Student Ombuds Program 

The Student Ombuds serve as neutral and confidential* resources and thought partners for students who are considering their options for addressing an issue, especially in situations where there are power and positionality differences. The Ombuds can support students who are experiencing or observing unfair treatment, communication breakdown, microaggressions, or other challenging interpersonal matters, particularly when the other party is in a position of power in relation to the student (e.g., a professor, coach, or supervisor).

Although separate from the University’s Ombudsperson for staff and faculty, the Student Ombuds use similar conflict resolution and restorative justice practices.

Here are just a few examples of the ways Student Ombuds can offer support:

  • Hold a safe and supportive conversational space, simply listening and serving as an impartial sounding board
  • Provide insight on how to start and manage a challenging conversation with a professor
  • Serve as thought partners for students working through an issue with a coach or trainer
  • Offer tools on how to approach resolving a conflict with an employment supervisor
  • Share information on support resources
  • Explain and demystify formal reporting and complaint processes
  • Communicate any patterns of concern to university leadership

The Wesleyan Student Ombuds Program was informed and inspired by student voices, and they partner with and are supported by Dr. April Ruiz, Dean for Academic Equity, Inclusion, & Success.

*The Student Ombuds stand with survivors of sexual misconduct, though they do not serve as a confidential resource for these matters. If you need confidential support related to sexual misconduct, please reach out to SHAPE, CAPS, Office of Religious and Spiritual Life.


The '23-'24 Student Ombuds have wrapped up their work for the academic year, and the '24-'25 Student Ombuds will begin their work after classes being in the fall.
If you need guidance in the summer months, please email Dean April Ruiz ( She oversees the Student Ombuds program and is available to support you before the new academic year begins.


2023-2024 Student Ombuds

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    LILIA KASDON, she/her,

    Class year: 2026  

    What are your academic interests ?  Psychology; College of Education Studies; English

    What are you involved in at Wes?  Adolescent Sexual Health Awareness (ASHA); Women’s Rugby

    What is something someone might not know just by looking at you?  I have three dogs at home! 

    Why are you serving as a Student Ombud?  As someone who loves to learn, both inside and outside of the classroom, I believe that all students should have the opportunity to do so in an environment where they feel safe, respected, and heard. In my work as a Student Ombud, I want to work to make spaces at Wesleyan more trauma-informed and equitable, serving as a bridge between individual students, student groups, and administrators.

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    SARAH ASIEDU, she/her,

    Class year: 2024

    What are your academic interests?  Government; Sociology; African Studies; Chemistry

    What are you involved in at Wes?  Ujamaa; African Student Association; Race, Ethnicity, & Nationality Intern at the Resource Center; Wesleyan's Minority Association of Pre-Med Students (MAPS); Black Box Labs

    What is something someone might not know just by looking at you?  I come from a big family of immigrants from Ghana, West Africa.

    Why are you serving as a Student Ombud?  I want to be able to empower Wesleyan students of all backgrounds to take charge of their education on and off campus, no matter what conflict they may face.

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    SUNJAY RIENER, he/him,

    Class year: 2025  

    What are your academic interests ? Neuroscience; Education Studies; Data Analysis; Chemistry

    What are you involved in at Wes?  Researcher in the Elling Lab; Student Shadow at the Orthopedic Associates of Hartford; Club Soccer

    What is something someone might not know just by looking at you?  I have two first languages: English and German

    Why are you serving as a Student Ombud?  In high school I was entrusted by the student body to be the primary support person for students who were facing disciplinary action. I found the role to be incredibly fulfilling and thus made it a priority to put myself in a similar position in college where I could uplift my peers and cheer them on through any adversity they face.

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    TORI DACOSTA, she/her,

    Class year: 2025  

    What are your academic interests?  Government with an American concentration; English

    What are you involved in at Wes?  Women’s Basketball Team, DEI Representative; Student Athlete of Color Leadership Council; Student Athlete Support Network

    What is something someone might not know just by looking at you?  I am currently striving to create my own library which has to have a minimum of 1000 books, and I am only a couple hundred books away!

    Why are you serving as a Student Ombud?  I would like to be a helpful and compassionate resource for students to use. Additionally I would like to aid students in advocating for themselves for whatever instances they may need to demonstrate self advocacy.