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Student Ombudsperson

Student Ombudsperson Services (S.O.S.) provides services to students who experience administrative, academic, or personal road blocks. S.O.S. is here to help you achieve your personal and academic goals.

The word "ombudsman" comes from Scandinavia during the 19th century, where the term applied to a public official appointed to investigate citizens' complaints against the government.

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  • Listen to your complaint
  • Clarify university policy
  • Answer questions concerning appropriate channels
  • Assist with problems that have not been resolved by other offices
  • Make referrals to individuals or departments more expert in a specific concern
  • Help define options that are available to you
  • Open avenues of communication
  • Offer a safe place to discuss your concerns

How do I reach the Ombudsperson?

Call 757-683-3442 and ask to speak to the student ombudsperson.

SOS Office

What can the S.O.S. office help me with?

The S.O.S. can assist with course withdrawals, absence notifications, crisis assistance, emergency grants, and withdrawal from the University.

Where is the S.O.S. office located?

2008 Webb Center (above the Student Health Center)

ODU Cares and the Care Team

What is ODU Cares?

ODU Cares is an extension of Student Ombudsperson Services.

Why was the Care Team developed?

The Care Team was established to provide a university-wide system of care and support for students who experience an unexpected crisis.

What is the role of the Care Team?

The Care Team's role is to determine effective strategies for addressing concerns and connecting students with the appropriate resources.

How to Submit a Concern

How do I submit a concern regarding the wellbeing of an ODU student to the Care Team?

Please complete a Care Team Referral form.

Absences

I've missed multiple days of classes, are there any options?

Request an absence notification to be sent to your professors, if you have been out for a week or more of classes.

Absence Notification: When do I need an absence notification?

  • Extended periods (at least one week) of physical or mental illness of the student (including hospitalization)-documented by a physician's statement or other medical support on official letterhead
  • Extended periods (at least one week) of physical or mental illness of the student's immediate family member (including hospitalization) who is dependent upon the student for support-documented by physician's statement or other medical support on official letterhead
  • Death of a student's immediate family member with documentation.
  • Involuntary changes in employment schedule or military orders.

Will the Student Ombudsperson write an absence note for me if I missed class because of a headache?

S.O.S. will not provide an absence notification for brief, self-limiting illnesses. It is understood that brief self-limiting illnesses will be common during the normal course of the school year and may be cared for by the student him/herself. It is the student's responsibility to notify instructors of illnesses and make arrangements regarding missed assignments.

What type of documentation do I need to include with my requests of absence?

Doctor's note/letter, accident report, military orders, obituary

How long do I have to get the notification after I am absent?

You have five business days to request an absence notification.

Will the notification excuse my absence?

No, an absence notification is just to notify the professor that there is documentation in the S.O.S. office giving the reason why you were out. The professors will then determine whether to excuse the absence or not.

What forms do I need to fill out to get an absence notification?

Fill out the Absence Notification form, then print it out. Or you can pick up a copy in 2008 Webb Center.

What happens once I turn my documentation in?

The Ombudsperson will review the documentation and determine if it can be approved. If it can she will notify all professors and the student that a request for an absence notification is being processed on the students behalf.

Registration Holds

How can I see my holds?

Use the Student Records link in the secure area of Leo Online to see your holds (View Holds). Or, you can get there from the Check Your Registration Status screen. Other pages in Leo Online also have a View Holds link.

How do I get the holds removed?

A list of holds that prevent registration is provided on this web site. See Holds for information on removing holds

Course FAQs

How do I add and drop classes?

Visit Leo Online or the University Registrar.

I tried to drop a class but my only option is "withdraw." What's the difference?

Dropping a course by the published DROP deadline removes it from your academic transcript and you are not charged for the course.
After the DROP deadline and through the withdraw deadline for each session (or its equivalent for non-semester courses), signatures are not required to withdraw from classes. A grade of "W" will be assigned for withdrawals after the drop deadline through the withdraw period. You can use LEO Online to withdraw until mid-semester (unless you have a financial hold). Students with financial holds cannot drop or withdraw online and must submit a registration form to the Registrar's Office (or the site director) to be dropped or withdrawn. Students who withdraw will be responsible for some or all of the tuition charges, according to the tuition refund deadlines published in the Academic Calendar and the web site of the Office of Finance.

Once the withdraw deadline has passed, students cannot withdraw online, and must complete the Request for Exception -- Permission to Withdraw After Deadline. Students must be prepared to document an exceptional circumstance supporting the need to obtain permission to withdraw after the deadline. Permission to withdraw after the deadline requires two signatures and must be submitted to the Office of the University Registrar no later than the last day of classes. A separate form is required for each course from which you withdraw.

Students considering withdrawing from courses should first consult the Financial Aid Office to avoid any negative impact on your financial aid, and as a courtesy, let the instructor know you are withdrawing.

What if I need to withdraw from ALL my classes after the withdraw deadline?

If a student has extenuating circumstances and needs to withdraw from all of his/her classes after the last day the student can withdraw on Leo Online for the semester, he or she should contact Student Ombudsperson Services (SOS) to request an administrative withdrawal. This website includes a Care Team Referral form, e-mail address, and forms for requesting administrative withdrawals. There is also a link to the tuition appeal form.

Note: If a student does not have extenuating circumstances or does not want to withdraw from all classes, the normal withdrawal procedures apply.

Administrative Withdrawal:
What warrants an Administrative Withdrawal?

  • Extended periods of physical or mental illness of the student
  • Extended periods of physical or mental illness of immediate family member
  • Death of student's immediate family member
  • Mandatory job transfers outside of Hampton Roads
  • Involuntary changes in employment schedule or military deployment

What type of documentation do I need to include with my requests of withdrawal?

Doctor's note/letter, military orders, accident report

What forms do I need to fill out to get an Administrative withdrawal?

Fill out the Request for Administrative Withdrawal form, then print it out. Or you can pick up a copy in 2008 Webb Center.

Ok, I've turned in my documentation, what now?

The Ombudsperson will review the documentation and determine if it can be approved. If it can she will notify all professors and the student that a request for a withdrawal is being processed on the students behalf.

Will I get a refund if I withdraw?

Administrative withdrawals do not guarantee a tuition refund.

My tuition is paid with Financial Aid; will I be refunded?

Visit the Financial Aid Office.

Where can I get a tuition appeal form?

At the Customer Relations Center at Rollins Hall or online.

Incompletes:
What is the policy regarding requesting an incomplete?

The complete policy can be found at the Registrar's Office.

Additional FAQs

I'm interested in the University and would like more information.

Visit the ODU Admissions page, which can help answer all your questions.

I know what time my meeting is being held, but I don't know what room it's in. Could you help me?

Visit the Campus Information Center located in Webb Center or call at 757-683-5914.

Where can I get a parking pass?

Parking passes are handled through the Office of Parking and Transportation Services. All the information regarding parking passes can be found at their website:

How do I get a bus pass?

Bus passes are handled through the Office of Parking and Transportation Services. All the information regarding bus passes can be found at their website:

How do I register my bicycle?

To register your bicycle you need to take your bike to the ODU police department located on 4516 Monarch Way. More information

Where can I find a copy of the student handbook?

The student handbook has been incorporated into the University Catalog:

How do I get an official transcript?

Visit the Registrar's office in Rollin's hall or request a transcript through Leo Online.

What events are happening on campus?

Visit the Office of Leadership & Student Involvement for a list of upcoming events and activities.

Where are the computer labs on campus?

Information on locations and hours of the computer labs.

Can I get out of my housing contract?

Please go to Student Housing, as it is the best resource to answer this question.