Unavoidable Disruption

1.    The Sydney College of Divinity has adopted the following definition of unavoidable disruption, to be applied to the requirements to complete a unit, the provision of special examinations, the discontinuance of a unit and exclusion from a unit.

2.    Unavoidable disruption to studies is defined as resulting from an event or set of circumstances which:

a.    could not have reasonably been anticipated, avoided or guarded against by the student and
b.    were beyond the student’s control and
c.    caused substantial disruption to the student’s capacity for effective study and/or the completion of required work and
d.    interfered with the otherwise satisfactory fulfilment of unit or program requirements.

3.    The following circumstances routinely encountered by students would not normally be acceptable grounds for claiming unavoidable disruption to studies, and include:

a.    routine demands of employment;
b.    routine family problems such as domestic tension with or between parents, spouses, and other people closely involved with the student;
c.    difficulties adjusting to College life, to the self-discipline needed to study effectively, and the demands of academic work;
d.    stress or anxiety associated with examinations, required assessment tasks or any aspect of academic work;
e.    routine need for financial support;
f.    demands of sport, clubs and social or extra-curricular activities.

4.    Any claim based on these categories would need to show clearly, with appropriate documentation, that the student’s particular circumstances were so extreme, individually or in combination, as to warrant consideration.

5.    It must also be shown that the alleged disruption seriously interfered with the student’s studies or exam performance to the extent that had it not occurred, they would in all likelihood have given a satisfactory performance.

6.    The Faculty Board will treat as ‘unavoidable disruption’ cases where the student has been prevented from attending an examination for the following reasons:

a.    as a member of the armed forces involved in compulsory exercises;
b.    as a person in full time employment required to be overseas by his or her employment;
c.    as a person summoned for jury service;
d.    as a member of the emergency services including the medical profession;
e.    as a person representing Australia at an international sporting or cultural event.