Report #271

DATE: November 8, 2002
PARTIES: Mr. V.T., (the Appellant) v. the Faculty of Arts and Science

Hearing Date(s): October 30, 2002

Committee Members:
Professor Clare Beghtol
Professor Sherwin Desser
Professor Luigi Girolametto
Mr. Colm Murphy

Judicial Affairs Officer:
Mr. Paul Holmes

In Attendance:
Mr. V.T., the Appellant
Associate Dean Sue Howson, Faculty of Arts and Science, University of Toronto

Faculty of Arts and Science – late withdrawal without academic penalty – time spent caring for ill family member and little experience with ways of a Canadian university – the Student finished the course, passed the course and sought only to drop the course with lowest grade – circumstances were beyond the Student’s control, unduly intrusive on the Student’s ability to study, and became progressively and unexpectedly worse past drop date – unlikely to seek help available due to focus on ill family member and newness to Canadian university – appeal allowed – grade in the course vacated and replaced with WDR

Request for late withdrawal without academic penalty from one course, based on compassionate grounds. The Student claimed that he spent time caring for his ill father, who was visiting from Russia, and by the time he realized that he was unable to continue in the course, it was too late to drop it. The Student claimed that he had little experience with the ways of a Canadian university, and he did not realize that he could petition for late withdrawal until well after having completed the course: The Student passed the course with a “D+” final grade. The Committee found the Student’s petition for late withdrawal violated several key university procedures. The Student finished the course, he passed the course, and he only sought to drop the course in which he received his lowest grade. The Committee considered the exceptions to the drop date regime and found that the Student’s situation was one in which already–existing circumstances became significantly more severe and were not anticipated or easily accommodated. The Committee accepted the Student’s claims that the circumstances in the relevant period were beyond his control, unduly intrusive on his ability to study, and became progressively and unexpectedly worse well past the drop date. The Student’s pre–occupation on his father, coupled with his newness to a Canadian university, made it unlikely he would seek the help available to him. Appeal allowed. The Committee ordered that the grade in the course be vacated and replaced with the non–grade report WDR.