XIII. General Information

University of Guelph General Information

Student Rights and Responsibilities

Student membership at the University of Guelph is associated with fundamental rights and responsibilities intended to maintain the integrity of the University as a community for learning. Staff, faculty and students co-operate to sustain an educational environment that promotes individual learning and development. The University is responsible for providing the resources and opportunities that students require to succeed.

The University accepts that you are able to make responsible decisions regarding your own ethical and social behaviour. The purpose of these regulations is to provide for an environment that supports personal and intellectual growth. These regulations are intended to recognize your rights as a student and the rights of others, while also identifying certain responsibilities of students that are a part of the exercise of these rights. These regulations can apply to all students who are engaged in University- sanctioned activities, and may apply to off- campus conduct, so long as the violation in question materially affects the safety, integrity and/or educational interests of the University community.

This brochure outlines the basis of conduct considered to be consistent with the goals and well-being of the University community. The code of conduct was developed collaboratively by students, staff and faculty and is regularly reviewed by the entire University community.

For the purposes of Student Rights and Responsibilities, a student is any person registered in an undergraduate or graduate program at the University of Guelph, or otherwise taking credit or non-credit courses offered by the University, or any person who was a student at the time the alleged offence occurred. Allegations involving non-academic offences for students registered in University of Guelph-Humber programs are handled under the procedures for Humber College.

The term A University of Guelph community @ , as referenced in this document, includes the regional campuses at Alfred, Kemptville and Ridgetown.

As a student, you have the RIGHT to access the judicial system if a violation of this policy has occurred, whether that violation has occurred on or off campus, provided that the violation affects your ability to use and enjoy University facilities. In addition, University organizations like Campus Police or Student Housing Services may charge students under this policy.

University Community Principles

The University of Guelph is dedicated to the advancement of learning and the dissemination of knowledge; the intellectual, social, moral and physical development of its members; and the betterment of society (University of Guelph Act, 1964). These overall goals commit us to three central values:

  • The development of all members of this University community, which implies and affirms the dignity, worth and autonomy of the individual.

  • A focus on learning and knowledge, which upholds the fundamental importance of reasoned debate and inquiry in all of this University's academic and service functions.

  • Societal enhancement, which extends the commitment to individual development beyond the walls of the institution to the ideal of service to the broader community.

Academic Responsibilities

You have the RIGHT to engage in free intellectual enquiry and, within the limits of the materials and human resources and approved University protocols, to access the resources necessary to plan and accomplish your educational and career objectives. You have the RESPONSIBILITY to:

  • pursue the Learning Objectives* established by the University in the context of your own program and goals;

  • adhere to the schedule of dates* and academic and non-academic regulations;

  • select courses based on academic program requirements*;

  • consult your academic advisor (Program Counsellor, Departmental Advisor, Graduate Coordinator) or the relevant Academic Review Committee if extenuating circumstances affect your academic performance;

  • abide by the University's Policy on Academic Misconduct.1

1 Refer to the Associate Diploma Calendar; Undergraduate and Graduates calendars, available electronically at http://www.uoguelph.ca/registrar/calendars/.


I. Civil/Criminal Statutes

You retain your RIGHTS as a citizen when you become a member of the University community. You have the RESPONSIBILITY to abide by Federal, Provincial and Municipal statutes in addition to all University regulations and policies, including but not limited to the Acceptable Use Policy and Guidelines for University of Guelph Computing and Networking Facilities1, Residence Community Living Standards, and the University of Guelph Human Rights Policy2.

The University's interest may cause it to initiate an internal judicial process whether or not criminal or civil action is taken with respect to the same incident(s).

II. Offenses Against Persons
1. Bodily Harm

You have the RIGHT to an environment that is safe and free from unwanted attention. You have the RESPONSIBILITY not to engage in activities likely to endanger the health or safety of yourself or another person, or to assault or threaten to assault another person or to knowingly cause another person to fear bodily harm.

2. Harassment

You have the RIGHT to an environment characterized by mutual respect. You have the RESPONSIBILITY to treat all members of the University community with respect and without harassment, bullying or hazing. Harassment is defined as any attention or conduct (oral, written, virtual, graphic or physical) by an individual or group who knows, or ought reasonably to know, that such attention or conduct is unwelcome/unwanted, offensive or intimidating. The University views offences involving harassment against employees or agents of the University in the lawful execution of their duties to be particularly grievous.

3. Human Rights

You have the RIGHT to an environment where the inherent worth of all individuals is respected, regardless of race, sex, national or ethnic origin, religion, age, sexual orientation or mental or physical disability. You have the RESPONSIBILITY to respect the diversity that exists in the University community. The University views actions that undermine the dignity and worth of any individual or group based on the above grounds to be particularly grievous.

4. Sexual Assault

You have the RIGHT to an environment free from sexual violence, coercion or harassment. You have the RESPONSIBILITY to not assault any person sexually, threaten any person with sexual assault, or subject any person to sexual harassment.

III. Offences Involving Life Safety Equipment

You have the RIGHT to a safe and secure environment. You have the RESPONSIBILITY not to tamper or interfere with, discharge or activate any life safety equipment on campus unless for the purposes of responding to an emergency. Life safety equipment includes but is not limited to fire extinguishers, fire alarms and emergency call stations.

Each offence under this section carries a minimum fine of $500, in addition to possible charges under the Criminal Code of Canada or City of Guelph bylaws and the cost for responding Fire Department vehicles.

IV. Offenses Involving Property
1. Facilities, Telecommunications, Library, University Property and Private Property

You have the RIGHT to the use of University facilities. You have the RESPONSIBILITY to:

  1. respect posted hours and limits on entry where such conditions exist;

  2. abide by the University smoking policy, which includes not smoking inside any University building or vehicle, or within nine metres of any building entrance or exit, loading dock, fresh-air intake or compressed-gas storage area;

  3. not destroy, tamper with, deface or vandalize, monopolize, unlawfully access, remove or possess property not your own, including, but not limited to, Library material, computing facilities, telecommunication systems and emergency telephones.

2. Permits and Identification

You have the RIGHT, upon payment of any required fee, to access certain special services as a University community member. You have a RESPONSIBILITY not to acquire or use meal cards, University identification, computer identification, bus passes or parking permits that are stolen, cancelled, lost, false, altered or expired.

3. Guests and Visitors

Unless otherwise stated in University policy, you have the RIGHT to have guests and visitors from off campus. You have the RESPONSIBILITY to:

  1. ensure that your guests or visitors comply with all existing University sign-in requirements (for example Student Housing Services and licensed establishments).

  2. ensure that your guests or visitors comply with all the terms of the Student Rights and Responsibilities policy, or any Federal, Provincial, Municipal or University statute, bylaw or policy, while on University property. You will be held responsible for any breach of the rules committed by your guests on campus

V. Disruption

You have the RIGHT to an environment that, while safeguarding dissent, is free from interference and disruption. You have the RESPONSIBILITY not to interfere with the normal functioning of the University, nor to intimidate, interfere with, threaten or otherwise obstruct any activity organized by the University, including classes, or to hinder other members of the University community from being able to carry on their legitimate activities, including their ability to speak or associate with others.

VI. Drugs, Alcohol and Firearms
  1. Drugs. - You have the RIGHT to a drug-free environment, especially in student housing. You have the RESPONSIBILITY to abide by the Federal and Provincial statutes pertaining to illegal drugs and controlled substances. The possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs or controlled substances is prohibited, and each activity may form the basis of a separate charge.

  2. Alcohol - The purchase, possession and/or consumption of liquor by those under the age of 19 is prohibited. Consumption or open possession of liquor is prohibited on campus other than in those areas where it has been specifically permitted, or in licensed premises.

  3. Firearms and other Weapons. Firearms, which include but is not limited to BB guns, paintball guns, any other weapons, firecrackers, gunpowder or any other forms of unauthorized hazardous materials are prohibited on campus.

Judicial Processes

Every student has a RIGHT to a full and fair hearing, by an impartial tribunal, of the merits of any charge brought against him or her under these regulations. Every student who is charged with a non-academic offence has a right to present a full and complete defence and to be accompanied by an advisor (or legal counsel) at any hearing of the charge against him/her. Students charged are presumed innocent until found guilty on the basis of evidence presented, using the balance of probabilities as the standard of proof. The University has devised a process that provides for appropriate disciplinary penalties to be imposed. These penalties may include fines (up to $1,000), probationary periods, warnings and, in extreme cases, a recommendation for suspension or expulsion.

Every student has a RESPONSIBILITY to comply with a Summons or Decision and Order of the Judicial Committee and/or Hearing Board. Failure to do so may constitute a breach of Student Rights and Responsibilities.

The President or designate may implement an interim suspension if, in his/her opinion, a student's conduct raises a reasonable apprehension of harm to the student or to others in the University community, or the normal functioning of the University. A judicial proceeding will be undertaken as soon as possible to allow for a hearing of the case and, in any event, no longer than fourteen working days from the laying of the charge.

The Judicial Committee at the main campus and each regional campus has the authority to enforce these regulations if a breach of the regulations occurs off-campus, which affects the rights of members of the University community to use and enjoy University facilities.

Each Judicial Committee is an appointed tribunal of students, staff and faculty that hears reported incidents of student behaviour that represent alleged infractions of the Student Rights and Responsibilities policy, and formal complaints against students under the Human Rights at the University of Guelph policy. The Judicial Committees may also act as an appeal body to hear appeals regarding decisions of a non-academic nature imposed by a University of Guelph department or regional campus where there is no other existing appeal process.

Decisions of a Judicial Committee may be appealed to the Hearing Board, or in the case of the regional campus, the Appeal Board. The Hearing/Appeal Board is a student/faculty tribunal appointed from a roster of candidates based on recommendations from the colleges or campuses. The Hearing Board hears appeals from decisions of the Judicial Committee when one or more of the grounds for appeal are satisfied.

Further information and additional copies of the Student Rights and Responsibilities policy are available from the Office of Student Affairs, 4th Floor, University Centre, or call extension 53868.

This policy is also available at the University of Guelph’s website: www.studentaffairs.uoguelph.ca/docs/student_rights_responsibilities.pdf

Comments on this policy and specific suggestions for amendments or additions to the student regulation are welcome at any time

1 Refer to the University’s Acceptable Use Policy, available online at:www.uoguelph.ca/web/aupg.shtml.

2 Refer to the Human Rights at the University of Guelph document, available online at: www.uoguelph.ca/web/aupg.shtml.

University of Guelph
50 Stone Road East
Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1