Advocacy and Navigating Issues

The Office of the Dean of Students often meets with students who are experiencing challenges, obstacles, or crisis in their life that may affect their success at UD, and we serve as a resource hub to connect students to resources both on- and off-campus. We are happy to meet with you to discuss what has been happening and how we can help ensure your success at UD.


Our staff advocates on behalf of all undergraduate students at the University of Delaware. We are happy to meet with you to discuss your Blue Hen experience and discuss advocacy needs. We understand that select student populations have different needs around support and advocacy. Please explore the sections below to learn about resources for various student populations.

Building Self-Advocacy Skills

We are here to support you during your time at UD. We believe that the ability to advocate for oneself is an important life skill that we incorporate into our conversations with you. Self-advocacy does not mean doing it all by yourself without the assistance of others. Self-Advocacy is learning how to speak up for yourself, making your own decisions about your own life, learning how to get information so that you understand things that are of interest to you, finding out who will support you in your journey, knowing your rights and responsibilities, problem solving, listening and learning, and reaching out to others when you need help.

Addressing Academic or Nonacademic Grievances

From time to time, you may encounter a barrier at the University of Delaware. This may come in the form of a decision that was made about your academic work, your behavior, or a policy that perhaps you feel, unjustly, keeps you from participating in something at the University in which you believe you are entitled to participate. Though the staff in the Office of the Dean of Students are rarely the decision makers in these policies, we serve as guides and advocates for students who find themselves in these types of situations. We welcome you to come in and make an appointment so that we can hear your concerns. We will listen to you, ask you key questions, explain your options, connect you with relevant resources, and refer you to the correct grievance process to have your matter resolved. For specific information about the Grade Grievance Process, please see the Guide to the University Policies.

Navigating University of Delaware Policies

Navigating University policy
There are many policies at UD which can seem overwhelming to navigate at times. Contact us, and we would be happy to speak with you further about the policy(ies) that pertain to your situation to make sure that you understand them fully as well as your rights and responsibilities.
Excused Absence Policy
The University of Delaware Excused Absence Policy can be found here. It is the policy of the University of Delaware not to cancel classes on religious holidays. However, students and faculty are encouraged to exercise their own judgment pertaining to their attendance on these days. In addition, faculty are encouraged not to schedule examinations or require the submission of special assignments on the following days: the evenings before as well as the first two days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, Good Friday, and the evening before and the first two days of Passover. If you have questions about this policy you can also contact the Assistant Dean of your college.

Living Off-Campus or Commuting from Home

Off-Campus Living
Visit our new Off-Campus Students page for an interactive guide to off-campus living, links to relevant services and contacts, and resources for making the most of your time at UD.
Commuting from Home
We recognize the unique needs of commuter students and are here to help you maximize your UD experience. We are happy to meet with you to discuss any questions or concerns that may arise during your time at UD.

Lockers are available for rent in Trabant University Center for students who need a place to store belongings throughout the day. Contact the University Student Centers for more information.

Attending UD as a Military Veteran or Service Member

The staff of the Office of the Dean of Students stands ready to support all student veterans and service members to help you navigate and succeed within the university environment. Visit the Student Veterans page to find resources and connect with UD’s Student Veteran Services Coordinator.

Dealing with Homelessness or Food Insecurity

Meal Assistance

Help is available for any undergraduate or graduate student struggling with access to food, regardless of whether the insecurity relates to the reliability, amount, affordability, or nutrition, and regardless of whether you have a campus meal plan. If you would like assistance, please email us.
Swipe Out Hunger chapter logo

UD partners with Swipe Out Hunger to accept donations from faculty, staff and students to benefit students in need.

Donations can include:
– ≤2 guest meals from an unlimited or 14 weekly meal plan
– ≤5 guest or regular meals from a block meal plan
– FLEX dollars, which can be added to any ONEcard
– gifts made year-round to the Student Crisis Fund

Donations will be accepted on:
Sept. 24-26, 2019

Feb. 25-27, 2020
Caesar Rodney: 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. and 6 – 7:30 p.m.
Pencader: 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. and 5 – 6:30 p.m.
Russell: 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. and 8 – 9 p.m.

Blue Hen Bounty Student Food Pantry at University of Delaware

Food Insecurity
Students come to UD from a variety of backgrounds. Some are independent from their families, or may be homeless outside of university housing and supports. If you are an independent and/or homeless student, we would be happy to meet with you and connect you with your on-campus resources.

Finding oneself without reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food is called food insecurity, and it is a growing concern on many college campuses. Students, faculty and staff working within UD’s Episcopal Campus Ministry aim to address that need at Blue Hen Bounty, a campus-area food pantry that is fully stocked with canned meats, fruit and vegetables; various grains and single-serve meals; cereal, snacks and condiments; assorted beverages; and even basic toiletries such as shampoo and toothbrushes. Located at St. Thomas’ Parish at 276 South College Ave, students can access the Blue Hen Bounty by simply showing their UD OneCard. The pantry is open on Wednesdays from 4-5 p.m., Thursdays from 3-5 p.m., and by appointment; call 302-368-4644 or visit Blue Hen Bounty online for more information.

Financial Challenges
Student Financial Services is the primary resource to discuss your financial commitment to the University. Our office can assist you in connecting to SFS and your specific financial advisor. Resources on financial literacy and other support can be found online. Their office is located in the Student Services Building on Lovett Ave across from the Harker ISE Lab. You can reach them directly at 302-831-2126.

Unforeseen Financial Crisis
Students experiencing an unforeseen financial crisis may be eligible for assistance from the Student Crisis Fund. Learn more.

Housing Between Semesters
Residence Life and Housing is able to meet with you to discuss options around break housing and other times when classes are not in session. Our office can assist in that discussion and advocate for options. It is important to note that students must be involved with the university in some capacity to live in our residence halls over the Winter and Summer Sessions. Their office is located on the first floor of Gilbert Hall behind the Perkins Student Center and Louis Redding Hall. You can reach them directly at 302-831-4663.

Area Support for Housing Needs
Individuals who need to explore resources not affiliated with the University of Delaware in regards to low cost housing may contact the following:

Central YMCA (Wilmington DE)

Housing Alliance of Delaware

Newark Empowerment Center

Sunday Breakfast Mission (Wilmington, DE) emergency shelter
302-652-8314 x214

YWCA Delaware (Wilmington DE)

If you are in imminent risk of becoming homeless or need shelter, you can call 211 to receive support in the state of Delaware. As always, in emergency situations please call 911.