Code of Student Conduct

Introduction

This Q&A will help you familiarize yourself with Western University’s Code of Student Conduct. As one of the top Universities in Canada, Western has established high academic and behavioural standards and any compromise of these standards can be detrimental to both the individual and the University. As a student at Western University, you are a member of our community and you have the right and the responsibility to uphold our communal values. We must work together to promote a safe environment. By reading this Q&A, you can become a more informed member of our community and ensure that Western is a safe and just space for all people.

What is the Code of Student Conduct?

The Code of Student Conduct (the “Code”) is a document which outlines the behavioural expectations for all students and the process for handling violations of the Code when they arise. The Code of Student Conduct applies to instances of non-academic misconduct which can include behaviour that is excessive, frightening, or causes a personal safety concern. The Code is complemented by other policies, including the Policy on Sexual Violence, and the Non-Discrimination/Harassment Policy.

When and where does the Code apply to me?

The Code governs the behavior of all registered students and applies to all conduct that occurs on the premises of the University, as well as conduct that occurs at University sponsored events either on- or off-campus. In certain instances, the Code may apply more broadly to any conduct that might reasonably be seen to have an adverse effect on, interfere with, or threaten the proper functioning of the University, its mission, or the rights of its members.

What type of conduct is prohibited under the Code?

Prohibited conduct includes, but is not limited to:

•  Any assault, harassment, intimidation, threats or coercion

•  Conduct that threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person

•  Any form of sexual violence or non-consensual sexual contact

•  Engaging or participating in conduct that is, or is reasonably seen to be, humiliating, or demeaning to another person or coercing, enticing or inciting a person to commit an act that is, or is reasonably seen to be, humiliating or demeaning to that person or to others (e.g. hazing) regardless of consent

•  Misuse or misappropriation of University property, or the property of other members of the University community

•  Forging, altering or misusing any document, record, card or instrument of identification (e.g. Western One Card, Meal Card, etc.)

•  Illegal use, possession or distribution of a controlled or restricted substances (e.g. alcohol, marijuana)

•  Improper use of dangerous objects and substances (e.g. firearms or other weapons, explosives, volatile or poisonous materials, etc.)

•  Aiding or encouraging others to commit an act prohibited under the Code

How do I report a suspected violation of the Code?

Complaints should be submitted to the Office of the Associate Vice-President (Student Experience) by emailing studentconduct@uwo.ca.

What happens after I report an instance of misconduct?

The student who is accused of misconduct will be informed in writing of the nature of the complaint, and will be given reasonable opportunity to respond and tell their side of the story. When appropriate, the University encourages informal resolution of minor incidents. If the student is found to have violated the Code, appropriate sanctions will be imposed.

What if I disagree with the University’s findings and the imposed sanctions?

In certain circumstances, the student may appeal a finding of misconduct to the University Discipline Appeal Committee.

Do I need a lawyer if I’m involved in a violation of the Code?

No, you are not required to retain a lawyer. At all meetings with the Associate Vice-President (Student Experience) or a designate of the Associate Vice-President (Student Experience), the student may be accompanied by a support person of their choosing (friend, family member, colleague, etc.).

What types of sanctions does the University impose?

The University values the principles of restorative justice, and wherever possible, emphasis is placed on educational sanctions. The goal of educational sanctions is to help a student understand why their behaviour was inappropriate, to appreciate the impact of that behaviour on others and to effect positive change. Educational sanctions can include apologies, service to the University or wider community, and completion of a class or workshop. Disciplinary sanctions may also be imposed. Students may be placed on disciplinary probation, required to pay restitution, trespassed from campus, suspended, or expelled for violations of the Code.

How does the University determine which sanctions to impose?

In considering an appropriate sanction, the University’s primary focus is to ensure the safety and security of the University, its members and visitors. The University imposes sanctions that are proportionate to the type of misconduct. Sanctions may range in severity from warnings to expulsion. Instances of misconduct are assessed on a case-by-case basis and take into account the unique circumstances surrounding the incident. Factors that can affect the severity of a sanction are whether or not the student has been involved in previous misconduct incidents, and the student’s willingness to co-operate, admit wrongdoing, and modify their behaviour.

Who will know if I have violated the Code of Student Conduct?

Decisions are kept on file in the Office of the Associate Vice President (Student Experience). The decision letter will be shared with Faculties or other administrative units (Office of the Registrar and Campus Community Police Service) on a need-to-know basis.

If I am found responsible for violating the Code, will this be noted on my transcript?

Certain severe sanctions (e.g. suspension, expulsion) will be noted on the student’s academic record. The suspension notation is removed from a student’s transcript when the student graduates or five years after the last registration. The expulsion notation is permanent unless the President grants a petition for its removal; a student can petition the President no sooner than five years after the offence.

Further Reading

The University of Western Ontario Code of Student Conduct
http://www.uwo.ca/univsec/pdf/board/code.pdf

Western's Policy on Sexual Violence
http://www.uwo.ca/univsec/pdf/policies_procedures/section1/mapp152.pdf

Western’s Non-Discrimination/Harassment Policy
http://www.uwo.ca/univsec/pdf/policies_procedures/section1/mapp135.pdf

Western’s Safe Campus Community Policy
http://www.uwo.ca/univsec/pdf/policies_procedures/section1/mapp146.pdf

Resources

Equity & Human Rights Services
Somerville House, Room 2319
Tel: 519-661-3334
equity@uwo.ca
http://www.uwo.ca/equity/

Campus Community Police Service
Lawson Hall 1257
Tel: 519-661-3300
police@uwo.ca
http://www.uwo.ca/police/

Sexual Violence Prevention Education Coordinator
Wellness Education Centre
Room 76, University Community Centre
Tel: 519-661-2111 x87085
svpec@uwo.ca
http://www.safecampus.uwo.ca

Community Legal Services
Faculty of Law, Room 120
Tel: 519-661-3352
http://law.uwo.ca/legal_clinics/community_legal_services/

Office of the Ombudsperson
Western Student Services
Room 3135, Third Floor
Tel: 519-661-3573
ombuds@uwo.ca
http://www.uwo.ca/ombuds/

Student Experience
Western Student Services 2120
wse@uwo.ca
http://studentexperience.uwo.ca