FAQ for Students

Student Code of Conduct – Non-Academic

I feel that someone has engaged in Non-Academic Misconduct, what do I do?

If you are a member of the University community – Student, staff or faculty member, you can either contact the Manager, Student Conduct, or their designate, or you can complete a Non-Academic Misconduct Complaint Form. 

If I am found responsible for an infraction of the Non-Academic Code, will this go onto my academic record or on my transcript?

Only if you are suspended or expelled from the University is there any record on your transcript.  Any other sanctions are kept confidential in your file within the Office of Student Affairs.

I have been fined by local police and by the University Judicial Officers.  Do I have to pay both?

Yes. Lakehead University has a Non-Academic Code that all Students must adhere to and this operates separately from any local police service or any other judicial systems.

Who can come with me when I have my meeting with the Judicial Officers?

You are allowed to bring a Support Person – a person of the individual’s choice, normally a friend, Elder, another member of the University community, who acts in a supportive role but is not an active participant in the process. The role of support persons (apart from legal counsel at the appeal process) is to provide personal and moral support, accompanying a Student to any meeting. The Support Person does not have the right to speak in the meeting or act as an advocate and may not ask questions of anyone present at the meeting. While you may not bring a lawyer with you to meetings with Judicial Officers, you may bring a lawyer, with advance notice, to an appeal.

If you have sought the assistance of the Ombudsperson, the Ombudsperson may also be present in any meeting in accordance with the policies established by the Ombudsoffice.

Will my parents be informed about my judicial meetings or the outcome of my case?

Your file is confidential and information about your judicial matter will not be shared with your parents or guardians. If you wish for your parents or another person to know about the case you may sign a consent form to release information.  

Information related to disciplinary cases will be shared only with appropriate University authorities as necessary for each case. You should be aware, that due to University obligations to investigate particular complaints, circumstances may arise which may limit Judicial Officers ability to provide absolute confidentiality (e.g. matters that involve risk to individual, community, etc.)

What does it mean when I’m on “behavioural probation”?

Behavioural probation means that if during your period of behavioural probation you are found responsible for any further violations of the Non-Academic Code, your previous violation of the Non-Academic Code will be borne in mind and more severe sanctions may be applied.

What happens once a Complaint is filed?

All complaints must proceed in accordance with the principles of fairness, due process and natural justice. The following steps are taken:

  • Complaint is reviewed by Office of Student Conduct – is there sufficient information to support a Non-Academic Code violation and is the conduct in question covered under the Non-Academic Code.
  • Notification and meeting with the Student – If the conduct can be addressed under the Non-Academic Code, the Student will be informed in writing of the Complaint and any alleged violations of the Non-Academic Code and set up a meeting time for the Student to meet with the Judicial Officers
  • Investigation and resolution – The Judicial Officers have an obligation to speak to the complainant and any relevant witnesses – usually before meeting with the Student who is alleged to have violated the Non-Academic Code (the Respondent). After the various meetings are concluded, the Judicial Officers must ascertain whether misconduct occurred based on the preponderance of evidence or acknowledgement of responsibility by the Respondent.
  • Notification of Outcome – A judicial letter of outcome is sent to the Respondent along with any sanctions that may be imposed. The Complainant may be provided with a written summary of the material details of the decision that relate to the Complainant. 

How long does the Complaint and resolution process take?

A number of factors influence the length of time it takes to conduct an investigation into a complaint. The most significant factors involve the complexity of the Complaint and the number of meetings that Judicial Officers may require with the Complainant, the Respondent and any witnesses. 

Judicial Officers strive to conduct their investigations as quickly as possible but the process normally provides for 20 working days from the time that the Respondent is informed of the Complaint to the Respondent being informed of the outcome. 

Can I still attend classes when there’s a Complaint against me?

Normally Students do not lose the right to continue to attend classes when they’ve been alleged to be in violation of the Non-Academic Code. 

When the alleged violation involves a threat of harm to a Student or another member of the University community, a Student may be suspended on a temporary basis while the Complaint is being investigated. Where possible, the Student who is temporarily suspended may have access to course materials to keep up with their classes. Participation in labs or practicums is not possible during temporary suspensions. 

What is the burden and standard of proof in decision-making?

Since this is an administrative process, we rely on “balance of probabilities”, meaning that the evidence shows that it is more likely than not that the alleged violation has occurred. The degree of probability should be proportionate to the seriousness of the allegations and the gravity of the potential sanctions.

What if I admit that I’m in violation of the Non-Academic Code, will that change the process or the outcome?

Most often a meeting with Judicial Officers will still take place. The Judicial Officers will share with you the details around the Complaint and will still provide you with opportunity to speak to the complaint, your involvement in the incident and outline anything you’ve done since the incident to rectify the situation (e.g. you may have sought counselling or may have apologized to parties, etc.). This is important information for the Judicial Officers to hear when determining an appropriate sanction.

What if I decide not to attend the meeting with the Judicial Officers?

Should you decide not to attend the meeting with the Judicial Officers, their investigation will continue and a decision will be made based on the evidence from the Complainant and any witnesses and without any information from you. It is important to attend the meeting with Judicial Officers so you have the opportunity to provide your perspective on the incident or to demonstrate that you were not involved in the matter and ensure that the Judicial Officers have all the relevant information before they make a decision.

What happens if I don’t follow through on sanctions that have been imposed on me as a result of non-academic misconduct?

Deadlines that are not met are subject to additional sanctions. Fines (whether for restitution of damages or for penalties) that are not paid will be placed on your Student account and must be paid before any academic records are released. Moreover, you will not be able to graduate, register, add/drop courses or acquire transcripts prior to the payment of these fines.

What if I want to appeal the decision and/or sanctions of the Judicial Officers?

It is important to note that any sanctions that are imposed are implemented immediately. Any Student sanctioned by Judicial Officer(s) may appeal the decision (now referred to as the Appellant) by delivering a written notice outlining the grounds for the appeal to the Director of Risk Management and Access to Information within fifteen (15) working days of being informed of the sanction. Grounds for appeal are:

  • Substantial procedural or factual error, including without limitation the denial of natural justice, that reasonably could have materially affected an appealable decision;
  • Significant new and relevant information that was not available through diligence prior to the decision; and 
  • An excessive sanction.

Note:  Mere dissatisfaction with the sanction imposed does not constitute grounds for an appeal.

Full details on Appeal Tribunals and Procedures hearings are in the Appeal policy.