Report #270

DATE: November 7, 2002
PARTIES: Ms M.S. (The Student) v. UTSC


Hearing Date(s): October 10th, 2002

Committee Members:
Professor Emeritus Ralph Scane (Senior Chair)
Mr. Brian Davis
Professor David Jenkins
Professor Gretchen Kerr
Mr. Sean Mullin

Secretary:
Mr. Paul Holmes (Judicial Affairs Officer)

In Attendance:

For the Student:

Ms M.S. (The Student)

For UTSC:
Associate Dean Ian McDonald

UTSC – request to defer a one–year suspension – suspension served – request that notation of suspension be removed from transcript – personal and medical factors – most factors present prior to drop dates – parents' divorce could not have been foreseen – disadvantaged position exacerbated by news of parents’ divorce – request for deferred examination not easily granted – situation faced by the Student in short time between receipt of news and beginning of examinations militated against denying relief – Divisional Appeals Committee not able to weigh credibility – appeal allowed in part – suspension to be treated as deferred – no basis for removing notice of deferred suspension from transcript

Request to defer a one–year suspension imposed for failure to attain a required minimum GPA. The Student had served the suspension. The Student requested that the notation of the suspension be removed from her transcript. Due to visa difficulties, the Student could not start her courses until a month into the term. The Student claimed that marital difficulties between her aunt and uncle, whom she was living with, created a difficult study situation, that she had a long commute to UTSC, that she suffered from migraine headaches and that just prior to her examinations, she learned that her parents were proposing to divorce, and shortly thereafter, that her father had been hospitalised. The Committee found that the news concerning her parents' situation was not something she could have foreseen prior to the drop date. While the other factors did not justify relief in themselves, they did put the Student in an already disadvantaged position when she received the news about her parents. The Committee found that the Student could have applied to defer all of her examination but that relief should not be denied on that ground because of the Student’s situation in the period between receipt of the news and the beginning of examinations and the fact that deferred examinations would not have been easily granted by the Faculty. The Committee observed that it had the advantage of seeing and weighing the credibility of the Student during her oral testimony, where the Divisional Appeals Committee did not have the opportunity because the University's notice of the forthcoming hearing did not reach the Student. Appeal allowed in part. The Committee ordered that the one year suspension be treated as deferred, and the Student's academic status in future years established accordingly. The Committee found no basis for removing the notice of the deferred suspension from the official transcript, and the request to do so was denied.