A law student at the University of the West of England said she felt unsupported after her father’s passing. Lauren Bennett, 22, said she was denied an essay extension and help to catch up with the work she missed while planning her father’s funeral, the BBC reported.
A law student at the University of the West of England Bristol said she felt unsupported after her father’s passing. Lauren Bennett, 22, said she was denied an essay extension and help to catch up with the work she missed while planning her father’s funeral, reported the BBC.
“I did not want to drop out of university; I knew I would not come back if I did,” she told the news outlet. “My dad was very proud of me going to uni, and I wanted to do right by him.”
Bennett said the essay was due the day after her father’s funeral.
“It was embarrassing to ask for help and for that to be denied,” she said, adding that she didn’t have a choice but to hand it in.
The student was prompted by her counselor to start a petition asking the university to create a bereavement policy that would help students who are grieving.
“On the 15th of January, my dad suddenly passed away, which was a shock to all. As his next of kin, I have had to organize his funeral, his estate, inform family members globally and travel from Bristol to Manchester to empty his apartment,” Bennet wrote. “I did not expect to lose my dad at the age of 22, but I did expect to always be supported by my university.”
The petition has received 13,750 signatures so far.
“I just hope it helps someone else not go through what I had to go through,” Bennett told the BBC.
According to Legal Check, UWE Bristol has apologized to Bennett and said they are working with her to ensure she receives the support she needs. The university also said they offer advice and support to grieving students.
“Firstly, we would like to express our sincere condolences to Lauren on the death of her father. We have been working with Lauren to ensure she is aware of the full range of advice and options available to her, and we apologize that she has not felt adequately supported during this process,” UWE Bristol told Legal Cheek.
“When we know a student has experienced bereavement, we offer advice and signpost to additional support via our Wellbeing Service and Student Support Advisors. Our current assessment support covers bereavement, and our Student Support Advisors ensure students are provided with all the advice they need to continue their studies, including options for late submissions, resits and marking reviews. We will continue to work with Lauren to ensure she is receiving support at this difficult time.”