Student Advocate

What is the Student Advocate?

The Student Advocate helps students navigate educational, personal, and other campus obstacles that impact successful completion of their academic goals. The Student Advocate links students with appropriate university and community resources, and collaborates with faculty and staff in the best interest of the students and follows through to bring efficient closure to student concerns. There are times when students may experience a number of different issues that impact their ability to be academically successful such as illness, death of an immediate family member, accident, critical issues such as sexual assault, harassment, domestic violence or other emergency situations. The Student Advocate works with students and their families to identify options and strategies while offering information and guidance. We respect the rights of students within the confines of the law and university policy. During difficult times students should be empowered with the resources to make informed decisions and take a proactive role in the problem resolution process.

How Can the Student Advocate Help?

Compassionate Withdrawal – Students experiencing extenuating circumstances beyond their control that impact their ability to complete courses and perform academically may utilize the compassionate withdrawal process. The Student Advocate can help provide guidance on navigating and streamlining the process.

Absence Notification – The Student Advocate can facilitate the absence notification process for students. Absences which warrant such responses may include, but are not limited to: student’s hospitalization, alleged victim of a crime, or death of a family member or close friend.

Course Incomplete - Students unable to complete course work because of conditions beyond their control may request an incomplete in a course, so that the work can be completed after the end of the semester. The Student Advocate can help the student contact their professor and request an incomplete in accordance with the policy detailed in the UofL Course Catalog.

Student Complaints – The University has a written student complaint process as required by SACSCOC. The Student Advocate is responsible for coordinating a centralized process for the collection of complaints, dissemination of complaints to the appropriate individuals for resolution, and logging complaints in the student complaint log.

Title IX & Pregnancy Advocacy – The UofL Student Pregnancy Accommodation Policy was approved by the Board of Trustees in 2019 with the purpose of ensuring the protection and equal treatment of pregnant students and students with pregnancy-related health conditions. The policy is in line with Title IX which requires schools to provide pregnant students with services and accommodations equal to those provided to non-pregnant students. The Student Advocate can assist with navigating these policies, communicating with professors, and facilitating conversations on pregnancy related accommodations.

Professor Notification – The Student Advocate can help notify professors about situations which may impact a student’s performance in class. Please note, any adjustments to the attendance policy, assignments, and make-up work are up to the discretion of the professor. The purpose of the notification is to inform about the situation and initiate a conversation between the student and professor.

Navigating Policies – If a student needs help navigating one of the many University policies and procedures, the Student Advocate can help with this process.

Connecting to Resources – The University and greater Louisville community have numerous resources available for students but finding the right one can be difficult. The Student Advocate can listen to a student’s concerns, research resources, and help with getting them connected to that service.

General Concerns – Students who aren’t sure where to go, how to get help, or even what they need are encouraged to contact the Student Advocate.

How do I contact the Student Advocate?

The Student Advocate is located in the Dean of Students Office, SAC W301. The office is open Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Please call 502-852-5787 or email to connect with the Student Advocate, Samantha MacKenzie.