Student Ombuds FAQs

What is a student Ombuds?

An Ombuds is a person who serves as an informal and impartial resource to assist students with issues and concerns related to their student experience. The goal is create a safe place for students who come to the Student Ombuds Office to discuss and research concerns. The Ombuds will listen to the concern or issue, ask questions to ensure they have a full understanding of the matter, brainstorm options, make the necessary phone calls to other business areas to resolve issues and weigh pros and cons of particular courses of action.

What are some examples of the issues/concerns a person might want to discuss with the WCU Student Ombuds?

The Student Ombuds Office can assist students with a variety of concerns that can fall into various topics such as:

  • Preparing for a difficult conversation
  • Violations of university policy
  • Cultural misunderstandings/concerns
  • Classroom/course concerns
  • Concerns with the student’s university account
    • Bursar
    • Registrar
    • Financial Aid
    • Housing
  • Health and safety concerns

Why does a student bring a concern to an Ombuds instead of reporting it to another campus department/office?

The WCU Student Ombuds Office is not a substitute for any of the other departments/offices on campus but rather is an informal place where students can go to find out more about a concern, policy or issue. Students may wish to discuss an issue with an Ombuds first and weigh different options that may be available for resolution.

How do I seek the services of the WCU Student Ombuds?


You can contact the WCU Student Ombuds Office at 610-436-3356. Lisa Montgomery serves as the Student Ombuds. She can also be reached as follows:

Please be aware that use of email is not a secure or confidential method off communication.

Is the information shared with the Student Ombuds confidential?

Information shared with the Ombuds is considered private in nature and is not shared with any member within or outside of the campus community. Exceptions occur if the student visiting the office grants permission to the Student Ombuds to discuss the information provided during the meeting.   In addition, the Student Ombuds will be obligated by law or policy to disclose private/confidential information in certain situations. For example, the Student Ombuds is a "Responsible Employee" per the WCU Sexual Misconduct Policy and therefore must report possible sexual misconduct violations (Title IX), as well as instances of child abuse and neglect. In addition, the Ombuds must report crimes to WCU Public Safety, in accordance with the Clery and Campus SaVE requirements. In addition, the Ombuds may break confidentiality if deemed necessary to ensure safety when there is a threat of harm to self or others.

How does the university benefit from having a Student Ombuds?

The WCU Student Ombuds will develop an annual report that contains trends and potential recommendations that can enhance students’ experiences here at West Chester University. This report will serve as part of the Ombuds’ responsibility to provide feedback to members of the campus community to enable stronger working relationships with departments and to enhance the overall experiences students have while here at WCU.

Who does the WCU Student Ombuds report to?

The WCU Student Ombuds reports to the Vice President for Student Affairs.

Who can meet or talk with the WCU Student Ombuds?

All West Chester University students (undergraduate and graduate) may utilize the services of the Student Ombuds.
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