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Queen's University

QUAA Code of Conduct

General Conduct

Members of the Queen's University Alumni Association, while engaged in any official capacity related to the Association, are expected to uphold the highest standard of ethical behaviour and personal conduct at all times, and are responsible for conducting themselves in such a way as to represent Queen's and the Alumni Association in the most favourable light at all times.

The University Secretariat's web site contains definitions and examples of unacceptable conduct including: harassment, discrimination, racism, sexual harassment, and heterosexism (the negative valuing and discriminatory treatment of individuals and groups who are lesbian, gay, or bisexual, those perceived to be so, and those affiliated with them). The Alumni Association incorporates the University's definitions of the above examples of unacceptable conduct into this code of conduct.The Queen's University Alumni Association is committed to providing an environment where members respect the personal dignity of others, and which is free from all forms of harassment and discrimination.

Distinction between University Staff versus Alumni Volunteers

The business and operation of the Queen's Alumni Association presents a unique set of circumstances, whereby two separate and distinct populations (namely internal staff of the University, and alumni volunteers) interact and cooperate to fulfill the Mission of the Alumni Association.

As a result, separate and specific guidelines for conduct, as well as possible sanctions for breaches of conduct, are necessary and are described below.

University Staff Conduct

In addition to falling under the description of General Conduct described above, University staff are subject to specific, detailed guidelines for behaviour described in the Queen's University Code of Conduct, and the Queen's University Harassment / Discrimination Complaint Policy (

Internal staff or Alumni Association members who feel that they have been subject to improper conduct by an internal staff member(s) may wish to register a complaint with the Associate Vice-Principal (Alumni Relations) who may be able to resolve the issue or may recommend initiating action through one of the processes referenced above.

Alumni Volunteer Conduct

Alumni volunteers are expected to adhere to the guidelines of General Conduct referenced above. Alumni Association members or internal staff who feel that they may have been subject to improper conduct by an alumni association volunteer, or observe as a third party improper conduct by an Alumni Association volunteer, and who are unable to resolve the matter on an individual basis, may wish to initiate formal action. In this instance, the individual may wish to initiate action as set out below in the Complaint Process.

Complaint Process

The procedure for the Complaint Process is as follows:

a) Document the incident in a letter entitled the Complaint Report. This report should contain as much information as possible, including: a detailed description of the incident(s), date(s), time(s), names of persons involved, as well as supporting documentation pertaining to the allegations. Examples might include copies of letters, e-mails, letters of witnesses, related documentation, etc. Any history of misconduct by the individual(s) charged may be included if deemed relevant. The report should clearly indicate the exact nature of the objectionable conduct, as well as a recommendation for resolution.

b) The individual(s) filing the complaint will forward a copy of the Complaint Report, along with the results of any attempt to resolve the matter directly, to the President of the Alumni Association. Should the complaint directly involve the Alumni Association President, the report could be forwarded to the Past-President, or another member of the Alumni Association Board of Directors.

c) The President (or designate) will forward the Complaint Report, along with all related documentation, to the individual named, and request that a letter entitled the Complaint Response be returned within a time frame deemed reasonable by the President.

Similar to the Complaint Report, the Complaint Response should contain as much detail as possible, and should focus specifically on the allegations outlined in the Complaint Report.

Any allegations of improper conduct against the original complainant must be presented separately.

d) The President (or designate) will select a panel, consisting of three members of the Alumni Assembly and two alumni who are not members of Assembly, who will review all of the related material, and recommend resolutions / sanctions as required.

e) If the panel agrees that a breach of the Code of Conduct has occurred, they have the authority to resolve the complaint which may include:

  • A formal letter of caution or reprimand. This should be considered a warning. Subsequent minor violations may lead to more severe consequences.
  • Request for formal apology in writing, by a specified time deemed reasonable by the President. Copies may be required to individuals associated with the incident(s).
  • Request for resignation.
  • Removal from position.
  • Declaration of the individual as a Member Not in Good Standing, with the result of nullifying the rights of membership as described in the constitution.

f) The decision of the panel will be communicated in writing, and will be distributed as follows: The individual(s) involved directly with the complaint, the Alumni Association Board of Directors, the Associate Vice-Principal (Alumni Relations), the Vice-Principal (Advancement), and/or the Principal. The President of the Alumni Association reserves the right to copy others at his/her discretion. Individuals receiving knowledge of resolutions are expected to maintain confidentiality.

Time Limits

Complaints through this Code of Conduct must be filed within six (6) months of the alleged incident, or where the matter complained of consists of a series of related incidents, within six months of the most recent incident

Appeal Process

Right to Appeal

Complainant or respondent may appeal the decision of the panel as to responsibility and / or sanction to an appeal committee consisting of three (3) past Alumni Association Presidents. Such an appeal shall be based on issues of procedure, law, and jurisdiction pertaining to the process of the panel.

Complainants and respondents are advised that initiating an appeal is a serious matter which should not be undertaken in the absence of good cause.

Appeal Procedure

Either party may exercise the right of appeal by filing a written notice of appeal with the Associate Vice-Principal (Alumni Relations) within two (2) weeks of the final decision of the Alumni Association panel. The notice of appeal must be accompanied by an administration fee of $100 (certified cheque).

The launching of an appeal may act as a stay to the implementation of any sanctions imposed by the panel until such time as the appeal has been disposed of. This, however, may not preclude the appropriate Officer of the University from taking action where deemed necessary for the protection of the alumni community. Notification of such intended action will be sent to the Alumni Association Board of Directors for ratification.

The Associate Vice-Principal (Alumni Relations) will seek three (3) past Alumni Association Presidents to hear the appeal. If the Associate Vice-Principal (Alumni Relations) is unavailable, or directly involved in the situation, then the Vice-Principal (Advancement) will be requested to take on this task.

In hearing an appeal, the committee of Past Presidents will, save where the appeal is confined to issues of procedure, law and / or jurisdiction, hold a full hearing where both sides will have an opportunity to present their case, as well have an opportunity for rebuttal. The hearing will not be open to the public.

The appeal committee will be responsible for rendering a decision, as well as for determining if the appeal was launched on reasonable grounds.

The administrative fee of $100 will be refunded in the event of a successful appeal.

The decision(s) of the appeal committee is final.

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