Charter of Student Rights and Responsibilities


INTRODUCTION for the student

By becoming a Bishop's student, you are agreeing to become a member of our University Community, the Bishop's Community, and you are accepting the rights and responsibilities attached to such membership. All members of this community-students, administration, trustees, staff and faculty-must work together to shape and support our community and to ensure a university life and education of the highest quality.

Your time at Bishop's will be a time of discovering new values and points of view and forming deep relationships, as well as accomplishing your learning objectives. The high energy and close proximity that are characteristic of student life at Bishop's will require extra care and consideration to ensure that you maintain a healthy balance in your personal relationships, academic responsibilities, alcohol consumption, social behaviour, residence life, and so forth.

This Charter outlines expectations that we consider to be consistent with the values and goals of our University Community and the well-being of its members. Its purpose is to serve as a tool to educate students about the values and expectations attached to being a member of the Bishop's Community, to state as clearly as we can the 'moral contract' between the University and its students, and to provide a clear and succinct reference to various policies of the University affecting student life.

Note that the notion of "the Bishop's Community" goes beyond the physical boundaries of the campus to include the individual and collective behaviour of Bishop's students, wherever they may be. Therefore, the University has the power and responsibility to deal with misconduct both on and off campus as it relates to any member of the Bishop's Community and affects the educational mission and legitimate interests and responsibilities of the University.

RIGHTS & RESPONSIBILITIES

ARTICLE 1:   General Rights and Responsibilities

All students retain the rights and freedoms recognized in the laws of Canada and Québec. These include the RIGHT to privacy of personal information as spelled out in the Bishop's University Guidelines with Regard to Access to Information and the Confidentiality of Personal Information. Students have the RESPONSIBILITY to abide by all Federal, Provincial and Municipal laws in addition to Bishop's University's own regulations. They have the RIGHT to examine any information the University has on file relating to them and to have any errors corrected.

Every student has an equal RIGHT to be treated equitably and with dignity and respect. This RIGHT must not be impaired by discrimination based on race, colour, ethnic or national origin, civil status, religion, creed, political convictions, sex, gender, sexual orientation, social condition, age, or personal handicap. It is understood that a distinction, exclusion or preference based on relevant academic or physical aptitudes or qualifications does not constitute discrimination. Every student has the RESPONSIBILITY to treat every other member of our University Community equally, without discrimination, in a civil and respectful manner that neither demeans nor degrades the other person. This applies to all person-to-person contact as well as to references made in writing or via any electronic medium that is intended to become public, or ought reasonably to be expected to become public (such as social networking websites).

Students have the RIGHT to a reasonably safe and healthy physical environment on campus, one that provides suitable conditions for learning and study. The University has the RESPONSIBILITY to provide reasonable access to facilities, programmes and compensatory services for persons living with disabilities within the limits of its material, financial and human resources. See the University Policy for Students with Special Needs and the HIV/AIDS Policy. The University has the RESPONSIBILITY to provide avenues of recourse for students who feel they have suffered discrimination, through the office of the Dean of Student Affairs, and/or the University Ombudsperson.

Every student has the RIGHT to information and advice on University policies and regulations that concern them or that pertain to their desired course of studies. The University has the RESPONSIBILITY to ensure that no changes to regulations will be applied retroactively to the detriment of any student currently registered or graduated and the RESPONSIBILITY to minimize or avoid undue detriment to students currently registered, from administrative changes or decisions.

ARTICLE 2:   Academic Rights and Responsibilities

Within the limits of the material, financial and human resources of the University, every student has the RIGHT to academic programs and procedures that demonstrate the quality and integrity appropriate to university education in Canada, and which correspond adequately to the stated objectives of its academic departments and to generally accepted standards in these disciplines. However, it is understood that not all courses in the calendar will be taught all the time. The University's academic obligations are detailed in the Academic Calendar and in the Senate Document entitled Responsibilities of the Academic Staff to Students.

Students are RESPONSIBLE for their own learning and for maintaining good academic standing throughout their university career. They are RESPONSIBLE for being aware of the University's regulations for academic courses and programmes as detailed in the Academic Calendar. They have the RIGHT to receive sufficient specific programme and course information to permit them to make informed course selections. They are RESPONSIBLE for adhering to the schedule of dates and to all regulations appearing in the Bishop's University Academic Calendar.

Students have the RIGHT to receive written notification in hard copy and by email, at the earliest possible date, of any administrative decision that will affect the pursuit of their studies or standing within the University. Students are RESPONSIBLE for checking their campus mail box and their campus e-mail at least once each week during the academic semester while in attendance at the University.

It is the student's RESPONSIBILITY to attend lectures and laboratories and to perform punctually all work assigned by the instructor. It is the student's RESPONSIBILITY to be aware of all instructions given by course instructors in class, in written handouts, or electronically on the Bishop's computer network. It is the student's RESPONSIBILITY to be aware of and to respect the principle of academic honesty and the rules against plagiarism, as well as the intellectual property rights of others.

Students have the RIGHT to be judged fairly and reasonably on their academic performance, and according to a clear evaluation scheme. They have the RIGHT to be informed of their standing in a course at any time. They have the RIGHT to review with the instructor any course work after it has been graded, and to an impartial review of any grade for which possible error or unfairness can be shown. Rules and procedures for formal review by the Academic Review Committee or the Academic Appeals Committee of any academic decision affecting a student are detailed in the Academic Calendar.

Students have the RIGHT of ownership of their intellectual property with respect to all work that they have created, and to respect of that right by the University and all other members of the Bishop's Community. For more details see the Policy for Managing Intellectual Property at Bishop's University.

If and only if the instructor is willing, students may submit essays, examinations and theses in French instead of in English. Students have the RESPONSIBILITY to develop their English writing proficiency while at the University.

ARTICLE 3:   Harassment / Abuse / Disruptions

Every member of our University Community has the RIGHT to be free from vexatious conduct, from verbal, physical, or psychological abuse or intimidation, and from sexual or any other form of harassment. This includes the RIGHT to reject sexual solicitations or advances and to be free from reprisal or threat of reprisal from any member of the Bishop's Community for such rejection of a sexual advance. Every student has the RIGHT to seek protection against any type of abuse from any other member of the Bishop's Community, through the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs, the University Ombudsperson, and/or the University Harassment Officer.

Students have the RESPONSIBILITY to treat all members of our University Community courteously and respectfully, including fellow students, faculty and admin staff, Bishop's residence staff, security officers and student safety personnel. This responsibility applies to all personal contact as well as to references made in writing or via any electronic medium that is intended to become public, or ought reasonably to be expected to become public (such as social networking websites). Students have the RESPONSIBILITY to refrain from behaviour that obstructs teaching, learning, or any class or function, and the RESPONSIBILITY to refrain from malicious, vexatious or abusive conduct, and acts of intimidation, harassment, or assault. Students are RESPONSIBLE for familiarizing themselves with the University Harassment Policy.

ARTICLE 4:   Participation in the Life of the University

Students enjoy freedom of opinion, expression and peaceful assembly within our University Community, provided these are exercised in a civil, respectful manner. This includes the RIGHT for any group to debate any matter and to engage in lawful demonstrations. Students have the RIGHT to organize, publicize, belong to, or participate in any lawful association, and shall not be subject to prejudice by the University because of their membership in such groups. Students have the RIGHT to be represented by fellow students on all those committees, boards, and councils provided for in the Rules, Orders and Regulations governing the University. Students are considered to be full members of each committee on which they sit.

Students have the RIGHT to the use and enjoyment of University grounds and facilities. Students have the RIGHT, upon payment of any required fee, to use certain services as a Bishop's Community member. Students have the RESPONSIBILITY to respect hours and limits on unauthorized entry where such conditions exist. Students have the RESPONSIBILITY to be aware of, and to respect, the Bishop's Alcohol Policy and the Bishop's Non-Smoking Policy, and to confine smoking and the consumption of alcohol to areas designated for those purposes. Students have the RESPONSIBILITY to be aware of and to respect the regulations contained in the Residence Community Living Standards. They have the RESPONSIBILITY to be aware of and to respect the Library Circulation Policies and Services and the Bishop's University Computing Acceptable Use Policy. All members of the University Community have the RESPONSIBILITY to neither destroy, tamper with, monopolize, nor unlawfully gain access to, remove, or possess property that is not their own, including Library material, computing facilities, telecommunication systems, fire and emergency equipment on campus, and the personal property of others.

Students have the RESPONSIBILITY to carry on their person their Student Identification Card while on campus, and to provide that identification upon the request of any individual acting in an official capacity, such as University Security Officers, Police Officers, Student Safety staff, or Student Residence Staff. They have the RESPONSIBILITY to cooperate with and abide by reasonable instructions given orally or in writing by any member of our University Community authorized to secure compliance with regulations, rules, practices and procedures, and to avoid belligerent or abusive language or behaviour toward them.

Students have the RIGHT to have visitors on the University campus. They have the RESPONSIBILITY to comply with Residence Community Living Standards regarding visitors. They are RESPONSIBLE for ensuring that their visitors abide by all University regulations. If a guest engages in misconduct, the guest may be required to leave the campus, and the student acting as host may be personally subject to disciplinary sanctions.

Students have the RIGHT to operate and park vehicles (automobiles, motorcycles, and bicycles) on the University Campus, subject to their RESPONSIBILITY to respect the Bishop's University Parking Regulations and posted signs, and to use common sense in terms of speed and regarding the obstruction of roadways, fire routes and disabled parking areas.

Each student has an equal RIGHT to apply for student employment positions that become available on campus for which they are qualified, and to fair and equal treatment regarding hiring procedures, hiring criteria, remuneration, working conditions, schedules of work, and criteria and procedures for termination.

All firecrackers, gunpowder, flammable solvents, explosives, firearms, weapons, or projectile devices are prohibited on campus. Students living on campus who own firearms must keep them stored securely off campus; Bishop's has an arrangement with the Lennoxville Rifle Club for this.

ARTICLE 5:   Disciplinary Offences and Procedural Rights

It is encouraged and expected that most cases of conflict or misconduct will be resolved on an informal basis between the parties involved, perhaps mediated by an official of the University. However, in serious cases, the University may make use of formal disciplinary procedures for both academic and non-academic matters. Students, too, have the RIGHT to lodge formal complaints if they feel they have been mistreated or treated unfairly, and the RIGHT to formal procedures of appeal of any academic or non-academic decision affecting them. Each student appeals committee has student members appointed to it.

Every student has the RIGHT to a fair hearing by an impartial University official or tribunal using the principle of natural justice, for the determination of their rights under this Charter or the adjudication of any charge brought against them under University regulations. Every student is presumed innocent of an offence until found guilty on the balance of probabilities or the preponderance of convincing and reliable evidence brought against them. Note that in proceedings within the University, any and all evidence obtained in good faith and by reasonable means may be used: the definitions of onus and standard of proof and the technical rules of evidence that are used in civil and criminal court do not apply. Students have the RESPONSIBILITY to be completely honest and truthful in their testimony.

The Code of Student Conduct, the manual of Residence Community Living Standards, and the University Harassment Policy give detailed procedures for dealing with alleged misconduct of a non-academic nature via formal hearings, describe a number of students' rights to be respected in such proceedings, and lay out the steps for a student to follow to lodge a complaint, present a defense, or appeal a disciplinary decision. Regulations and procedures concerning academic integrity and discipline, and appeals of academic decisions, are spelled out in the Academic Calendar.

OFFICIALS of the University

The Committee on Life in the University is charged with the primary RESPONSIBILITY for defending this Charter as well as periodically reviewing it and recommending amendments if needed to the Corporation of Bishop's University, through the Executive Committee. Any individual or group may propose amendments to this Charter at any time through the CLU.

The Dean of Student Affairs, under the guidance of the CLU, has primary RESPONSIBILITY for enforcing this Charter, and for informing students about the Charter and the several related policies such as the Code of Student Conduct, the Harassment Policy, the Alcohol Policy, the Non-Smoking Policy, the Residence Community Living Standards, and so forth. Hard copies of all of these policies are available for consultation in the Student Affairs office. In addition, web links to related policies are provided in the text of this Charter on the Bishop's website.

Other officials of the University associated with the implementation of this Charter within their areas of responsibility at the University include: the University Ombudsperson, the Harassment Officer, members of the Office of the Registrar, the Deans of each of the academic schools and divisions, the Chair of the School of Education, the Vice-Principals, the University Librarian, the Director of Information Technology Services, the Director of Continuing Education, the Director of Residence and Conference Services, residence and food service staff, the Director of Athletics, Campus Security and Student Safety staff, and ultimately, the Principal.

DEFINITIONS & INTERPRETATIONS of this Charter

  1. The word "student" includes any person admitted to or enrolled at Bishop's University, whether or not they are currently registered in courses or are currently a candidate for a degree, diploma or certificate. This includes periods before or between semesters, or periods during which they may be serving a suspension or required by the University to withdraw from courses. For the provisions of this Charter and the Code of Student Conduct to apply, the person must be a student at the time of the alleged breach of any right or responsibility.

  2. While the provisions of this Charter will normally be applied to students in attendance or physically present at the University, the association of a student or students with the University, as specified in the Bishop's University Code of Student Conduct, is not necessarily restricted to the campus proper, but may include the larger community, including the Borough of Lennoxville or other locations where the reputation and interests of the University may be seen to be represented by that student or students.

  3. The word "University" includes any of the university's constituent entities, including any person acting in his or her capacity as a representative or official of Bishop's University.

  4. This Charter shall not be interpreted so as to extend the University's civil liability as it would otherwise be.

  5. This Charter of Student Rights and Responsibilities is an official policy of Bishop's University, adopted by the Corporation of Bishop's University April 23, 1993, and amended by the Executive Committee in December, 2006 and January 2008. It is intended to be a 'living document' which may be amended from time to time as needed, in light of experience, in order to clarify those students' rights and responsibilities to which the University is committed. It is further intended that responsibilities and rights accorded by all other policies of the University should be interpreted in light of this Charter. It is understood that the Collective Agreement for Bishop's employees and the constitution of the SRC stand on their own and are not 'University policies' for purposes of this clause.


04/03/2008