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Is death of a friend an extenuating circumstance?

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
My university doesn't seem to think so. So as soon as one of the board of studies has a friend die, I'm going to go and party in their office, because of course, they're not going to be affected by it (well, they don't have any evidence to say that they are upset after all).

Absolute cunts. Jobsworths of the very highest order.

edit: I didn't want them to bump my grades up either, just let me retake any that I faile dmiserably because I wasn't sleeping and because I had a panic attack before one and my mind went black (I know that sounds bullshit, but try having a friend die then exams a week or two later, yea fun)

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    In which case, get a note from your GP to that effect.

    Whilst I don't doubt that you have genuine extenuating circumstances, I know that far too many people use the deaths of people close to them, be them real or made up, to get their grades bumped up. Sad but true.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    so do i get a note from my GP, to guess whether I was upset a few weeks ago or not? It's crap. I even said on the form - I even asked my college admin - I am upset. What proof do you want?
    Hi Richard
    thanks for the e-mail. there is little in the way of documentary evidence that can be provided unless you seek counselling help with the grieving process.

    Should I explicitly say that I don't want them to bump my grades up? That I just want the opportunity to resit the exam when I am not upset? Change the questions, change the source material, test me. I gave them ample opportunity to state what was necessary but they just replied saying no.

    They said for my open assessment, I had already received an extension, so no further help was needed. That's shocking, because I received an extension of one day to go to the funeral (it was the day before hand in). They don't seem to even be able to think.

    edit: e.g. solution
    ok two exams that were discrete exams I got good grades in. Other two exams 58 and 26 respectively, one solution would be that because they're part 1 or 2, discard the part 1 and i get my whole grade contribution for that module from the one exam. then, if i am stupid and no good at the subject, i do crap, but if it was the case that i was just fucked over because of everything going on, then my grades go up, but not by some arbitray +5% +10% that they probably would do because they don't seem to do a lot of creative thinking
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Definitely start grievance proceedings. That's ridiculous. What is it possible to get ext. circumstances for at your uni? There should be a way to show it's not even-handed.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    piccolo wrote: »
    Definitely start grievance proceedings. That's ridiculous. What is it possible to get ext. circumstances for at your uni? There should be a way to show it's not even-handed.

    Thanks Piccolo. It's nice to have some.. sympathy I guess you could put it. Even if it was the right decision (I am no expert on what is, I would have assumed a death was, but I may be wrong), the dismissive nature of the letter - like beaurocrats who gleefully inform you your application for whatever has been denied because the corrent sub-pro-formas were not sign off by the relevent persons within the stated date in accordance with regulations 251 subsection 5 part 4. :confused:

    Anyway, they had ample opportunity to ask me to provide evidence, but I don't think they could be bothered. I emailed immediately:
    my supervisor
    my dept. admin
    student union academic and welfare officer

    Guess which one has promptly replied in a very reassuring way? Unfortunately not uni. Tho she was very angry and says something similar to you in that it's not even-handed if they don't even look at it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    ShyBoy wrote: »
    I wasn't sleeping

    When you were having this sleeping problem, was your GP aware of this?
    Whilst I don't doubt that you have genuine extenuating circumstances, I know that far too many people use the deaths of people close to them, be them real or made up, to get their grades bumped up. Sad but true.

    Seconded.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I would have thought any mental or emotional issues would need a letter from a gp. Of course this has to be done at the time, otherwise anyone could make it up afterwards. Also, I guess the reason they only gave a day's extension is because they don't expect people to be doing the essay the night before?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I only asked for a days extension, because I wouldn't be in York the day before hand in to finish / prep. I think they would have given me longer if I had asked for it (the actual admin staff are v. nice) but I did not want to appear to milking my friends death.

    Melian, no, my GP wasn't aware of this. I don't even have 'a' GP as such. Just the uni health centre, which I've been to once for migraine in my two and a bit years at uni.

    So when you guys have a family member die, you go to your doctor to get checked over? Hmm. If you see above, the admistrative contact said
    Hi Richard
    thanks for the e-mail. there is little in the way of documentary evidence that can be provided unless you seek counselling help with the grieving process.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Melian wrote: »
    Seconded.

    If you're going to second it, answer this for me:

    do you think my circumstances aren't warranting of some consideration? I mean, if that's the case, then I will hold my hands up and say I disagree, but fair enough.

    The problem is they are just not considering my circumstances, because the little bit of paper they want to put in their file is not there. I can't prove grief.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    ShyBoy wrote: »
    If you're going to second it, answer this for me:

    do you think my circumstances aren't warranting of some consideration? I mean, if that's the case, then I will hold my hands up and say I disagree, but fair enough.

    Yes. Whilst there are people who do take the piss on things like this, you donb't come across as one of those.

    Would you not be able to retake them in summer, just because you've done badly? (like we could for A Levels) Or does uni not work like that?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Uni lets you retake because you must pass each year, but it can't be used to increase your average. Since I am a 60%+ student getting low grades is worrying because it brings my average down. So it has a real impact on my overall performance.

    Imagine if I got to my final grading and was then one or two marks below the threshold for the next grade, all because of this.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Do you have someone that's akin to a tutor?

    That's the person you need to go and see, and you need to sit down with them and talk about it face to face. Questions to ask would be things like what would have happened if I had been too upset to turn up and take the exam at all?

    Generally uni's need advance or contemporary notification of any problems, rather than retrospective claims so one of your stumbling blocks is likely to be if you didn't tell them before you took the exams that you were having problems.

    The death of a friend isn't in itself worth of extenuating circumstances, however your response to it may well be, if that makes sense. Some people can separate the various parts of their life up to the extent that they'll do their exams regardless of anything else that is going on around them, others (most people) don't and thus bereavements will affect their work. It's not unreasonable for the uni to want some kind of evidence that your work was being affected and it's always worth remembering that in the future, be it going to talk to your supervisor/tutor about the impact x y or z is having on your work, or your GP about panic attacks or not sleeping.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    So like, in the end, turned out they wanted documentary evidence that a) my friend had died and b) that I was affected by it (like a counsellors note). I wasn't prepared to get this evidence, well for one I've not been to a counsellor (although I've been pestering them because I feel really angry these days like I've been abandoned by the university - my tutor hasn't emailed me all term despite my trying to get in touch with him - the academic and welfare student union rep is too busy running an election campaign to get in touch with me.. i feel very isolated like they've got my tuition fee and now don't give a flying fuck what i do or how i am).

    Also didn't want to ask friend's parents for a death certificate, how inappropriate would that be? With an average of 50% it's not degree-ending, if I try hard I can still pull it up, it's just frustrating that on these what I would consider exceptional and rare circumstances they couldn't compromise with me a bit. Not sure who to complain to these days tho, because it seems everyone has stopped answering my emails and stuff.

    I'm probably having a stressful period and blowing things out of proportion in my mind. You know sometimes when you are feeling sensitive and someone says something and you think in your head 'they hate me' when really it was all in your head? I'm probably like that with my uni right now. But it does feel like they're all just assholes who don't care. Anger anger anger rage rage rage etc.

    Am considering going to the counselling service to get these feelings off my chest but.. sigh. I said last year how things felt sometimes like they always went shit from shit - and scary monster said it was probably fine but just the way I looked at things or whatever - but like, last year I lost my girlfriend, my motorbike, couldnt find work, etc. then this year friend passes away, fucked up exams, department says dont worry we will help but then says sorry we need evidence, and sometimes it just feels like however much you try to make things go right for you (and they do sometimes, recently ran a very successful LAN party!) sometimes it just keeps blinding you with random unfortunate events.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'm very sorry to hear of all this, ShyBoy. It's well documented that I haven't gone to university myself, but I'm in touch with a lot of people who have gone/are there now. I've heard endless stories about braindead university bureaucracy, but this is definitely the worst one yet. So they wanted "documentary evidence" that your friend had died and that you were affected by it, did they? I wonder what the hell these braindead morons expected you to do - perhaps they expected you to take your dead friend's body down to the university to show to the department? Some of these useless jobsworths don't know whether they're born, never mind anything else.

    Disappointing as it is to say it, universities don't seem to give a shit about their students. As long as you keep paying your fees and as long as you keep spending your money, they don't give a crap what happens in between. It appears you are nothing more than a number to them. The mere idea that someone would fake a death in order to gain "preferential" (for want of a better word) treatment from a university is utterly ludicrous, and these stupid rules are completely inappropriate. York, you are meant to be a university, not a fucking bank.

    The worst thing is, universities will continue getting away with exploiting students and treating them like shit because they know they can get away with it. Students aren't going to sue their universities after all - they don't have the money to do it, for starters. And of course, there are no votes in government telling universities to raise their game, is there? Hence the vicious circle of mediocrity continues.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thanks SG. It just makes me so angry sometimes. After my sending a rather pathetic sounding "please get back to me" email to the academic and welfare student union rep, it turns out she is doing some work on my behalf. She has spoken to the pro vice chancellor about me and certain things. But from what she has said it sounds more like I won't get any special allowance but in future they may give people that allowance or something.

    I'm just gonna keep making a racket and getting on people nerves I reckon, it's all I can do.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Glad to hear the Union are coming through after all. You should talk to them about academic grievances, though, see if you can contest a result if they continue to refuse help.q
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    ShyBoy wrote: »
    I'm just gonna keep making a racket and getting on people nerves I reckon, it's all I can do.
    If kicking up a massive fuss is the only way to get things done, so be it. Stir up an absolute hornet's nest and people will normally do what you want them to - partly to shut you up. Either way, these complacent bastards need reminding of who pay their wages. They serve you, not the other way round.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It's almost funny this bit that comes next. Apparently, due to procedure, they can't process it without evidence.

    If I get my mum to write a letter, that counts as evidence, and then they can look at it. They might throw it out but at least they look at the circumstances and what has happened and think about it for 5 minutes. This was the 'procedure' I was told to follow by the universities own staff.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    A final update on this really.

    "The Sub-Committee accepts that the circumstances were sad but are not considered to be outwith normal life experiences. Accordingly, no further action can be taken."

    I guess it's inconsistent with what the student union person said that she could see it had affected me and that it would not be unusual for such circumstances to be mitigated, but at least they've sat down and thought about it. Part of me thinks they just want it out of their hair.

    I guess get shafted is part of ordinary life experiences, but onwards and upwards! I'll be happy to draw a line under this now.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Sounds like a good plan to me.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    That does all suck big ball bags but, some battles aren't worth fighting as they cause you more injury than good. Drawing a line under it, letting it go, is the best idea.

    x
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Personally, I still think that stinks. You should take it to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator.

    This isn't the first time I've heard that the standard of welfare at York University is awful, I have to say. You would have got mitigation without too much fighting at my university, that's for certain. A few more people taking stuff to the OIA should help concentrate a few minds.

    If you don't want to I fully understand, but I think a stand needs to be made sometimes.
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