<University Policies and Regulations
|Presidential Regulations Concerning the Conduct of Students at York University
Presidential Regulation Number 2 - The Conduct of Students at York University
I. The Authority and Jurisdiction of the University
By registering in any program of the University, a student agrees to be bound by all of its rules and regulations. Such regulations apply to all conduct, whether on or off campus, which may be said to be related to the individual's behaviour as a member of the University. Apart from any agreement to be bound by this manner, all students are subject to presidential regulatory authority.
Under the York University Act, 1965, the President "...has the power to formulate and implement regulations governing students and student activities." Various rules, regulations and practices of the University relating to students and student activities have been enacted by or under presidential authority. These were consolidated, modified and approved by Presidential Regulation Number 1 (September 25, 1985), which is available in the Office of the Secretary of the University. Regulation Number 2 amends Regulation Number 1, to the extent of any inconsistency.
II. Matters Covered by this Regulation
a) This regulation applies to "student conduct", i.e. conduct which is associated with student membership in the University community, and which is subject to presidential authority under section 13(c) of the York University Act.
b) This regulation does not apply to conduct:
i) under the exclusive authority of Senate, or of academic units acting under its mandate (e.g. academic offences);
ii) under the exclusive authority of the Board of Governors, or of administrative officers acting under its mandate (e.g. parking offences); or
iii) under presidential or other administrative authority (e.g. noncompliance with registration or fee payment procedures); except to the extent that such conduct also constitutes "student conduct".
c) This regulation may be adopted by any competent authority mentioned in paragraph b), and its procedural provisions shall thereafter apply to such conduct.
d) Where more than one complaints officer or local hearing officer or tribunal has jurisdiction in a matter, any such body may exercise jurisdiction.
e) While an incident may give rise to two or more infractions, each of which lies within the jurisdiction of a different complaints officer, local hearing officer or tribunal, and while any such body may impose two or more sanctions for each infraction, no complaints officer, local hearing officer, or tribunal shall impose a sanction if the offender has already been sanctioned for the same infraction by that, or any other body.
f) Conduct which violates the rules, customs or standards of any facility, organization, club, league or team operating on or from University premises, under University auspices, or with funds provided by the University, may also be treated as an infraction of these regulations despite the imposition of sanctions by such facility, organization, club, league or team or its competent authorities.
g) The University reserves the right to invoke, in place of or in addition to its own standards and procedures, any civil, criminal or other remedies which may be available to it as a matter of law.
III. Standards of Student Conduct
Students may think, speak, write, create, study, learn, pursue social, cultural and other interests and associate together for all of these purposes, subject to the requirement that they respect the rights of members of the University and general communities to pursue these same freedoms and privileges. This general standard encompasses a number of more specific expectations which cannot be fully foreseen or exhaustively enumerated. By way of example, and without limiting the generality of the foregoing, students are expected:
1. to abide by all federal, provincial and municipal laws, so far as these are relevant to student conduct;
2. to refrain from conduct which harms or threatens harm to:
the proper functioning of University programs or activities
the rights of members or guests of the University
the safety and well-being of members or guests of the University
the property of the University or of its members or guests;
3. more specifically, to refrain from:
assault or threat of assault
harassment or discrimination in contravention of the principles articulated in the Ontario Human Rights Code or the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
theft, defacement or destruction of property
unauthorized entry or trespass;
4. to abide by the regulations, rules, practices and procedures of the University and its academic and administrative units;
5. to abide by reasonable instructions given orally or in writing by any official of the University authorized to secure compliance with such regulations, rules, practices and procedures, provided that the official is identified and is acting in an official capacity.
Note: Students seeking further information concerning University regulations, rules, practices or procedures should contact the University Complaints Centre (located within the Office of Student Affairs) or the office of their Faculty, department or college. Information may also be obtained from the Office of the Assistant Vice-President, Student Affairs, the University Secretariat, or on the Internet at http://www.yorku.ca/secretariat/.
IV. Structures and Procedures
A. Governing Principles
Disciplinary matters should be resolved speedily, fairly and if possible informally within the unit of the University where they arise. Where disciplinary matters have their origin in a dispute between individuals, an attempt should be made to use mediative procedures to secure an outcome which is satisfactory to the disputants, as well as consistent with the expectations of the University. However, all disciplinary matters, whatever their origin, ultimately involve injury to the University's mission, reputation, interests or communal well-being, and are subject to these procedures for that reason.
B. Complaints and Investigation
1. A complaint concerning student conduct may be made by any member of the University to a "complaints officer" including:
i) Masters, Deans or the Principal of Glendon College, the Director of Libraries, or the Vice-President Academic and Vice-President Students, or a person designated by any of these as the "complaints officer" in a unit under their jurisdiction;
ii) the University Complaint Centre (in the Office of Student Affairs); or
iii) special complaints centres established to deal with particular concerns, as identified from time to time in Appendix A.
2. a) Upon receipt of a complaint, a complaints officer shall determine whether or not to process it, or to refer it to one of the other complaints officers referred to in paragraph 1. In the event that a complaint may be appropriately dealt with by more than one complaints officer, the complainant shall be so advised, and afforded a choice as to the complaints officer who shall be charged with the matter.
b) No complaint shall be deemed to be invalid by reason of having been brought initially to, or thereafter dealt with by, the wrong complaints officer, but every effort shall be made to assist the complainant to carry the matter forward in the manner most convenient and acceptable to the complainant.
c) The Vice-President Students shall have responsibility for coordinating all complaints procedures and officers, and for securing the assistance of the Department of Security and Safety Services and other departments, where required.
3. a) Upon determining that the complaint is one which can and should be dealt with, the complaints officer shall reduce the complaint to writing, and make a preliminary investigation of the matter by discussing it with the complainant and making other informal enquiries.
b) Where after making a preliminary investigation the complaints officer determines that the complaint is patently without merit or is one to which these Regulations do not apply, the complaints officer shall so inform the complainant (and, where appropriate, the complainee) and, thereafter, take no further action in regard to the complaint.
c) If the complaint apparently involves a minor infraction, and in serious cases, if the complainant, the alleged offender and the Vice-President Students consent in writing, the matter shall be dealt with informally within the unit in which it occurred by the Master, Dean or Principal, Director of Libraries, or person designated by them to act as a local hearing officer.
d) If the matter apparently involves a serious infraction of University regulations, rules or practices, the Vice-President Students shall be so advised, and the matter shall be dealt with through the formal adjudicative process which is described in the Serious Infraction section of this Regulation, unless the Vice-President Students consents in writing to informal disposition under paragraph c).
e) The Vice-President Students may, on the application of a complaints officer or local hearing officer, summarily determine whether a matter involves a minor infraction or a serious infraction, and the matter shall thereafter be dealt with accordingly.
f) If the matter can be dealt with pursuant to procedures followed by one of the special complaint centres, as identified from time to time in Appendix A, it should be so dealt with unless the complainant otherwise elects. In the event that a formal adjudication is conducted by one of the special complaint centres listed in Appendix A, it shall be conducted in accordance with the Serious Infraction section of this Regulation.
C. Mediative Procedures
1. Any complaints or hearing officer may, at any stage of the proceeding, and with the written consent of the complainant, the alleged offender and the Vice-President Students, establish a mediative procedure to deal with the matter.
2. The complaints or hearing officer may, upon consent, assume mediative functions, but shall not thereafter perform adjudicative functions in relation to the complaint.
3. As a condition of establishing a mediative procedure, the complainant and the alleged offender must agree to abide by the agreement reached in mediation. Violation of such an agreement shall itself be an act of misconduct, to be dealt with according to this regulation.
D. Minor Infractions
1. Minor infractions shall be dealt with at the college level in the case of all students having a college affiliation, and at the Faculty level for all other students. In the event that a minor infraction involves students from two or more units, or does not relate to a particular college or Faculty, the Vice-President Students may give directions for dealing with the matter, and appoint a local hearing officer for this purpose.
2. In dealing with a minor infraction, the Master, Dean or Principal, Director of Libraries, or person(s) designated by them, shall act as a local hearing officer.
3. The local hearing officer shall advise the alleged offender of the substance of the complaint, and provide a fair, but informal, opportunity for response. After considering the evidence and submissions of the complainant and the alleged offender, and any further evidence or submissions which, in the discretion of the local hearing officer, may be relevant and helpful in disposing of the matter, a written order may be made:
i) dismissing the complaint;
ii) imposing a minor sanction; or
iii) in the event the matter appears to be serious, remitting it to the adjudicative procedure under Part E of these Regulations.
4. The local hearing officer shall provide brief reasons for any order, and provide a copy to the complainant and the offender or alleged offender. If the order is to dismiss the complaint or to impose minor sanctions, in the discretion of the local hearing officer, the reasons may be placed in the offender's file (if sanctions are imposed) or made public within the unit. In the event that the order is one to remit the matter to formal adjudication, the reasons shall form part of the file to be considered by the University Discipline Tribunal, but shall not be made public.
5. The minor sanctions which a local hearing officer may impose shall be limited to one or more of the following:
ii) public admonition;
iii) mandatory counselling;
iv) mandatory apology to the complainant (on pain of more serious sanction); and, in addition to or in lieu of such sanctions, one or more of the following:
v) denial of a local privilege (e.g. residence privileges, access to a pub or to licensed functions, participation in local activities)
vi) restitution for damage done not exceeding $250, or
vii) a fine not exceeding $200, to be paid to the University's student assistance fund.
6. A local hearing officer may order that any sanction imposed be stayed, so long as the offender abstains from the conduct complained of.
7. Decisions made or sanctions imposed by a local hearing officer may not be appealed. Conduct for which minor sanctions have been imposed shall not be the subject of further proceedings, except to the extent that they form part of a pattern of conduct, or aggravating circumstances, in connection with a subsequent proceeding arising out of another complaint.
E. Serious Infractions
Unless dealt with on consent, by mediative procedures or at the local level, serious infractions shall be dealt with through the formal adjudicative procedures established in this section.
a) A complaint of a serious infraction shall be referred to the Vice-President Students who, following preliminary investigation, may:
i) determine that the complaint is patently without merit, or is one to which these Regulations do not apply, or in special circumstances, is not appropriate for adjudication, and shall so inform the complainant (and, where appropriate, the complainee) and, thereafter, take no further action in regard to the complaint;
ii) refer the complaint to a local hearing officer, if s/he finds the matter is not serious;
iii) institute mediative procedures, with the consent of the complainant and the alleged offender;
iv) arrange for prosecution of the matter before a Trial Panel of the University Discipline Tribunal; and
v) in addition to, or in lieu of, any such action refer the matter to ordinary civil, criminal or other legal processes.
b) In the event that the matter is prosecuted before a Trial Panel of the University Discipline Tribunal, the Vice-President Students shall arrange for its prosecution. The original complainant may be called as a witness, but shall not have responsibility for presenting the case.
a) Formal adjudication under these Regulations shall be conducted at first instance before a Trial Panel of the University Discipline Tribunal ("the Discipline Tribunal"), established by Presidential Regulation Number 3, as amended from time to time.
b) The Trial Panel of the University Discipline Tribunal shall not be bound to observe strict legal procedures, but in order to ensure that its procedures are as fair as possible in the context of university circumstances and traditions, it shall comply with the following procedural guidelines:
i) the Vice-President Students or her/his representative shall provide the alleged offender and the Trial Panel with a copy of the complaint, a summary of the essential facts alleged against her or him, copies of any documents to be considered by the Trial Panel, a statement of the possible consequences of a finding of guilt, and a copy of all pertinent Regulations;
ii) the original complainant and all parties to the proceeding shall be given reasonable notice of the time and place of the hearing;
iii) all parties to the proceeding shall be afforded the right to be represented by counsel or other advocate, to call evidence and present argument;
iv) proceedings of the Trial Panel shall be open to the members of the York community unless either the complainant or the alleged offender can show cause why the Trial Panel should proceed in camera;
v) the Trial Panel is not bound by legal rules of evidence; it may receive evidence in written or oral form, and shall afford all parties the opportunity to respond to such evidence; where the evidence concerns an important matter about which there is a factual dispute, it should normally be presented orally through witnesses, who should be subject to cross-examination; the Trial Panel may in its discretion nonetheless accept other forms of evidence or decline to permit cross-examination if no other course is practically possible, or if the party challenging such evidence is abusing the process of the Trial Panel;
vi) the Trial Panel may take note of matters generally within the knowledge of members of the University community; it may inform itself by any means it deems appropriate of any facts material to its deliberations, provided the parties to the proceeding are apprised of such facts and afforded an opportunity to respond to them;
vii) in general, the University Discipline Tribunal and an individual Trial Panel may adopt such procedures and make such rulings as will permit it to determine matters fairly but expeditiously in light of the domestic nature of University discipline proceedings, without reference to formal legal procedures, but with due regard for the importance of the outcome from the point of view of the complainant, the alleged offender and the University.
c) The Trial Panel shall produce a written decision stating its factual findings and conclusions, the sanctions (if any) to be imposed, and the procedures available by way of appeal. The decision shall be filed with the Secretary of the University and copies shall be provided to all parties to the proceeding and the original complainant. Unless the Trial Panel otherwise directs, the decision shall be considered a public document.
The Trial Panel may:
i) at any time, with the consent of the complainant and the alleged offender, remit the matter to mediative procedures;
ii) dismiss the complaint; or
iii) uphold the complaint and impose sanctions.
If the Trial Panel finds the student guilty of misconduct, it may impose any sanction, commensurate with the offence, which might have been imposed by a local hearing officer; in addition, the Trial Panel may impose any or all of the following sanctions:
i) rusticate the offender, terminating her or his right to continue as a student of the University permanently or for a fixed or indefinite period;
ii) order the offender to pay full restitution for any damage caused;
iii) impose a fine not exceeding $1,000, to be paid to the University's student assistance fund;
iv) deprive the offender of any University privilege (e.g. apartment or residence, parking, use of licensed premises, use of University facilities or participation in University activities);
v) prohibit the offender from entering the University campus or any portion thereof, absolutely or except in accordance with stipulated conditions, and to surrender occupation of any University office, laboratory, residence or apartment or other space;
vi) order that any sanction imposed be stayed, so long as the offender abstains from the conduct complained of.
a) Unless otherwise ordered, all sanctions imposed by the Trial Panel shall take effect seven days after the date of the decision.
b) Unless otherwise ordered, all decisions of the Trial Panel shall be entered on the offender's file seven days after the date of the decision.
c) Violation of any ruling or order of, or any sanction imposed by, the Trial Panel is itself serious misconduct and may give rise to further charges and discipline proceedings.
d) The Vice-President Students is responsible for the implementation of the decisions of the Trial Panel.
a) A decision of the Trial Panel of the University Discipline Tribunal may be appealed to an Appeal Panel of the University Discipline Tribunal established by Presidential Regulation Number 3, as amended from time to time. An appeal shall be commenced by written notice stating the grounds of appeal, and served within seven days following the decision of the Trial Panel upon:
i) the parties to the proceeding,
ii) the original complainant, and
iii) the Secretary of the University.
b) The grounds of appeal must include one of the following allegations:
i) that the Trial Panel had no power under University regulations, rules or practices to reach the decision or impose the sanctions it did,
ii) that the Trial Panel made a fundamental procedural error seriously prejudicial to the appellant, or
iii) that the appellant is entitled to relief on compassionate or other grounds not considered by the Trial Panel.
c) Within seven days of serving the notice of appeal, the appellant must provide a written statement setting forth the basic grounds upon which it intends to rely. Having done so, the appellant may apply to the Appeal Panel to stay the operation of any sanctions imposed.
d) The Appeal Panel shall convene a hearing at the earliest possible date to deal with the request for a stay of sanctions. Where some more immediate response is required, application may be made to the Chair of the University Discipline Tribunal or a member of the University Discipline Tribunal designated by the Chair.
e) The Appeal Panel shall hear the appeal within four weeks, and shall:
i) give the parties and the original complainant notice of the time and place of the appeal hearing, copies of any documents provided by the appellant in support of the appeal, and any regulations governing its procedures;
ii) afford the parties to the appeal, in its discretion, an opportunity to present oral or written argument or both, but not to present evidence.
f) The Appeal Panel shall render a written decision disposing of the appeal by
allowing the appeal,
affirming or modifying the decision,
affirming, reducing or increasing the sanctions appealed against, or
requiring that a Trial Panel conduct a new hearing or reconsider some pertinent aspect of its decision.
g) The decision of the Appeal Panel shall be filed with the Secretary of the University and copies shall be provided to all parties to the proceeding, to the original complainant, and to the members of the original Trial Panel. Unless the Appeal Panel otherwise directs, the decision shall be a public document.
8. Presidential Review
a) Within seven days of the decision of the Appeal Panel, any party may submit a petition in writing requesting that the President review the decision on the grounds that the Appeal Panel had no power to reach the decision that it did, or that it has committed a fundamental procedural error prejudicial to the rights of the petitioning party.
b) The petition must state the full grounds upon which the petitioner relies, and all arguments in support thereof. It must be served upon the other parties who must submit a full reply within seven days thereafter.
c) While the parties may make written submissions, they will not be afforded the opportunity for oral argument before the President. The President may appoint an examiner to review all or specified aspects of the case, and to make findings and recommendations to assist the President in disposing of the petition. Based upon the submissions of the parties, the findings and recommendations of the examiner, and a review of the decision of the Appeal Panel, the President may:
dismiss the petition and affirm the decision of the Appeal Panel,
grant the petition and vary or rescind the decision of the Appeal Panel,
affirm, reduce or increase the sanctions imposed,
order that the matter or certain aspects of it be reheard or reconsidered by an appropriate panel of the University Discipline Tribunal, or
make such other disposition of the matter as seems appropriate in all the circumstances.
d) The decision of the President shall be final and binding, and there shall be no further recourse for the parties or the original complainant.
e) Copies of the decision shall be provided to the parties, the original complainant and members of the original Trial and Appeal Panels, filed with the Secretary of the University, entered on the file of the offender (if found guilty), and shall be a public document.
F. Emergency Orders
(Presidential Regulation 2 is amended as follows, effective June 30, 1992)
The purpose of this regulation is to permit the University to act promptly and effectively to safeguard the community or its members.
2. Special Circumstances
The Vice-President Students may make Emergency Orders in the following limited circumstances:
i) when the he/she has reason to believe that a student has caused another member or other members of the University to fear for their own safety or security;
ii) when the he/she has reason to believe that a student has caused or may cause serious disruption of a class, residence, library, examination, or study area;
iii) when the he/she has reason to believe that a student has committed or may commit serious damage to the property of the University; and in any such circumstances, when having regard to urgent considerations of safety and security he/she has reason to believe that it is not prudent or practicable to proceed by way of formal complaint and adjudication under these regulations.
3. Emergency Procedures
Where the Vice-President Students makes an Emergency Order, he or she shall make reasonable efforts to give the student notice, which notice may be orally in person or by telephone, or in writing. The Vice-President Students may act as expeditiously as necessary and is not required to hold a hearing prior to making an Emergency Order.
4. Effect of Emergency Orders
a) Emergency Orders may require the student absolutely or subject to defined conditions:
i) to abstain from coming on campus, or from entering specific classes or places, or from communicating with specific persons;
ii) to move out of a campus residence;
iii) to provide a written undertaking of behaviour;
iv) to abstain from any other action on campus when, in the opinion of the Vice-President Students, such an order is necessary to avoid or alleviate the apprehended or actual harm;
b) An Emergency Order shall be:
i) effective immediately on being made;
ii) made in writing and as soon as possible given in person to the student or sent by registered mail or delivered by hand to the student's place of residence;
iii) in force for a defined period of not more than 60 days or until a formal hearing under these regulations is convened, whichever is the shorter;
c) Violation of an Emergency Order or an Undertaking given thereunder shall be an act of serious misconduct under this regulation.
5. Further Proceedings
a) When an Emergency Order is made the Vice-President Students shall at the same time request the University Disciplinary Tribunal to convene a formal hearing.
b) As its first task the tribunal shall summarily determine whether the Emergency Order should continue in force or be suspended pending a full hearing and determination of the matter.
c) If the tribunal decides to suspend the Emergency Order, it may decide to do so absolutely, upon certain conditions, or for a period of time.
d) Notwithstanding suspension of the Emergency Order the tribunal may reinstate the Emergency Order at any time during the course of a hearing hereunder, for the reasons and upon the terms set out in Section 2 hereof.
e) The tribunal shall conduct a formal adjudication on the basis that the Emergency order constitutes a Complaint of a "serious infraction" under these regulations and the provisions and procedures pertaining to such a hearing shall apply.
f) The tribunal shall at the conclusion of its deliberations, make a determination as to whether the Special Circumstances set forth in Section 2 continue to exist. The tribunal may impose any of the sanctions available to be imposed by a panel hearing a serious infraction, or any of the terms and conditions included or which could have been included in the Emergency Order.
Presidential Regulation Number 3 - Student Discipline - Complaints and Adjudication
I. University Complaint Centre
The Vice-President Academic and Vice-President Students shall establish in the Office of Student Affairs a University Complaint Centre. The Centre may receive complaints concerning all aspects of student non-academic conduct, including those matters for which special procedures have been provided, shall advise complainants of the alternative forms of redress which may be available to them, and shall assist them in pursuing the form of redress preferred. The Complaint Centre shall also be a "complaints officer" within the meaning of that term in Presidential Regulation Number 2, and as such may itself process complaints.
II. University Discipline Tribunal
a) The University Discipline Tribunal shall exercise the powers delegated to it under Presidential Regulation Number 2.
b) The Tribunal shall comprise 18 members, to be appointed for staggered two-year terms by the President, including:
i) three faculty members and three students nominated by the Dean of Osgoode Hall Law School;
ii) three faculty members nominated by the Council of Masters;
iii) three student members nominated by the York Federation of Students (YFS) following consultation with all duly constituted student governments;
iv) three faculty members and three student members nominated by the Vice-President Students.
c) Nominations and appointments shall be made so as to effect a balance of male and female members on the Tribunal and, over time, among the categories. Normally, male and female members shall be nominated and appointed in succession to each other.
d) The Tribunal shall sit in panels of three members, chosen by lot by the Secretary of the University, to hear trials and appeals. At least one member of each panel shall be a student, and one a faculty member, and at least one member of each panel shall be a male and one a female.
e) In any case involving a student of Glendon College who wishes proceedings to be conducted in French, and in any other case where it may be necessary so to do, the President may appoint members ad hoc as required. The quorum requirements of paragraph d) shall apply in the case of such ad hoc appointments.
f) No one shall sit as a member of a panel if, in the opinion of the Chair of the Discipline Tribunal, there are reasonable grounds to believe that that member will not be, or be seen to be, impartial. No one shall sit as a member of an Appeal Panel who was a member of the Trial Panel which heard the matter under appeal.
g) The Chair of the University Discipline Tribunal shall designate a president for each panel from amongst its members.
a) The University Complaint Centre, the University Discipline Tribunal and all other complaints officers and local hearing officers appointed under Presidential Regulation Number 2, shall have power to adopt procedures and policies, and to make rulings and give directions, to enable them to discharge their respective functions. All such policies and procedures should be recorded in writing, approved by the Vice-President Students, acting under the direction of the President, and filed in the office of the Secretary of the University.
b) When a vacancy occurs, or insufficient members of the University Discipline Tribunal are available to act, the President may appoint additional members ad hoc to the University Discipline Tribunal.
c) The members of the University Discipline Tribunal shall meet annually in April to select the Chair for the coming academic year. The Chair shall have responsibility for ensuring the effective operation of the Tribunal. The Secretary of the University or his/her delegate is ex officio the secretary of the Tribunal.
d) The members of the University Discipline Tribunal, and of all bodies and individuals concerned with discipline, may meet from time to time to discuss general questions relating to student discipline with a view to ensuring that the system of student discipline at York is coherent, fair and efficient.
IV. The Vice-President Academic and Vice-President Students
The Vice-President Academic and Vice-President Students of the University, acting on behalf of the President, shall have administrative responsibility for the operation of the system of student discipline. The Vice-President Students shall report annually to the President on the operation of the system, and may make recommendations for its improvement.