Student Conduct

Student Conduct

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Student Conduct Panel

Normally a Student Conduct Panel will consist of one faculty member, one Student, and one staff member. The chair of the Student Conduct Panel (the “Chair”) will normally be a faculty member, but in any case must be someone with university tribunal experience.

All members of a panel will normally be appointed by the University Ombudsman from a roster of individuals who have indicated their willingness to serve on a Student Conduct Panel. The roster will be maintained and managed by the NAM Intake Office.

The University Ombudsman can engage external panelists to hear cases where the subject matter requires specialized knowledge or expertise.

The Office of the University Ombudsman will provide training and education to members of the roster about their roles and responsibilities on a Student Conduct Panel.

The NAM Intake Office must provide a copy of the case report to each member appointed to the Student Conduct Panel and to the Respondent(s) within 3 business days of the members’ appointment.

Appointments to a Student Conduct Panel must take into consideration:

  1. The availability of individuals to serve on the Panel; and,
  2. The need to avoid bias, a reasonable apprehension of bias, and, conflict of interest.

Student Conduct Panel Procedures

After receiving the case report, the Student Conduct Panel can, if it deems necessary, request additional information/document(s) from a party. The Panel must provide the other party with all information/documents so obtained.

A Student Conduct Panel is not bound by strict legal procedures. The procedural guidelines outlined below are designed to assist the parties in preparing and presenting their case(s), and to ensure they are given a fair opportunity to be heard. The procedural guidelines need not, however, be followed strictly or in their entirety, provided that the requirements of procedural fairness are satisfied.

Parties: The parties in a proceeding before a Student Conduct Panel are:

  1. The Case Manager, or, a person appointed by the Provost to represent the Student Conduct Office; and,
  2. the Respondent(s).

Notice: The parties must be given at least 10 business days’ written notice of the proceeding. The Notice of Proceeding must include:

  1. a statement of the time, place and purpose of the proceeding; and
  2. a statement that if a party does not attend the proceeding, the Panel can proceed in the party’s absence and that the party will not be given any further notice of the proceeding.

Scheduling: The proceeding will be scheduled by the Chair (or delegate). The Chair will try to set a time and date for the proceeding that is convenient for the parties. However, if it is clear that a party has been notified in writing of the scheduled time and date for the proceeding, the Panel can proceed in that party’s absence.

Normally a proceeding must be scheduled within 15 business days after the date on the Notice of Proceeding. The Chair can extend this time limit if a written request for an extension is submitted and if the Chair is satisfied:

  1. that the reason given for the delay is valid; and,
  2. that the delay will not prejudice the other party.

Right to Representation and Assistance: Every Respondent has the right to the assistance of a University Dispute Resolution Adviser or other person, including a legal representative, in a proceeding before a Student Conduct Panel. Respondent(s) can appear before the panel on their own, but are encouraged to seek representation or assistance.

Whether or not a Respondent(s) has representation, members of a Student Conduct Panel is entitled to question the Respondent(s) directly. While a Respondent(s) cannot be compelled to answer questions, the failure to do so might lead to an adverse inference.

Evidence: All Respondents are entitled to receive details of the allegation(s) before a proceeding starts. Normally this information will be in the case report. A party seeking further details, information or documents must direct their request to the Chair. The Chair must ask the other party for submissions about the request and will issue a written direction to the parties.

A Panel can allow oral, documentary or other evidence that it deems relevant to the proceeding, whether or not such evidence would be admissible in a court; the Panel must determine its credibility and weight.

If the Student Conduct Panel satisfies itself as to the authenticity of a copy of a record or document, the Panel can accept the copy as evidence, without requiring the original record or document to be produced.

The Panel can require a party to produce documentary or other physical evidence at any time before or during the proceeding if it deems the evidence to be relevant. The Panel must provide the other party with a copy of such evidence.

The Panel must not hear evidence or receive or representations about the case without all parties present, unless, having been provided with a Notice of Proceeding, a party fails to attend the proceeding.

Attendance of Witnesses: Each party must provide the Chair with a list of witnesses at least 5 business days before the proceeding is scheduled to start. The Chair must provide the list(s) the other party at least 3 business days before the proceeding is scheduled to start.

If a party believes that a person has relevant evidence, the party can ask the Chair, in writing, to formally invite that the individual attend the proceeding as a witness. The party’s written request to the Chair must include the following information about the requested witness:

  1. Full name;
  2. Status(i.e.faculty, staff, Student or other);
  3. Current contact information;
  4. A summary of the evidence the person is expected to give at the proceeding; and,
  5. A statement outlining the relevance of the evidence.

The Chair will send a written invitation to the person if the Chair believes that the requested witness is likely to have relevant evidence. The Chair has no authority to compel a witness to attend a proceeding.

The Chair will advise the parties of the identity of all persons who accept the Chair’s invitation to attend the proceeding, and will indicate which party requested the person’s attendance at the proceeding.

Witnesses are not expected to be sworn or affirmed.

Examination of Witnesses: At the proceeding a party or their representative is entitled to, examine and cross-examine witnesses as in Chair’s discretion is reasonably required for a full and fair disclosure of all relevant matters at issue in the case.

The Chair can limit examination and cross-examination of a witness when the Chair is satisfied that the examination has been sufficient to fully and fairly disclose all relevant matters, or if the Chair believes the questioning is irrelevant or abusive.

Open/Closed Proceedings: Any party to a proceeding before a Student Conduct Panel can request that the proceeding be closed to observers. The Chair will grant the request if he/she is of the opinion that the interests of any person affected by the proceeding outweigh the desirability of conducting an open proceeding.

It is up to the Chair to decide who is permitted to be present at any stage of a proceeding.

Order of Proceedings: The Student Conduct Office representative will first present the findings of the investigation and call witnesses. The Respondent(s) will be given an opportunity to cross-examine the witness. The Student Conduct Office representative will then be permitted to address any new points that arose from cross examination.

The Respondent(s) will next present evidence and call witnesses. The Student Conduct Office representative will be given an opportunity to cross-examine the witness. The Respondent(s) will then be permitted to address any new points that arose from cross examination

The Student Conduct Office representative can present evidence in response to evidence presented by the Respondent(s).

At any time during a witness’ evidence, members of the Panel can ask for clarification or further information from the witness.

The parties will be permitted to summarize their respective cases and make closing statements.

The Chair can alter the order described above in the interests of fairness.

Adjournment: The Panel can agree to an adjournment request at any time during a proceeding if the Panel is satisfied that the reason for doing so is valid and that that the delay will not prejudice the other party.

Time Limits: Normally time limits will be extended during exam or holiday periods. The Chair of a Panel retains the discretion to extend time limits as circumstances may require; in exceptional circumstances the Chair can also abridge time limits provided that a party to a proceeding is not prejudiced thereby.

Alternate Dispute Resolution: The Chair can, at any stage before a the Panel makes its decision, defer the case to allow the parties to participate in an alternative dispute resolution process to resolving the case or an issue arising in the case if:

  1. the Chair decides that alternative dispute resolution is appropriate for the case; and
  2. the parties consent to participating in the alternative dispute resolution process.

Where the parties participate in an alternative dispute resolution process, time-lines for resolving the dispute must be established and agreed upon or determined by the Chair. Normally, the deferral period for an alternative dispute resolution process will not exceed 4 weeks. If, at the conclusion of 4 weeks, the parties have not reached agreement, either party can request that the proceeding be scheduled or re-commenced, as the case may be.

No person called upon to facilitate a dispute resolution process can be required to give oral evidence or to produce any document or other record in a proceeding.

Decision: The decision of a Student Conduct Panel, if not unanimous, must be based on the decision of the majority of its members.

The burden of proof, which lies with the Student Conduct Office, required to prove a case of Category 2 non-academic misconduct is the balance of probabilities. This means that the evidence the Panel regards as reliable and credible supports the conclusion that it is more likely than not that a Respondent engaged in the non-academic misconduct alleged.

Every decision of a Student Conduct Panel must include a statement about the Respondent’s right to appeal its decision to the University Student Appeal Board (“USAB”). The decision must also provide information about the deadline for appealing and reference the University Ombudsman as a resource for information and advice.

Notification of Decision: Normally, within 3 business days after the conclusion of the proceeding, the Chair will notify the parties and the NAM Intake Office in writing of the Panel’s decision.

If the Panel decides that the alleged non-academic misconduct has not been proven on a balance of probabilities, then within a further 10 business days, the Chair will issue the Panel’s formal written decision, which must include the Panel’s supporting reasons.

Sanction Proceeding

If the Panel decides that the alleged non-academic misconduct has been proven on a balance of probabilities, then within a further 10 business days, the Panel will re-convene to hear the parties’ submissions about appropriate sanction(s) (“Sanction Proceeding”).

Among the factors that a Panel can consider in determining sanction(s) are:

  1. the intent of a Respondent;
  2. the impact of the misconduct on:
    • the complainant, if any;
    • the university community;
    • the university (including any impact on its reputation and/or its goodwill
      • in the community); and
      • the broader community;
  3. the presence or absence of past findings of non-academic misconduct on the part of a Respondent; and,

  4. the presence of mitigating or aggravating factors.

Sanctions must be proportionate to the misconduct and/or the harm arising from it.

Available Sanctions

Sanctions should, where appropriate, be educational, developmental and progressive

Sanctions that can be imposed by a Student Conduct Panel include those stated in the Queen’s University Student Code of Conduct, 2016, the Residence Student Conduct process (“ResRules”) and/or the Athletics & Recreation Non-Academic Discipline Judicial Process (Discipline Policy), as applicable, but do not include a requirement to withdraw. If a sanction from the ResRules or the Athletics & Recreation Discipline Policy is imposed, the senior administrator in the applicable office shall be notified of the sanction and will be responsible for ensuring it is met by the student in a timely fashion.

A Student Conduct Panel can recommend to the Provost that a Respondent be Required to Withdraw from studies at the University. The Provost can endorse the recommendation and require the Respondent to withdraw from studies at the University. The requirement to withdraw may be limited to a specified period of time. In the event that a Respondent is Required to Withdraw, their transcript will bear a notation, during the period for withdrawal, indicating that the Respondent was required to withdraw from the University for Non-Academic Misconduct.

If the panel intends to impose a sanction provided for in either the ResRules or the Athletics & Recreation Non-Academic Discipline Judicial Process (Discipline Policy), it must consult with those offices before making a decision on sanction(s).

Within 5 business days after the Sanction Proceeding ends, the Chair will issue the Panel’s formal written decision on the merits of the case and on any sanction(s). The decision must include the Panel’s supporting reasons.

Timing of Sanction(s)

Sanctions will not normally be put into effect until a Respondent has either exhausted all internal channels of appeal, or the time for filing an appeal has expired.

Any interim measures will continue during the appeal period unless the Panel’s decision indicates otherwise.

Notwithstanding Paragraph 84, in exceptional circumstances where the Student Conduct Panel is satisfied that the interests of other students, faculty, staff, or any other member of the university community could be significantly adversely affected, the Panel can order that a sanction(s) be put into effect immediately.

Appeal of Immediate Sanction(s)

A Respondent(s) who is subject to immediate sanction(s) under Paragraph 86 can appeal that decision to the Chair of USAB by filing a completed Notice of Appeal with Office of the University Ombudsman on or before the deadline for appealing stated in the Panel’s decision.

The Chair of USAB will hear and decide the appeal within 2 business days from the date of its filing. The immediate sanction issued by the Student Conduct Panel will not take effect until the matter is decided by the Chair of USAB.

Appeal from Student Conduct Panel Decision

A party to proceeding before a Student Conduct Panel can appeal the Panel’s decision, or the endorsement of a Requirement to Withdraw, to USAB on any ground(s) permitted by, and in accordance with, the appeal procedure outlined in the Senate Policy on Student Appeals, Rights and Discipline.

Additional Matters

Additional Procedures: With respect to any procedural matter that is not specifically addressed ABOVE, the Student Conduct Panel is entitled, after hearing submissions from the parties and considering the requirements of procedural fairness, to determine an appropriate procedure.

Any procedural requirement ABOVE can be waived with the agreement of the Student Conduct Panel and each party.