Student Code of Conduct
Community is at the heart of NELA’s values. It expresses the connections we have with each other, the support we give each other, and the respect we show each other.
The Student Code of Conduct is designed to promote behaviour that reflects our values — behaviour that also reflects the honesty, trust and fairness we expect in the actions of all members of our community.
The Student Code of Conduct establishes NELA’s standards of student behaviour and outlines the procedures to be followed if the standards are violated.
Rights and Responsibilities
The Code balances your rights with your responsibilities. You are accountable for complying with the Code and all other Academy policies outlined in the Student Code of Conduct. You are also required to familiarize yourself with the Code and all other Academy policies referred to in the Code.
Your responsibilities include conducting yourself in a manner that respects the civil and criminal law, the safety and well-being of the Academy community and the Academy’s students, employees, property and reputation. As a member of our community, you are expected to make responsible decisions about your behaviour, including how you resolve differences you have with members of our community.
In turn, you have the right to express yourself freely (unless this interferes with the rights of others) and to study and work in an environment free from discrimination and harassment.
Part of our responsibility as an Academy is to provide an environment free from discrimination and harassment, to foster the best possible teaching and learning community, to support a great student experience and to enhance NELA’s reputation. We are obliged to act to ensure a safe and respectful environment for all students, employees, guests and visitors.
The Student Code of Conduct applies to:
- All registered students and applicants to all NELA programs.
- Conduct that takes place on academy property or during any excursions that is part of an Academy program or course.
- Conduct that takes place when you are representing NELA in activities off campus, such as conferences or meetings.
- You have violated the Code if you either violate any provision of the Code or help someone else violate it.
2. Prohibited Conduct
While the Code is based on common sense and mutual respect, there are specific prohibited behaviours that are outlined below and in other Academy policies including the:
- Discrimination/Harassment Policy
- Personal Safety/Security Threats Policy
- Information and Acceptable Use Policy
- Copyright Information Policy
- Fair Dealing Policy for Copyright-Protected Work
- Academic Policy
- Smoking Policy
As well, any conduct that violates the laws and regulations of Canada, Ontario, or the municipalities where NELA establishes its practice will be considered a violation of this Code. These include acts such as theft, violence, weapon offences, drug offences, trespassing, and fraud. It also includes contraventions of the Ontario Human Rights Code.
Any unacceptable behaviour that is contrary to the spirit of this Code may also be considered a violation.
Specific additional behaviours covered by this Code in addition to those referred to above include the following:
2.1 Disruptive Behaviour
You shall not obstruct or disrupt, or attempt to obstruct or disrupt, any Academy activities. Examples of this behavior are non-compliance with instructions from an Academy official; breaking the Information Acceptable Use Policy; or failing to produce student identification when requested.
2.2 Disorderly Conduct
You shall not engage in disorderly, lewd or indecent conduct, nor engage in disturbing the peace, as defined by the law, on Academy-owned or controlled property or at Academy-sponsored or supervised functions. Examples of this behaviour are public intoxication; theft; or fighting.
2.3 Abusive Communication
You shall not in any way abuse other students, Academy employees, or guests of the school. Abusive communication means any unwelcome words or images received or distributed in person or by telephone, letter, electronic mail, or any communication medium including social media that intimidate, disparage or cause humiliation, offence or embarrassment to a person. Examples of this behaviour are bullying; hazing; harassment; or threats.
2.4 False or Misleading Information
You shall not provide false or misleading information to Academy officials or on official Academy records. This includes making malicious or bad faith complaints under this Code. You cannot forge, alter or misuse the Academy name, the name of any Academy employee, documents, records or identification. Examples of this behaviour are false complaints; creating/using/distributing false documents; or misrepresenting yourself to an Academy official.
2.5 Weapons and Dangerous Substances
While on any Academy property, you shall not carry or have in your possession anything which is designed to be used as a weapon or anything that you intend to use as a weapon. You shall not have explosives, fireworks, or unauthorized dangerous substances on Academy-owned or controlled property.
3. Procedures for Resolving Disputes and Investigation
3.1 Any suspected violation of this Code may be referred to the police or other outside authorities as considered necessary by Academy officials.
3.2 If you believe that a violation of the Student Code of Conduct has occurred you should report it to the administration office. In situations where the health or safety of any person is believed to be in jeopardy, contact security or police immediately.
3.3 If you are involved in any incident that includes a risk to the personal safety or security of a student or anyone else, or if the Academy believes that your behaviour may impair the operations of the school, it may take immediate action including suspending you on an interim basis. In the event of an interim suspension, you will be informed in writing (NELA email and/or registered mail which you are responsible for keeping current) of the reasons within three working days. You will have the right to respond. The Academy will then reassess the decision to suspend, and may revoke or continue it. The alleged violation that led to the interim suspension will be dealt with under the procedures set out in this Code.
3.4 The Student Services Office may investigate and resolve conduct issues under the Code regardless of any civil or criminal proceedings.
3.5 Minor behaviour problems in the classroom or elsewhere may be addressed directly by a faculty or staff member. Ongoing or more serious incidents that cannot be settled informally will be referred to the Student Services Office for resolution.
3.6 Informal resolution processes (resolving an issue without going through the formal complaint process) will be followed where possible. Subject to rules of confidentiality, other Academy departments and/or the relevant academic area may be consulted during the informal resolution process.
3.7 If a resolution cannot be reached through informal processes, the formal complaint process will be followed. The person making the complaint (the complainant) will be required to complete a written complaint form that provides details of the alleged violation of the Student Code of Conduct. The Associate Director Student Services or designate may determine if complaints are unclear, unfounded, vexatious, frivolous or made in bad faith, in which case they may not be pursued.
3.8 The Student Services Office will, within five working days of receipt of the formal complaint, provide electronically or in printed form a copy of all complaints to the student or students involved along with a copy of this Code and a statement advising of the steps in the complaint process and possible outcomes.
3.9 The Student Services Office will initiate an investigation within seven working days of receiving the written complaint. Any Student Services Officer conducting an investigation must not have had any previous involvement with informal efforts to resolve the complaint.
3.10 An investigation will include interviews of the parties concerned and any witnesses who may have information related to the incident as well as efforts to gather other information that will assist in the investigation. The student(s) alleged to have violated the Code (the “respondent”) will have an opportunity to respond to the allegations of misconduct.
3.11 All complaints will be treated as confidential to the extent possible and without fear of reprisal, although proper investigation of a complaint may require the identity of the parties involved to be disclosed to each other and to third parties, including witnesses.
3.12 All parties to the complaint may have a support person of their choosing in an advisory capacity present throughout the proceedings or may choose from a roster of trained student leaders which, is maintained in Student Services. If you are the respondent and are asked to participate in the complaint process you must do so. If you do not, the Student Services Office may reach conclusions without your participation.
3.13 The Student Services Office will keep all parties to the complaint informed about the progress of the investigation and communicate with them at least once every seven working days during the investigative process.
3.14 Throughout the formal procedure, the Student Services Office and the appropriate academic area will use their best efforts to ensure that the academic progress of any student who is a party to the complaint is not unreasonably jeopardized.
3.15 The Student Services Officer will complete the investigation within 15 working days of the receipt of the written complaint, unless circumstances cause a delay. If the Student Services Officer concludes that there has been no misconduct, all parties will be informed in writing and there will be no further proceedings.
3.16 If the Student Services Officer concludes that there was misconduct, a report of the conclusions of the investigation will be forwarded to the Associate Director Student Services.
3.17 The Associate Director Student Services will review all investigative reports. In the case of a formal investigation, the respondent will also have an opportunity to review the report, and respond in writing or orally, in a meeting with the Associate Director. The Associate Director will then determine whether the Student Code of Conduct has been violated and decide upon the appropriate disciplinary sanction to be imposed in consultation with other Academy departments and/or the relevant academic area.
Disciplinary sanctions are based on the relative harm or impact on the rights of others. They will also be based on the severity and frequency of the behaviour. Repeated misbehaviour will result in an increased level of sanction. Sanctions include, but are not limited to:
- A written notification that continuing or repeating certain conduct will result in further disciplinary action up to and including mandatory withdrawal from the Academy. You may request that the Director of the Student Conduct Office remove the warning letter from your file when you graduate.
Compensation you will need to be made for loss, damage or injury you caused. This may include service, payment of money or replacement of property.
An agreement between you and the Academy, which outlines conditions you must follow to continue your studies. If you do not follow those conditions further disciplinary action will be taken. The contract may be for a specific period or for the full duration of your program. You may request that the Associate Director Student Services remove the behavioural contract from your file when you graduate.
Loss of Privileges
The loss of specified privileges to access or use Academy facilities and services for a designated period of time.
A written reprimand in effect for a period of time with clear written conditions for you to maintain your status at the Academy.
A written notification that you are excluded from classes and/or other activities for a specific period of time. Suspension may also exclude you from a campus and property belonging to the Academy.
Permanent withdrawal from the Academy and you may not be allowed to register in the future.
Withholding of Credential
The refusal to award you your credential (e.g. course credit, certificate, diploma, etc.) until the disciplinary process is completed. Suspension, mandatory withdrawal, or termination of student status requires the approval of the Director of Student Affairs and the Director of Education.
3.18 The Associate Director will notify the complainant, respondent and other appropriate parties of the outcome of the investigation, the reasoning and the resulting sanctions, if any. This notice will be in writing and will be provided within 21 days of the commencement of the formal complaint, unless circumstances cause a delay.
3.19 Records of disciplinary action will be maintained in the student’s Academy file.
You can ask to have a disciplinary decision under this Code overturned or changed.
4.1 The respondent may appeal the decision within 10 working days to the Director of Student Affairs. Appeals must be in writing (or alternative modes for persons with disabilities) on a Request for Student Conduct Appeal Form.
Appeals may only be launched on the following basis:
- A substantial procedural error has been committed by the Student Services Office which has denied you a fair outcome;
- New evidence is available that, through no fault of yours, was not available at the time the investigation;
- The sanctions imposed by the Student Services Office are patently unreasonable or substantially disproportionate to the circumstances or offence.
4.2 The complainant and respondent will be notified of the appeal in writing. The notice shall explain the basis of the appeal, the procedure that will apply and any other details necessary for an expeditious and fair hearing.
4.3 The decision of the hearing will be recorded in writing and promptly communicated to the appellant within 15 working days of the appeal.
4.4 The decision of the hearing will be final and binding on all parties with no further right of appeal within the Academy.
4.5 Records of Student Code of Conduct complaints and appeals will be maintained in the Student Services Office.
Every attempt will be made to meet the timelines set out in this Student Code of Conduct unless circumstances cause a delay.