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NSCC collective bargaining: view updates

Student Community Standards Policy

Ref. No. Executive sponsor Policy steward Approval authority First approved Last reviewed Effective date Next review
33.01 Vice President, Campus and Communities Associate Vice President, Student Affairs Executive Council June. 8, 2022 July. 17, 2023 Aug. 15, 2023 Aug. 2028
  1. Purpose
    1. This policy is part of a suite of College policies and procedures that ensure the College Community has a shared understanding and commitment to respectful behaviour required of members.
    2. The purpose of this policy is to:
      1. Protect the rights of community members.
      2. Define the responsibility of students to respect the rights, safety, and wellbeing of others.
      3. Provide a framework to resolve concerns using a relational approach when possible.
      4. Ensure accountability and a shared understanding, within the community of expected standards of behaviour while learning, living, and working at the college.
  1. Scope
    1. This policy applies to non-academic behaviour of a student or group of students that takes place:
      1. On College property
      2. Off College property, including online or virtual activities, in circumstances where:
        1. A student’s behaviour compromises the rights, safety, or well-being of an individual’s learning, living or work environment.
        2. A student is participating in a sanctioned College activity, regardless of where that activity takes place.
        3. A student represents, claims to represent, or would reasonably be perceived to be representing, the College.
        4. In the context of an academic program, including conduct that occurs when a student is participating in:
          1. Any class activity, including a lecture, tutorial, lab, or classroom discussion.
          2. Any off-campus learning, including without limitation to field work, work experience placements, studies abroad and other international learning opportunities.
    2. Nothing in this policy replaces or supersedes any complaint, grievance, or appeal process set out in any collective agreement to which the college is a party.
    3. Where a concern is outside the scope of this policy or is one that should be more appropriately dealt with under another policy, Act or procedure, the College reserves the right to determine the approach to deal with the concern or refer it to the appropriate forum.
  1. Definitions
Term Definition
 Bullying Is also referred to as psychological/personal harassment. Bullying often refers to offensive, abusive, intimidating, or insulting behaviour which makes the recipient feel upset, threatened, humiliated and/or vulnerable, which undermines the recipient’s self-confidence and/or reduces their feelings of self-esteem and self-worth.
Conflict is not, on its own, bullying, however, conflict may escalate to the point where it becomes bullying. A single incident of unreasonable behaviour or incivility is not, on its own, bullying but is also not acceptable and could be in breach of this policy.
Reasonable management action such as giving fair and reasonable feedback, including academic feedback, is not bullying.
College Community NSCC Community member under this policy/procedure includes, but is not limited to the following:
a. Employee: any person who is currently employed by NSCC or provides services to NSCC under an employment contract. This includes all employees, regardless of status, as well as current employees who are on a leave of absence (paid/unpaid).
b. Student: anyone who is active in a program and/or enrolled in courses.
c. Volunteer: any person performing work for NSCC in an unpaid capacity.
d. NSCC Community Member: any person working in collaboration with NSCC for a business or academic purpose.
Culturally Responsive An approach that recognizes the uniqueness of each individual, their culture and history.
Discrimination Making a distinction, whether intentional or not, based upon a characteristic or perceived characteristic protected under the Human Rights Act. Discrimination includes action, behaviour, or attitudes, which could or ought reasonably to be known to offend or deny fair treatment based upon the protected characteristics set out in the Nova Scotia Human Rights Act, RSNS 1989, c214.
Fairness (Procedural, Substantive, and Relational) Procedural Fairness describes the duty of fairness that is most commonly discussed in relation to administrative decisions, such as investigations. The two primary rights involved in Procedural Fairness are the right to be heard and the right to an unbiased decision. Procedural Fairness requires:
a. Notice of the matter under consideration,
b. Access to information that will be considered when the decision is made. The College considers personal privacy and safety factors when determining access to information.
c. The right to respond; a meaningful opportunity to be heard,
d. An impartial and unbiased decision maker, and,
e. Reasons for the decision or outcome.

Substantive Fairness relates to the fairness of the decision itself. Substantive fairness requires that decisions are:
a. Made by those with appropriate authority to do so,
b. Made with relevant information,
c. Not unjust, oppressive, or discriminatory, or wrong in fact or law, and,
d. Are reasonable.

Relational fairness describes how the person feels about the process, decision, or outcome. Relational fairness requires a decision maker to:
a. Provide attention, listening to points of view and evidence,
b. Be approachable and easy to communicate with about the decision and decision-making process,
c. Be honest and forthright in dealings with those affected by decisions,
d. Respect confidentiality during and after the process,
e. Be accountable, offer apologies if mistakes are made, refrain from retaliation in any form.
Harassment Abusive, unfair, or demeaning treatment, consisting of words or actions that disparage or cause humiliation, offense or embarrassment to a person or group of persons that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome. Harassment may consist of a repeated or persistent pattern of behaviours, direct or indirect, that when taken together constitute harassment; or a single act of sufficient severity to constitute harassment in its own right. Harassment can include, but is not limited to, comments or conduct based upon any of the characteristics protected under the Nova Scotia Human Rights Act.

Intersectional The complex, cumulative way in which the effects of multiple forms of discrimination combine, overlap, or intersect, resulting from the intersection of various identities, especially in the experiences of marginalized individuals or groups.
Outcomes Measures put in place when there is evidence of a breach of policy.
Restorative Practice Restorative practices are used to foster a respectful learning and working environment by strengthening relationships between people and the community they share. Restorative practices include processes to proactively build relationships and a sense of community to help prevent conflict and concerns. Restorative practices are also used to respond to conflict and concerns by seeking to repair harm and restore the relationships and community affected.
Resolution Options A wide range of options to enable and support community members to resolve concerns or conflict.
Respectful Behaviour Showing thoughtfulness, consideration, and care toward others in all interactions, recognizing the value in each person, and treating others with fairness and dignity. Includes an absence of offensive behaviour(s).
Student Anyone who is active in a program and/or enrolled in courses.
Trauma Informed Practices that acknowledge the existence and impact of trauma on one’s physical, psychological, and emotional well-being. Trauma is not considered an illness or weakness, but an injury. The goal is to promote a culture of safety, empowerment, and healing.
  1. Policy
    1. Guiding Principles
      1. The College’s goal and responsibility is to protect and promote a learning, living and working community that is caring, respectful, safe, and welcoming and recognizes that fostering this kind of environment is essential to student success and wellbeing.
      2. The College is committed to
        1. Embedding a dignified, equitable,  trauma informed, culturally responsive approach throughout student supports, services, policies and processes.  This is vital to achieving and sustaining a climate of educational equity.
        2. Providing learning, living and working community of practice support in areas of trauma informed and culturally responsive practice to meet this ever-evolving responsibility.
      3. Every interaction with a policy is a potential learning opportunity; we aim to educate and help students grow and transform.
      4. We are committed to enabling early communication, education, and awareness of NSCC values and expected behaviours.
      5. We are committed to all aspects of fairness. Decision makers under this policy will consider that complete fairness requires Procedural, Substantive, and Relational fairness.
    2. Student Rights and Responsibilities
      1. All students have a right to:
        1. A safe and respectful learning, living and work environment.
        2. Raise concerns without fear of negative repercussions or retaliation.
        3. Fairness in the process and determination of responsibility as it relates to the policy.
      2. All students have a responsibility to:
        1. Respect the rights, safety, and well-being of others.
        2. Respect community and college property.
        3. Be aware of and uphold policies that guide community expectations.
        4. Raise concerns and report behaviour that goes against NSCC values and this policy.
    3. Community Standards
      Behaviours that do not align with NSCC values and/or interferes with the rights of another member of the community are breaches of this policy. Based on a continuum of relative harm or impact on the rights of others, unacceptable behaviour is described as follows. Detailed examples of unacceptable behaviour can be found in Appendix A.
      1. Behaviours that have a limited impact on the rights or academic experience of others but may create a disturbance or impact to the operation of the campus community.
      2. Incidents that have a significant impact on the rights or academic experience of others but may not pose a threat or danger to other individuals in the community.
      3. Incidents that have a significant impact on the rights or academic experiences of others, and in addition pose a threat or danger to individuals in the community.
      4. Incidents that pose a danger or threat to individuals, are in many cases illegal, and in most cases have already caused physical or psychological harm.
    4. Addressing Concerns
      1. NSCC is committed to providing an equitable, trauma informed, culturally responsive, and timely approach for dealing with concerns that arise out of this Policy.
      2. Outcomes will be grounded in collaborative and restorative practice wherever possible, with a focus on:
        1. Healing and growth
        2. Cultural responsiveness
        3. Empowering participants
        4. Strengthening relationships
        5. Repairing harm as a way of building a safe community
      3. The nature of the behaviour or incident, cultural context, and past interactions with the Policy may be factors in determining outcomes that arise out of this policy.
      4. Accountability for harmful behaviour varies and is outlined in the Procedures.
    5. Appeals
      Students have the right to appeal a decision under this policy. The grounds for an appeal are set out in the Student Appeals Policy.
  1. Policy Supports

33.02 Student Community Standards procedures (login required)
All NSCC policies and procedures
Nova Scotia Human Rights Act
Criminal Code of Canada

  1. Appendix A: Examples of Harmful Behaviour
This appendix provides examples of harmful behaviour; it is not an exhaustive list.

Behaviours that have a limited impact on the rights or academic experience of others but may create a disturbance or impact to the operation of the campus community. For example:
  • Creating a disturbance in a public place such as unreasonable noise or non-threatening behaviour.
  • Failure to properly monitor the conduct of a visitor.
  • Use or possession of illegal drugs, controlled substances, and/or prescription drugs not prescribed to the person in possession of these drugs.
Incidents that have a significant impact on the property, rights or academic experience of others but may not pose a threat or danger to other individuals in the community. For example:
  • Disruptive behaviour, defined as inciting someone to prevent or preventing others from carrying out their legitimate activities, in or out of an academic setting.
  • Unauthorized entry, use or use for reasons other than intended or generally accepted, of NSCC facilities or equipment.
  • Theft or damage to community or College property, or unreturned property belonging to the College.
  • Not complying with the directions of or providing false information to a NSCC employee.
  • Failing to reasonably prevent, intervene or report when witness to a harmful act.
  • Failure to comply with an outcome imposed by this policy, other policy or regulation recognized by NSCC.
Incidents that have a significant impact on the rights or academic experiences of others, and in addition pose a threat or danger to individuals in the community. For example:
  • Speech, or expression which constitutes harassment, a threat or hate speech.
  • Conduct, including bullying or coercion, which threatens the health and safety of anyone, including oneself.
  • Hazing – activities endangering or seeming to endanger the mental or physical health and safety of individuals for the purpose of initiation, admission into or affiliation with any campus club, group, team, or organization.
  • Unauthorized use, recording of or dissemination of information, including audio, visual or digital content or images of an individual that is unwelcome and/or known or ought reasonably to be known to cause harm or distress.
  • Obtaining, using, or distributing information or media of others, in any format, without consent that would knowingly cause harm, distress or breach of an individual(s)’s reasonable expectation of privacy.
  • Making false allegations, engaging in a reprisal under any policy.
Incidents that pose a danger or threat to individuals, are in many cases illegal, and in most cases have already caused physical or psychological harm. For example:
  • Findings under the Sexual Violence Policy may be transitioned to and managed under the Student Community Standards Policy.
  • Assault, threats of harm or intimidation, inciting or facilitating acts of violence.
  • Offensive behaviour such as bullying, harassment and discrimination.
  • Interfering or damaging with emergency facilities including life safety, fire equipment or alarms.
  • Intentionally creating hazardous conditions that put the community at risk.
  • Possession with intent to distribute and/or distribution of illegal drugs, controlled substances, non-prescription drugs, and/or prescription drugs not prescribed to the person in possession of these drugs.
  • Possession of firearms or other dangerous weapons or replicas or chemicals not expressly authorized by NSCC or otherwise a part of an academic program.
  • Forgery, misuse, duplication or alteration of any document, record or NSCC brand for the purpose of personal, monetary, or academic gain within the College.
  • Failure to comply with sanctions imposed by law.