Frequently Asked Questions

Who does the Ombuds office serve?

The Office of the Ombuds of Allegheny College serves all members of the campus community.

When should I contact the Ombuds Office?

The sooner you contact the Ombudsperson with your concern, the better. No concern or conflict is too small or too big to receive help, but the sooner you reach out for assistance with your concern, the more options you may have to resolve it effectively. Reaching out may feel intimidating, but it’s a key step in getting the situation back on target.

What can the Ombuds Office do to help me?

Individuals often choose to meet with the Ombudsperson because it is informal, assures confidentiality and is independent from College administration. The Ombudsperson’s responses are based on each individual situation and informed consent.

How does the Ombuds remain neutral?

The Ombuds’ Office operates under the Code of Ethics of the International Ombudsman Association. Neutrality is one of the key ethical principles and means that visitors to the Office can expect that they will be treated even-handedly, that the Ombudsperson will not favor one person over another nor will the Ombudsperson have any interest in the outcome of situations in an effort to be fair and objective in the consideration of information and the range of options presented.

How do I schedule an appointment?

Visit the Ombuds calendar to view available appointment slots and to schedule an appointment. If there are no appointments available that work with your schedule, please email ombuds@allegheny.edu.

Where is the Ombuds office?

The Ombuds office is located in the Wise Center, on the main floor near the pool. When entering the building, walk around the front desk toward the back of the building/pool area and enter the hallway on the left. Walk past the racquetball court and office 608 will be on the left, just before the dance studio.

I already know you or have seen you on campus. How will this impact me coming to see you for Ombuds related concerns?

If I don’t already know you and I pass you on campus after you have visited the Ombuds office, I will not stop to say “hi” or start a conversation with you. It will be up to you to initiate contact in this instance, and even then I will not reveal how we met. If I already know you from other contexts on campus, I will continue to interact with you as I already have in the past. I will not, in any circumstance, reference your visit to the Ombuds office.

Can the Ombuds attend my committee meeting?

The Ombuds can attend a meeting to introduce the role of the Ombuds office and answer any questions about the office. The Ombuds cannot engage in any other conversations and will encourage community members to sign up for an appointment if they want to meet with the Ombuds. The Ombuds adheres to the IOA’s Standards of Practice and to its Code of Ethics.

Does anything get reported back to the College?

Yes. The Ombuds is charged with reporting trends and other information that helps the College create a supportive and effective working and learning environment. This could be as simple as noting that a campus policy is consistently misinterpreted. In no instance, will the individuals raising these issues be identified or named.