Community Standards Protocol

Table of Contents



Dealing with problematic student behaviour off-campus is a collaborative effort involving the University, Guelph Police Services, By-law Enforcement, neighbours and students.  To more appropriately address community complaints against students living off-campus, the University of Guelph has instituted the following protocol. 


Process for Addressing Complaints

It is understood that many neighbourhood complaints are situational, one-time in nature, and do not require a formal intervention.  One-time incidents may be resolved by neighbours informing students of by-laws, a visit from a By-law Enforcement Officer, or in extreme cases, a visit by Guelph Police Services. It is recognized that for the vast majority of situations, once all parties are aware of the issues, the matter is resolved.  However, in some cases, despite the fact that steps have been taken to inform students of behaviour that is inappropriate, such behaviour recurs.  In these cases, the matter may be referred to the University for further follow-up in keeping with the following process: 

  1. A member of the community, Guelph Police Services or By-law Enforcement contacts Off-Campus Living and provides a description of activities.
  2. The Manager, Off-Campus Living undertakes a preliminary investigation to determine whether a response is warranted.
  3. The Manager, Off-Campus Living categorizes the incident(s) as either a ‘Class 1’, ‘Class 2’ or ‘Class 3’ designation, which will then determines the nature of the response. The Manager has ultimate discretion to determine which class any particular incident will fall under, considering the following:
  1. The severity of the incident:  “Severity” is determined on a continuum, with incidents that constitute a nuisance on the lower end of the continuum, and incidents that compromise the safety and security of any community member on the higher end of the continuum.
  2. Whether it is a repeat incident:  Repeat offences may result in a higher Class designation as determined by the Manager, Off-Campus Living. 
  3. Whether any City of Guelph agency has been involved due to the incident:  If a City of Guelph agency has intervened but the student(s) has/have not complied with an earlier order, the incident may move to a higher class.
  1. Once the Manager, Off-Campus Living has determined which Class an incident falls under, he/she shall have recourse to employ any remedy or action as specified under Issue Identification & Response.
  2. In the case of Class 3 designation, the Manager, Off-Campus Living may employ progressive discipline, beginning with Option A, and culminating in Option E.
  3. If Option E is chosen under Class 3 designations, the Manager, Off-Campus Living will initiate charges before the University of Guelph Judicial Committee.

Class Designations

Class 1:

A Class 1 designation will be assigned upon receiving a formal complaint regarding issues or uncivil behaviours that are not sustained, repetitive or ongoing in nature. 

Examples may include and are not limited to: 

  • Noise disturbances
  • Garbage
  • Minor party with less than 20 people where a community disturbance is reported
  • Minor damage

Class 2:

A Class 2 designation will be assigned once sustained, repetitive and/or ongoing issues or behaviors including, and not limited to those identified as Class 1 are reported.  However, any one incident that demonstrates major disregard to some aspect of the community-at­ large may be elevated immediately to a Class 2 designation.  For example, while a party would typically be identified as Class 1, it may be moved to a Class 2 if it involves a large number of students who encroach on neighbouring properties, and requests to contain it are not acted upon. 

Class 3:

A Class 3 designation will be considered if further sustained, repetitive and/or ongoing issues or uncivil behaviours are not rectified by the student(s) involved.  However, any one incident that proves to be of major disregard to some aspect of the community-at ­large may be elevated immediately to a Class 3 designation.

Examples may include, and are not limited to:

  • Harm to others (assault, sexual misconduct, endangering others)
  • Serious property damage
  • Possession of an Illegal substance with intent to distribute

Issue Identification and Response

Class 1:

Community member contacts Off-Campus Living and the response includes  the following activities:

  • Neighbourhood Drop in
  • Restorative approach used to guide the discussion and assist the parties to develop an understanding of the issues through a restoratives lens

Class 2:

Community member contacts Off-Campus Living and the response includes  the following activities:

  • Neighbourhood Drop in
  • Letter of Review
  • Representative of Off-Campus Living contacts By-law Enforcement and/or Guelph Police Services to initiate a follow-up visit to students that incorporates a restorative approach

Class 3:

Community member contacts Off-Campus Living and provides a description of the following activities:

  • Confirmation of individual’s identity and registration as a University of Guelph student
  • Confirmation of offense by City of Guelph By-law Enforcement and Compliance Office, or Guelph Police Services
  • Refer to the Option Continuum

Option Continuum

Option A:

Student participates voluntarily in a campus session relevant to off-campus misconduct.

Option B:

Student participates voluntarily and in good faith in a community circle, restorative circle, or mediation with the person or persons affected by the misconduct under a restorative practices protocol established by the Office of the Vice-Provost (Student Affairs).

Option C:

Student participates voluntarily in a meeting with a representative from the Office of the Vice-Provost (Student Affairs) to receive information and counseling regarding his or her responsibilities as a member of the University.

Option D:

Student participates voluntarily in a community service project.

Option E:

Participation in Judicial Process.

Authorization: Vice-Provost (Student Affairs).
Established: October 2010
Revised: N/A
Editorial Changes: March 2016
Next Review: 2021-2022