November 1, 2021
Get to know your student ombudsperson
Submitted by Stefan Yates and Chloe Wurst
Wildcats, we're here to help!
The Office of Diversity and Inclusion at Kansas State University remains committed to enhancing student support services and advocating for students who have concerns with campus climate and policy issues. In April 2021, Kimathi Choma, assistant dean for diversity, recruitment and retention in the College of Arts and Sciences, was hired to serve as the student ombudsperson for all K-State students.
All communication with the ombudsperson is confidential. The confidentiality privilege is critical to making the ombudsperson office a place where students can raise any issue, including an alleged violation of statute, regulation, rule, policy, or ethical standard. The ombudsperson is neutral, impartial, informal and unaligned with any compliance function of the institution.
Get to know your student ombudsperson and find out what a student ombudsperson can do for you:
- The ombudsperson directs students to policies, programs, procedures, or practices that may be problematic for the institution or that negatively affect people's health, safety, or rights.
- The ombudsperson is responsible for considering the legitimate concerns and interests of all individuals affected by the matter under consideration.
- The ombudsperson helps develop a range of responsible options to resolve problems and facilitate discussion to identify best practices.
- The ombudsperson helps the student explore and assess an appropriate range of options, from the very informal to the most formal.
- Formal options include ways to put management on notice of an issue; referrals to rights-based elements of the institution's conflict resolution system; the provision of information about the possibility of seeking external resources or assistance.
- Informal options include listening, providing and receiving information, identifying and reframing issues, developing a range of responsible options, and — with permission and at ombudsperson discretion — engaging in informal third-party intervention.
- The ombudsperson does not make binding decisions, mandate policies, or formally adjudicate issues for the institution.
- The ombudsperson does not provide legal advice.
Visit the student ombudsperson website. Choma can be reached at email@example.com. The Student Ombudsperson Office is in 101J Holton Hall.