RESIDENCE COMMUNITY STANDARDS OVERVIEW
The Residence Community Standards (RCS) help sustain a constructive, peaceful experience in a civil, inclusive and supportive environment that promotes academic excellence and community citizenship. The main purpose of the RCS is to facilitate health and safety. The second purpose is to make the most of opportunities for student learning. Living in residence is a privilege. Just as all members of the residence community have certain rights, they must also fulfill specific responsibilities. The RCS outline for residents various expectations concerning unacceptable behaviour and potential consequences. The RCS are reviewed annually by a committee consisting of the Manager of Residence Education, a Residence Life Coordinator, a Community Advisor and a member of the Residence Students’ Association.
The Residence Agreement The Residence Agreement is a legal contract between a student and Residence Services. It is the primary document governing the relationship between the two. The RCS is a supplement to the Residence Agreement. In circumstances where there is a conflict between the Residence Agreement and the RCS, the Residence Agreement prevails. From time to time residents breach their Residence Agreements. In such cases, instead of simply terminating the agreement, Residence Services may utilize procedures and sanctions outlined below to address the issue in a more constructive way. Ignorance of the Residence Agreement or RCS does not excuse or diminish a resident’s responsibility for abiding by them.
Application and Jurisdiction The RCS apply throughout the residence complex, to all residents and their guests. Residents are always responsible for the conduct of any guests or others they allow into the residence complex. The RCS apply to all activities sponsored by Residence Services, anywhere on or off campus. The RCS also apply to conduct outside the residence complex, on or off campus, when there are implications for the well-being of residents, the department’s operations or the interests / reputation of the University. The RCS apply to conduct involving or evidenced via electronic or online applications such as email, Facebook or Twitter. Impairment due to alcohol or other substances is not an excuse for unacceptable conduct. Residence staff have the authority to interpret the RCS in the event of questions, challenges or vague circumstances. Conduct not referenced in this document but which may be in violation of the University’s Statement on Principles of Conduct, other University policies or the law may be addressed using RCS procedures and sanctions.
Community Membership All members of a community are responsible for taking reasonable measures to ensure health, safety, security and well-being for themselves and others. This includes but is not limited to supporting an environment free of disruptive, harmful or threatening behavior and reporting suspicious activities such as loud screams or unaccompanied strangers. A resident who perceives any possibility that a person may be in danger or pose some risk should immediately contact Campus Security (403-220-5333). It is important to quickly respond to critical situations. Nobody should downplay perceived danger or risk. It is better to report a danger or risk and find that everything is alright than to assume everything is alright and regret it later. All members of the residence community have the right and responsibility to report RCS violations to a residence staff-person.
Making Decisions Decisions are based on reasonable degree of probability. When there are competing explanations, the one which is more probable than any other alternative informs the decision. This is quite different than the approach typically called “beyond a reasonable doubt” which is never required in RCS proceedings. In situations where one person’s intent was different than another person’s reasonable perception, for example when certain jokes are perceived as threats, the impacted person may be given extra consideration.
RESIDENCE COMMUNITY STANDARDS Confidentiality and Referral All student conduct proceedings, including documentation, are confidential within the University. Staff will not share information with other students, parents or guardians. Staff will only share information with other staff when necessary. All student leaders must strictly respect confidentiality, even when they are no longer student leaders. This includes but is not limited to refraining from sharing information with each other and proactively addressing any gossip. When there is reasonable cause to do so, any case or situation may be referred to other campus offices, including but not limited to the Wellness Centre, the Student At Risk team, Campus Security and the Student Conduct Office. Steps taken and/or sanctions applied by other campus officials are independent of steps taken and/or sanctions applied by Residence Staff. In rare circumstances, a case or situation may also be referred to law enforcement agencies. For example, if a staffperson receives information suggesting that a minor is suffering from abuse, that staff-person must share that information.
Residentsâ€™ Rights Residents have the right to the following, within reasonable limits: -privacy in their rooms -study and sleep in their rooms without undue noise or interference from others -a clean environment -security of their personal property -access to their rooms and facilities without pressure from others -consideration of concerns -cooperation in sharing common areas -an atmosphere free from intimidating, harmful or prejudicial conduct -an atmosphere wherein personal dignity is not undermined through demeaning words or actions Residents are responsible for observing that all other residents enjoy the same rights outlined above.
RESIDENCE COMMUNITY STANDARDS CONDUCT REQUIREMENTS
Alcohol As a reminder, it is illegal and therefore prohibited to be intoxicated in public. This applies to common areas. It is prohibited to impose the physical effects of intoxication, including but not limited to vomiting or passing out, on others. As a reminder, it is illegal and therefore prohibited for people under the age of 18 to possess or consume alcohol and to supply alcohol to those under the age of 18. It is prohibited to promote or participate in drinking games, whether involving alcohol or not. It is prohibited to promote or participate in rapid or excessive consumption of alcohol. It is prohibited to have open alcohol anywhere except a room, suite or apartment. Open alcohol includes but is not limited to any container for which the cap, tab, cork, lid or seal has been broken, any re-capped container and anything containing poured alcohol, including but not limited to cups and glasses. Unopened alcohol must be concealed when transported.
Civility Residents are expected to interact with others in a manner that demonstrates consideration, courtesy and dignity. It is prohibited to promote or demonstrate behaviour that can reasonably be construed as abusive, coercive, derogatory, disorderly, harmful, malicious, obscene, prejudicial or threatening. This applies to all forms of behaviour. Assault or bullying in any form is prohibited. Activity that unreasonably harms or has the potential to harm the reputation of any person or the University is prohibited.
Common Areas Vomit, bodily fluids or excrement in a common area must be fully cleaned in a timely fashion by the person responsible for it. Any related damage shall also be that personâ€™s responsibility. It is prohibited to promote or participate in sexual activity or indecent exposure, including flashing, in a common area or within view of a common area. It is prohibited to pass out or sleep in a common area. It is prohibited to litter, whether indoors or outdoors.
RESIDENCE COMMUNITY STANDARDS Compliance and Identification Residents must keep their UCID cards with them at all times, and they must show it to a staff-person when asked. Residents must comply with any reasonable request from a staff person, including but not limited to producing identification and promptly opening doors. It is prohibited to impede a staff-person in the reasonable performance of her/his duties. It is prohibited to directly or indirectly mislead or deceive a staff-person. This includes but is not limited to deception about a person’s name, room assignment or other identification, as well as deception in the form of incomplete statements.
Electoral Activity All campaigning activity for the Graduate Students’ Association, Residence Students’ Association and Students’ Union must be approved by Residence Services. This also applies to any other electoral activity, except that which is authorized by law.
Harassment It is prohibited to harass others. Harassment includes any attention, contact or conduct by a person who knows, or should know, that the attention, contact or conduct is unwelcome. For example, sexual harassment includes any attention, contact or conduct of a sexual nature, made by a person who knows, or should know, that it is unwelcome. There are many forms of harassment. It can be directed at individuals or groups. It can be subtle or explicit. It can be physical or verbal. It can include words or images. It can be conveyed in person, in writing, via electronic means or in other ways.
Health and Safety It is prohibited to endanger the health or safety of any person, including one’s self, whether through action or negligence. This includes situations wherein a person was unknowingly endangered, but the danger should reasonably have been recognized. Residents afflicted with a communicable disease must take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of others. Residents must abide by any health or safety directions issued by staff. It is prohibited to use or threaten to use any item as a weapon, regardless of whether it is typically considered a weapon. It is prohibited to tamper with elevator equipment, to use emergency equipment inside elevators for non-emergency situations, or to jeopardize elevator safety while in use, for example by jumping.
Noise As a reminder, it is illegal and therefore prohibited to cause an excessive noise disturbance in residential areas. Recognizing that perceptions about noise (or bass) can be highly subjective, extra consideration shall be given to those impacted by the disturbance, as opposed to those causing it. During standard quiet hours, and especially during 23-hour quiet hours, standards with respect to noise are especially strict.
RESIDENCE COMMUNITY STANDARDS During times not formally designated as quiet hours there is still an expectation that noise will remain at reasonable levels. Residents must promptly and fully comply when asked to reduce or end unreasonable levels of noise (or bass). Musical instruments that can be played with headphones may be used in rooms, suites or apartments. Disruptive exercise equipment may not be used, except equipment provided by Residence Services. Residents may use sounds systems and speakers in their rooms, suites or apartments. This privilege may be withdrawn immediately at the discretion of staff. Sound systems and speakers must be used carefully, ensuring that sound and vibration cannot be detected outside the room. Particular care must be taken with subwoofers. Speakers and subwoofers must always be kept a reasonable distance off the floor.
Offensive Materials It is prohibited to publish or display anything that is likely to expose people to hatred or contempt, for example based on race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexuality, ability, age, family status or socioeconomic status. It is prohibited to publish or display anything that uses unreasonably offensive or discriminatory language or imagery. It is prohibited to publish or display anything sexually obscene, for example materials concerning sexual exploitation and/or sex together with crime, horror, cruelty or violence. It is prohibited to publish or display anything pornographic, except inside rooms, suites or apartments, subject to roommate consent as applicable. It is prohibited to advertise alcohol brands or imagery of bars or similar establishments, or events happening at bars, such as cabarets. Posted materials must not promote mass consumption or other irresponsible use of alcohol or drugs. This includes the use of language such as party bus, crawl and all you can drink.
Protection of Privacy It is prohibited to share information related to a student conduct case, except with staff. This applies to residents who are directly involved in the case, for example incident participants or witnesses, as well as those who happen to learn such information in some other way. It is prohibited to share with others information about a person which may reasonably be deemed personal or private without that personâ€™s expressed consent, except to share concerns with staff about the well-being of the person, somebody else or the community. This includes but is not limited to information concerning health, academics and relationships. It is prohibited to audio or video record, photograph or broadcast another person without that personâ€™s expressed consent.
Protection of Property It is prohibited to use university property for purposes other than those for which the property was intended. It is prohibited to borrow or otherwise relocate private or university property without the expressed consent of the owner. This includes but is not limited to signs, other furnishings and Dining Centre items.
RESIDENCE COMMUNITY STANDARDS Activity or negligence that harms or has the potential to harm private or university property is prohibited. Vandalism is intentional activity or negligence that harms private or university property. It includes but is not limited to breaking furnishings, graffiti and food fights. Reckless use of water, for example water fights, and use of paraphernalia such as water pistols or balloons is prohibited.
Sports Activities It is prohibited to engage in sports activities indoors, including but not limited to hockey, rollerblading, skateboarding, scooterriding, bicycling and wrestling. Courtyards between and around residence buildings, but not the Dining Centre patio area, may be used for appropriate sports activities, unless in use for another purpose. It is prohibited to use non-sports equipment for sports activities. Bicycles are prohibited in Kananaskis, Rundle and Yamnuska Halls except in designated storage areas.
Student Leadership Student leaders who violate the RCS are held to a higher standard of accountability and receive more severe sanctions than would be the case for other residents. Sanctions may include removal of the privilege of being a student leader. This applies to any resident in a leadership position at the University.
Trespassing It is prohibited to enter any room, suite or apartment without the occupantâ€™s consent, even if the door is unlocked. It is prohibited to enter any vacant room, suite or apartment, including a vacant bedroom within the same unit. Unlocked, vacant rooms should be reported to Residence Services immediately. It is prohibited to enter any area designated as restricted (or using other such terminology). Such areas include but are not limited to washrooms designated for another gender, construction areas, roofs, ledges and fire escapes. Fire escapes may be used for genuine emergencies or approved drills.
Windows It is prohibited to unfasten or remove window screens or to drop or throw items from windows. It is prohibited to enter or exit any building through a window, except during a genuine emergency. It is prohibited to publish or display on or in windows anything related to alcohol, drugs or pornography.
RESIDENCE COMMUNITY STANDARDS PROCEDURES FOR ALLEGED VIOLATIONS
Residents must respond to and comply with procedures for alleged violations. These procedures are implemented by a decision-maker, which may include a Residence Life Coordinator (or designee), a Residence Services manager or a Peer Conduct Board comprised of students. The decision-maker should always implement procedures in a reasonably timely fashion, unless there are exceptional circumstances causing a delay. Residents are presumed not responsible for alleged violations until the processes described below have been completed. This does not preclude staff taking steps to address conduct that is reasonably perceived to be adversely impacting an individual or community. For example, a staff person may require a resident to turn off a sound system, regardless of whether that resident agrees that it is necessary.
Principles for Addressing Alleged Violations Decision-makers must uphold the principles of natural justice and procedural fairness when addressing alleged violations. Natural justice requires “that a person must know the case being made against him or her and be given an opportunity to answer it, and the decision-maker must be unbiased.” Decision-makers must not be “biased by relationship, economic interest or personal conduct.” Furthermore “since ‘justice must not only be done, but must be seen to be done,’ an objective ‘reasonable apprehension of bias’ will invalidate a decision.” Meanwhile, procedural fairness requires that decision-makers “follow the rules, demonstrate honesty, and avoid insidious discrimination and malice toward the person.” ~Key Concepts: Administrative Law from A to Z, Bowal, Peter; Campbell, Carlee. Law Now31. 3 (Jan/Feb 2007): 31-35. In practice, this means that a resident accused of violating the RCS is entitled to: -a reasonably prompt notice describing the incident and allegation(s); if there is a delay, the reason should be specified -a reasonable opportunity to discuss the incident and allegation(s) in a meeting with the decision-maker -a reasonably advanced notice of the time, place and purpose of the meeting -a reasonable disclosure of evidence prior to the meeting -a reasonable opportunity for witnesses to meet with or provide written statements to the decision-maker -a reasonably prompt notice of the decision and any associated sanction(s); if there is a delay, the reason should be specified -a reasonable summary in writing of the reason(s) for the decision and any associated sanction(s) While residents are entitled to be reasonably provided with information and opportunities to respond, residents are entirely responsible for following up on that information and those opportunities. This includes but is not limited to checking email and mailboxes within the timeframes outlined in the Residence Agreement, responding to letters and setting up meetings by specified deadlines, and actually attending meetings. A resident’s failure to follow up on information or an opportunity to respond cannot be construed as though the above principles were not upheld. Failure to respond within 24 hours to staff communication conveyed in person, in writing or via electronic means may be considered an additional violation and may warrant critical situation procedures. The decision-maker will proceed with investigating (as applicable), reaching a decision and applying sanctions (as applicable) without the resident’s participation. The decision-maker may reasonably accommodate circumstances that temporarily impede the resident’s ability to respond or participate, for example by providing a second opportunity for a meeting. Such circumstances must be genuine, serious and unexpected, and they may require documented verification. Decisions to make such accommodations will significantly depend on whether the resident takes the initiative to contact the decision-maker, make the request and explain the circumstances as soon as possible.
RESIDENCE COMMUNITY STANDARDS Informing the Resident The process of investigating an alleged violation begins when a written account of an incident is reported by a staff-person. The decision-maker will send a meeting request letter to the resident(s) involved outlining the incident and violations alleged to have occurred, as well as deadlines for the resident to respond and set up a meeting. This letter is typically sent via email. It may be sent via other means, but that is not required. The letter must include reasonable alternatives within business hours in terms of the decision-maker’s availability to meet. Residents must respond promptly and prioritize setting up and participating in a meeting as soon as possible.
Proceeding with a Meeting Meetings to discuss alleged violations must include the resident and the decision-maker. Other staff and/or witnesses may be involved depending on the circumstances. For cases involving multiple residents, the decision-maker will decide whether to meet with the residents individually or as a group. Violations alleged to have happened on separate occasions, but involving the same resident(s) may sometimes be discussed in a single meeting. Meetings may not be audio or video recorded, photographed or broadcast. Meetings are held to examine the written account of the incident, the resident’s response and any input from witnesses, whether in-person or via written statements. At any stage the decision-maker or resident may ask questions. At all stages, the resident must be given reasonably sufficient time to share her/his perspective. A decision-maker may in extraordinary circumstances consider input from a witness without disclosing the person’s identity. This should only happen if the decision-maker reasonably determines that identifying the witness may result in harm to that person. In such cases, the decision-maker must ensure that the resident is fully aware of the nature and impact of the input. The decision-maker may only limit her/his explanation of the input if certain details might identify the witness. The resident must be given reasonably sufficient time to respond and present her/his perspective. An interpreter may attend a meeting. If a resident requests an interpreter, she/he will be responsible for the cost, as well as making all arrangements within the required timeframe. Residence Services will accommodate sign language interpreters and other accessibility needs. Certain accessibility requests may require verification from the Disability Resource Centre. A resident may bring one advisor to a meeting. An advisor is not an advocate. An advisor may only interact with the resident. An advisor may not speak or otherwise interact on behalf of the resident. A resident must speak for her/himself, either directly or through an interpreter. It is prohibited for residence staff to participate as advisors due to conflict of interest. A resident may bring a member of the RSA as an advisor, but it will be understood that the advisor does not represent the RSA. The procedures for alleged RCS’ violations make no allowances for advocacy.
Communicating a Decision At the end of the meeting, after excusing any witnesses, the decision-maker may communicate a decision. However, decisions are typically communicated later. Either way, a letter will be sent to the resident outlining the decision about the alleged violations, the reasons behind the decision and the details of any sanctions, if applicable. Decision letters are considered final, unless appealed through the procedures outlined below. Decision letters are typically sent within five business days, although more time may be required, for example if the decisionmaker needs to investigate or verify information provided during the meeting. If further information comes to the attention of the decision-maker after the meeting, the resident must be given a follow up opportunity with reasonably sufficient time to respond and present her/his perspective.
RESIDENCE COMMUNITY STANDARDS PROCEDURES FOR APPEALING DECISIONS
The original decision remains entirely in effect unless and until modified or overturned in an appeal decision letter. There are only three sufficient grounds for appealing a decision. Dissatisfaction or disagreement is not sufficient. Only appeals clearly based on at least one of the following will be heard: -The procedures for alleged violations were not properly followed by the decision-maker, and this demonstrably resulted in a greater-than-negligible affect on the decision. -There is a legitimate apprehension that the decision-maker was biased, and this claim is demonstrably supported by specific reasons. -There is new input which would have significantly affected the decision, and this input could not have been available at the time of the meeting. Residents wishing to appeal a decision must complete an Appeal Request Form, which is available at the main office in the Dining Centre. For appeals based on improper procedures or apprehension of bias, a completed form must be received by staff within three business days of the date of the decision letter. For appeals based on new input, a completed form must be received by staff within 20 business days of the date of the decision letter. Decisions about whether to hear an appeal are typically made within five business days by the Associate Director of Residence Services (or designee). If an appeal request is denied, that decision is final and will be communicated in writing to the resident. If an appeal request is approved, an appeal decision-maker will be selected, and the decision to hear the appeal will be communicated in writing to the resident. The appeal decision-maker must be different from the original decisionmaker. It will be a priority that the appeal decision-maker be as far removed from the original decision as reasonably possible. The appeal decision-maker may be another Residence Life Coordinator, a Residence Services manager or a Peer Appeal Board comprised of students. Once a decision to hear an appeal has been made, the principles outlined for addressing alleged violations apply. Similar steps as those outlined for informing the resident, proceeding with a meeting and communicating a decision also apply. However, appeals are never considered as entirely restarting the process. Whereas the original process broadly covers an incident and alleged violation(s), the appeal process only focuses on the grounds for appeal, as described in the Appeal Request Form. The meeting typically includes the appeal decision-maker, the original decision-maker and the resident. New incidents that occur before an appeal process concludes may impact the appeal. Whether the original decision is upheld, modified or overturned, appeal decision letters are considered final with no further route of appeal.
RESIDENCE COMMUNITY STANDARDS SANCTIONS
This section outlines sanctions which may be applied in student conduct cases. Any sanction may be applied in any case, depending on the severity and impact of the conduct, the residentâ€™s past conduct, the residentâ€™s attitude and other contextual factors that may result in a more or less severe sanction than usual. Any sanction may be applied to some or all of a community. Sanctions may be applied individually or in combination. Sanctions applied as a result of conduct during 23-hour quiet hours may be more severe than usual. Sanctions are applied independent of any restitution charges.
Fines The fine for each incomplete sanction is $100. Fines may also be used in other situations, particularly for repeat violations.
Other Sanctions -access ban (prohibits entrance to one or more areas or buildings) -alcohol probation (restricts or prohibits use and/or possession of alcohol) -behaviour contract -community service (includes various possibilities, from administrative projects to housekeeping or maintenance tasks) -communication ban (prohibits contact between two or more people) -disconnection from Reznet -educational assignment (includes various possibilities, from individual papers to presentations for peers) -guest probation (restricts or prohibits guest privileges) -oral or written warning -reassignment to an alternate room / building -residence probation (results in more severe sanctions than would normally be applied for any future conduct issues) -residence withhold (voids any outstanding offer or booking and/or prohibits re-applying to residence) -termination of agreement* *Termination of agreement means the resident is evicted. The resident must vacate and return her/his key, typically within 24 hours. The resident is banned throughout residence (including the Dining Centre servery) for a set period, typically one year.
Abiding By and Completing Sanctions Once applied, sanctions are not optional. They may only be modified or overturned through the appeal procedures outlined below. If a resident needs clarification about sanctions, she/he is responsible for taking the initiative to seek that clarification. Questions meant to clarify sanctions should always be directed to the staff-person who applied them. Failure to abide by sanctions for required durations or complete sanctions by required deadlines will result in further sanctions, which may be more severe. These may include sanction withhold, which blocks university registration activity, including but not limited to registering for courses and receiving transcripts.
RESIDENCE COMMUNITY STANDARDS CRITICAL SITUATION PROCEDURES
There can be critical situations requiring special authority and processes due to heightened concern for safety, security, health or wellbeing. The following procedures are in place to facilitate swift action to protect an individual or community in such situations. They supersede the regular procedures for alleged RCS violations. A Residence Services manager (or designee) is authorized to assess whether a critical situation exists, including whether: -a resident has harmed another individual or appears to pose a threat -a resident has been harmed by another individual or appears to be in danger -a resident has inflicted self-harm or appears to be in danger -a severe incident involving incivility has occurred A Residence Services manager (or designee) is authorized to act quickly and decisively in all matters associated with a critical situation, including: -determining the appropriate response -applying sanctions on an interim basis -relocating those involved to other buildings and/or rooms on an interim basis -banning those involved from residence on an interim basis -evicting those involved from residence on an interim basis, including terminating agreements and arranging for those evicted to be escorted from residence -applying further sanctions and/or taking further steps if those involved fail to respond or comply The termination of an agreement, application of sanctions, relocation of those involved or banning of those involved will be reviewed at a subsequent meeting to determine whether any or all steps should be made permanent, modified or discontinued. Such meetings will be held as soon as possible, considering staff and student availability, time required to investigate the situation and other contextual factors.