Who We Are
The Office of Advocacy is student fee-funded and has been supporting students with university related matters for over 20 years. Our professional staff are here to support you along side a group of Peer Advocates who are trained to help you from a student perspective.
We offer person-centered advocacy to all OSU students.
Our professional staff, Francis and Molly, meet with students to help them to navigate university policies and pathways forward. Molly and Francis both have a strong background in Social Justice work.
While they can support students with any issue, Molly and Francis often advocate for those who are accused of violating the Student Code of Conduct or are respondents in EOA/Title IX cases. Molly and Francis can be especially helpful for students in these cases, as they are able to advocate for students before, during, and after the misconduct process. Molly and Francis will always advocate in the best interest of the student, throughout any difficulties they may face, and regardless of the associated barriers or outcomes that may result.
We work alongside the ASOSU executive branch to advocate for student-centered policies.
We also advocate for more equitable processes within the office of Student Conduct & Community Standards, who handle violations of the Student Code of Conduct.
Peer advocates are students just like you. They have completed formal training to improve their empathetic listening, motivational interviewing, and the importance of working across differences.
Peer advocates often help students who are accused of Academic Misconduct, or who need help filing a grade appeal or other academic petition. The goal of peer advocacy is to provide individualized peer-based support to students at Oregon State University.
The Office of Advocacy, including our Peer Advocates, is student-focused and student-driven. Due to this nature, our Peer Advocates graduate and new Advocates are brought in on a yearly basis.
A Legacy, Thirty Years in the Making...
Beginning in the mid-1980s, ASOSU Student Government became interested in creating a advocacy center for students. Students wanted to bring in an attorney who could support their programs and initiatives, as well as offer advice and support. After lobbying and gaining support for the position, in 1988, they officially created and established an office then called the ASOSU Office of Legal Advocacy.
In its first decade, the Office was solely a Legal practice dedicated to helping students with legal issues outside of the university. These attorneys focused on landlord-tenant issues, consumer problems, credit issues, personal injuries and car accidents, traffic violations, wills, divorces, and names changes for students. They also offered legal advice and consulted with ASOSU student government. These legal functions are still maintained today through the ASOSU Student Legal Services contract.
However, students still felt there was an unmet need; students had no way of being represented when the other party to their dispute was Oregon State University itself. Student government addressed this problem and in the year 2000, directed our office to hire a Student Advocate whose focus was to provide support and guidance to OSU students when they faced a problem with the University or one of its administrative units.
Student staff in the office developed the original mission for the office. The goal of the office was to provide guidance and related assistance to registered students that have problems with administrative offices, academic departments and programs at Oregon State University. The role of the Advocate is to lobby for students' rights within the university's administrative framework and provide broad-based advocacy for students' rights campus-wide. Our social-justice mindset comes first in everything we do.
Key to the function of our office from its inception have been Student Interns, who are trained to become Peer Advocates. Student Interns and Peer Advocates in the office offer a critical student point of view which allows the office to stay student focused and student centered. Our office was created by students, for students, and student employees are central to that focus.
Over the next decade, the Office expanded its role in the office through outreach, and partnerships with other institutions on campus. In 2010, our office was renamed to the Office of Advocacy in an effort to distinguish the difference between our services and those of Student Legal Services. In the Spring of 2015, the Office of Advocacy moved from the aging Snell Hall into the newly created Student Experience Center. Today, the original purposes and goals of the office are still central to its practice. Our office continues to support student’s voices and advocate on their behalf.