Advocacy Office FAQ

The SFSS Advocacy Office

What is the Advocacy Office?

The Advocacy Office was reopened in June 2021 after several years without such an SFSS service. Because the office and its coordinator are funded solely by SFU undergraduate students and not the University, the SFSS Advocacy Coordinator is on the side of students first and foremost and will do their best to ensure you know your rights and responsibilities and are treated fairly.

The vision for this office follows a three pronged approach to improve the student experience at SFU. Focus areas are Academic and Institutional Advocacy for when a student is in conflict with the University, Personal Advocacy for when a student needs access to resources, services or supports on an individual level and Policy Advocacy for when an existing policy creates systemic issues affecting all students and needs to be amended, revised or abandoned.

Key guiding principles are honesty, confidentiality, and consent before initiating any action on your behalf. Nothing will be repeated or done with your express consent unless required by law.

What can I get help with?

Just about anything! Because the office is new, we are still working to define its role, but we imagine the following list will be the most common reasons for students to seek out assistance from the Advocacy Office.

  • Help dealing with allegations of Academic Integrity Policy violations
  • Help dealing with allegations of Student Conduct Policy violations
  • Coaching and helping students prepare for conversations with supervisors, instructors or administrators, or to prepare for formal hearings;
  • Help in appealing University decisions
  • Help dealing with conflicts
  • Grade appeals
  • The Advocacy Coordinator might participate in meetings between students and college officials as a witness and support person
  • Referrals for campus and external resources
  • Help navigating the complexity of SFU and its systems, policies, and procedures

What can’t the Advocacy Coordinator do for me?

  • Offer legal advice or answer legal questions;
  • Offer mental health counselling;
  • Represent students to the University in a legal capacity;
  • Testify in place of you at an academic hearing or other administrative tribunal convened by the University;

Where is the office?

Room 3301 in the New SUB just next to the SFSS Staff offices on the Burnaby Campus.

Trish hopes to be available regularly on all 3 campuses on a rotating schedule in the near future, and is available to meet virtually until then.

How do I reach the Advocacy Coordinator?

For the moment, email is the best option: studentadv.coord@sfss.ca.

In the near future (September 2021), we hope to have online appointment scheduling with options for virtual and in-person meetings available.

Who is the Advocacy Coordinator?

Trish Everett (she/her/hers) holds a PhD from the University of British Columbia in Theatre Studies (History and Literature). Her research there focused on Socialist propaganda theatre in the Depression-Era in British Columbia.

While at UBC, Trish served as President of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 2278, UBC’s Educational Workers’ Union and it was here that she honed her skills negotiating and advocating for the interests and needs of students. Her MA was in Applied Theatre from the University of Arizona with a focus on Political Theatre and Democratic Pedagogy to empower student voices in the classroom. Her BA, from Linfield University in McMinnville, Oregon, was in Political Science and Theatre Arts. Her academic interests include many combinations of politics and the arts, labour history, youth movements, and social justice and equity.

Trish is a dual citizen who grew up in Washington State and moved to Vancouver, BC in 2010. At varying points she has been a domestic student, an international student, a member of university staff and university faculty at various institutions and brings these experiences to her role as Student Advocacy Coordinator.

Her hobbies include knitting, sewing, embroidery, quilting, weaving, dyeing, painting, plants, musical theatre, theatre, costuming, drag and she currently serves as Secretary of the Board for the Vancouver Men’s Chorus.

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