Cry for Help: Student Services to Help you During the Rough Patches

Going to university can be an incredibly exciting experience, but it can also sometimes be a little overwhelming as you have to learn how to balance the added academic pressures of your University courses, make a transition to a new city and country, and still try to maintain some semblance of a social life with your new friends! It’s a lot to take in and sometimes you may find you need some help dealing with it all. The University of Alberta provides students with a number of services that you can access to help you deal with anything from helping you with your essay to providing financial help in case of emergencies to helping you deal with the sometimes overwhelming stresses that can come with a university education. At the University of Alberta you are never alone, just remember help is only an ask away, so without further delay here are some of the services you can access at the University of Alberta. Best of all, all these services are free!


Center for Writers

The University of Alberta Center for Writers collaborates with Writing Studies and offers free one-on-one writing coaching and support to all students, instructors and staff at the University of Alberta - in any faculty or at any level of study. They can help you formulate a thesis, develop ideas for that paper you have been working on, search for grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors, and even help you with creating a bibliography or works cited page. At any stage in your writing process you can come in and use the Center for Writers services, not just with your final draft. And if you think they can only help you with essays, think again. The Center for Writers can help you with scientific reports, technical writing, and even with your scholarship and grant applications.


Student Financial Aid Information Centre (SFAIC)

The Student Financial Aid Information Centre (SFAIC) assists students in finding the financial resources necessary to fulfill their academic objectives. SFAIC is a member of the Student Financial Resources Centre (SFRC), where you can access services such as the Access Fund, which offers non-repayable financial assistance to undergraduate students who do not have access to sufficient funding. The Center also offers one-on-one counselling sessions for students in complex financial situations and provides advocacy for difficult loan related issues, as well as many other services such as budgeting information and information on different types of loans.


Student Ombudservice

The University of Alberta Student OmbudService is a confidential service that aims to ensures that university processes related to students, operate as fairly as possible. They offer information, advice, and support to students, when dealing with academic, discipline, interpersonal, and financial issues related to student programs. They are neutral third parties in any dispute you may have with a facility, professor, or university staff member and they can help you find the best possible resolution within the rules of the University of Alberta. Some of the many types of cases that the OmbudService may deal with are grade appeals, student and applicant discipline, academic standing (requirement to withdraw, probation, appeals, etc.), student-supervisor conflicts, breakdowns in graduate programs, conflicts between students or with professors, intellectual property issues, professional practice concerns, and residence disputes. You should consider going to the OmbudService as soon as you identify a problem that you cannot get resolved on your own, and remember that they are not advocates, but rather mediators in disputes.


Campus Food Bank

The motto for the Campus Food Bank is appropriately, “Hunger for knowledge, not food”, and for over 20 years it has been distributing food items and toiletries to all members of the University of Alberta community from students and staff to alumni and their students. They have everything from fruits and vegetables to toothpaste and shampoo, so if your running low on supplies and its stressing you out, then not to worry the Campus Food Bank is here to help.



The University of Alberta is a large campus and even though campus security does an amazing job of making sure the whole University community is taken care of and protected sometimes studying late at night at the library can mean that you might be left with having to walk off campus alone to your house. Well Safewalk provides students with a safe alternative to walking alone at night around the campus community and beyond. It works like this: you call the Safewalk phone number and dispatchers will send a 2-person team to meet with you and walk you anywhere on campus and can even accompany you on the LRT within three blocks of any station. So go ahead and have your late night study dates on campus!


Peer Support Services

The Peer Support Centre is a Students' Union service that offers the University community a place to talk to someone for support. First opened in 1969 the centre provides students with information, referrals, crisis intervention and a completely confidential place to talk about any problems that they may be faced with whether they be academic or personal. You can access the center either through their office or through their support telephone line and if for any reason the volunteers are unable to help you resolve your problem they will refer you to who can. Don’t suffer alone; make sure to ask for help when you need it.



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