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How to Write a Letter - PDF


How to Write a Letter

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									student rights information                                                         v08.01

How to Write a Letter
Frustrated because it seems no-one’s listening to you, or need to let RMIT know
about something? This leaflet is all about getting stuff on the page in a way the
University will recognise and respond to.
When would I need to write a letter?                  academic matter. You can always contact
• To ask for Leave of Absence or Special              the Student Union if you are not sure. It’s
  Consideration, or to tell the administration        important to check that you have the right
  about an error on your Enrolment form.              person or that they still work here, otherwise
• To make a complaint. You can complain               your complaint may sit around unanswered
  about anything -cleanliness of the toilets or       for ever.
  the fact that the printer in the computer lab   •   Is there a form you need to fill in? Often
  never works. Your complaint may relate to           there are forms you need to complete, to
  bullying or harassment by staff and /or             send with your letter. For example;
  fellow students.                                    “Application for Appeal” or “Application for
• To appeal an assessment result, a                   Special Consideration”. Check with the Hub,
  misconduct penalty or exclusion from RMIT.          or your School or Department office. All
  It’s normally not enough just to fill out the       forms can be downloaded from
  “appeal application” form – RMIT will want
  more detail and it’s better to write it down    •   Collect your supporting evidence.
  rather than try to present everything               Depending on what you are writing about,
  verbally.                                           you may need to provide documents such
                                                      as medical certificates, letters from
What preparation do I need to undertake?              counsellors or professionals, receipts and
• Find out if there is an RMIT policy or              statutory declarations.
  procedure that applies to your situation or
  complaint                                       What do I need to include in my letter?
• Contact a Student Liaison Officer at the        Your letter should include all vital details
  Student Union or check out the Academic         including;
  Operating Procedures web site:                  • Your name, student number, address, email           and phone number
• Address the letter to the right person.         • Name of the Program you’re in, if it’s
  Generally, you need to write to the person           relevant to the complaint
  who can actually do something about your        • The date
  problem – the “supervisor” – then, if
  unsuccessful, go to their supervisor. That      How should I structure the letter?
  may be your Program Coordinator, or above       Your letter should have at least three basic
  them, say, the Head of Division, or above       things:
  them the Head of School and so on. It’s         • What the problem, complaint or issue is
  often best to work your way up the chain of     • What you have done about it so far: who
  authority. If you are not sure who these            you have talked to, what advice you have
  people are, contact your School or                  received.
  Department office, especially if it is an

student rights information                                                              v08.01
•   What you want: what is the aim of your
    complaint, or what outcome do you want            Why should I do it in writing?
    from the letter.                                  There may be several occasions during your
                                                      time at RMIT when you need to contact a
You can “CC” your letter (send a copy to) other       lecturer, make a complaint, or find resolutions to
relevant people, e.g. a counsellor, the lecturer,     problems.
tutor, or a Student Rights Officer. This is so
RMIT knows that other people are also aware of        It is better to communicate in writing for several
the issue and are waiting for their response.         reasons:

What about attaching other documents?                 •   You can keep a “paper-trail” of what you
Take photocopies of all important documents               have said to whom, on what date, what
you wish to attach to your letter. Don’t send             response you have had etc – so no-one can
original copies, as RMIT may lose them. The               deny it later.
Student Union can help in copying your                •   It allows you to prove a case if you
documents.                                                encounter problems, eg if you were given
                                                          incorrect information you will have
Did they get my letter?                                   something on paper to prove it;
Mailing: Try calling the person or office before      •   It enables you to be fully clear on what you
you send it and make sure the person will be in           mean – often the most common problems
the office in the next week. If they are sick or on       arise due to communication errors or
leave, and your concern cannot wait until they            misinterpretation
return, maybe you need to re-address the letter
to another person. You can send a letter by           Email is a convenient and easy way of
Registered Post or Express Post so you have           communicating with many RMIT staff. Talk to a
proof it was sent and received.                       Student Liaison Officer if you need help.

Faxing the letter: Always either print a fax          Useful RMIT Contacts
transmission receipt when you send it, or ring        The following details are for services based at
the office and check that they have received it.      the
                                                      City Campus - students at other campuses
Emailing: Print a copy for your records in case       should advise the person taking their call of their
your emails are deleted for some reason.              location.

How long should I wait for a response?                RMIT Counselling Service
If you have not had a response of any kind to         Ph. 9925 4365
your letter one week after you sent the letter,
ring them and ask when you will receive a             Personal problems, relationship issues,
response. If you are not happy with the               depression, grief and anxiety.
response you receive to your letter there is
always further action that can be taken. You          RMIT International Student Information and
may have to write another letter or arrange for       Support (ISIS)
an interview with the person or someone else in       Ph. 9925 2078
the department, Division, School, Portfolio or at
the University level.                                 Information and support for International
You have the right to take a support person or
advocate with you to any meeting within the           Also, check out the HUB on your campus for
University. They can be anyone - a friend, family     additional drop in times or
member, interpreter or a Student Rights Officer.

student rights information                            v08.01

Student Complaints Liaison Officers (SCLOs).
SCLOs are located in all Academic Portfolios,
Departments, Schools and Groups

Student Complaints Manager
Ph. 9925 8964

RMIT Ombuds
Ph. 9925 2930

Other Useful Student Rights Leaflets
You can pick up these leaflets from your nearest
Student Union Office, or download them from
our website,

•   How to make a Complaint
•   RMIT Policies & Procedures

student rights information                                                                                   v08.01

Sample Letter - PLEASE NOTE this sample letter is included here as a general guide and example only.

Ms Jort Haraldio                                                                              Emma Marx
Manager, Student Services                                                                     Flat 19 / 17 Goldman St
Money-Making Portfolio                                                                        BRUNSWICK 3056
RMIT -City campus                                                                             Ph: 9666 5555
GPO Box 2476V
Melbourne 3001

Tuesday, 25th May 2008

Dear Ms Haraldio

Re:Appeal against Assessment -AB123

I am a second year student in the Department of Stuff. I am writing to you to Appeal my Assessment result for
AB123 Stuff, the Universe and everything.
I received my Transcript of Results statement on Dec 24 2003. [see attached copy]
It states that I received a credit for the course AB123 Introduction to Basic Stuff.
I have left phone messages, emailed and faxed my Lecturer and Tutor for the subject but have not yet received a
response. I understand from the Department office that the Lecturer is teaching Offshore over summer and that the
Tutor was a sessional staff member and is no longer employed by RMIT.
I believe I should have received a higher result for my work in AB123. As a result and because I have received no
reply from Department staff I am appealing my result to the Portfolio Appeals Committee. I have attached
supporting letters and copies of my application for Special Consideration., plus the application form for a Portfolio
I am happy to have a meeting with you to discuss this further and I will bring my friend along as my support person.
I would like to have my work remarked by an Independent Assessor, as indicated in the RMIT Operating procedure
Academic Progress – Unsatisfactory Performance.

Yours sincerely
Emma Marx

cc: Student Rights Officer, RMIT Student Union, Bundoora Campus
AB123 Lecturer, AB123 Tutor

Disclaimer: The information in this leaflet is a general guide only. RMIT is a very complex
environment, and there are often a number of different rules which apply.

For more student rights information visit our website:
For Additional Assistance drop into a Student Union Front Office to speak with a Student Liaison Officer
City Higher Ed: Building 8, Level 3
Tivoli (Business): Building 108, Level 3
Carlton Campus: Building 57, Level 4
Brunswick: Building 514, Level 2
Bundoora: Building 202, Level 2
Or send detailed information regarding your case to
Or call 9925 5004 for any enquiries
If required, an appointment will be made for you with a Student Rights Officer
        Has this leaflet been helpful? Join the Student Union and Join the fight to improve your rights!


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