I'm meeting with the Student Ombuds, to deal with bullying and harassment situations with my school. I've gotten legal involvement, and this is with respect to my disabilities.

I take exams with accommodations, due to some disability and following treatments and require extra time to finish my exams. Occasionally, I request extensions too due to hospitalizations or treatment or what not. This may cause resentment amongst certain professors, though most are very understanding. I am empathetic as to the school's need to be strict with deadlines, as university is preparation for the workforce. However, the types of harassment that I have faced in the past two months have been egregious and have caused me health problems. I've had professors randomly give me a bunch of 0's on assignments simply because they didn't like me, amongst other concerns.

I'm wondering how I may prepare for this appointment, so that I may make the most out of this appreciated opportunity to document my concerns and to seek a resolution. I crowdsourced a few opinions, and peers told me to print off specific emails and to have specific circumstances to outline instead of being vague. I'll definitely do this. I'm just scared and anxious about it all, thus seeking second opinions. Thank you.

Update: Thank you so much for any insights, as I’m taking notes and I’m taking feedback seriously. The country is Canada where it’s easy enough to get into university but also easy to get weeded out in stem fields type of thing. University rankings don’t matter much here but mine is a reputable enough institution.

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    Stick to documented facts. Don't go near "because they didn't like me". Commented Apr 17, 2023 at 1:12
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    I am very sorry this is your experience, many of us in academia strive for a much better environment than this. However, I want to emphasize @EthanBolker's comment. Do try to be calm and stick strictly to the facts that you can prove. Don't say "I think they are taking revenge" or "they don't like me", let the facts tell the narrative. e.g. "They gave me zeroes in my assignments even if I had an extension approved" etc. Everything you say, make sure its a fact. That will help you get heard. Commented Apr 17, 2023 at 15:45

1 Answer 1


I agree with the peers who said to prepare something in writing. I suggest you write down:

  1. When the problem happened.
  2. What happened.
  3. Where it happened.
  4. Who was present.
  5. What you want to happen now.

I suggest you bring a person you trust who will be able to remain calm.

If your disability was previously documented, it might be helpful to bring a copy of that documentation.

You can explain why you did things that you did, but I suggest you do not comment on why other people did what they did. It's often difficult to distinguish between malice, incompetence, and bureaucracy; It's often unimportant which one is the reason for certain actions.

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    Even when describing clearly abusive behaviour, you can stick to the facts. "And then so-and-so called me a disgrace to humanity" is pretty compelling on its own, without speculation about the person's motives.
    – wizzwizz4
    Commented Apr 17, 2023 at 12:19
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    "...incompetence..", yep, and I'll explicitly add gross ignorance (about medical conditions) to the list. Although my experience is in high school and not academia in this respect, during the years I've had colleagues who weren't able to understand the implications of some student's medical condition even when a specialist physician had explained the problem! Sadly there are people who just "don't get it". Commented Apr 17, 2023 at 14:37

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