Skip to main content

Code of Conduct

Wilfrid Laurier University Conduct Regulations

The Residence Life Code of Conduct is bound by the Non-Academic Student Code of Conduct, the official document which details acceptable behaviour related to Laurier students. All sections of this document are fully applicable to residence living. Student who are found in violation of Department of Residence polices may participate in additional conduct processes and sanctions.

Residence Life Code of Conduct

Laurier’s residence life conduct process is rooted in the notion that university is an opportunity for students to learn about their values, learn how to live with others, and learn how to make a positive contribution to their community. This process is guided by relevant student development theories demonstrating that a student’s moral and ethical development is directional, and that the Department of Residence can be an influence on that direction. As such, we endeavor to partner with students in the learning process and create opportunities for reflection in the context of policy violations and community disruptions.

Our process is designed to help students think critically about their values and how those values are expressed through their actions. Additionally, we focus on harm reduction as an educational tool. We hold in tension the needs of the community with the needs of the individual. However, there may be times when the behaviour of students is deemed too disruptive to the community. If they show no willingness to modify their behaviour, these students will be required to leave the community. This is reserved for extreme situations where all interventions have been exhausted or in instances where a single incident is so counter to our values that we need to remove that person immediately.

Regulations for living in Laurier residence have been developed to protect the health, safety, and well-being of the entire residence community. These polices help to provide a climate that allows students to study, to learn about themselves and others, and to clarify their values.

  • Every individual in residence is responsible for respecting the rights of every other individual in the community. Responsible behaviour is that which is consistent with the Residence Life Code of Conduct and demonstrates an understanding that ignorance, anger, alcohol or substance abuse will not be accepted as an excuse, reason, or rationale for unacceptable behaviour.
  • Every individual in residence has the right to live in an environment where their personal possessions and communal spaces are secure, and their personal and academic goals are attainable.
  • Residence Life staff are responsible for ensuring a safe environment for all. The policies outlined below will be enforced on Department of Residence property, including, but not limited to, the inside of the buildings, entranceways, roofs, walkways and surrounding areas immediately outside of the residences. Residence Life staff may be required to enter a resident’s room in order to maintain safety and security or to uphold the code.

How the Residence Code of Conduct is Administered

An incident report is typically generated when a potential violation of the Residence Life Code of Conduct has possibly occurred, and/or a student files a complaint with a Residence Life staff member. When an incident is reported by Residence Life staff members, it will be documented in the conduct management database. This report will include the names of the individual(s) involved, names of any witnesses and the details of the incident. This report is then submitted to the Residence Life area coordinator or a designate.

Filing a Complaint

Students have a right to make a complaint against anyone who violates their right to a safe and secure environment that is conducive to academic pursuits. A student complaint against another student will be considered In light of the Residence Life Code of Conduct and, if applicable, the Non-Academic Student Code of Conduct.

Residence Life is guided by the values of procedural fairness in dealing with all complaints. As such, no sanction and/or disciplinary action will be taken against a person or group without their knowledge where there is an alleged breach of the Residence Life Code of Conduct. Respondents will be given reasonable notice, with details of the allegations and provided with an opportunity to answer to the allegations made against them.

Students should feel safe to make a complaint without fear of retaliation. Any action of retaliation against a student or community member for filing a complaint, and is subject to disciplinary action.

Right to Withdraw a Complaint

A complainant has the right to withdraw a complaint at any stage of the process. However, Residence Life staff may continue to act on the issue(s) identified in the complaint in order to ensure a safe and secure environment conducive to student’s academic pursuits.

Unsubstantiated or False Complaints

If a person, in good faith, discloses or files a complaint that is not supported by evidence gathered during an investigation, that complaint will be dismissed. Disclosures or complaints that are found following investigations to be frivolous, vexatious or in bad faith, that is, made to purposely annoy, embarrass or harm the respondent, may result in sanctions and/or disciplinary action against the complainant.

Confidentiality

Residence Life staff will respect the confidentiality of all persons, including the complainant, respondent, and witnesses. However, confidentiality cannot be assured in the following circumstances:

  • An individual is at imminent risk of self-harm;
  • An individual is at imminent risk of harming another; and/or
  • There are reasonable grounds to believe that others in the residence community or wider campus and local community may be at risk of harm.

In such circumstances, information would only be shared with necessary campus partners/ departments to prevent harm and provide support to the students involved.

Investigation and Next Steps

Within five business days of the incident report or complaint being filed, the student(s) named for potentially violating the residence policy may be notified and required to meet with a designated Residence Life staff member responsible for addressing the incident.

At this time, the following will occur:

  • The Residence Life staff member will investigate the incident by speaking with the student(s)/ staff involved and any witnesses. The staff member may provide a copy of the report to the student involved, if requested. This is to ensure a fair process while the understanding of the incident is clarified. Failure to return calls, respond to meeting requests or to meet at a scheduled time regarding an investigation will result in the decision (sanction) being made with the available information.
  • The Residence Life staff member will review the report and findings and make a decision regarding an appropriate outcome. Some incidents may be referred to more senior Residence Life staff for further review and decision making.
  • A decision will be made using the standard of proof known as the balance of probabilities or more likely than not. The standard of proof has been met if at the conclusion of the investigation, based on all credible information, the Residence staff member believes that the incident reported is more likely to be true than not true. Simply stated as “more likely than not” based on information available.
  • A decision letter will be sent to the student.

Note: Residence Life staff may follow up with any incident that occurs within any residence building.

Definitions

  • Acceptable noise: Noise that should be expected in the student living environment during the appropriate times of the day as a result of reasonable living activities.
  • Excessive noise: Intentional or unintentional noise that disturbs others in residence. This includes but is not limited to: banging on multiple doors consecutively; directing stereo/computer speaker(s) noise outside of a room through a window or door; bass from a stereo or computer that can be heard through a closed door or adjoining wall; and yelling or screaming.
  • Incident report: A document used to describe behaviour that may be unacceptable and/or in violation of the Residence Life Code of Conduct.
  • Sanction: An outcome of a determination that a student is responsible for a violation.
  • Residence status: Residence status refers to the position that the students holds with residence due to their experiences with the conduct process. The three statuses are “Warning,” ”On Notice” and “Probation.” Each status is representative of more restrictions placed on the student and probation is the most severe.
  • Residence staff: Residence staff are persons employed by Wilfrid Laurier University who work within the Department of Residence. The following Residence Life staff have been given the authorization to manage incidents as outlined in the Residence Life Code of Conduct: Residence Life dons, Residence Life area coordinators, and senior staff. The managers of Residence Life, the associate director of Residence Life, the director of Residence and their superiors are recognized as senior staff.

Sanctioning

The purpose of Residence Life sanctioning is to help student learn from their mistakes, clarify their values, consider the impact of their actions and reduce the harm associated with alcohol and drug use. The following factors are considered when deciding upon any sanction:

  • The unique circumstances surrounding each incident and individual.
  • Prior sanctions assigned for similar and/or past incidents.

Note: The severity of sanctions may increase for repeat offenders and/or the number of incidents, up to and including eviction from the residence.

Types of Sanctions

Sanctions will be determined by the residence staff responsible for the managing the incident and decision making.

  • Written warning: A resident may receive a written warning letter stating that their actions/choices have violated the Residence Life Code of Conduct or abused a residence policy. Written warnings will refer to the residence guidebook to remind them of the policies. If the behaviour continues after receiving a written warning, the student may receive more significant sanctions.
  • Reflective sanctions: Sanctions may include but are not limited to a written assignment, a seminar, an online workshop or community service hours. In the event that a resident fails to perform the assigned task, further sanctions may be imposed.
  • Restitution invoice: A monetary reimbursement to recover the loss or damage of residence property/services/labour as a result of an accident or incident. Students are strongly encouraged to come forward in these instances. Generally, restitution is the sole sanction in the event of accidents. Labour costs vary by time/day.
  • Community billing: When common area damage/vandalism occurs and the responsible persons are not identified, repair and administration costs will be charged to every resident, or a specific section of the community.
  • Probation: Residence staff may place a resident on probation (residence, alcohol or guest). Probation is a formal status imposed for a specific period of time. During this time, any subsequent violations may result in further consequences, typically eviction. Probation periods may extend to the end of the academic year and can extend to subsequent contract periods.
  • Relocation: Residence staff reserve the right to remove a resident from a particular room/floor if it is deemed necessary and in the best interests of the student and/or community. The intent of the relocation is to allow the student a fresh start in a new environment. A resident may be relocated temporarily until an investigation is closed. There may be costs associated with being relocated typically if there is a change in room type.
  • Restriction: A resident may be restricted from accessing a portion of the building or from entering the building for a period of time. If a student violates this restriction Special Constables Services may be contacted and the student may face eviction.
  • Suspension: A suspension is defined as a period of time where a student is temporarily prohibited from residing in or otherwise being in residence. Throughout the suspension period, a student is responsible for the full cost of the residence space in addition to being restricted from entering all other residence buildings. A deferred suspension from residence is a period of review during which the student must demonstrate an ability to comply with the polices. If, during the period of the deferred suspension, the student is again found responsible for violating the code, the student can be considered for an immediate suspension/eviction from the residence. The nature of the offence dictates a deferred suspension, suspension or eviction.
  • Eviction: Residence staff reserve the right to cancel a resident’s residence contract with cause. The decision letter will explain the reason(s) for this sanction and will include conditions of the eviction. Students who are evicted from residence may also:
    • Risk forfeiting their residence fees.
    • Be required to leave residence immediately.

There are several offences in residence that can lead to an eviction following an investigation whereby a student is found, based on the standard of proof, to have violated the Residence Life Code of Conduct. These offences include but are not limited to:

  • Violence, assault, harassment and the possession and/or use of a weapon;
  • Distribution of marijuana or drugs;
  • Starting a fire, tampering with life safety equipment, smoking or burning incense/candles in residence; and
  • Accessing a restricted area.

Appeals

As stated in the student’s decision letter, an appeal process is available to students and must be launched within 24 hours of the decision letter date. The resident must submit any email to the Residence Life staff member as directed in the conduct letter. The email appeal should contains the following information:

  • A full statement of the grounds for the appeal;
  • The outcome sought by the student; and
  • Any relevant supporting documentation.

In the case of evictions a student who may need to leave residence before they are permitted to commence an appeal, and may be asked to leave residence immediately. Typically, the timeline for vacating residence is within 48 hours of the letter date; however, this will be outlined fully in the student’s decision letter.

  • Grounds for appeal: Grounds for an appeal may include but are not limited to:
    • New information;
    • Procedural irregularities;
    • New information was found which could not reasonably have been presented earlier; and
    • The sanction(s) was/were not appropriate for the violation which occurred.
  • Appeal reviewers: Appeals are reviewed by the appropriate Residence Life staff, typically the next administrative level up will review appeals.
  • Administration of appeals: The appeal process shall be limited to a review of the file, and supporting documents from the original proceeding. The process may also consider any relevant, new information, as deemed necessary by the individual or staff considering the appeal. The staff considering the appeal may, after reviewing the case:
    • Uphold the findings and/or sanctions;
    • Reverse the findings;
    • Reverse or modify the sanctions; or
    • Determine that there was a procedural error and ask the original individual to re-hear the case.

Filing for or receiving an appeal, does not defer the decision under appeal. When an appeal request is not granted, the conditions/sanctions outlined within the original decision letter will apply. All appeal decisions shall be communicated to the student in writing and where appropriate, the student shall be advised of any further right to appeal. Revised deadlines for any previously imposed sanctions will be made at the discretion of the appeal review individual. All appeal decisions are final.