Policy 130 - Student Rights and Responsible Conduct

Policy 130 - Student Rights and Responsible Conduct
Responsible Service: Office of the Secretary-General
Date and Instance of Approval Senate – February 14, 2022
Effective Date: May 1, 2022

PREAMBLE

The University of Ottawa is a community in which its members dedicate themselves to learning, teaching and research. As an institution of higher education and of academic excellence,  the University provides a rich and stimulating learning environment for all of its students. It also seeks to help its students expand their knowledge, enrich their culture, boost their creativity, enhance their ability to question and analyze, and take full advantage of university life to become well-rounded, responsible citizens and leaders of our society

To achieve these objectives, the University and all of the members of its community must work together to maintain a respectful, healthy and safe learning, teaching and work environment.  Students and all other members of the University community have the right to a positive and safe University environment where everyone feels welcome and respected.  With this right comes the shared responsibility of all members of the University community to be accountable for their actions and do their part in maintaining a climate of freedom, respect and fairness.

This Policy on Student Rights and Responsible Conduct serves, on the one hand, to affirm student rights and, on the other hand, to define responsible conduct and a breach of responsible conduct. It provides a framework for the exercise and respect of student rights in their interactions with each other and with other members of the University community.  It also identifies existing mechanisms and resources for students to assert such rights and provides a fair process to respond to a breach of responsible conduct.

This Policy addresses breaches that take place in University facilities or in relation to a University activity.

The University is committed to providing developmental and educational opportunities in response to student conduct issues when appropriate. To this end, decision-makers within this Policy should be guided by the principles of education, deterrence and restitution and by the concern for the well-being and safety of students and of the whole University community.

A student’s faculty remains a student’s main point of contact with respect to their rights and responsibilities and the framework established by this Policy does not diminish the front-line role of the faculties nor the importance of that role.  Similarly, the dean or his or her delegate remains the authority for all decisions concerning students of his or her faculty.

This Preamble is to be read as part of this Policy and is intended to assist and guide in the Policy’s interpretation and implementation.

1. PURPOSE

The purposes of this Policy are to:

  1. serve to promote and a means to maintain a respectful, healthy and safe University learning, living and work environment;
  2. assist as a learning tool to help promote Students’ personal growth and development;
  3. affirm Student rights;
  4. inform Students about the University’s expectations on the standards for Responsible Conduct;
  5. ensure an effective approach to intervene and protect Students when impacted by other Students who engage in a Breach of Responsible Conduct; and
  6. provide a process that sets out how the University will implement this Policy, respond to and address an allegation of a Breach of Responsible Conduct, and that fosters consistency in the University’s response.

2. DEFINITIONS AND INTERPRETATION

2.1 Definitions

The words and expressions used in this Policy with a capital letter have the respective meanings ascribed to them in Appendix 1 of this Policy or refer to a University position title or office. 

2.2 Debates, assemblies, demonstrations, picketing

This Policy is not to be interpreted to interfere with free expression, the free exchange of ideas and debate in an academic environment and it should not be interpreted to prevent Students from participating in respectful debates, peaceful assemblies and demonstrations, lawful picketing. Also, it should not be interpreted in a way that it would inhibit a Student’s  right to express their views freely as set out in University  Policy 121 – Statement on Free Expression or to criticize or disagree with the University.

2.3 This Policy and other University Policies

In circumstances where an alleged Breach of Responsible Conduct would constitute a violation of more than one of the University’s Policies, the Case Manager, in consultation with the Director of the Human Rights Office and with the relevant Appropriate Authority, has the authority to determine the appropriate University Policies to be followed.

3. APPLICATION

3.1 This Policy applies to Students and to a Breach of Responsible Conduct (as described in Section 5.2 of this Policy) that is alleged to have occurred:

  1. on or at any University Facility; or
  2. anywhere that is not on or at a University Facility in circumstances where:
    1. the Student is participating in a University Activity; or
    2. the Student conduct is through electronic media and has a real substantial connection to a University Activity, University Facility, University Property or to the University Community.

3.2 This Policy does not apply to alleged conduct:

  1. in relation to an Academic Regulation or to other University Policies about conduct and a process to address such conduct; or
  2. that occurs while the Student is acting in their capacity as an employee of the University or while carrying out their employee duties; or
  3. of an individual who has graduated from the University or is no longer a Student unless, the individual subsequently applies for admission to the University or subsequently becomes a Student, and in either such case, the Case Manager, in consultation with the Director of the Human Rights Office, the relevant Appropriate Authority and with the person who made the allegation, may decide to apply this Policy and initiate or pursue the processes set out in Appendix 4 of this Policy or take such other recourse as appropriate.

4. STUDENT RIGHTS 

4.1   Scope

All Students have the following rights throughout their studies at the University:

  1. to be treated with respect and dignity and without harassment and discrimination;
  2. to be treated according to the norms of fairness and ethical behaviour; 
  3. to have their rights protected if they are prejudiced by a Breach of Responsible Conduct;
  4. to bring forward a concern about another member of the University Community to their professor, director of their program, dean or vice-dean of their faculty or to the relevant administrative staff manager or head of unit, without fear of reprisal for having voiced their concern, and to have that concern looked into and followed-up, as appropriate;
  5. to bring forward to the Human Rights Office, any concern about the respect of their rights under this Policy and to consult with the Human Rights Office on their options available at the University to address their concern;
  6. to participate in the free expression, the free exchange of ideas and debate in an academic environment, in fair debates, peaceful assemblies and demonstrations, lawful picketing and express their views freely and publicly, including criticism about the University;
  7. to be treated in accordance with the principles of Natural Justice and Procedural Fairness and to be accompanied by a support person if they become the subject of a Breach of Responsible Conduct case under this Policy or the subject of a complaint, allegation or a proceeding under other University Policies;
  8. to maintain ownership of original material they create and to receive proper recognition of or attribution to their ideas, academic work or assistance when used by other members of the University Community in accordance with applicable University Policies and/or collective agreements;
  9. the rights as those expressed in the University’s Academic Regulations, including, for example, in areas listed below and summarized in Appendix 2 of this Policy:
    • Revision of grades and appeal
    • Courses
    • Evaluation and student learning
    • Mandatory withdrawal
    • Academic fraud
    • Religious accommodation
    • Academic accommodation 
    • Thesis
  10. the rights as those expressed in other University Policies, for example, in areas listed below and summarized in Appendix 2 of this Policy:
      • Bilingualism and official languages
      • Prevention of harassment and discrimination
      • Prevention of sexual violence
      • Health and safety
      • Free expression
      • Accessibility
      • Student personal information
      • Evaluation of courses and teaching by students
      • Administrative services

4.2 Student resources

  1. Students can seek the assistance of the University’s Human Rights Office in navigating the University Policies associated with their Student rights and in obtaining information about potential resources, support and services available to the Student, including a Student who is the subject of an allegation of Breach of Responsible Conduct, depending on the nature of the Student’s needs and the circumstances.
  2. Student associations, formally recognized by the University, offer services to Students aimed at promoting the rights of Students, advocating on their behalf and raising awareness (for example, the Student Rights Centre).
  3. A Student can consult the University’s Office of the Ombudsperson about University Policies, and other issues affecting Students and members of the University Community.

5. RESPONSIBLE CONDUCT

5.1 Meaning of Responsible Conduct

All Students are expected to act responsibly when engaging with members of the University Community, participating in a University Activity or when at or using a University Facility or University Property (referred to as “Responsible Conduct”).  Students demonstrate Responsible Conduct when they conduct themselves in a manner that,

  1. treats others with respect; and
  2. contributes to a learning, work and living University environment in which respect, civility, diversity, opportunity, and inclusiveness are valued; and
  3. complies with this Policy and with other University Policies.

5.2 Breach of Responsible Conduct

A Breach of Responsible Conduct occurs where the Student’s conduct falls within any one or more of the various types of Student conduct described in Appendix 3 or where a Student encourages or assists others, by words or by action, to engage in conduct referred to in Appendix 3.

6. PROCESSES AND GENERAL PRINCIPLES

6.1 Procedure - Appendix 4

  1. The process for the initial intake and assessment, informal and formal procedures to address a Breach of Responsible Conduct and for an appeal are set out in Appendix 4 of this Policy.
  2. The deadlines mentioned in the procedures outlined in Appendix 4 of this Policy are meant to ensure that the matters are dealt with according to the principles of Natural Justice and Procedural Fairness and in a timely fashion. There may be, in exceptional circumstances, reasons to extend a deadline. In such cases, the Director of the Human Rights Office can extend a deadline where the delay is requested in good faith and the extension does not prejudice or harm those involved in the Breach of Responsible Conduct case. It can be difficult to determine appropriate timelines for the resolution, investigation or a final disposition of a Breach of Responsible Conduct case. Therefore, where no deadlines are mentioned in the procedures outlined in Appendix 4 of this Policy, the intention is always to use a reasonable time period and as expeditiously as possible in light of the nature and complexity of the circumstances of the Breach of Responsible Conduct case and in light of other circumstances that may arise during the process that are beyond a person’s reasonable control.  Subject to exceptional circumstances, if a Student, who is the subject of a Breach of Responsible Conduct case, fails to respond or do something as requested within the timeline or deadline communicated to the Student, then the Student is considered to have chosen not to respond or act.
  3. The processes in Appendix 4 of this Policy do not replace or supersede processes in an applicable collective agreement or a University Policy.  Where there is no process set out in a University Policy to respond to or address an allegation of a Breach of Responsible Conduct falling within the scope of such applicable University Policy, the general principles in Section 6 of this Policy and the processes set out in Appendix 4 will apply.

6.2 Case Manager

  1. The Case Manager in the Human Rights Office is responsible for the initial intake and assessment of Breach of Responsible Conduct cases.
  2. If an incident of alleged Breach of Responsible Conduct is disclosed to a member of the University Community, this member should refer the person who made such disclosure to this Policy, and to inform the person that the Case Manager is the University point of contact for information about the intake, assessment and processing of a Breach of Responsible Conduct case under this Policy.
  3. The Appropriate Authority, in consultation with the Case Manager, has the authority to impose or remove or to cause the relevant authority at the University to impose or remove interim measures, as needed, in accordance with Section 6.8 of this Policy, pending the final outcome of a Breach of Responsible Conduct case.

6.3 External authorities or recourse

  1. The University reserves the right to take necessary and appropriate action to protect the health, safety and well-being of the University Community.
  2. The Case Manager, in consultation with the Director of the Human Rights Office, the Appropriate Authority and any other relevant authority at the University, can refer a Breach of Responsible Conduct case to other relevant external authorities having jurisdiction over the Student or have it dealt with through other external proceedings in accordance with Applicable Law.

6.4 Confidentiality

  1. A Breach of Responsible Conduct case will be treated in a confidential manner and in accordance with Applicable Law governing the protection of personal information.
  2. Confidentiality is intended to safeguard the Student against unsubstantiated allegations, to protect the rights of the Student or others involved in the allegations, prevent an unjustified invasion of their personal privacy and to preserve the integrity of the process.
  3. The University and all members of the University Community or others who become aware of a Breach of Responsible Conduct case must make every effort to maintain confidentiality.
  4. Disclosure of the information about the Breach of Responsible Conduct case  must be limited to those who need to know for the purposes of and those consistent with processing and addressing the situation, unless disclosure is required or permitted by Applicable Law, or required by professional association, college or licensing bodies relevant to the Student’s professional program of study (example, law, engineering, teaching, medicine) or by a University emergency (as defined in Section 3.1 b) of University Policy 125 – Emergency Management and Business Continuity Program).
  5. Where possible, the person who brought the allegation of Breach of Responsible Conduct to the attention of the University, or the Student who is the subject of a Breach of Responsible Conduct case will be consulted before a disclosure of information is made and will be informed of a decision to disclose and to whom the information is disclosed.
  6. Confidentiality does not guarantee anonymity. The Student who is the subject of  a Breach of Responsible Conduct case must be informed of who has made the allegations, and the specific nature of the allegations in order to be able to adequately respond.
  7. Breaches of confidentiality may jeopardize the proper handling of the Breach of Responsible Conduct case.  If a breach of confidentiality occurs, the circumstances of the breach and its impact on properly addressing the matter will be considered in the ensuing handling of the matter.
  8. The Human Rights Office is responsible for maintaining the records related to a Breach of Responsible Conduct case in accordance with University Policies associated with University records management.

6.5 Support person

  1. The Student can be accompanied by a support person of their choice at any time during the processing of the case, including a member of the Student Rights Centre or any Student representative, whether that Student is the subject of the Breach of Responsible Conduct case or who is the one who brought the allegation forward to the Case Manager. The support person can provide encouragement or other emotional or moral support to the Student. The support person, with the Student’s authorization, can speak with the Case Manager and the Appropriate Authority to obtain status updates on the Breach of Responsible Conduct case and ask questions about the process and procedures.
  2. Representations (both oral and written) made during the processes set out in Appendix 4 of this Policy must come directly from the Student. The support person must agree in writing to maintain confidentiality in accordance with this Policy.

6.6 Absence of the Student’s participation in the process

  1. The University can decide to continue processing a Student case to conclusion under this Policy, whether or not the Student participates in the processes set out in Appendix 4 of this Policy. If the Student does not respond to the Breach of Responsible Conduct case or does not meet with the Case Manager, or person mandated by the Case Manager to do an investigation, after having been given a reasonable opportunity to do so, the Case Manager, has the authority to decide whether or not proceed with the process under this Policy and to dispose of the Breach of Responsible Conduct case.
  2. If subsequently the Student is found to have engaged in Breach of Responsible Conduct under this Policy and final measures result, the Student will be so notified in writing prior to the implementation of such measures.

6.7 Student status

  1. If at any time while a Breach of Responsible Conduct case is pending against a Student, the Student’s status or relationship with the University ends (this does not include a leave of absence or other temporary break or a voluntary withdrawal from a course or program of study), then the Case Manager, in consultation with the Director of the Human Rights Office and the Appropriate Authority, may decide to suspend the process. If the individual applies again or returns as a  Student in future, the Case Manager, in consultation with the Director of the Human Rights Office, the Appropriate Authority or other relevant authority at the University, will decide whether to reinstate the Breach of Responsible Conduct process under this Policy.

6.8 Interim measures

  1. Interim measures are those that may be temporarily imposed, on a without prejudice basis, at any point during the processing of a Student case pending a final outcome in order to stabilize a situation or to protect from retaliation or the threat of retaliation, to address safety and security or other concerns, and/or otherwise support those involved in a Breach of Responsible Conduct case.
  2. Examples of interim measures include, but are not limited to, the following: limit or prohibit the Student’s access to a University Facility, restrict the Student’s contact with other members of the University Community, or suspend Student privileges.
  3. An interim measure is not a final determination that Breach of Responsible Conduct has occurred and may remain in place for as long as the intended purpose is fulfilled or until the final outcome of the Breach of Responsible Conduct case.
  4. The interim measure should be in proportion to the circumstances, be the least disruptive to the Student but otherwise simultaneously achieve the interim measure’s intended purpose.

6.9 Final measures

  1. A final measure or more than one measure may be imposed on a Student as a final outcome of the Breach of Responsible Conduct case and to ensure that the Breach of Responsible Conduct is addressed, to educate the Student on their responsibilities and to help prevent its reoccurrence.
  2. Prior to imposing a final measure under this Policy, the Appropriate Authority must take into consideration a mix of principles such as education, restitution, deterrence, and where appropriate, progressive discipline (i.e. rather than imposing the most severe type of measure immediately, the measure should be one that will educate the Student and correct and prevent the Breach of Responsible Conduct from reoccurring) in light of the following:
    1. the nature, the incidence, repeated occurrence (if any), degree of severity and impact of the Breach of Responsible Conduct;
    2. any measure imposed on the Student pursuant to any other University Policy that may be relevant to addressing or preventing the Breach of Responsible Conduct;
    3. the failure or refusal by the Student to comply with a previous measure imposed pursuant to this Policy.

6.10 Examples of measures

The type of measure will depend on the circumstances, on the seriousness of the behaviour, on any aggravating and mitigating factors, and the preferred practice when imposing measures is to take an educational, progressive and developmental approach to addressing a Breach of Responsible Conduct.  Measures can be a mix of supportive, positive, educational and/or disciplinary and should be accompanied by a follow-up mechanism, such as mandatory meetings with appropriate persons or services.  The following is a list of examples of measures that could be imposed on a Student for Breach of Responsible Conduct (it is not intended to be an exhaustive list of examples):

Measures stipulated in paragraphs a) to g) inclusively are measures that the Appropriate Authority, or his or her delegate, can impose and enforce (whether interim or final).

  1. Educational measures: the Student carries out reflective independent study, a reflective work assignment (such study or assignment would not be for academic evaluation), or a service or other activity, appropriate in the circumstance and designed to educate and provide an opportunity for the Student to learn, to reconnect with the University Community.
  2. Written warning:  a notice in writing to the Student of the type of Breach of Responsible Conduct engaged in by the Student and the measures the Student must take to stop or address such Breach of Responsible Conduct.
  3. Probation: a written reprimand for Breach of Responsible Conduct that is for a designated period of time and includes a warning of the imposition of more serious measures if the Student continues to engage in Breach of Responsible Conduct during the probationary period or in future.
  4. Loss of privileges or suspension/refusal of a service: denial of specified privileges for a designated period or suspending or refusing to continue to provide certain services to the Student.
  5. Restitution: compensation for loss, damage or injury. This may take the form of appropriate service and/or monetary loss or material replacement.
  6. Withdrawal, suspension or cancellation of awards and /or financial assistance to the Student.
  7. Student status conditions: conditions associated with the Student's continued attendance and enrolment at the University.  For example, requirement to undertake training or an educational session within a certain period.

Measures stipulated in paragraphs (h) and (i) inclusively are final measures that may only be imposed by the Senate Appeals Committee, upon recommendation of the Appropriate Authority,

  1. University suspension: suspension from continuing studies at the University for a specified period, after which the Student is eligible to resume studies, with or without conditions.
  2. University expulsion: mandatory and permanent withdrawal or cancellation of the  Student’s admission or registration at or relationship to the University.

6.11 Appeal

The Student, who is found to have engaged in a Breach of Responsible Conduct and is the subject of a final measure for Breach of Responsible Conduct that is imposed or recommended by the Appropriate Authority, has the right to appeal to the Senate Appeals Committee such decision and / or final measure or recommendation in accordance with the appeal process referred to in Appendix 4 at Section 5.

7. REVIEW AND IMPLEMENTATION  

7.1 The Human Rights Office is responsible for the periodic review and implementation of this Policy.  The Human Rights Office will meet each year with the University of Ottawa Students’ Union (UOSU), the Graduate Student’s Association (GSAÉD) and the student members of Senate to discuss this Policy and will provide them with an opportunity to contribute, comment and make recommendations on proposed revisions, if any, to the Policy.

7.2 The Human Rights Office will report annually to the Senate on matters arising from this Policy.

8. APPROVAL AND AMENDMENTS

8.1 Subject to Section 8.2 of this Policy, amendments to this Policy require the approval of the Senate.

8.2 Notwithstanding Section 8.1 of this Policy, the Secretary-General may amend this Policy without the need to submit such amendment to the Senate for approval if such amendment to this Policy is required to,

  1. Update or correct the name or title of a position, unit, law, regulation, policy, authority; or
  2. Correct punctuation, grammar, typographical errors, revisions to format and other technical revisions, where appropriate, if the correction does not change the meaning of a provision.

(Next are the Appendices 1, 2, 3 and 4 of this Policy)

APPENDIX 1 –DEFINITIONS

Academic Regulations”: refers collectively to all of the regulations established by the University  Senate, a faculty or academic unit applicable to all levels of study or to a specific level of study or to a specific program, faculty or academic unit, as may be amended from time to time.

Applicable Law” means any present and future law, statute, regulation, by-law, treaty, judgment, decree or order of a relevant court of law having the force of law, and all present and future official directives, rules, consents, approvals, authorizations, guidelines, orders and policies of any governmental authority.

Appropriate Authority” will depend on the position in authority over the Student who is the  subject of a Breach of Responsible Conduct case and refers to any one of the following:

  1. the Dean, or their designate, responsible for the program of study in which the Student is registered or admitted; or
  2. the Vice-Provost, Academic Affairs or the Associate Vice-President, Student Affairs, as appropriate, or their designate, if the Student is registered in or had been admitted into courses offered in more than one faculty, is a special Student or is enrolled in a continuing education course or program; or
  3. the governing authority at the University with the power to impose a measure on a Student pursuant to University Policies.

Breach of Responsible Conduct Case” means a serious concern raised or a report or a complaint made to the Case Manager pursuant to this Policy regarding a Student and allegations of a Breach of Responsible Conduct.

Breach of Responsible Conduct” has the meaning set out in Section 5.2 of this Policy.

Case Manager” refers to the University employee in the University’s Human Rights Office, regardless of that person’s job title, whose responsibility is to manage a Breach of Responsible Conduct case and whose responsibilities and authority are as set out in this Policy.

Natural Justice and Procedural Fairness” refers to principles and processes that ensure the following:

  1. timely and fair investigations and meetings;
  2. well informed and unbiased decisions by the Appropriate Authority, adequate notice of meetings;
  3. access to sufficient and timely information about all of the allegations and to the information to be relied on by the Appropriate Authority or that is relevant to decisions;
  4. the opportunity to respond to the allegations reasonably and fully; and
  5. to be informed of the Appropriate Authority’s decision and reasons for the decision.

Responsible Conduct” has the meaning as described in Section 5.1 of this Policy.

Student” refers to an individual who fits within the Student categories and status of Students as set out in Academic Regulation I-1 and in Academic Regulation II-3 or refers to an individual who,

  1. has accepted a University offer of admission into a University course or program of study but has yet to enroll in classes; or
  2. is enrolled in a non-degree diploma or certificate program (whether for credit or not); or
  3. is registered at another university but is attending at the University on a letter of permission from the University or on a Student exchange program; or
  4. is a learner or trainee in postgraduate education, such as University medical resident or a post-doctoral fellow.

University Activity” means a class, lecture, tutorial, lab, placement, field trip, internship, residency, course, program, project, service, function, event or other activity (regardless of the mode of delivery or regardless of the medium, in-person, online, electronic or otherwise) that has a real and substantial connection to the University or is under the auspices of the University.

University Community” means all individuals who have a relationship with or to the University, including but not limited to, the following:

  1. Students as defined in this Appendix 1;
  2. employees of the University, including all unionized and non-unionized academic and support staff as well as those whose salary is paid through sources other than the University’s operating funds, such as grants, research grants and external funding;
  3. clinicians and physicians with an academic appointment; adjunct, visiting and emeritus professors; post-doctoral or clinical fellows;
  4. contractors, consultants, suppliers or other entities engaged by the University to provide services or goods when at a University Facility or while acting in a capacity defined by their relationship to the University or entities renting or occupying a University Facility;
  5. members of the Board of Governors, of the Senate and any of their respective committees, as well as members of any advisory committee formed to help the University achieve its goals;
  6. employees of both unionized and non-unionized employee and Student groups when at a University Facility or while acting in a capacity defined by their relationship to the University;
  7. visitors, including visiting Students and volunteers or persons who serve on advisory or other committees.

University Facility” means land, building, physical structure owned, rented or otherwise under the control of the University.

“University Property” means University equipment, goods, furniture, item or other asset used to carry out the business of the University.

University Policies” refers collectively to the University’s Academic Regulations, administrative policies, procedures (and those that are faculty specific), by-laws, resolutions, rules, directives, guidelines, instructions, as may be amended by the University from time to time.

APPENDIX 2–EXAMPLES OF RIGHTS IN ACADEMIC REGULATIONS AND IN OTHER UNIVERSITY POLICIES

APPENDIX 2 - TABLE A - ACADEMIC REGULATIONS
Area General description of Student rights Academic Regulation
1. Revision of grades and appeal The right to:
  • see, after grading, documents used to establish their grade;
  • ask for a grade review;
  • obtain a copy of documents used in reaching the decision resulting from the grade review;
  • to appeal the decision of the academic unit to the Senate Appeals Committee in accordance with the Senate Appeals Committee Procedure ; and
  • to be accompanied by a representative during the meeting of the Senate Appeals Committee (for example, from the Student Rights Centre).
Academic Regulation I-10.3
2. Courses The right to receive a course syllabus at the beginning of the course. Academic Regulation I-8.5
3. Evaluation and Student learning The right to:
  • receive feedback on their academic work;
  • see, upon request and after they have been marked, their own examination booklets; and
  • request to be absent from an examination or to submit an assignment later on medical grounds or exceptional personal circumstances.
Academic Regulation I-9
4. Mandatory withdrawal The right to appeal a mandatory withdrawal from a program or faculty. Academic Regulation 1-11
5. Academic Fraud The right to:
  • be informed of the allegation of academic fraud;
  • a process as outlined in Academic Regulation 1-14 that is consistent with the principles of Natural Justice and Procedural Fairness;
  • appeal to the Senate Appeals Committee in accordance with the Senate Appeals Committee Procedure ; and
  • be accompanied by a representative during the meeting of the Senate Appeals Committee (for example, from the Student Rights Centre).
Academic Regulation 1-14
6. Religious accommodation The right to:
  • request accommodation for religious observances where the scheduling of a Student’s academic or course-specific requirements conflicts with the Student’s religious observances;
  • be informed about the process to make such request; and
  • receive reasonable accommodation where appropriate.
Academic Regulation 1-15
7. Academic accommodation Students with a disability have the right to:
  • request an academic accommodation to allow them an equitable opportunity to access and participate in the learning environment with dignity, autonomy and without impediment;
  • be informed about the process to make such request; and
  • receive appropriate accommodation.
Academic Regulation 1-16
8. Thesis Students retain the copyright in their thesis. Academic Regulation II - 7.14
APPENDIX 2 - TABLE B - UNIVERSITY POLICIES
Area General description of Student rights University Policies
1. Bilingualism and official languages The right to:
  • use French or English to communicate with the University;
  • require that a course be given in the language used to describe the course in the course calendar; and
  • produce their written work to answer examination questions in the official language of their choice (except in program and courses for which language is a requirement).
Regulation on Bilingualism

If Students believe their rights associated with bilingualism or official languages have not been respected, Students can raise their concerns with the administration of the academic unit or University service concerned or with the Associate VicePresident, Francophonie
2. Harassment and discrimination The right to a learning and work environment that promotes the understanding and respect for dignity of the person as part of the University Community and one that is free of harassment and discrimination. Policy 67a Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination
 

If Students believe their rights associated with a learning and work environment free of harassment and discrimination have not been respected, Students can raise their concerns with the University’s Human Rights Office and can use the process outlined in University Procedure 36-1 Complaints of Harassment/Discrimination initiated by Students

3. Sexual violence The right to study and work in an environment free of sexual violence and to a survivor-centered approach to addressing issues of sexual violence. Policy 67 b) Prevention of Sexual Violence

If Students believe their rights have not been respected, Students can raise their concerns in accordance with the disclosure mechanisms and formal complaint process set out in Policy 67 b) Prevention of Sexual Violence
4. Health and safety

The right to a healthy and safe work and study environment.

Generally, Students are not considered workers under occupational health and safety laws; however, the University applies the principles of health and safety laws to Students.

Policy 77 Occupational Health and Safety Policy

If a Student believes their health and safety rights within a university workplace or learning environment have not been respected, Students can raise their concerns with the administration of the academic unit and can report potential or actual hazard, accident or injury in accordance with the reporting mechanisms and processes outlined in Procedure 14-1 Internal Responsibility Procedure for Health and Safety Issues and if there is an immediate threat to life, safety, to the University’s Protection Services.

If the Student has concerns about the way they are treated by Protection Services uniformed officers, they can raise it through the complaint mechanism established by Protection Services
5. Free expression The right to express their views freely.

The right to the free expression, the free exchange of ideas and debate in an academic environment and to participate in fair debate, peaceful assemblies and demonstrations, lawful picketing and to criticize or disagree with the University.
Policy 121 Statement on Free Expression

If Students believe their rights on free expression have not been respected, Students can raise their concerns with the administration of the academic unit or University service concerned or if necessary, raise it with the Office of the Provost and Vice-President, Academic Affairs who is responsible for the Policy on Free Expression
6. Accessibility The right of Students with disability to an accessible barrier-free working, teaching and learning environment and to be treated in a way that allows them to maintain their dignity and independence. Policy 119 – Accessibility

If a Student with disability believes their accessibility rights have not been respected, Students can raise their concerns with the University’s Human Rights Office through the processes established by it
7. Student personal information The right to the protection of the confidentiality of the Student record and the Student’s personal information contained in it and to the use of the Student’s personal information for the purposes of and those consistent with the purposes for which it was collected.

The right to inspect the information contained in the Student’s own Student record and to request that information in their record be corrected.
Policy 14a Student Record

Policy 90 Access to information and protection of privacy

If Students believe their rights have not been respected with respect to their personal information, Students can raise their concern with the administration of the academic unit or University service concerned.

If a Student believes that the University wrongfully collected, used or disclosed their personal information, the Student can file a privacy complaint in accordance with the University Procedure 20-7 Handling of Privacy Complaints.

8. Evaluations by students of courses and teaching All courses involving at least 9 contact hours with the same professor are subject to an evaluation by Students.

Students have the right to evaluate their courses and the teaching of such courses, on an anonymous basis and without having an effect on their grades, by means of a questionnaire and provide their opinion and degree of satisfaction.

Professors do not receive the results of the evaluation by Students before the final grades are submitted.
If a student has a concern or comment about the evaluation of teaching and courses, they can submit their concern or comment in an online form available on the University’s website about the evaluation of teaching and courses
9. Research work The right to receive appropriate recognition or acknowledgment of their research work in scholarly or scientific publications and to a research environment that promotes the responsible conduct of research. A student can raise their concerns regarding responsible conduct of research with the chair of their department or the vice-dean of their faculty or can consult the Office of Research Ethics and Integrity under University’s Policy 115 Responsible Conduct of Research and its Procedure 29-2 on Addressing Allegations of a Breach of Responsible Conduct of Research.
10. Administrative services A wide variety of administrative services are provided to Students by University administrative staff (example, housing, finance, food services, sports facilities).

Examples include, but are not limited to, housing services, financial aid and award services, uOttawa card services, food services:
  • Housing: Students who live in a University Student residence have certain rights with respect to living in residence as more particularly set out in the residence contract between the University and the Student.
  • Fees, Student account, financial aid and awards: examples of rights include:
    • to receive a statement of account that reflects the Student’s official state of the Student’s financial account and to be treated fairly when dealing with matters associated with the Student’s fees, financial and statement of account;
    • to receive a refund or financial credit when the Student requests to withdraw from an academic course or activity before the withdrawal deadlines and the Student’s request is accepted by the Student’s academic unit;
    • to withdraw from a course or courses after the deadlines with no refund or financial credit due to exceptional life circumstances;
    • to appeal a refusal of a Student’s request to withdraw to the Senate Appeals Committee within 10 working days of the decision; and
    • to appeal a refund refusal to the Financial Resources Appeal Committee within 10 working after the decision.
    • uOttawa card services (combining many services such as food services, meal plan library card, photo card, sports services membership, access to other facilities). Students have a right to have equal access to these services and resources and to be treated with respect and dignity.
    • Campus security: Students have a right to be treated fairly with respect and dignity in their interactions with Protection Services.
If a Student believes that their rights as it relates to administrative staff members or administrative services have not been respected, a Student can raise their concerns with the manager or the head of the administrative unit responsible for the administrative staff member or relevant to the administrative service.

Specific examples of where to address a concern or complaint include:
  • Housing. If a Student believes that they have not been treated fairly, they can refer to their residence contract and contact Housing Services for a review of the decision.
  • Fees, Student account, financial aid and awards. If a Student believes that they have not been treated fairly, they can file a complaint with the Student Accounts Office and if it relates to financial aid and awards, they can contact the Financial Aid and Awards Office.
  • uOttawa card services. If a Student has a complaint about the Dining Hall or food services, they can talk to the food servers or file a complaint online with Food Services; if it is about library services, Students can contact the Library at [email protected] or if it relates to library accessibility services, to [email protected]; if it is generally about uOttawa Card Services, Students can raise their concerns with the uOttawa Card Services Office by sending an email to [email protected]
  • Campus security. Students who wish to file a formal complaint against a uniformed staff member of Protection Services can file a formal complaint.

APPENDIX 3– BREACH OF RESPONSIBLE CONDUCT

The table below is a list of various types of conduct that constitute a Breach of Responsible Conduct under 5.2 of the Policy subject to Section 2.2 of the Policy (debates, assemblies, demonstrations, picketing). If a Student’s conduct does not appear in the table below, it could constitute a Breach of Responsible Conduct under 5.2 of the Policy if the conduct results in an adverse affect on the integrity or proper functioning of the University’s core activities, namely teaching, research, scholarly activities and the services related to support such core activities.

APPENDIX 3– BREACH OF RESPONSIBLE CONDUCT
Breach of Responsible Conduct involving: Description
1. University Facility
  1. Misappropriation, damage, unauthorized possession, defacement, vandalism or destruction of a University Facility or property associated with a University Activity.
  2. Use of University facilities contrary to express instruction or without proper authorization, or misuse or abuse of such University Facility.
  3. Setting unauthorized fires at a University Facility.
2. University Property or property of others
  1. Theft or possession of University Property or property belonging to any person or entity without the permission of the rightful owner, including in circumstance where there was an intent to return the property.
  2. Misappropriation, damage, unauthorized possession, defacement, vandalism or destruction of University Property or property belonging to another member of the University Community.
  3. Abuse or misuse of funds collected and distributed by the University to any Student group, either directly or indirectly.
  4. Altering or misuse of official University documents, including without limitation identification cards, credit cards, meal cards, smart cards, security access cards, transcript, proof of studies, diploma.
  5. Using the University’s name or its trademarks without obtaining permission from the University.
  6. Interference with, obstruction of, or tampering with University fire protection equipment, life safety systems or emergency equipment.
  7. Copying, reproducing, altering, or using a professor’s work, research, contents of their course or their other materials for purposes other than for the Student’s personal use (private study, course requirement and research) without the professor’s permission (including without limitation the unauthorized recording and distribution of lectures and pedagogical material to others).
  8. Copying, reproducing, altering or using the work or material owned by other Students or others without that person’s permission.
3. Harm to physical and mental well-being
  1. Assault or other physical force that causes or may cause personal injury or harm, including an attempt to exercise such assault or physical force and a statement or other behaviour that is reasonable for a person to interpret as a real threat to assault or exercise such physical force that could cause physical injury or harm.
  2. Abusive conduct that harms the physical or mental well-being of a Student or a member of the University Community or that violates their privacy.
  3. Hazing activities, including, but are not limited to, pranks, jokes, public ridicule, and any activity that does not respect an individual’s rights, integrity, dignity, safety or well-being that is used as a means of coercing, compelling, forcing, or otherwise socially pressuring, a person to gain or maintain: (i) membership in; (ii) the acceptance of; or (iii) association with; any group or organization.
Express or implied consent from, or the acquiescence of, the affected person(s) to a), b) and c) the above shall not be an excuse or defense for such conduct.
4. Online activities /IT
  1. Any unauthorized use, alteration, removal of, or unauthorized access to, or tampering, hacking, interference with a University “IT asset”, “IT resource”, “IT service” (each expression of which is defined in University Policy 116 – Use of Security Information Technology Assets)
  2. Any other use of information technology assets, that violates Applicable Law.
  3. Use of any device to make a recording of a person and to publicly disseminate it, when such a record is of a professor’s lecture or class or is of a private conversation or of a person at a time and place where that person would have reasonable expectation of privacy and such record or image is likely to cause injury or distress.
  4. Online conduct or content (such as on blogs, web posting, chats and social networking sites) that intimidates or that seriously threatens to inflict harm upon a Student, group of Students or the University Community or that impinges upon the University’s learning, working and living environment.
5. Disruption / interference Disruption, interference or obstruction by action or inaction where,
  • there is actual injury to someone or to property; or
  • the University’s core activities are impeded, namely teaching, research, scholarly activities and the services related to support such core activities; or
  • the freedom of movement of others on or at a University Facility is obstructed.
6. Dangerous objects/activity
  1. Possession or use of any weapon, explosive, chemical, biohazardous, radioactive or controlled material, or the like, except by authorized University personnel and in an area formally designated at a University Facility by the University for that purpose.
  2. Use of any object to injure, threaten or intimidate another person.
  3. Knowingly create a condition or circumstance which endangers or threatens the health, safety or well-being of other persons or threatens the damage or destruction of property.
  4. Use written or spoken words, either individually or in a group, in any format or medium, which, could reasonably (i) lead to or incite violence or physical harm directed towards any individual or group; (ii) create a situation that endangers the safety of others or (iii) incite others to violate this Policy or other University Policies or (iv) interfere with the safe and proper functioning of University’s core activities, namely teaching, research, scholarly activities and the services related to support such core activities.
7. Misrepresentation
  1. Knowingly furnishing false information to a University official.
  2. Possessing, distributing or using false or altered identification/credentials or information.
  3. Misrepresenting themselves as a University official or purporting to act or speak on behalf of the University without the University’s permission.
8. Abuse of process
  1. Knowingly failing to comply with a process, requirement, or measure under this Policy or other University Policies.
  2. Knowingly making false report or accusation of Breach of Responsible Conduct against any member of the University Community or assisting another person in doing so. This is not to be confused with making a bona fide complaint that is subsequently found to be without merit.
  3. Interference with the administration of this Policy or any other University Policy, such as:
    1. deliberately making a misrepresentation or false statement during a process or proceeding.
    2. preventing or limiting any individual’s proper participation in, or use of, a process or proceeding.
    3. any direct or indirect retaliation (e.g., through coercion, intimidation, threats or social pressure) against a complainant, a person who reports a concern, or a potential witness in a process or proceeding.
    4. disrupting, or otherwise preventing, the orderly conduct of a process or proceeding.
    5. harassing (physically, verbally, or in writing), intimidating or attempting to influence, the impartiality of any individual in a decision-making role in a University process or proceeding or otherwise obstructing a University official in the performance of their duties.
9. Applicable Law Illegal conduct, a criminal conviction or civil court judgment for conduct that constitutes Breach of Responsible Conduct under this Policy.

APPENDIX 4– PROCEDURES TO ADDRESS A BREACH OF RESPONSIBLE CONDUCT

1. In-take

1.1 When an allegation of Breach of Responsible Conduct is sent to the Case Manager in the Human Rights Office for intake, the allegation must,

  1. be in writing; and
  2. provide the name of the Student who is alleged to have engaged in Breach of Responsible Conduct; and
  3. provide the nature and details of the circumstances, including details of the facts, specific dates and names and contact information of people who may have witnessed the alleged Breach of Responsible Conduct or have relevant information.

2. Initial assessment

2.1 Upon receipt of the written allegation of Breach of Responsible Conduct as referred to in Section 1.1 of this Appendix, the Case Manager, will take following steps:

  1. send an acknowledgment of receipt to the person who sent the allegation; and
  2. review and look into the allegation, seek clarification and consult internally as needed; and
  3. assess whether the allegation is,
    1. in scope: meaning that this Policy applies to the allegation and the allegation is within the scope of the meaning of Breach of Responsible Conduct set out in Section 5.2 of this Policy, in which case, the Case Manager opens a Breach of Responsible Conduct case file, notifies in writing the Student who is the subject of the case by providing a copy or summary of the allegation and explaining this Policy, its processes and the next steps under this Appendix 4 at Section 3 (informal resolution process) or Section 4 (formal process), as applicable; or
    2. referral: meaning that the allegation is to be referred to the relevant University authority for follow-up under another University Policy or applicable collective agreement or under another alternate process that is determined to be more appropriate to the health and well-being of the Student and those impacted by the allegation; or
    3. out of scope: meaning that the allegation is outside of the application of this Policy or is outside the scope of the meaning of Breach of Responsible Conduct set out in Section 5.2 of this Policy or is outside of the scope of the University’s authority to take recourse, in which case, the Case Manager will notify the person who brought the allegation of this assessment and inform that person that they may ask the Director of the Human Rights Office to reconsider the Case Manager’s out of scope assessment by submitting a written request to the Director. The Director will inform the person in writing of the outcome of the reconsideration, which is final and without further appeal.

3. Informal resolution process

3.1 If appropriate and feasible, as determined by the Case Manager in consultation with the Appropriate Authority or the Appropriate Authority’s delegate, the Case Manager may facilitate an informal resolution of the Breach of Responsible Conduct case, either prior to initiating or at any time during the formal process referred to in this Appendix 4 at Section 4.

  1. In making the determination, the Case Manager will consider the following:
    1. whether the nature and circumstances of the case, the Student and those involved or impacted by the case are amenable to an informal resolution; and
    2. whether an informal resolution is likely to achieve the purposes of this Policy (as set out in Section 1 of this Policy).
  2. Examples of informal resolution processes include but are not limited to, educational strategies, mediation, negotiation, facilitation, conflict resolution conferences, restorative justice including healing circles, and other dispute resolution techniques.
  3. Participation in an informal resolution process is voluntary, is on a without prejudice basis and can be withdrawn at any time. The Student’s participation in an informal resolution process or the Student’s apology or acknowledgment of impact on others does not constitute the Student’s admission that the allegations contained in the Breach of Responsible Conduct case are true.
  4. Any information shared or statements made by the Student who is the subject of the Breach of Responsible Conduct case under the informal resolution process will not be disclosed or used against the Student in a subsequent step in the process under this Policy or under other University Policies.
  5. The Case Manager will document the outcome of the information resolution process by confirming its outcome in writing to the Student who is the subject of the Breach of Responsible Conduct case and to the participants in the informal resolution process with proper confidentiality safeguards.

4. Formal process

4.1 Where an informal resolution process referred to in this Appendix 4 at Section 3 is not successful, or where the nature of the Breach of Responsible Conduct case is such that an informal resolution would not be appropriate, the formal process and the steps as outlined below will apply to address the case:

  1. Opportunity to respond in writing: The Case Manager will send the Breach of Responsible Conduct allegations in writing to the Student who is the subject of the Breach of Responsible Conduct case and will confirm in writing that the Breach of Responsible Conduct case is being treated under the formal process of this Policy (the “Formal Process Notice”). The Student will have five (5) working days from the date that the Case Manager’s Formal Process Notice to send a written response to the allegations, any and all documentation or materials in support of the Student’s response, to the Case Manager. The Student will also have the opportunity to discuss the case with the Case Manager and clarify or respond further to any questions. If needed, the Case Manager may share the Student’s response with the person who brought the case to the attention of the Case Manager or with others in order to clarify or verify the allegations and/or the Student’s response. The Case Manager will inform the Student, in writing, of any new or additional allegations or statements that were not contained in the initial allegation relevant to the case and the Case Manager will provide the Student with a further opportunity to provide a written reply and any additional information and documentation in support within the time requested by the Case Manager.
  2. Investigation: The Case Manager will investigate into the allegations or, in consultation with the Director of the Human Rights Office, may mandate a person who is trained to do investigations, to investigate the case. The investigation must be done in a timely fashion and in keeping with the intent described in Section 6.1 b) of this Policy on deadlines and timelines. An investigation, whether it is conducted by the Case Manager or a person mandated by the Case Manager, typically involves, but is not necessarily limited to gathering and verifying information, communicating with the Student who is the subject of the Breach of Responsible Conduct case, with the person who brought the case forward and with any other persons who may have information relevant to the case, reviewing the allegations, the Student’s response, replies, any documentation submitted in support and any other evidence relevant to the case. When material facts are not in dispute, communicating with those involved in the case may not be necessary.
  3. Investigation report: Upon completion of the investigation, the investigator will send to the Appropriate Authority, to the Student who is the subject of the Breach of Responsible Conduct case and to the person who brought the case forward, where appropriate, a written confidential report containing a summary of the facts and information gathered during the investigation, the investigator’s analysis of the facts and information, and the investigator’s conclusion regarding whether or not the Student has engaged in Breach of Responsible Conduct within the meaning of this Policy and where applicable, make recommendations on measures.
  4. Outcome and final measures: Upon receipt of the investigation report, the Appropriate Authority will provide the Student who is the subject of the Breach of Responsible Conduct case and the person who brought the case forward where appropriate with an opportunity to make any further or additional comments on the investigation report and on any potential final measures. The Appropriate Authority will then make a final decision on,
    1. decide whether to accept or reject the investigator’s conclusion on whether or not the Student has engaged in Breach of Responsible Conduct within the meaning of this Policy; and
    2. decide on any final measures within the Appropriate Authority’s authority under Section 6.9 and Section 6.10 of this Policy; or
    3. recommend to the Senate Appeals Committee any final measures under the Senate Appeals Committee authority as per Section 6.9 and Section 6.10 of this Policy.
  5. Communication: The Appropriate Authority will communicate, in writing, to the Student who is the subject of the Breach of Responsible Conduct case and the Appropriate Authority’s final decision or recommendation, as applicable, with a copy to the Case Manager and to other University officials with a need to know in order to implement such measures.

5. Appeal

5.1 An appeal is available and receivable by the Senate Appeals Committee, who shall have the authority to make a final decision on the appeal, if all of the following requirements are met:

  1. it is an appeal by the Student who is the subject of the Breach of Responsible Conduct case; and
  2. it is an appeal of the Appropriate Authority’s decision or recommendation, as referred to in this Appendix 4 at Section 4.1 d); and
  3. the Appropriate Authority has communicated the decision or recommendation, as referred to in this Appendix 4 at Section 4.1 e); and
  4. the request for an appeal must contain a copy of the Appropriate Authority’s decision or recommendation, as referred to in Appendix 4 at Section 4.1 d); and
  5. the grounds or reasons for the appeal must include one or more of the following with written submissions and documents, if any, in support:
    1. there has been a misinterpretation, a violation, an improper application, or faulty administration of this Policy which has a prejudicial impact on the person seeking the appeal;
    2. the Appropriate Authority’s decision or recommendation is clearly unreasonable or is not supported by the investigation report or on the evidence made available to the Appropriate Authority;
    3. there is new and relevant information or evidence that was not previously available at the time of the investigation or the Appropriate Authority’s decision or recommendation, which has been discovered or become available, and such new and relevant information casts doubt on the correctness of the Appropriate Authority’s decision or recommendation, in which case such new information or evidence shall be provided;
    and
  6. The person seeking the appeal has followed the Procedure for an Appeal to the Senate Appeals Committee and has filed an appeal within 10 working days after the date of the Appropriate Authority communicated the final decision or recommendation, as referred to in this Appendix 4, Section 4.1 e).

5.2 The filing of an appeal will not stay the implementation of any imposed measures.

5.3 The decisions of the Senate Appeals Committee are final and cannot be further appealed.