On March 1, the UC Davis Ombuds Office officially opened its doors to students. The office, which opened last June in Surge IV, previously only served UC Davis faculty and staff.
The Ombuds Office’s purpose is to offer confidential conflict resolution and management services. According to Susan Kee-Young Park, director of the Ombuds Office, the office differs from other counseling services, such as CAPS, by not offering psychological services and by keeping all information and discussions confidential.
Park said that the office reports to the Office of the Chancellor solely for administrative and budgetary purposes, and because the Ombuds Office is independent and confidential, it does not file reports of students’ issues to UC Davis.
The on-campus office is the second Ombuds center in the UC Davis system — there is also an office on the UC Davis Medical Center campus in Sacramento. UC Davis is now the last UC campus to have an on-campus ombuds office available for students.
According to Park, the Ombuds office initially worked with only UC Davis faculty and staff, handling issues such as workplace conflicts, harassment and authorship disagreements, among others. Even though the office was not officially open to students, Park said that she would not turn students away. Now that the Ombuds Office is officially accessible to students, Park said that some of the common student issues she helps with include matters regarding roommates, grades and discrimination.
Since the Davis office opened nine months ago, Park has been the sole ombudsperson on campus. She said that she would eventually like to have additional staffing and that she has made this known to administration.
According to Park, the office has not been utilized by students much since March 1. However, she believes that word about the office is beginning to travel around campus, and she expects more students to make use of the resource.
To schedule an appointment at the Ombuds Office, students can call the office at (530) 219-6750. The center is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
— Scott Dresser