Feature: Mrs. Viola Cyriaque,  Student Ombuds/ Student Advocate

A warm personality with a bright smile, Mrs. Viola Cyriaque serves as the Student Advocate for the Office of Student Ombuds/Advocate. The office serves to mediate conflicts and/or disagreements between students and/or faculty members about a variety of topics ranging from grade disagreements to relationship issues.

Located in T.H. Harris Hall Suite 1075, The Student Ombuds/ Student Advocate office provides students with a mentor in which they can sit with and discuss their concerns. According to Mrs. Cyriaque, “The Student Ombuds/ Advocate office helps identify, evaluate and brainstorm options with respect to academic and non-academic issues students may be subject to. . . The office serves as a neutral party to help solve problems, resolve conflicts and work to achieve fair outcomes by acting as a mediator.” The Student Ombuds/ Student Advocate main role is to informally resolve student conflicts, concern and challenges; it helps students resolve academically related challenges before the student issues progresses to the student appeal formal process. 

Mrs. Cyriaque is the linkage between the students and the administration. She has many duties to follow as a consultant, facilitator, and informal mediator.  She recommends steps toward problem resolution and appropriate action based on research, analysis and data gathered for every issue brought to her office. She consults with campus departments and academic units to understand and resolve complex problems through informal discussions; develops cooperative strategies to prevent future problems and develop and maintain an ongoing relationship with campus constituencies to promote the value and process of conflict resolution. Her job is far from easy, it is very complex, and she is what she considers “a one-person operation.”

Mrs. Cyriaque is all about solving problems and helping as many people as possible, “I have established a support system for the department across campus that includes individuals from Academic Affairs, Title IX, Finance, Registrar, Student Affairs, Financial Aids, University Counseling Center, Disability Services, The Dean of Students, Colleges and departments across campus. However, the biggest impact I have as a one person operation is to personally touch the lives of so many students and their parents in many cases, that become frustrated with the university because of issues related to University policies and procedures that they do not fully understand of follow. I consider it a blessing to have this opportunity to plant a positive seed in the lives of current and future SUBR students.” 

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