Student Code of Conduct – Complaint procedure
1. Complaint Procedure
This procedure addresses complaints brought against students arising in non-academic contexts. Informal and formal processes are in place to assess and deal with complaints. The College encourages the informal resolution of disputes, through Department and Campus Administrators or Associate Deans. At any point during the informal process, the person handling the complaint may consult with the Executive Director, Student and Learning Services or Manager of Conflict Resolution and Investigations (Office of Campus Safety Services), or may refer the matter to the Dean of Students or Manager of Conflict Resolution and Investigations.
Complaints that occur within a college department or school that are of a non-academic nature may be addressed informally with the Department Administrator or Associate Dean, as appropriate. If a complaint requires investigation and/or may affect the academic standing or progress of a student, the complaint will be referred to the Campus Safety Services Office for investigation and recommended sanction, if warranted.
1.1. The Parties
The parties to a Complaint are:
i) the complainant: an individual who makes a complaint pursuant to this Code, and
ii) the student: an individual named in a complaint who is alleged to have violated this Code.
1.2. Time Limits
Complaints should be made as soon as possible but within no more than twenty (20) business days after the circumstances giving rise to the complaint. In extenuating circumstances, a complaint filed beyond the twenty (20) business day limitation may be considered. All other time limits prescribed in this procedure may be extended with the agreement in writing of the parties where reasonable circumstances exist for extending the time limits. In these circumstances, the parties will be advised of the reasons and notified of the duration of the extension.
1.3. Assistance for the Parties
- 1.3.1. Individuals involved in the complaint process at any stage, while not required, may seek assistance/support from and/or be accompanied by another person of her/his choice (for example a trusted friend, a counselor or a member of the executive of the Georgian College Students’ Association).
- 1.3.2. The role of the support person is to act as a resource and provide support/advice to the party. The support person will not be permitted to speak or advocate on behalf of the party. In the event that a party chooses to retain legal counsel, or another paid advisor, as her/his support person, the party shall be solely responsible for the cost incurred.
- 1.3.3. Where appropriate, the Dean of Students, or designate, will provide complainants, students, and others affected by the investigation with information regarding counselling services available through the College or through outside agencies.
1.4. Stages of the Complaint Process
The following process will apply to complaints made pursuant to this Code. Where the complainant so desires, a complaint may withdraw at any time during the process described below. Where circumstances warrant, the College may continue to act on an issue arising in a complaint even when it has been formally withdrawn.
Step 1 – Reporting and Informal Resolution
- 1.4.1. Precipitating Event
When a student breaches or is suspected of breaching the Code, the college official who observes, suspects, or has a report of the breach shall take appropriate action.
In the case of minor misconduct, an Oral Warning/Temporary Dismissal or Violation Notice may be issued by the college official.
- 1.4.2. Complaint Procedure
Any person may notify a college official of an alleged violation of the Code and they will notify Campus Safety Services, if appropriate. Complainants should report incidents as soon as possible following the occurrence of events that give rise to the complaint. If the complainant is a student, they should report the violation to a contact person e.g. professor, program co-ordinator, staff member in service areas. Informal resolution and/or mediation of the complaint is encouraged wherever possible. Where informal resolution is not appropriate or does not resolve the matter, Campus Safety Services will conduct an investigation. Campus Safety Services will inform the student that a complaint has been filed against them.
Step 2 – Investigation
- 1.4.3. Investigation
Campus Safety Services will notify the student that a complaint has been filed against them. Campus Safety Services will investigate the alleged violation. In conducting the investigation, Campus Safety Services will interview the complainant, any witness, and the student, giving the student an opportunity to respond to the allegations against them. During the student’s interview details of the complaint will be provided and the student will be given an opportunity to respond to the allegations against them. Note: In instances where an investigation has been initiated, the Director of Campus Safety Services or designate may impose an Investigative Suspension Order in accordance with the Code of Conduct. The Investigative Suspension Order will remain in place until removed by either the Director of Safety and Security or designate.
- 1.4.4. Investigation Report
Campus Safety Services will complete an investigation report setting out the findings of the investigation as soon as possible and forward it to the appropriate college official. Every effort will be made to provide an investigation report to a college official within ten (10) business days of receipt of the complaint.
Step 3 – Meeting and Informing
- 1.4.5. Meeting
The student will be informed within five (5) business days of the conclusion of the investigation the findings of the investigation. During this meeting with Campus Safety Services which may also include the relevant Dean, Associate Dean or Department Administrator, the student will be given an opportunity to respond to the findings. If the student raises new facts or other issues that may be relevant to the resolution of the matter, the Associate Dean or Department Administrator may refer the matter back to Campus Safety Services to conduct further investigations and to issue a revised investigation report. The Associate Dean or Department Administrator is under no obligation to issue a decision until any newly raised fact or other issue has been investigated and resolved.
Step 4 – Decision and Sanction
- 1.4.6. Finding
The Associate Dean or Department Administrator will review the information from the investigative report provided by Campus Safety Services and conduct any additional inquiries as necessary. Based on this information, the Associate Dean or Department Administrator will make a decision as to the guilt or innocence of the student within five (5) business days of receipt of the investigative report.
In determining if there has been a violation of the Code, the decision will be based on a balance of probabilities, meaning the evidence shows it is more likely than not the alleged violation occurred.
- 1.4.7. Sanction
Where there has been a finding that the student’s conduct violated the Code, an appropriate sanction or sanction(s) may be imposed as soon as possible, having regard to all the relevant circumstances including, but not limited to, the seriousness of the offence, the impact of the misconduct on the college, the college community or any individual specifically affected by the misconduct, prior violations of the Code or other college policies or procedures, and the impact of the penalty on the student’s education. While considering possible sanctions, the Associate Dean or Department Administrator may consult with other relevant college officials in determining the appropriate sanction(s). If a sanction will result in an impact on the student’s academic status or progression, final determination will be referred to the Registrar and academic Dean. The sanction may commence at the beginning of the student’s next term if a student’s registration at the college is interrupted for any reason. The decision, with brief reasons for the decision, shall be communicated in writing to the student by way of a Conduct Report. The Conduct Report shall include a brief description of any referral to the Registrar under this section, along with the result of the referral. If the sanction includes a prohibition or expulsion, the Director of Campus Safety Services shall inform the Registrar in writing of the proposed sanction, including the reasons why the sanction was determined to be appropriate. The Director of Campus Safety Services shall also provide the Registrar with a copy of the investigative report. If the Registrar agrees that expulsion or prohibition is the appropriate sanction, the Registrar shall impose the sanction on the student, in consultation with the Associate Dean/Dean or Dean of Students, as appropriate. If the Registrar does not agree that expulsion or prohibition is appropriate, the Registrar shall remit the matter to the Dean to determine a lesser sanction. In coming to a decision, the Registrar may, in their sole discretion, choose to meet with the student prior to issuing a decision. The student may appeal the decision (see Appendix 3).
If students who were placed on an Investigative Suspension Order missed tests or the due dates for assignments during the period that the Order was in place, the following principles apply after the investigation has been completed:
- If no sanction is imposed, the student will be provided the opportunity to write any missed test and to hand in any missed assignment and will be supported in making up any other academic requirements and opportunities missed during the suspension.
- If a sanction other than suspension, expulsion or prohibition is imposed, the student will also be provided the opportunity to write any missed test and to hand in any missed assignment and will be supported in making up any other academic requirements and opportunities missed during the suspension.
- If a Short-term Suspension is imposed, the student will be permitted to write any missed final tests or final exams and to hand in any final culminating projects only, all other tests and assignments cannot be made up in any way.
- If a Long-term Suspension, expulsion or prohibition is imposed, the student will not be permitted to write any missed test or hand in any missed assignment.
Dean of Students
- 705.728.1968, ext. 1400
Campus Safety Services
- Urgent: 705.728.1968, ext. 5100
- Non-urgent: 705.722.5100 or ext. 6111
- Barrie: 705.722.1523
- Midland: 705.526.3666
- Muskoka: 705.646.7629
- Orangeville: 519.940.0331
- Orillia: 705.325.2740, ext. 3113 or 705.329.3113
- Owen Sound: 519.376.0840, ext. 2099
- South Georgian Bay: 705.445.2961