This online version is for convenience; the official version of this policy is housed in the University Secretariat. In case of discrepancy between the online version and the official version held by the Secretariat, the official version shall prevail.
Approving Authority: Board of Governors
Original Approval Date: January 30, 1996
Date of Most Recent Review/Revision: June 6, 2019
Administrative Responsibility: Dean of Students Office
Parent Policy: 12.3 Non-Academic Student Code of Conduct Policy
1.1. Any member of the University Community may make a Report relating to conduct by a Student to whom this Code applies.
1.2. A Report of a possible breach of the Code may be made verbally or in writing to the Dean of Students Office at the Waterloo Campus, or the Dean of Students Office at the Brantford Campus, or to Special Constable Service. Receipt of a Report will trigger an internal review and may lead to short-term Interim Measures.
1.3. Upon receipt of a Report, there will be consideration of whether the conduct alleged in the Report is best addressed under this or other University policies or processes or separate external processes (e.g., civil or criminal legal proceedings).
1.4. At any interview or proceeding related to the decision-making process in a Report under this policy and procedures, individuals may bring a Support Person who may be internal or external to the University and/or be accompanied by a legal representative.
2.1. To facilitate timely resolution, Reports should be made as soon as possible following the alleged Code violation.
2.2. In addressing a Report, the responsible University employee may consult with or seek assistance from appropriate University officials or external advisors.
2.3. Individuals are encouraged to submit Reports in a timely way and it is recommended that the Report be filed within one (1) year of the date of the incident(s) addressed in the Report to facilitate investigation and resolution efforts. However, the University will accept a Report at any time as long as the individual(s) against whom the allegations of breach of the Code are made is/are a Student(s).
3.1. Upon receipt of a Report, the applicable Dean of Students Office will determine whether the issues noted in the Report are within the jurisdiction of the University to resolve and within the scope of this policy and procedures.
3.2. The applicable Dean of Students Office will follow-up in a timely way to address the Report and to make assessments related to risk and the applicability of this policy and procedures.
3.3. The integrity and efficacy of the Report process requires that all individuals involved in the process consider their actions and obligations under University policies and procedures, including privacy and confidentiality. University employees as well as the Complainant(s) and Respondent(s) who, by virtue of their position, are privy to information or in possession of documentation pertaining to a Report, shall hold such information in confidence. Confidentiality shall not prevent the University from fulfilling its responsibilities under applicable legislation or where there is a concern relating to the safety or security of individuals.
4.1. The Student Conduct Administrator will provide a brief summary of the alleged breach of the Code as outlined in the Report. This summary is provided to the Student(s) named in the Report (the Respondent(s)) to understand the scope of the Report including details on time, dates, and alleged breach of the Code, and date of meeting with the Student Conduct Administrator. The Student may choose to submit a written response to the summary provided to them; however, attendance at the meeting is still required.
4.2. If the Student does not respond to the Report after having been given a reasonable opportunity to do so, the Student Conduct Administrator may proceed with the Student Conduct process in this policy and procedures and/or impose Interim Measures or Sanctions in accordance with this policy and procedures. Past conduct violations and patterns of behaviour may be taken into consideration in determining the appropriate sanction(s).
4.3. The Student Conduct Administrator may consult with or seek assistance from appropriate University officials or external advisors in resolving a Report. Once a Report has been filed, the University will respond expeditiously.
4.4. If a reported incident has also resulted in criminal or civil proceedings, the University may choose to defer investigation and/or resolution of the Report. A Respondent may request in writing to the Dean of Students Office that the University postpone the Resolution process until completion of the criminal or civil proceedings. The Dean of Students, or designate, will provide a decision, with reasons, to a Respondent’s request prior to the start of an investigation or further steps in the Resolution process. During this time, the University may institute and maintain Interim Measures as appropriate.
5.1. The Dean of Students Office will determine if measures are required to protect the safety and security of a Student(s), Complainant(s), members of the University Community, or University Property (“Interim Measures”). In determining whether to impose Interim Measures and the most appropriate Interim Measure, the Dean of Students, or designate, will consult with applicable University employees and consider all relevant and necessary information including the nature of the allegations, prior non-academic conduct involving the Respondent, and any other circumstances.
5.2. Interim Measures will be imposed when:
5.2.1. Needed to ensure the safety and well-being of the Student or other members of the University Community or for the preservation of University Property;
5.2.2. The Student’s presence on campus could lead to a breach of court-imposed restrictions (e.g., release or probation conditions or a peace bond including a non-association order) or where the University is unable to reasonably accommodate the conditions;
5.2.3. There is a reasonable apprehension the Student poses a threat of disruption or of interference with the normal operations of the University; or
5.2.4. Needed to ensure the Student’s own physical safety.
6.1. If required to protect the safety and security of a Student, members of the University Community, or University Property, Special Constables Service may impose a temporary Campus Trespass on a Student regardless of whether or not the University has received a Report. This temporary Campus Trespass is limited to a 48-hour period to provide an opportunity to gather further information.
6.2. Special Constable Service will notify the Dean of Students Office on the applicable Campus as soon as possible following the issuing of a temporary Campus Trespass. The Dean of Students, or designate, shall consider the nature of the safety and security concerns and consult with appropriate internal and external offices (where applicable) to determine if there is an ongoing risk to safety and security. If there are reasonable grounds to determine that the Student’s access to a University Campus creates an ongoing risk to the safety or security of a member of the University Community (including the risk of self-harm to the Student), the temporary Campus Trespass may be extended beyond the initial 48-hour period. This extended Campus Trespass will be for a fixed duration and subject to Review, as set out below.
6.3. Other Interim Measures may include:
6.3.1. Banning access from campus (includes all University buildings or property);
6.3.2. Restricted access to University Property (including classes, buildings, or residence);
6.3.3. No-contact directive;
6.3.4. Adjusted class schedule;
6.3.5. Involuntary withdrawal (i.e. suspension);
6.3.6. Voluntary withdrawal; and/or
6.3.7. Restrictions on any other University activities or privileges for which the Student might otherwise be eligible, as the University may determine to be necessary or appropriate.
6.4. Interim Measures deemed to be reasonably necessary will be implemented and monitored by the Student Conduct Administrator at the applicable Campus.
6.5. Interim Measures will remain in effect for as long as reasonably required to address the reasonable safety and security concerns.
7.1. Students affected by Interim Measures may request, in writing, a review of the Interim Measures at the following times:
7.1.1. Where there has been a change in the status of court conditions or criminal charges (e.g., charges amended/dropped, bail conditions amended);
7.1.2. Following completion of a University approved violence risk assessment completed internally or externally;
7.1.3. When the Student has additional or new information relevant to the decision to impose Interim Measures; or
7.1.4. When the Interim Measure may have the effect of a Student losing their academic term.
7.2. Reviews of Interim Measures will be completed by one of the Dean of Students (or designate).
7.3. All reviews will be in writing; where there is a conflict of interest, the review will be completed by the Dean of Students (or designate) on an alternate campus. A Student requesting a review of Interim Measures must submit a written request for a review to the Dean of Students (or designate) and include, at a minimum, the following information:
7.3.1. The Interim Measure to be reviewed;
7.3.2. The alleged conduct by the Student;
7.3.3. The impact of the Interim Measure on the Student; and
7.3.4. The reason(s), from section 7.1., for the review.
7.4. The Dean of Students (or designate) will review all information provided by the Student and any other information deemed relevant from internal or external sources and will provide a decision, in writing, including reasons, as soon as reasonably possible, and usually within ten (10) working days.
8.1. The Student Conduct Administrator will oversee the Non-Academic Student Code of Conduct Process
8.2. The Student will be encouraged to meet with the Student Conduct Administrator in a formal, non-adversarial meeting that has several purposes. These include:
8.2.1. Determining the facts of the incident;
8.2.2. Educating the student about the Non-Academic Student Code of Conduct Process;
8.2.3. Explaining the nature of allegation(s) and relevant provision(s) in this Code;
8.2.4. Reviewing any associated documentation or reports;
8.2.5. Seeking to understand any mitigating or aggravating factors beyond the conduct reported;
8.2.6. Allowing the Student a chance to be heard and to respond to any documentation or arguments;
8.2.7. Determining whether any referrals to student support services are required for the Student (Respondent);
8.2.8. Co-creating any sanction(s) intended to repair the identified harm; and
8.2.9. Next steps towards the decision process as identified in section 11.0. Decision (below).
9.1. As may be required, the University may appoint an investigator for the incident.
9.2. Investigator(s) shall be appointed by the University and the investigation shall occur as promptly as possible. Investigator(s) may include individuals internal or external to the University, including the Student Conduct Administrator, but in no event will an individual be appointed as an investigator who is in a reporting relationship to the Complaint(s) or Respondent(s), or who may have a conflict of interest.
9.3. The investigator(s) shall receive a copy of the Report, any response provided by the Respondent and any relevant documents. The investigator will interview the Complainant(s), Respondent(s) and any applicable witnesses or individuals with knowledge of the events being investigated.
9.4. Members of the University Community will not be penalized for filing a Report in good faith or participating in an investigation.
9.5. Students involved in an investigation may be accompanied by a Support Person and/or legal representation during all investigation and decision-making processes, at the Student’s expense. The Student is responsible to notify the Dean of Students Office in advance of any meetings when the Student will be accompanied by another person.
10.1. Following completion of the external investigation, the investigator(s) shall provide a written summary report that will be securely maintained in the Dean of Students Office. The report will include:
10.1.1. A finding on each allegation in the Report in relation to the Code;
10.1.2. Sufficient detail to outline the rationale for the finding(s); and
10.1.3. Actions or sanctions relating to the issues in the Report.
10.2. The information in the investigator’s report is confidential and will only be disclosed in accordance with University privacy policies and the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
11.1. If, on a balance of probabilities, the Dean of Students or Student Conduct Administrator determines there has been a breach of the Code, the Dean of Students, or Student Conduct Administrator will determine the sanctions or other action based on their authority, as set out in the policy, that are appropriate to reasonably address conduct.
11.2 The decision to impose a sanction of suspension of more than one (1) academic term or expulsion may be made by the Provost and Vice-President, Academic on the recommendation of the Dean of Students. The decision of the Provost and Vice-President, Academic may be appealed to the Appeal Committee. The final decision to implement the sanction of expulsion may only be made by the University President & Vice-Chancellor, or designate.
11.3. The Dean of Students (or designate) may access internal University resources or external resources for guidance in the decision-making process,
11.4. The Dean of Students (or designate) will set out their decision, with reasons, in writing, including a summary of the information relied upon in making the decision and any sanctions to be imposed. This decision will be provided to the Respondent. As an official decision of the University, a copy of the decision will be retained in the Dean of Students Office in accordance with University record retention practices. Copies of the decision shall be provided to University offices and employees as required to administer the decision.
11.5. Failure to complete or abide by a required sanction may result in further disciplinary action.
11.6. If a sanction includes suspension, the University may impose conditions upon return prior to permitting the Student(s) to return in order to ensure a safe and reasonable return to campus. This information will allow the University to determine whether the University can provide and maintain a safe learning environment and uphold conditions from criminal or civil proceedings
11.7. The Complainant may receive notice that a decision has been made on the Report where sanctions have been imposed that may impact the Complainant.
12.1. Sanctions, when required, will be implemented in accordance with this policy and accompanying procedures. Whenever possible, sanctions will be co-created and educationally and developmentally based with a primary objective to repair the identified harm(s). Sanctions will be developed to address the unique requirements of the situation and may be used independently or in combination for any single violation or multiple violations of the Code. Repeated and/or multiple violations will likely increase the severity of sanctions applied. A student may receive more than one sanction at one time.
12.2. Sanctions include but are not limited to:
12.2.1. Written Warning- This includes notice that the Student violated this Code or institutional
policies or regulations;
12.2.2. Educational Sanction – Educational sanctions include but are not limited to, reflective papers, seminars, required meetings, etc.;
12.2.3. Restitution – Compensation for loss or damages to University Property;
12.2.4. Probation - Probation is for a designated period of time. Further violations of the prohibited conduct, as outlined under the policy in section 6.01 Prohibited Student Conduct, may result in further disciplinary actions up to and including suspension or expulsion. Periodic probationary meetings may be required.
12.2.5. Restriction or Denial of University Services or Privileges – Removal of, prohibition
of, or limitations on specific access to or use of University services and premises;
12.2.6. Suspension - Sanctions which temporarily remove the Student from their academic program for a designated period of time; this may include short term suspension or longer term suspension which may extend beyond on academic year. Duration of the suspension will consider multiple factors including sentencing and compliance with court imposed conditions. During the period of suspension, a Student may not attend classes (either in person or online), or participate in University-related activities, whether they occur on or off campus. Additionally, a Student subject to university suspension may not be present on University premises unless authorized in writing in advance under conditions approved by the Dean of Students Office. Suspensions are noted on the student’s transcript for the duration of the suspension; and
12.2.7. Expulsion – Sanction in response to behaviour that is so egregious that it completely impairs the relationship between the Student and the University and therefore permanently separates the Student from the University without the opportunity to graduate or re-enroll in the future. An expelled Student may not be present on University premises unless authorized in writing in advance under conditions approved by the Dean of Students Office. Expulsion will be noted on the student's academic transcript. The final decision to implement the sanction of Expulsion may only be made by the University President & Vice-Chancellor, or designate on the recommendation of the Vice-President: Academic and/or the Appeals Committee as noted in section 14 below.
12.2.8. Failure to complete or abide by a required sanction may result in further disciplinary action or a Dean of Students hold being placed on the Student’s University account. A Dean of Students hold prohibits a Student from accessing their student record, registering for classes, or having their academic transcript released.
12.3 The Student Conduct Administrator has the authority to implement sanctions 12.2.1 through 12.2.5. Suspensions of up to a maximum of one (1) academic term may be applied after consultation with the Dean of Students, which a decision will be set out in writing, with reasons. Other sanctions may be implemented by the Student Conduct Administrator and Dean of Students.
13.1. The Respondent may appeal the University’s decision and/or sanctions only if one of the following applies:
13.1.1. There was a serious procedural error in the handling of the Report which was prejudicial to the Student or might have substantially affected the final decision;
13.1.2. The decision and/or sanction(s) are unreasonable or unsupportable on the information; or
13.1.3. There is new relevant information, not available at the time of the original decision, which would impact the decision.
14.1. A Student found in violation of Prohibited Student Conduct through the Conduct Process with a Sanction that is not Suspension or Expulsion may appeal the decision to the Dean of Students. The following process(s) will be followed for these appeals:
14.1.1. Students may appeal the finding(s) in the decision and/or the sanctions in accordance with section 13.1 (above). Appeals should be submitted in writing to the Dean of Students Office within ten (10) days of the date of the decision being appealed. Appeals will be addressed by a Dean of Students at a campus other than the campus where the Student is primarily registered. Upon reasonable request, the ten (10) business day deadline may be extended by the relevant Dean of Students Office.
14.1.2. In the appeal, the Student must set out in writing the reason(s) for the appeal from section 13.1 (above), the supporting facts, and the requested resolution. An appeal is not a rehearing of the matter.
14.1.3. The Dean of Students will determine if one of the criteria in section 13.1 (above) applies and will notify the Student in writing that their appeal will be heard and, if requested by the Student, a meeting will be scheduled. Following the appeal meeting, the final decision will be communicated to the Student in writing. The final decision concludes the appeal process and represents the final decision in this matter.
14.2. A Student found in violation of Prohibited Student Conduct through the Conduct Process with a Sanction that includes Suspension or the recommendation of Expulsion may appeal the decision to the Conduct Appeal Committee (“Appeal Committee”). The following process will be followed for these appeals:
14.2.1. Students may appeal the finding(s) in the decision and/or the sanctions in accordance with section 13.1 (above). Appeals should be commenced in writing to the University Secretary within ten (10) days of the date of the decision being appealed.
14.2.2. In the appeal, the Student must set out in writing the reason(s) for the appeal from section 13.1 (above), the supporting facts, and the requested resolution. An appeal is not a rehearing of the matter.
14.2.3. All Interim Measures and/or conditions implemented by the University shall remain in place pending the outcome of the appeal process.
14.2.4. Members of the Appeal Committee will be independent of all prior decisions or processes relating to the Report and will have no prior knowledge of the matters to be addressed in the appeal hearing. Appeal Committee members are expected to identify any actual or perceived conflicts of interest as soon as possible and in advance of the start of the Appeal hearing. A Student appealing the Decision who believes that an Appeal Committee member has a conflict of interest is required to identify the conflict as soon as possible and in advance of the start of the Appeal hearing. The University Secretary shall make a determination on the potential conflict of interest and communicate the decision to the Student and Appeal Committee members prior to the start of the Appeal hearing.
a. The University Secretary, or designate, shall provide administrative support and procedural advice to the Appeal Committee.
14.2.5. The Appeal Committee shall have three (3) members:
a. The Vice-President: Student Affairs who shall chair the Committee, or designate when the VP: Student Affairs is unable to serve;
b. One faculty member; and
c. One student member.
14.2.6. The Student appealing the University’s decision is the Appellant in the Appeal and the University is responding to the Appeal. Appeal hearings will be conducted in accordance with procedural fairness.
14.2.7. Subject to the requirements in this policy and procedures, the Appeal Committee shall determine its own procedures and practices. The Chair may, in consultation with the University Secretary, make such rules and orders as deemed necessary and proper to ensure an expeditious and procedurally fair proceeding. For information on the procedures and practices of the Appeal Committee, contact the University Secretary.
14.2.8. Appeals will generally be conducted as written hearings with all evidence to be relied upon submitted in writing to the University Secretary on behalf of the Appeal Committee. Where an appeal raises issues requiring an assessment of credibility, the Appeal Committee shall provide the Appellant the opportunity for an oral hearing. For oral hearings, both the Appellant and the University shall have the right to appear, call evidence, make oral representations, and cross-examine in accordance with Appeal Committee determined procedures.
14.2.9. Upon receipt of an appeal, the University Secretary will schedule the Appeal hearing (whether oral or written) and communicate this information to the Appeal Committee, the Appellant, and the University in a timely manner.
14.2.10. The parties to the Appeal have the right to have an advisor, or retain and be represented by legal counsel, for the Appeal hearing at their own expense. The Appeal Committee reserves the right to retain counsel. Notice of the name of any advisor or legal counsel retained by a party shall be provided to the Appeal Committee (through the University Secretary) and to the other party(ies) as soon as possible and at least three (3) business days prior to the start of the Appeal hearing. Appeal Committee hearings will not be unreasonably postponed or rescheduled due to the unavailability of the advisor or counsel.
14.2.11. In all hearings, whether oral or written, the Appeal Committee will consider all information, documents and submissions provided in the decision-making process and all new evidence provided in the Appeal hearing. The Appeal Committee may ask questions of the participants and may invite witnesses to provide evidence, as the Appeal Committee deems necessary. The standard to apply is a balance of probabilities.
14.2.12. Due to the confidential nature of the issues and impact on participants, Appeal hearings shall be closed and not open to the public.
14.2.13. The Appeal Committee will act expeditiously in making its decision and will consider all relevant documents and evidence, the reasonableness of the decision, and recommended sanctions.
14.2.14. The Appeal Committee’s decision shall be based on a majority vote. The Appeal Committee’s decision on suspension shall be final. For decisions on expulsions, see section 14.2.15. (below). The Appeal Committee may: uphold the Decision; remove or replace a Sanction; or order a new Hearing. A copy of the written decision and reasons shall be provided to the Appellant and such other University representatives involved in the Appeal as required. Recipients of the Appeal Committee’s decision shall keep confidential the personal information of those involved and avoid acts of reprisal.
a. The Appeal Committee has no authority to make any order for general, aggravated or special damages, or the payment of costs.
14.2.15. In cases where the recommended Sanction is Expulsion and the recommendation has been upheld by the Appeal Committee, the Appeal Committee will make the recommendation to the University President & Vice-Chancellor who may implement the recommendation or impose such other Sanction as deemed appropriate. The decision of the President is final.