Senate Agenda - EXHIBIT VI - November 17, 2000
Recommended: That Senate approve the Code of Student Conduct shown in Appendix 1.
In 1995 an Advisory Committee established by the Vice-Provost began work on a Code of Student Conduct for the University. That Committee was not able to complete its task. In the Fall of 1999 the Chair of the Committee, Professor Brian Timney, re-established the Committee. Members of the Committee were Brian Timney, Associate Dean, Faculty of Social Science; Michael Curry, Meds III, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry; Professor Syd Usprich, Faculty of Law; and Theresa Morrissey, Assistant University Secretary. The Committee finished its work in October 2000 and submitted its final version of the Code to the Vice-Provost.
Procedures Followed by the Committee:
As detailed in the first Report of the Committee, which appears in Appendix 2 together with its Final Report, the Committee began its work by inviting written and oral submissions from the University community. In addition to advertisements in The Gazette and Western News, the Committee wrote directly to a number of persons to request their input. The lists of persons invited to comment and those who responded are set out in Appendix 3.
At the same time, the Committee prepared a comparative review of codes of conduct or disciplinary regulations in over 20 universities across Canada and spoke to the administrators of a number of those codes. This review and the input from other universities regarding various difficulties with the procedures in their codes, was of assistance to the Committee in developing the procedures set out in the Code proposed for adoption at Western.
The Committee's first draft Code was published in Western News on May 11, 2000. Copies were also sent to the Presidents of the University Students' Council and the Society of Graduate Students, the Chair of the Board of Governors, the Deans and University Librarian, the Principals of the Affiliated Colleges, and the Ombudsperson. The Committee again solicited comments from the University community. It received thirteen responses to this request and the names of the persons who responded are set out in Appendix 3. The Chair also met with the Associate Vice-President (Housing and Ancillary Services), the Director of Residences, and the USC Legal Affairs Officer.
Based on the input received, the Committee revised the draft Code in September and October of this year. That version has been reviewed by the University's General Counsel. The Final Report of the Committee, together with the revised Code, were submitted to the Vice-Provost in mid-October.
Summary of Significant Provisions:
1. The Code states that the University does not stand in loco parentis to its student members. However, it recognizes that the University has a legitimate interest in, as well as an obligation to address, conduct that has, or might reasonably have, an adverse effect on the proper functioning of the University or the health, safety, rights or property of the University, its members or visitors (Part IV Student Conduct - Rules). It is this conduct alone that the University will address under the Code. The University may deal with such conduct if it occurs on the premises of the University (as defined) or elsewhere in certain defined instances (see Part I, section 6).
2. The Code contains a broad definition of "student" and includes both graduate and undergraduate students (Part II, section 1). Graduate students are not excluded from the provisions of similar disciplinary codes at other universities.
3. A student may be disciplined for an incident of misconduct under regulations established by various units of the University and may also be subject to the disciplinary procedures under this Code (Part III, section 3). As an example noted by the Advisory Committee in its first Report, serious misconduct by a student in the facilities operated by Campus Recreation will subject the student to the limited sanctions available under Campus Recreation's policies. However, the conduct may be of such a nature that the University may wish to institute proceedings under the Code and impose a sanction beyond what is available at the lower level.
4. Part IV defines the type of conduct that may be subject to disciplinary proceedings under the Code. It also provides specific examples of this conduct. Part V contains a list of possible sanctions that may be imposed for misconduct.
5. Part VI provides that the President may summarily suspend a student on an interim basis in three instances: (a) if needed to ensure the safety and well-being of members of the University community or preservation of University property; (b) if needed to ensure the student's own physical or emotional safety and well-being; or (c) if there is a reasonable apprehension that the student poses a threat of disruption or of interference with the normal operations of the University. The President must provide the student with reasons for the suspension within two working days and give the student an opportunity to respond before deciding whether to continue the interim suspension.
6. Part VII, section 2, provides that an instructor or unit head may summarily remove a student from a class or other area of the University under certain circumstances.
7. Part VII sets out the procedures that will be followed by the University in dealing with disciplinary matters. Section 1 emphasizes that such matters should be dealt with informally wherever possible. In cases where this is not possible or appropriate, incidents will be dealt with either by the Dean of the home Faculty or by the Vice-Provost. The procedures set out specific procedural requirements that must be followed by the Dean and the Vice-Provost before any finding of misconduct can be made against a student. These procedures are similar to procedures already being followed at the decanal level for scholastic offences.
8. Part VIII deals with transcripts and with courses taken at other institutions during a period of suspension.
9. Part IX sets out the appeal procedures. The first level of appeal is to the University Discipline Appeals Committee. For each appeal hearing there must be at least three voting members, including at least one student and one faculty member. Appeals must be based on one or more of the grounds enumerated in section 1. There is a further appeal of the decision of the Appeals Committee to the President.
Jurisdiction of the Board of Governors over Non-Academic Conduct:
The Vice-Provost's Advisory Committee discussed the respective jurisdiction of the Board of Governors and the Senate in disciplinary matters in its first Report.
The regulation of student conduct, with the exception of conduct that is deemed to be a scholastic offence, is within the sole jurisdiction of the Board of Governors pursuant to sections 18 and section 19(k) of the University of Western Ontario Act, 1982, as amended.
Section 18 provides that:
Except in such matters as are assigned by this Act to the Senate or other body, the government, conduct, management and control of the University and of its property and affairs are vested in the Board, and the Board may do such things as it considers to be for the good of the University and consistent with the public interest.
In addition, section 19(k) of the Act provides that the Board may establish and enforce regulations "for the use of its buildings, grounds and ancillary operations, and for the orderly conduct of persons entering upon the lands and premises of the University."
Notwithstanding that non-academic conduct is within the sole jurisdiction of the Board, the advice and recommendations of Senate will be of interest to the Board when the Code is submitted to it for approval. For this reason the Code was submitted to SCAPA for discussion on November 8, 2000, and Senate is now being asked to approve the Code and if it so wishes, provide its advice with respect to the Code provisions.
The Code will next be referred by the President to a public meeting of the Campus and Community Affairs Committee of the Board (CCAC) on December 11, 2000. CCAC has responsibility for making recommendations to the Board concerning "general University/student relations in non-academic matters, including student disciplinary codes." CCAC will be asked to approve the Code and recommend its adoption to the Board of Governors. The President will advise the CCAC of the result of the Senate debate, including any recommendations for change. Individuals and groups may apply to make a presentation to CCAC. The deadline for such applications is 4:30 p.m., November 27, 2000. Further details can be obtained at http://www.uwo.ca/univsec/board/pubmtg.html.