Office of Student Ombuds (OSO)
Georgetown University officially established the Office of the Student Ombuds (OSO) (new window) on July 1, 2022 when the first Student Ombuds was hired to the position. The Office serves all Main Campus undergraduate and graduate students and is a confidential, independent, impartial and informal resource for the Georgetown University community. The office is staffed by an ombuds professional who practices in accordance with the Standards of Practice (new window) and Code of Ethics (new window) set by the International Ombuds Association (IOA).
The primary purpose of the Office of the Student Ombuds is to provide a confidential space for visitors to discuss their concerns with a trusted professional who will engage them in constructive problem-solving, help them explore their options and empower them to make their own decisions. The Office works to promote civility, respect and a sense of belonging among members of the Georgetown University community by helping visitors resolve conflicts and disputes, improve communication and better navigate the institutional resources available to them. The overall mission of the Office is to foster and support a respectful, just and equitable learning, working and living environment for the diverse members of the campus community.
Visitors can expect the Ombuds to listen to their concerns in a non-judgmental and unbiased manner without fear of retaliation or retribution for utilizing the office. The Office is an alternative to formal channels of dispute resolution and does not put the University “on notice” or formally file grievances or claims on a visitor’s behalf. The Ombuds serves as a catalyst for constructive organizational change by identifying and reporting systemic issues, patterns, trends, policies or procedures that raise concerns to University leaders in order to prevent them from recurring or escalating. When applicable, the Ombuds may also provide training, educational activities, workshops and coaching to individuals and organizational units that are facing challenges or as a preventative measure to communication barriers and potential conflicts.
Although the Office is intended for students, other members of the Georgetown community including faculty, staff, families, friends and alums, may visit the Office to consult with the Ombuds on student-related concerns, questions or resources. Faculty members visiting the OSO will also be advised to contact the Faculty Ombuds (new window) serving all Main Campus faculty members with any issues, questions or concerns they may have.