Advocacy Letters for Students

Are you seeking a Letter of Support or Leniency for a U of L Staff or Instructor?

  • Counselling Services will never provide specific details, 'evidence', or 'corroborating' information on behalf of students.
  • Counselling Services is not a gatekeeper to approve or deny students' academic requests.
  • All decision making to approve or deny students' requests lie with faculty, instructors, and/or advising. 
First, if you are seeking a letter of support, it is important to reflect on how your circumstances are impacting you. Could you benefit from attending a counselling session? We are here to support your emotional and psycho-social wellbeing! We offer same-day appointments during our Walk-In Wednesdays, Group Therapy, Wellness Workshops, Single Session appointments, and on-going Personal Counselling. Please visit our website, or drop by our office, send us an email, or give us a call to inquire more.
Counselling Services has moved away from providing personal Letters of Support or Leniency for students; however, we recognize and honor the need for advocacy letters! Therefore, we have created the Student Declaration of Extenuating Circumstances, a self-reporting advocacy letter, in lieu of counsellor written letters. Students can fill out this declaration when a formal Letter of Support or Leniency needs to be provided to a U of L staff member or instructor. Once completed, a Counselling Services staff member will review the declaration and forward it (via email) to the U of L staff member(s) and/or instructor(s) you identify on the document. 
Who might use this Student Declaration of Extenuating Circumstances?  Anyone seeking a letter for:
  • Request for Leniency or Accommodation
  • Letter for an Incomplete
  • Letter for Withdrawal with Cause
Leniency/Accommodation - an advocacy letter to a professor during a term to request accommodation given an unexpected personal situation that has impacted your attendance and/or timely completion of course assignments.
Incomplete - an advocacy letter to extend the deadline for a course past the final exam date. This usually is an extension of 1 month maximum and is appropriate for students who have completed most of the course. Incompletes for a course must be approved by the professor and advising.
Withdrawal with Cause – as referenced in the academic calendar, the designation 'WC' is recorded only in case of serious illness or other extenuating circumstances beyond the control of the student, which make continuation in a course impossible and where an ‘Incomplete’ designation is not in order.
We do not provide letters for:
  • Mental Health Diagnosis confirmation
  • Medical related concerns (hospital visits, medical appointments, or physical illness)
  • Immigration or international travel
  • Criminal related charges or circumstances

Before requesting a letter, ask yourself:

  • Can my needs be resolved without a formal letter?
  • Does my instructor require a letter to provide accommodation? (Instructors will often accommodate without a formal letter)
  • Does my situation make it feel unsafe to request accommodation directly from my instructor?
  • Is my personal issue more medical in nature? If so, consult a Physician.
  • For a WC request: have I considered withdrawing on my own on the Bridge? (For most programs a ‘WC’ is not necessary or recognized as different than a ‘W’)
Process of Declaration:
  1. Student completes this declaration and emails it to Counselling Services.
  2. Counselling Services has up to 72 business hours to review the declaration to ensure it is completed correctly and not used more than once per semester.
  3. Counselling Services will email the declaration to the U of L staff identified by the student in the document. Student will also be cc’d in the email.
  4. Student must follow up with the instructor and/or staff on the outcome of their request.