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Residence Community Standards Procedure

Ref. No. Executive sponsor Policy steward Approval authority First approved Last reviewed Effective date Next review
33.12              
  1. Purpose
    1. The purpose of this procedure is to identify the accountabilities and processes associated with violations under the Residence Community Standards (RCS) Policy.
  1. Approach
    1. NSCC’s approach to managing concerning behaviour in residence is a non-academic student conduct process that employs a student-development foundation and utilizes remedial, educational, and where appropriate, restorative practices to behavioural intervention and management. The system requires residents to tell the truth, be accountable and to make positive, non-harming contributions to the Residence Community.
    2. Association or behaviour related to harassment, bullying, discrimination, sexual violence, hazing or threats of violence will not be tolerated, and residents may face immediate removal from residence should they engage in such behaviours.
  1. Definitions
Term Definition
Complainant A member of the College Community who, in accordance with this Policy and the Procedures, makes a disclosure of an experience in contravention of the Residence Community Standards.
Coordinator, Residence Life A full-time employee of the College, who is responsible for the operation and execution of the Residence Life program.
Fact Finding A range of activities that may be used to gain understanding of a concern or conflict. A review of the situation occurs to determine the most appropriate policy and process application. The range of activities may include but is not limited to; a fact-finding inquiry, a more detailed investigation or a blend of resolution options, such as information gathering and mediation. The College determines the extent of the fact-finding process upon assessment of the concern.
Fairness There are many forms of fairness. Decision makers under this procedure will consider that complete fairness requires Procedural, Substantive, and Relational fairness.

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:
i. notice of the matter under consideration.
ii. 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.
iii. the right to respond; a meaningful opportunity to be heard.
iv. an impartial and unbiased decision maker.
v. reasons for the decision or outcome.

Substantive Fairness
relates to the fairness of the decision itself. Substantive fairness requires that decisions are:
i. made by those with appropriate authority to do so;
ii. made with relevant information;
iii. not unjust, oppressive or discriminatory, or wrong in fact or law;
iv. are reasonable.

Relational Fairness
describes how the person feels about the process, decision, or outcome. Relational fairness requires a decision maker:
i. provide attention, listening to points of view and evidence;
ii. be approachable and easy to communicate with about the decision and decision-making process;
iii. be honest and forthright in dealings with those affected by decisions
iv. respect confidentiality during and after the process;
v. be accountable, offer apologies if mistakes are made;
vi. refrain from retaliation in any form. Reasons for the decision or outcome.
Immediate Outcome When the safety and well-being of member(s) of the residence community could be significantly and adversely impacted, the College may impose an immediate outcome in response to a violation. This outcome will be considered effective immediately and will not be held in abeyance prior to the appeal deadline expiring.
Interim Measures Temporary, non-disciplinary measures that may be imposed on a person to help facilitate a safe learning and working environment. Interim measures are not intended to be punitive, and the implementation of interim measures is not an indication that an adverse finding has been made, or will be made, against any of the parties.
Principle of Natural Justice Requires that a person receive a fair and unbiased hearing before a decision is made that will negatively affect them. The three main requirements of natural justice that must be met include adequate notice, fair hearing and no bias.
Residence Assistant A student staff member of the NSCC Residence Life team with defined responsibilities in residence.
Resident A student living in residence who has accepted and signed a Residence Agreement.
Respondent  A person who is alleged to have violated the Residence Community Standards policy.
Respondent Advisor A college employee who functions as a resource, positioned specifically for support of individuals who are respondents in a Residence Community Standards policy violation. Their role is to ensure that responding parties understand their rights and responsibilities, as well as the allegation(s) against them, available support resources, college processes and possible outcomes related to their situation.
Student A person registered in a course or program.
Support Person A person who accompanies a student for the limited purpose of providing support and guidance to the respondent or complainant in the Residence Community Standards violation process. A support person may not actively participate in the process.
  1. Process
    1. NSCC believes that all residents have the right to a fair process and one that ensures an individual who is alleged to be in violation is given fair consideration in the fact finding and determination of responsibility as it relates to the Residence Community Standards, including being made aware of and given an opportunity to respond to, correct or contradict any information available, in person and/or in writing.
    2. Residents have the right have a support person or an advisor (an employee of the College) made available to guide them through any stage of the process, if desired.
  1. Procedure
    1. Violations of NSCC Residence Community Standards will be categorized by NSCC Residence Life Staff into one of three levels, based on two main factors:
      1. The impact the concerning behaviour/violation had on an individual, group, facility, or collective residence community.
      2. The number of previous behavioural interventions involving the resident and/or their guests.
    2. We recognize that intent, impact, and extenuating circumstances may be contributing factors in some situations. Upon review and consideration, any incident/community standard violation may be classified into any level, except for an incident of sexual violence, which is always viewed as a level three violation. In all other circumstances, reclassification of violations will be based on:
      1. the severity of the concerning behaviour and its’ impact
      2. the progression or pattern of concerning behaviour
    3. In cases of community standards violations, the standard of proof of whether a resident is responsible or not responsible is not to the extent required in a criminal case (beyond a reasonable doubt). It rests with a preponderance of evidence, or on a balance of probabilities – that is, would a reasonable person, upon reviewing the information provided, come to the same conclusion as the staff member reviewing the case.
    4. All incidents will be documented typically within 24 hours of the occurrence, tracked confidentially by Resident Life staff. The Coordinator, Residence Life will review incident documentation and provide an initial classification of the incident (typically within 2 business days), if applicable. Depending on classification, the Coordinator will initiate appropriate incident follow up and decision-making process.
    5. The levels, processes and possible outcomes to violations of the Residence Community Standards are outlined in section 6.0. Responses to violations ideally will occur within the timeframes outlined, however, extenuating circumstances and/or complexity of the concerning behaviour may necessitate variations. Additionally, where it appears that the concern is outside 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. Where a matter falls within the scope of this policy and one or more other College policies, the College will determine which policy or policies and related procedures will be invoked.
    6. In some circumstances, considering the parties involved and the impact to the class/work/living dynamic, it may be appropriate to implement interim measures pending resolution. Residence Life may consider measures including, but not limited to: separation of the parties, alternate work/study/living arrangements or non-disciplinary administrative leave and/or non-disciplinary student leave (in accordance with measures outlined in other student policies). These interim measures are not intended to be punitive, and the implementation of interim measures is not an indication that an adverse finding has been made, or will be made, against any of the parties.
    7. Residents have the right to appeal outcomes and/or administrative decisions made by NSCC Residence Life and the enforcement of the Residence Community Standards process.
      Appeals will only be granted if they can demonstrate:
      1. New and relevant evidence, which was not available at the time of the original decision, can now be provided. This does not include evidence that was available but not provided through failure to participate in the process.
      2. The appeal process outlined was not followed and the outcome of the case might have been substantially affected by this failure.
      3. The severity of the sanction imposed is unreasonable in relation to the offence.
    8. To appeal decisions made in accordance with the Residence Community Standards, residents must complete and submit an appeal form within five (5) business days of the date of their decision letter, except in cases where an immediate outcome has been imposed. The appeals process is as follows:
      1. Level One/Two – appeals of decisions are submitted to the Coordinator, Residence Life for review, discussion and decision on appeal.
      2. Level Three – appeals of decisions are submitted to the Manager, Housing and Student Life for review, discussion, and decision on appeal.
    9. If an appeal is granted, the outcomes outlined in a resident’s decision letter will be temporarily suspended until such time as the appeal has been heard, unless immediate outcomes have been issued.
    10. Appeals will be heard by a Residence Conduct Committee who will hear statements from all parties, review information, and may uphold, overturn, or change findings. Membership of this committee includes:
      1. Manager, Housing and Student Life (Chair)
      2. A Manager, Student Services
      3. A Coordinator, Residence Life
      4. Student representative
    11. Failure to engage in good faith with the appeal process constitutes a forfeiture of the appeal submission and original outcomes issued by Residence Life to the student in the decision letter will stand.
    12. Dissatisfaction with a decision, failure to attend a meeting, not checking or reading email, ignorance of community standards and/or failure to abide by the terms of a previous outcome are not sufficient grounds for an appeal.

     

  1. Levels, Processes and Possible Outcomes of Violations
Description Process Possible Outcomes
Level One Actions that lead to the minor disruption of another resident's right to peacefully use and enjoy the residence space.

Actions that compromise another resident's safety or the safety of the residence community.

Examples include noise violations, open alcohol, or smoking on residence property.
The Coordinator, Residence Life will review the incident documentation and assign a Residence Assistant(s) to follow up with the resident.
The Residence Assistant (RA) will initiate a notice to meet (via email or phone) typically within 48 hours, with meeting to follow.

1st Violation: RA will discuss the violation, clarify community standards and expectations and document conversation.

2nd Violation: RA will discuss the violation, clarify community standards and expectations and document a written warning.

3rd and subsequent violations: RA will meet with student and discuss the violation and possible outcomes, with the goal to reach an agreement. If not, RA will reach a determination with the Coordinator, Residence Life.

The resident will receive a decision letter (in writing or via email) which will communicate outcomes within 2 days of the meeting.
Include, but not limited to:
- Letter of Warning
- Apology
- Community Impact
Conversation
- Educational Assignment
- Fines
- Bonds
Level Two Actions that have a significant negative impact/disruption or undermine the dignity of another individual or group within residence.

Actions that endanger the safety and security of an individual or others in residence.

Actions which result in damage to College property.

Actions which show a progression and/or pattern of Level One violations.

Examples include theft, damages or creating a fire hazard.
The Coordinator, Residence Life will initiate a notice to meet (via email or phone) within 48 hours, with meeting to follow.

During the meeting, the Coordinator, Residence Life will provide notice of violation, clarify the standard and expectations and discuss possible outcomes with the resident.

The resident will receive a decision letter (in writing or via email) which will communicate outcomes within two business days of meeting.
Include but not limited to:
- Community Impact Conversation 
-Educational Assignment
-Fines
-Bonds
-Removal/restriction of privileges/access
-Behavioural/probationary contracts
-Reassignment of residence space (relocation)
Level Three Actions that seriously compromise the safety or dignity of an individual or the residence community.

All incidents involving harassment, bullying, discrimination, sexual violence, hazing or threats of violence of any kind will immediately be classified as Level Three.

Actions of a serious nature that are not expressed in Level One or Two offences, complex behaviour issues, or a progression of incidents from any or all levels.

Examples include inappropriate or illegal entry, tampering with safety systems or equipment, or alcohol purchase/provision for underage residents.
The Coordinator, Residence Life will initiate a notice to meet (via email or phone) within 24 hours, with meeting to follow.

The Coordinator, Residence Life will, where appropriate, seek further assessment of the violation in relation to other NSCC policies.

During the meeting, the Coordinator, Residence Life will outline the violation, clarify the standard and expectations and discuss possible outcomes with the resident, including any other policy or procedure implications.

The resident will receive a decision letter (communicated via email) within two business days of completion of all meetings.
Include but not limited to:
All outcomes listed in the Residence Community Standards policy including Termination of Residence Agreement are considered as options.
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