Questions Frequently Asked by U-M GSIs

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Questions Frequently Asked by U-M GSIs
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Below are some frequently asked questioned by U-M GSIs, along with suggestions for what to do or who to contact for each.

What if a student wants to turn in an assignment late because the due date falls on a religious holiday of importance to her?

See religious holiday policy.  Preventable: Ask students to inform you of conflicts at beginning of the term.

What if a student comes to your office and starts talking about difficult personal problems he is facing?

Counseling and Psychological Services: 734-764-8312,

What if a student wants to withdraw from the course two months into the term?

Talk about other alternatives. Suggest they consult with their academic advisor. Newnan LSA Academic Advising Center: 734-764-0332; Engineering: 734-647-7106; SEAS: 734-764-6453.

What if a name shows up on your final grade sheet for a student you’ve never met?

See Grades at U-M.

What if a student gives you a letter certifying that he has a learning disability?

Discuss relevant accommodations with student. Call Services for Students with Disabilities for more info: 734-763-3000.

What if a student with a broken leg is having a hard time getting to your class on time?

Suggest that the student call Services for Students with Disabilities to arrange temporary transportation services.

What if a student turns in a paper that seems familiar—you think it's plagiarism but you're not sure from where?

Talk with faculty member. See “Academic Integrity in the Classroom”, and discuss with faculty.

What if you witness two students cheating on an exam?

Interrupt behavior. See #7. Preventable: Arrange seating to deter cheating.

What if you get propositioned from a student, offering favors in exchange for a grade change?

Establish clear boundaries with student. Discuss situation with someone in your department. See #10 if necessary.

What if you feel you are being harassed by a student, a fellow GSI, or a member of the faculty or staff? Or, you see harassment between students?

Office of Institutional Equity, 734-763-0235.

What if you feel overwhelmed by your own life?

Counseling and Psychological Services: 734-764-8312,, or email [email protected].

What if you disagree with something the faculty member has said in class?

Discuss with a faculty member.

What if grading is taking twice as long as you planned?

Consult with other GSIs and Sweetland Center for Writing (see #15). Discuss with faculty member. See also "Testing and Grading".

What if you issue an override—another student has dropped and you now have room—but a third student registers for the class in the meantime?

Discuss with your department. Preventable: Close class before issuing overrides.

What if a student has clear difficulty with the mechanics of writing, more than you can address?

Refer them to the Sweetland Center for Writing, 1310 North Quad, 734-764-0429.

What if an athlete or a musician requests a change in a due date because of a game/performance?

Discuss with your department, athletic department, School of Music, Theatre and Dance.

What if you realize your students have little or no experience with research libraries and they need these skills for their papers?

Call 734-764-9373 or see

What if you get to your classroom and the door is locked?

Call security: 734-763-1131 (you’ll need to show you are authorized for this classroom) or call your department.

What if a large number of students turn in a paper late because it is a busy time at the computing center?

Preventable: Be sure students know of various computing resources. Work with drafts, allow papers to be emailed, and make clear at the beginning of the semester your policy on late papers.

What if you need ideas about teaching strategies, writing a teaching philosophy, or designing a syllabus?

See the CRLT Teaching Strategies and Disciplinary Resources site (