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Appeals – Form C: Appeal to the Senate Board for Student Appeals

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An appeal to the Senate Board for Student Appeals (SBSA) is the final step a student may take within the University to secure a remedy.

The decision from a lower level stays in effect unless and until it is overturned on appeal.  This means that submitting an appeal will not prevent the decision being appealed from being carried out.

In any appeal, the Appellant (the student) shall bear the onus of showing, on the balance of probabilities, that an injustice or error has occurred at the level of the decision being appealed.

The function of the SBSA is to determine, on the basis of the evidence presented to it, whether the initial decision maker acted or decided the matter in an unfair, unreasonable or unjust way.

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Decisions that may be appealed

Below are some of the decisions that may be appealed to the SBSA:

  • Academic Integrity Policy – decisions made by a Faculty Adjudicator
  • Form B Formal Inquiry decisions
  • Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities – decisions of the Dean of Students that impose a sanction of suspension, expulsion, or involuntary withdrawal (for violation that do not involve Sexual Violence, Discrimination, and/or Harassment.

Required information

The Form C will ask for the following information:

  • a statement (description) of the grievance;
  • the precise grounds for the appeal;
  • the relief sought;
  • preference for closed or open hearing;
  • names of witnesses to be called and ‘will say’ statements of such witnesses (prepared by the Appellant);
  • name of Appellant’s advisor or counsel, if applicable (include the contact form);
  • a copy of the decision being appealed; and
  • any documents the Appellant wishes to submit as evidence in support of the appeal.

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The Tribunal

The hearing of an appeal shall be before a tribunal consisting of at least three members or auxiliary members of the Senate Board for Student Appeals, one of whom shall be a student member.

Scheduling the hearing

Please note that Hearings are normally scheduled anywhere from three to six months after receipt of the appeal. However, some Hearings may be scheduled beyond six months from receipt.

Hearings via Videoconferencing

Zoom is the online platform that McMaster uses for conducting hearings remotely.