access the Students' Union Advice service about anything that’s gone wrong with their study or home life – even if we can’t directly help them, we can signpost them to the right service
  • Because we’re separate from the University, we can objectively support students in cases against the University, particularly regarding academic issues, complaints, disciplinaries, or instances where the University acts as a student’s landlord
  • We are a confidential, impartial, and free service. Students will be offered confidential interview space (the advice pods) and we’ll never discuss their case outside of the service without their consent. Our confidentiality and service provision policies are available online for anyone to read
  • Depending on the case, we can support students in different ways – giving them general advice and information, helping them to draft forms or letters, attending hearings or meetings with them, etc.

What can you do?

  • If you’re in a student-facing role, you’ll build trusting relationships with a variety of students. If a student comes to you about an issue related to their welfare or academic life that you’re unsure about, send them our way
  • We’re all here to support students, and advice doesn’t stop with us – if you think a student might need to reach out for help, don’t be afraid to ask how they’re doing or give them some useful advice or tips