Report #335

DATE: June 1, 2009
PARTIES: Ms. S. A. (the Student) v. UTM


Hearing Date(s): February 6, 2009

Committee Members:
Mr. Tad Brown, Chair
Professor William Gough
Ms. Jacqueline Greenblatt
Professor Joel A. Kirsh
Professor Elizabeth M. Smyth

Secretary:
Ms Nancy Smart

Appearances:
Ms. S.A., the Student Appellant

For the University of Toronto at Mississauga (UTM):
Professor Gordon Anderson

UTM – late withdrawal without academic penalty – awareness of rules for dropping courses – students not eligible to withdraw from a course after the final exam has been written – new evidence – no evidence that impact of parent’s ill health became worse after the drop date – heavy course load attempted despite Faculty advice to lighted load – forced to move during exam period due to robbery – grounds not raised at previous level and not supported by evidence – additional evidence insufficient – appeal dismissed

Request for late withdrawal without academic penalty from one course. The Student wrote the final exam and failed the course. The Committee considered the Student’s evidence and her experience of withdrawing from courses in previous years, and found that she had sufficient information about her progress in the course to make an informed decision, and was aware of the timelines and rules for dropping the course. The Committee found that the Student chose to write the final exam because she believed that she could pass. The Committee observed that students are not eligible to withdraw from a course after the final exam has been written. The Student claimed that she had additional household responsibilities as a result of her mother’s ill health. The Student introduced new evidence in the form of a doctor’s letter indicating that her mother had been severely depressed. The Committee found that there was no evidence that the impact of the parent’s ill health had become worse after the drop date. The Student claimed that her heavy course load was a contributing factor on her poor performance in the course. The Committee found that the Student was advised by the Faculty to take a lighter load but that she chose to take six courses because she desired to complete her studies quickly. At the hearing the Student claimed a new contributing factor to her poor performance: there had been a robbery at her house which forced her family to move out during the exam period. The Committee found that the Student did not raise the grounds at any previous level and did not present any supporting evidence of the event. The Committee found that the additional evidence provided at the hearing was insufficient and that there was no evidence of circumstances occurring after the drop date which would warrant granting late withdrawal without academic penalty. Appeal dismissed.