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Student conduct process

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FAQs

What is the purpose of the Student Conduct system at Douglas College?

The Douglas College Standards of Students Conduct A10.02.02 applies to all currently enrolled students and to student organizations. The purpose of the policy is to provide a foundation in policy that reflects the College’s commitment to creating a respectful, fair, and just campus community. The mission of Student Conduct system is to also establish community standards and to hold students accountable for their conduct. The system supports the educational mission of the College by educating students, faculty and staff about appropriate behavior and by promoting community standards that foster personal responsibility, academic success and individual growth.

The Douglas College Conduct system is based on the following principles:

Integrity: The College believes that personal integrity will be reflected not only in honest and responsible actions but also in a willingness to accept or offer direction to others whose actions may be harmful to themselves or the community. The College expects all students to be truthful and forthright. We hope that students will view the conduct process as an opportunity to reflect upon and determine their core values and convictions. By interacting with the conduct process, students will be encouraged to become aware of their convictions, examine their actions critically and consider the congruency of their behavior with their convictions. Students will be encouraged to hold themselves accountable even when consequences are unpleasant. 

Resiliency: Resiliency is like our immune system, it’s our ability to bounce back after a difficult experience.  Being accused of an alleged violation of student conduct is a stressful experience, but it can also be viewed as a learning opportunity. Growth and wisdom can only be achieved by navigating setbacks with honesty and openness. Adversity and difficult experiences can lead to new perspectives, appreciation, change your thinking and help you grow as a person. It's not about how epic your failure is, it's what you learn.

Social Responsibility: Douglas College is a community, we all want it to be part of a safe and respectful learning and working environment. Students, staff, and faculty are all interdependent members of this community. As members of this community we all have social responsibilities, to the College, the wider community, and beyond.  By interacting with the conduct process, students will be encouraged to consider how they interact with their communities, how they interact with others, and how they can engage as respectful, ethical and committed members of the community.

What if I am found to have violated the policy, how is that decided?

Decisions are generally based on the following broad criteria:

  • The nature of the violation (what you did)
  • Prior violations/previous disciplinary history (what have you done before). Prior violations would not determine whether this particular instance was a violation the findings of fact would; prior violations of a similar nature would influence disciplinary measures.
  • Unusual circumstances surrounding the violation (circumstances linked to the situation or factors that might influence the circumstances)
  • Your motivation for the behavior (why you chose to do what you did)
  • Sanctions involved in cases involving similar violations (precedent)
  • The developmental and educational impact on you, other students or staff

What are my responsibilities under the policy?

Students have a responsibility to be aware of policies and procedures that guide expectations of conduct. Students are responsible for ensuring they adhere to these expectations in all Douglas-related activities. Individual accountability is essential to the student experience and the conduct policy.

All community members are expected to treat one another with dignity and respect. When students do not act in this manner and their behavior or actions become of concern to the College, specific incidents will be addressed through either an informal or formal conduct processes. As a student at Douglas College students are expected to:

  • Abide by college policies, procedures and regulations
  • Respect the dignity, rights and safety of others
  • Take responsibility for their actions
  • To consistently demonstrate ethical and professional behavior;
  • To understand what others have to say and remain open minded to all ideas, suggestions and comments

What are my rights under the policy?

  • Enjoy all rights and freedoms recognized by law
  • Students have the right to decisions that are transparent, timely, based published policies and procedures that honor the principles of natural justice and fair process.
  • To enjoy a learning environment that is safe, free from harassment, bullying and discrimination;
  • To enjoy a learning environment which is characterized by mutual respect and civility;
  • To be part of a learning environment that, while safeguarding dissent or differences of opinion, is free from interference and disruption;
  • To participate in constructive debate of ideas and resolution of conflict;
  • To be part of a campus community that is Inclusive of all people, including those with different abilities, backgrounds, cultures, opinions, life experiences and ideas;
  • To an environment which ensures that administrative decisions are made, or actions taken, with fair regard for the known and legitimate interests of students;
  • To an environment where adequate measures are taken to protect the security of students on College property;
  • To exercise their right to express legitimate complaints without fear of reprisal;
  • Students have the right to have a legal right to have their privacy and confidentiality protected. This includes protection of your student information and records.

The process

Upon receipt of a Complaint, the Responsible Administrator must first determine if it falls within the scope of the Policy. If it does not, the Responsible Administrator will inform the Complainant in writing.

The Responsible Administrator may vary depending on the nature of the complaint.

I just received a letter from the College alleging that I may have violated the Student Conduct Policy. What should I do?

  • Do not panic! Know that the OSSC recognizes that all of us make mistakes.
  • Read the letter carefully.
  • All reports of alleged, non-academic misconduct are reviewed by the OSSC and other departments such as Security or Student Affairs when required. Sometimes a report may not be escalated into a formal conduct review and instead may be treated through an informal process.
  • The letter you received is simply the document (written statement) that alleges a student’s involvement in an alleged violation of College policy.
  • This does not mean you are "in trouble." This is just a first step in the process.
  • We do not judge these incidents in advance, we want to hear your side of the story and be sure we have all the facts.
  • The purpose of the meeting is to provide you with the opportunity to tell us what happened and for you to hear the details of the allegations.
  • Based on the meeting, evidence provided by all parties involved it will be determined if you have violated the Student Conduct Policy A10.02.02.

What is a Complainant? What is a Respondent?

The Complainant is the term used under the policy for the person (faculty, staff or student) who is alleging misconduct, and the Respondent is the Student who is alleged to have committed the misconduct.

What if the behavior happened off-campus?

The College is not responsible for responding to complaints of Student Misconduct that occurs off campus. However, the College may intervene when there is a clear link between a Student’s conduct and the College, such as, when the Student is representing or acting as a representative of the College at an event. 

For example, inappropriate social media postings, or incidents off campus that create an environment of intimidation, anxiety or disrespect on the campus. The College may intervene either under policy or where scope is nebulous may take measures to assure safety.

What is the difference between Academic and Non-Academic Misconduct?

Academic misconduct violations are incidents involving your course work, cheating or plagiarism for example. These are typically addressed with your instructor and academic department. Violations are addressed by the OSSC provide a centralized and consistent response to matters of Non-Academic Student Misconduct. The office also provides a central point of contact should any members of the college community have questions about, or need to report, Non-Academic Student Misconduct.

Who can report an alleged incident of Non-Academic Misconduct?

Any member of the College community (student, faculty, or staff) who has observed, or been the subject of an alleged incident of Non-Academic Misconduct can file a report.

What happens when an incident is reported?

When an alleged incident of Non-Academic Misconduct is reported, there are a few possible courses of action:

  • If the incident does not appear to constitute misconduct as outlined in Student Conduct Policy A10.02.02, the Manager of Student Support and Conduct may:
  • Meet with the person who reported the incident to suggest some possible solutions or other campus services to the current situation; and/or
  • Refer the incident to an alternate process or more appropriate process for resolution
  • If there is reason to believe that the alleged report constitutes Non-Academic Misconduct, the Student(s) involved in the alleged violation will be invited to attend a meeting to review the report and provide additional information related to the alleged misconduct. The purpose of the meeting is to provide the student with the opportunity to tell their side of the story.
  • If additional information is required the Manager Student Support and Conduct may initiate a further investigation. This will be conducted within ten working days.
  • The investigation will be conducted in a prompt, objective and impartial manner.

Who can I talk to prepare for the meeting?

The Douglas Student Union (DSU) Advocate is a resource on campus specifically here to advise you on your rights and responsibilities, College polices and processes. The DSU Advocate is well versed in College policy and the conduct process. Additionally, they can provide helpful hints for organizing your thoughts for any meetings or appeals.

What happens if I don't make the meeting or skip it?

An administrative hold may be placed on your record. This hold may prevent you from registering in future classes. It is in your best interest to attend your appointment with the OSSC.

Can I have an advisor at the meeting with me?

Students can have a support person or the DSU Advocate present at the conduct meeting. The accompanying person is there to support the needs of the student, and does not take an active role other than to "silently witness" the meeting and to assist the student. 

What are possible sanctions?

A sanction is an outcome or consequence if a student is found in violation of a particular policy. The ultimate goal of the policy is to address violations of misconduct with sanctions that are corrective, not punitive. Where possible the College believes that students should have an opportunity to learn from their mistakes.

Examples of Sanctions

Below are some examples of sanctions that may be used independently or in combination depending on the details of the violation.

  • Suspension from the College for a specific period of time
  • Community Service.
  • Educational Sanctions (workshops, essays, completion of an educational program/service, etc.).
  • Restitution for Damages.
  • Verbal or Written Apologies.

If I don't comply with my sanctions, what will happen to me?

You may receive additional sanctions for failure to comply, and may be referred for an additional conduct meeting. If you are graduating and fail to complete sanctions by commencement, your diploma and transcripts may be held until the sanctions are complete.

Are student conduct records confidential?

To protect the integrity, fairness and effectiveness of investigations and decisions the student conduct process will comply with all applicable laws and with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act of B.C. (“FIPPA”).

Can the complaint be withdrawn?

A Complainant has the right to withdraw a Complaint at any stage of the process. However, the College may continue to act on the issue identified in the Complaint to comply with its obligations under law or this Policy.

What if I need additional support?

Douglas has a number of student services that may provide additional advice or support.