Hi everyone! It’s Hina…
Last Thursday, I had the pleasure of speaking with Karen Bresciano, who is the Associate Director of UConn’s Office of Student Services and Advocacy (also known as OSSA). According to her, OSSA is the “place to go if you don’t know where to go.” They handle services that virtually encompass every student’s needs.
Karen explained that OSSA handles a lot of paperwork. If a student leaves UConn or decides to take a semester off, the Office handles that prpcess. Similarly, OSSA also helps students with re-admission; if a student decides to come back, OSSA can help him or her with that paperwork too. OSSA also takes care of residency issues. For example, if a student was originally out-of-state and has now become a permanent resident of Connecticut for more than one year, that student may be eligible for in-state tuition. OSSA would be in charge of helping to verify the residency status of that student. They also handle financial needs as well. If a student needs to take out a short term emergency loan (a student loan that is 500 dollars or less) OSSA would handle the paperwork for that. They also handle any general student problems- if students have a Bursar hold on their account, if they’re thinking about taking time off, or if they just need help transitioning to a campus lifestyle.
A fun fact about this office- the Office of Off Campus Student Services is an extension of OSSA. Karen explained that even though the Office of Off Campus Student Services is its own office, her employees are in charge of those services. One great thing about UConn is that even if you decide to life off-campus, you’re never completely on your own! The Office for Off Campus Student Services can help students with any issues that may arise with a landlord or their off-campus apartment. OSSA also hosts the Off Campus Housing Fair that happens every year in the Student Union. During this fair, all the representatives of the different apartment complexes near the campus present information about their specific apartment leasing options (it’s also a great place to get free stuff like pens and shirts!).
Another major service that OSSA provides is helping students reschedule their final exams. Sometimes students will have bunched final exams, meaning that they either have three exams in one day (yikes) or four exams in two consecutive days. OSSA helps students reschedule their exams so they will have plenty of time to study and do well on each of their exams. So far I haven’t had bunched exams, but if I ever do in the future, I’ll know where to go to get the help I need!