Avoiding Conflict: Preventing Problems
A little organization and thinking ahead can help keep things going smoothly. Remember, if you do have a problem that you can't solve, call the Student Resolution Center.
- Read the Daily Toreador every day. As soon as you arrive on campus, pick up a copy and look through it as you are waiting for class to start, riding the bus, eating lunch - anytime you have a spare minute. Lots of people on campus are trying to get information to students that students need to know. One of the most popular methods of doing this is either through articles or ads in the daily newspaper.
- Read and get to know the contents of the Catalog and Code of Student Conduct. You are responsible for knowing University policies and procedures. Also, keep a copy of the academic calendar handy or purchase a daily planner from the Tech Bookstore that has the academic calendar printed in it. Not knowing is not an acceptable reason for missing a deadline and missed deadlines can cause serious problems!
- Keep copies of all papers that you receive (e.g. receipts, syllabi, account statements, advising worksheets, letters). Keep the envelopes as well in case you need to verify the address that the university sent something to or the date it was postmarked. Put all of these in one place like a file folder, designated drawer or notebook so that you can easily find them.
- Be sure that your address is always current on Raiderlink. All other offices use that address to reach you by mail. And, open and read your mail! The University doesn't send you letters for fun. They are sent to inform you of something!
- Always ask for the person's name when you request information from an office on campus. Write it down along with the date and time of the conversation. This will prevent you having to ever say "they said" when trying to re-visit the issue.
- If you are unsure of something or think that there might be a problem, find out about it immediately. Don't wait to check it out. It may get worse.
- It pays to be assertive when asking for information or clarification but it never pays to get angry. If you aren't satisfied with an answer politely ask to speak to the person's supervisor.
- Before you sign anything, read it! Be sure that you can fulfill the terms of the agreement. Pay very close attention to financial aid agreements and housing contracts.
- Carefully read your syllabus in each course. Check for an attendance policy. If the policy is vague or there isn't one, ask your instructor about it. What happens if you miss a class, miss an exam, are late to class or turn in an assignment late? If part of your grade is based upon class participation, what does that mean? These may affect your grade significantly and you need to know what their expectations are.
- Be aware that e-mail is a form of written correspondence. Don't send anything by e-mail that you wouldn't want "on the record". If you make an agreement with an instructor through an e-mail exchange print it out and save it. Faculty members have many things to remember and they may not remember what they wrote in an e-mail to you.
- If you drop a course after the deadline to receive an automatic W and you think that you are going to get a "W" rather than a "WF", ALWAYS verify that with the instructor and document the conversation. Don't assume that the instructor is going to give you a "W".