Community Life Standards Policy
The purpose of this policy is to:
a) Foster a learning environment that supports the Ambrose mission
b) Protect the safety and security of the University community
c) Communicate the University’s expectations with respect to Student behaviour
Ambrose University is a distinctly Christian academic community grounded in the evangelical tradition with a clear mission: Ambrose University prepares men and women for wise, joyful and redemptive engagement in the church, society, and the created order through excellent Christian post-secondary education.
Students that apply and accept the invitation to join the distinctly Christian academic community at Ambrose will grow and develop and greatly benefit from engaging in a learning environment that is flooded with educationally meaningful opportunities.
Membership in any community requires individual responsibility - and Ambrose is no exception. Ambrose is committed to nurturing an environment that is conducive to holistic development and spiritual formation in the context of rigorous academic programs grounded in a Christian worldview. Students have a responsibility to contribute in a meaningful and significant way to the very community from which they will derive benefit. Students are also encouraged to comply with their own denominational statements of conduct where applicable, especially if pursuing professional designations within their denominations.
This policy applies to actions, interactions and behaviours of Ambrose Students that take place:
a) on University premises; or
b) off University premises where a Student is involved in the business of the University or activities related to the University, or is representing the University; or
c) off University premises where such actions, interactions or behaviour have a negative impact on the University or a Member of the University Community, such that it materially interferes with their University learning, working or living environment.
A Student may be subject to an investigation pursuant to this Policy and the Procedures regardless of any action by civil, administrative or criminal authorities against the Student relating to the same or similar conduct.
3.0 Community Life Standards Values
This Policy reflects Ambrose University’s core values and helps preserve the distinct academic community grounded in the school's evangelical tradition. A vision for community life in a Christian university reflects God’s very essence and his vision for his creation, that it flourish and glorify God. Standards of community life flow from these theological commitments:
- A Holy Purpose: The end of Christian higher education is the formation of a holy people called to wise, joyful and redemptive engagement in the church and society.
- A Loving God: The Triune God, expressed fully in the person of Jesus Christ, the incarnate Word of God (John 1:1-14), created the universe in order to express divine goodness and love. He created human beings in his image that we might reflect divine love through worship of God, care for each other and creation, and respect for ourselves (Gen. 1 – 2).
- A Community of Grace and Reconciliation: We are called to love God with our whole heart, soul, mind, and strength and love our neighbours as ourselves (Matt. 22:36-40). Because sin mars the image of God in humanity, our capacity to reflect God’s love is impaired, with terrible relational consequences. But through God’s grace, freely given in the life, death, resurrection of Jesus Christ and actualized through the power of the Holy Spirit, we are reconciled to God, the image of God is restored, and our ability to reflect God’s love is appropriately renewed (2 Cor. 5:16-20). Thus a Christian university strives to be a community of grace and reconciliation.
Additional Ambrose Values
We are committed to these enduring mission-related values:
- We believe that Christ is the centre of what we do. We seek to live lives devoted to serving Christ, and we pursue His will with bold confidence in His sovereign power and purposes.
- We are ecumenically minded, broadly evangelical, and rooted in the holiness traditions of the Christian and Missionary Alliance of Canada and the Church of the Nazarene.
- We believe that every person is created in the image of God and worthy of dignity and respect.
- We integrate faith and learning and anchor our teaching and research within the Christian intellectual and spiritual tradition.
From these beliefs and practices flow the rest of our institutional values:
- We encourage our students, faculty, and staff to be intellectually curious.
- We promote conversations about difficult issues that are marked by both courage and charity.
- We provide high-quality education as well as co-curricular experiences that prepare students for their future lives and vocations.
- We pursue excellence in all that we do. Our efforts evidence love, wisdom, thoughtfulness, knowledge, scholarship, and skill.
- We are accountable to the Government of Alberta, our accrediting bodies, and our founding denominations. We also recognize our obligation to provide students with the learning environment set forth in the Academic Calendar.
- We assert that Ambrose is a place where students develop virtues, grow in character, acquire life skills, and prepare for future vocations.
- We wrestle together with the hard questions of life and faith.
- We create intentional, holistic, formational experiences in and out of the classroom.
- We model lifelong perseverance in intellectual and spiritual formation.
- We strive to integrate faith and active service to the world.
- We commit to shaping servant leaders who will honour Christ in their vocations.
- We shape culture through our scholarship, research, and artistic expression.
- We believe that spiritual, personal, and academic development is best accomplished within the context of a Christian community that worships and glorifies God.
- We collaborate to foster a welcoming, hospitable, generous, just, and truth-telling community that strives to fulfill the university’s mission.
- We seek the welfare of students, one another, and the external community.
“Classroom Setting” includes any setting related to a course delivered at or through the University, including but not limited to onsite, offsite, online, practicum site or any other site where class-related activities are carried out by Students
“Complaint” means a report alleging Misconduct
“Dean” means a dean or associate dean of the applicable program that the Classroom Setting is a part of, or in the case where an associate dean acts as a Chair, a similar individual designated by the VP Academic Affairs
“Member of the University Community” means those persons involved in conducting University affairs including all Students, employees, volunteers, contractors and members of the Board of Governors of the University
“Misconduct” means conduct that does not meet expectations as outlined in section 7.0
“Procedures” means the Community Life Standards Procedures; Complaints and Appeals
“Chair” means the chair or associate dean of the applicable program that the Classroom Setting is a part of, or a similar individual designated by the Dean when required due to the direct involvement of the chair or associate dean in the Complaint or if otherwise required
“Residence” means the Ambrose student residences and “Resident” means a Student enrolled in the Ambrose student residences program
“Responding Officer” means the individual with primary responsibility for responding to Complaints in accordance with section 5.0
“Restorative Resolution” is an informal process that focuses on harm to the individual and community. Process that is centered on Accountability where the person responsible for causing harm acknowledges harm and their obligations to make amends. A process that provides a framework for those harmed to articulate the negative effects of the behavior and what they need to make it right.
“Senior Officer” means the individual to whom a Responding Officer reports in accordance with section 5.0
“Student” or “Ambrose Student” means an individual who is enrolled in a course or program of study at the University or who was enrolled in a course or program of study at the time the Misconduct was alleged to have occurred
“University” means Ambrose University
5.1 Complaints are to be filed and responded to in accordance with the Procedures.
5.2 The Director of Community Life will have primary responsibility for Complaints relating to the General Community Standards set out in Section 7A, consulting with and reporting to the Vice President of Student Life.
5.3 The Chair will have primary responsibility for Complaints relating to the Classroom Community Standards set out in Section 7B, consulting with and reporting to the Dean. Where a Complaint relates both to the General Community Standards set out in Section 7A and the Classroom Community Standards set out in Section 7B, the Chair in consultation with the Dean will determine whether they will be the Responding Officer and Senior Officer respectively or refer this to the Director of Community Life, in which case the Director of Community Life will be the Responding Officer and the Senior Officer will be either the Dean or the VP Student Life, at the discretion of the Dean.
5.4 The Residence Director will have primary responsibility for Complaints relating to the Residence Community Standards set out in the Residence Community Standards, consulting with and reporting to the Director of Community Life. Where a Complaint relates both to the General Community Standards set out in Section 7A and the Residence Community Standards, the Director of Community Life will determine whether to become the Responding Officer, in which case the VP Student Life will be the Senior Officer.
Students who struggle with Misconduct are encouraged to seek help and support from Student Life and other areas of the University. Examples of such issues include, but are not limited to, drugs, alcohol, pornography and sexual behaviours. Students who want to receive help and support to work through these issues and accept accountability for these behaviours may request amnesty in accordance with the Procedures.
All Students must comply with the General Community Standards set out in Section 7A and the Classroom Community Standards set out in Section 7B. In addition, Residence Students, and any other Students entering Residence, must comply with the Residence Community Standards set out in the Residence Community Standards.
A. General Community Standards
1. Protection of Property
Students shall not:
- Damage, deface or destroy the property of another individual, corporation or entity, including the University.
- Use personal or intellectual property owned by another without appropriate consent or authority.
- Use University property, facilities, equipment or materials for an unauthorized purpose.
- Enter or remain in any University building or area without authorization when the building or area is officially closed or restricted for designated purposes or to designated individuals.
2. Protection of Self
Cannabis, Tobacco and Vaping
- Ambrose is a smoke free campus. Smoking, vaping and e-cigarettes are prohibited anywhere on the Ambrose campus including within all Ambrose buildings as well as outdoor spaces, parking lots or any vehicle on Ambrose property.
- The use of cannabis and tobacco is highly discouraged generally, along with other substances that may be addictive or unhealthy. The use of illicit drugs or the abuse of prescription drugs is prohibited and the presence of these substances or drug paraphernalia on campus is not permitted. Ambrose reserves the right to confiscate, retain, and dispose of or destroy any and all drug related items.
- The following are prohibited on Ambrose's campus or at any Ambrose sponsored event or activity (i.e. travel studies, athletic events, club events) 1) The use of cannabis in any of its derivatives 2) cannabis impairment and 3) the distribution of cannabis. Any student seeking an exemption related to the use of medicinal cannabis can inquire with the Director of Community Life in the Student Life office. Valid prescription for medicinal use will be required.
- Exemptions to our smoke free policy may be made in certain circumstances. Such circumstances may include, participation in culturally significant events or religious ceremonies (i.e. use of incense or smudging). Exemptions can be granted by the Vice President Academic Affairs for activities related to the classroom setting, with the Vice President Student Life for student co-curricular activities and with the Director of Campus Services in all other circumstances
- Please refer to the Ambrose Smoke Free Campus Policy for further information.
Ambrose is an alcohol free campus. Ambrose does not permit the possession, consumption, distribution, alcohol intoxication or the possession of empty alcohol containers on campus, including in Residence. Individuals who are 18 years or older (18 is the legal drinking age in Alberta) have the freedom to drink off campus but are expected to do so in a responsible way that respects the reputation of Ambrose as a Christian University; practicing moderation, self-control and careful judgement in their choices. Students are expected to return to campus without disruption to community, and in a responsible and safe manner. Students should prioritize their safe return to their place of residence, including the residence hall, when they have chosen to drink off campus.
Entertainment & Gaming
Ambrose Students will not participate in activities or the use of materials, whether digital or in print, that are dehumanizing, degrading, exploitive, hateful or gratuitously violent. This includes the use of pornography. Students are to consider these restrictions in their gaming practices.
3. Relationship with Others
Respect for Others
Treat others with respect, care and dignity, acknowledging the God-given value of every human being. Defamation, discrimination, retaliation, bullying, harassment and violence in all forms, including in-person interaction, in writing, electronically, via email, text and all forms of social media; is not permitted. (See definitions of bullying and harassment, as well as the stand-alone Gender-Based and Sexual Violence Policy).
Seek to address issues of disagreement or conflict with others in love and peace. Live a life of honesty not participating in any form of fraud and not impersonating another. Utilize careful judgment in the exercise of personal freedom. In relationships inside and outside of the Ambrose community, exercise self-control and do not compromise relationships for your own gain.
The University is a community of students, faculty, and staff involved in learning. No student shall, by action, threat, or otherwise, disrupt any activity organized by the University or by any of its faculties, schools, or departments, or the right of other persons to carry on their legitimate activities, to speak or to associate with others.
Bullying or Personal Harassment
Bullying or personal harassment is a behaviour that has an effect of being abusive, insulting and/or degrading. Personal harassment and bullying includes any inappropriate conduct or comment by a person towards another that the person knew or reasonably ought to have known would be unwanted and/or would cause the receiver to be humiliated or intimidated. Examples of personal harassment/bullying include public humiliation, personal insults, name-calling, persistent criticism, patronizing behaviour, spreading malicious rumours, sabotaging someone’s work, ignoring, isolating, excluding and a constant under-evaluation of effort that undermines self-respect or adversely affects work or educational performance or working/learning conditions. Bullying occurs in many contexts including in online forms. Not every unpleasant interaction, instance of disrespectful behaviour or conflict is considered bullying or personal harassment.
Harassment is unwelcome visual, verbal or physical conduct that has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s education/work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment, including because of race, religious beliefs, colour, place of origin, gender, physical or mental disability, age, ancestry, marital status, source of income, family status or sexual orientation. Alberta human rights law prohibits harassment based on these grounds. Examples of harassment that will not be tolerated are: visual, verbal (including electronic forms) or physical bullying, threats, stalking, derogatory remarks, jokes, innuendo or taunts related to anyone's race, religious beliefs, colour, gender, physical or mental disabilities, age, ancestry, place of origin, marital status, source of income, family status or sexual orientation. Ambrose will not tolerate the display of pornographic, racist, or offensive signs or images; practical jokes that result in awkwardness or embarrassment; or unwelcome invitations or requests, whether indirect or explicit. Harassment can be a behaviour displayed by an individual or by a group. Harassment may occur during one incident or over a series of incidents. Harassing behaviour does not have to be intentional to be considered
harassment. It is the impact of the behaviour on the receiver that is considered. In dealing with a harassment complaint, what is considered is whether a person knew or ought reasonably to have known that the behaviour would be unwanted and/or would otherwise cause humiliation, intimidation and/or embarrassment.
Sexual Activity on Campus
In an effort to foster the integrity of the learning environment and out of respect and consideration for Ambrose as a Christian academic community with a vision for human flourishing, while on campus students are expected to refrain from immodest public displays of affection and from sexual intimacy.
4. Dangerous Objects and Drugs
A Student shall not:
- Possess, use, manufacture, sell, exchange or otherwise distribute firearms, explosives or other weapons on campus, including in Residence, or otherwise in violation of any applicable law.
- Possess, use, manufacture, produce, sell, exchange or otherwise distribute any drug on campus, including in Residence, or otherwise in violation of any applicable law.
- Use of firecrackers, paintballs, airsoft and other materials or equipment that may be be or be perceived to be (i.e “toy” facsimile) dangerous to others or self on Ambrose property.
5. General Standards
A Student shall not encourage or aid another Student in Misconduct. A Student shall not disregard or ignore a sanction imposed in accordance with the Procedures.
B. Classroom Community Standards
In the Classroom Setting, Students are responsible to conduct themselves in a manner that enhances, respects, and does not disrupt or bring harm or disrepute to Ambrose or Members of the University Community.
1. Additional Values
In addition to the values set out section 3.0, standards and procedures governing non-academic misconduct in the Classroom Setting reflect the following values: redemptive actions, restorative justice, due process, fairness and peer adjudication. The purpose of these additional policies and procedures is to protect Members of the University Community by providing guidelines for faculty and promoting consistency for Students.
2. Standards of Behaviour in the Classroom Setting
Learning is an active and interactive process, a joint venture between Student and instructor and between Student and Student. Some topics covered within a class may lead to strong reactions and opinions. It is important that Students understand that they are entitled to hold contradictory beliefs and that they should be encouraged to engage with these topics in a critical manner. Committing to this type of "active learning" significantly increases the learning experience for both teacher and Student, and reflects the Christian imperative to pursue truth, which lies at the heart of the Ambrose educational experience. However, active discussion of controversial topics will be undertaken with respect and empathy, which are the foundations of civil discourse in the Classroom Setting.
3. Management of Behaviour in the Classroom Setting
Primary responsibility for managing the classroom rests with the instructor. The instructor may direct a Student to leave the class if the Student engages in any behaviour that disrupts the Classroom Setting. If necessary, Ambrose security will be contacted to escort the Student from class.
Broadly defined, non-academic misconduct in the Classroom Setting includes behaviours that:
- Violate established civil rights, human rights, and criminal statutes
- Harm (or could be reasonably expected to harm) the mental or physical health or safety of self or others
- Bully and/or harass Members of the University Community
- Neglect or recklessly endanger the well-being of individuals, whether Members of the University Community or not, that are a part of, or affected by, the Classroom Setting
- Damage or otherwise interfere with the physical Classroom Setting
- Violate the ethical standards of one’s intended profession (e.g., clinical settings, practice, directed field studies, internship, etc.).
8.0 Related Policies
Gender-Based and Sexual Violence Policy
Gender-Based and Sexual Violence Procedures
Professional Working Environment Harassment, Discrimination and Bullying Policy
Residence Community Standards
Ambrose Smoke Free Campus Policy
Ambrose acknowledges the support of Campus Alberta post-secondary institutions in the development of this policy.
Community Life Standards Procedures: Complaints and Appeals
This document outlines procedures that have been adopted pursuant to the Community Life Standards Policy (the “Policy”) and should be read in conjunction with the Policy.
In addition to the purposes set out in the Policy, the Procedures are intended to:
- help Students accept accountability for behaviour
- contribute to Students’ personal and spiritual growth
- demonstrate care for students regardless of behaviour
- educate students on their commitment to community through the Policy
Terms not otherwise defined herein have the meaning set out in the Policy.
“Appeal Board” means any two of the following persons: President, VP Student Life and VP Academic Affairs, or where one or more of these individuals is unavailable or has had previous involvement in the adjudication of a Complaint, a Dean
“Complainant” means the person filing a Complaint
“Decision” means a decision made following a Direct Investigation, Formal Investigation or an appeal process
“Direct Investigation” means an investigation carried out by a Responding Officer in accordance with the Procedures
“Formal Investigation” means an investigation carried out by a minimum of two investigators in accordance with the Procedures
“Interim Measures” means non-disciplinary conditions or restrictions placed on a person who is alleged to have committed Gender-Based or Sexual Violence.
“Respondent” means the Student who is alleged to have committed Misconduct
“Restorative Resolution” means the process set out in section 7.0
“RJP Summary” means a summary of a Restorative Justice Process
“Sanction” means a sanction set out in section 8.0
3.0 Filing Complaints and Initial Response
3.1 A Complaint can be filed by any person (including a Responding Officer or Senior Officer) and can be made via the online form on the Student Life website or in writing to the Responding Officer. Campus Security may also forward an incident report to a Responding Officer as a Complaint.
3.2 A Complaint should include:
- Name(s) of the Student(s) who is/are the subject of the Complaint;
- Time(s), date(s) and location(s) of the incident(s)
- Description of the alleged Misconduct;
- Names of potential witnesses; and
- Name(s) and contact information of Complainant(s).
3.3 A Complaint may be submitted anonymously or by a third party, but the Complainant should be aware that this may limit the ability of the Responding Officer to investigate, review, and resolve the Complaint.
3.4 In order to respond in a timely and effective manner, the University strongly encourages Complainants to file a Complaint as soon as possible following the occurrence of alleged Misconduct. Delaying the filing of a Complaint may impede the University’s ability to conduct an investigation and/or take appropriate action.
3.5 Upon receipt of a Complaint or becoming aware of possible Misconduct, the Responding Officer, or Ambrose security if applicable, will determine if immediate action is warranted to protect the health or safety of the University community. Such immediate action may include the removal of a Student from a class, from Residence or any other Ambrose group or activity.
The Responding Officer may impose or facilitate interim measures to support the Complainant and/or Respondent and to address safety concerns during an investigation or a proceeding. The University will seek to implement the least disruptive measures that still promote safety and security.
The Responding officer may determine that there is to be no contact between a Complainant and a Respondent, and/or restricting access to campus including that the Respondent may be suspended from classes or residence (as the case may be) pending the conclusion of an investigation.
3.6 Where the Complainant has been directly affected by the alleged Misconduct, the Responding Officer will make reasonable efforts to notify the Complainant as to the process and results of the response to the Complaint, subject to confidentiality and the overall well-being of the University community.
3.7 The Responding Officer and/or Senior Officer will refer the Complainant to the police and/or other support services as needed. The Responding Officer and/or Senior Officer will also refer the Respondent to support services if needed.
4.0 Responding to Complaints and Setting Process
4.1 The Responding Officer will determine whether the Complaint should be addressed through a Direct Investigation, Restorative Resolution Process or a Formal Investigation. This must be done in consultation with the Senior Officer when the alleged Misconduct involves harm to self or others or the Respondent has been issued Sanctions beyond a written warning, discretionary sanction or loss of privileges in the past. The Responding Officer should always consult with the Senior Officer when there is uncertainty or novel issues being dealt with.
4.2 The Restorative Resolution Process will only be engaged in with the consent of both the Complainant(s) and the Respondent(s). The Restorative Resolution Process should not be used when the Respondent does not acknowledge responsibility for the Misconduct. If a Complaint is not resolved through the Restorative Resolution Process, it will return to the Responding Officer for further response in accordance with the Procedures.
4.3 In determining whether a Formal Investigation should take place, the Responding Officer (and Senior Officer if applicable) will consider whether:
- There are multiple parties with varying accounts involved
- The alleged Misconduct involves harm to others
- The involvement of independent investigators would better enable an investigation to be handed in a fair and unbiased manner with due process and/or otherwise meet the objectives and procedures set out in section 6.0 (including those in section 6.7 as applied to a Responding Officer)
- This would enhance the timeliness and effectiveness of a resolution
4.4 The Director of Community Life will become the Responding Officer (and the VP Student Life the Senior Officer) in all cases where a Formal Investigation is required for a Complaint relating to Residence Community Standards. For clarity, a Senior Officer initiating a Formal Investigation must always be a Dean or at the VP level or above.
4.5 A Responding Officer, with the consent of the Senior Officer, retains discretion to not investigate a Complaint made in bad faith or that is otherwise frivolous or vexatious.
4.6 Where alleged gender-based or sexual violence is involved, the Gender-Based and Sexual Violence Policy and Procedures applies alongside this Policy and Procedures.
5.0 Outcomes of an Investigation
5.1 The standard of review for determining whether a Student has committed Misconduct is on a balance of probabilities.
5.2 Following a Direct Investigation, the Responding Officer, in consultation with the Senior Officer if applicable, will determine what corrective measures and/or Sanctions are or are not required. The Responding Officer must always consult with the Senior Officer (which will become the applicable VP for this purpose where the Senior Officer is not a VP) where proposed measures and/or Sanctions are a significant departure from past practice or Sanctions include measures set out in (h) through (k) of section 8.3 (or measures of similar gravity).
5.3 Following a Formal Investigation, investigator(s) will provide the Senior Officer with a written investigation report. The report will include:
- A summary of relevant statements and evidence;
- Assessment of witness credibility and other evidence and, where appropriate, conclusions as to the accepted evidence;
- Assessment of whether Misconduct or a violation of other university policies or the law have occurred; and
- Recommendations as to appropriate corrective measures or Sanctions where Misconduct or a violation has been found.
Investigation reports are confidential and, in some cases privileged, and will not be disclosed to Complainants or Respondents.
5.4 Following a Formal Investigation, the Senior Officer will review the investigation report and determine what corrective measures and/or Sanctions may or may not be required. Where a Decision may differ materially from the conclusions and recommendations in an investigation report, it should be reviewed with at least one other uninvolved and sufficiently experienced staff or faculty member of Ambrose (i.e. a Dean, a VP, the Director of Community Life or a member of the Gender-Based and Sexual Violence Team). Further investigation should also be considered. Where the proposed Decision continues to differ materially from the conclusions and recommendations in the investigation report, the rationale for the decisions must be documented.
5.5 The Decision shall be provided to the Respondent, in writing if Sanctions are being applied.
5.6 The Responding Officer or Senior Officer that makes a Decision may issue directives to responsible University offices regarding corrective measures and Sanctions.
6.0 Carrying out an Investigation
6.1 All investigations are to be handled in a procedurally fair and unbiased manner with due process in accordance with the Policy and the Procedures.
6.2 Investigations will be conducted in a systematic, orderly and discreet manner and confidentiality will be maintained wherever possible. The objectives of an investigation will be to:
- Gather, compile and review information relating to the Complaint as quickly as possible (including, if applicable, taking steps to protect or preserve documents, materials and equipment)
- Conduct interviews as appropriate with the Complainant, Respondent and other witnesses to the alleged Misconduct
- Assess the credibility of the Complainant, the Respondent and all other witnesses
- Consider the information collected and draw conclusions objectively and impartially as to what evidence should be accepted
- Maintain procedural fairness in the treatment of witnesses, the Complainant and the Respondent
- Assess whether Misconduct or violation of other University policies or the law has occurred
- Recommend appropriate corrective measures or Sanctions where Misconduct or another violation has been found
6.3 Prior to the Respondent being invited to an interview, the Respondent will be advised as to the Complaint and provided a copy of the Policy and Procedures. During the interview, the Respondent will have an opportunity to respond to the alleged Misconduct and to present any relevant evidence. All interviews whether with the Respondent or Complainant will be closed to the public. The Complainant and Respondent are allowed to bring a support person of their choice to accompany them through the process. This person is there solely for support and to listen and observe. They are bound by confidentiality and should not serve in the role of Witness. There should be no interfering in the internal process. Because this is an internal review process, legal counsel is not permitted to attend. Formal rules of evidence will not apply nor will harmless procedural errors invalidate a decision. Failure to appear will result in a decision being made in the absence of the Respondent.
6.4 The Senior Officer and/or investigators (after consultation with the applicable VP for this purpose) may seek legal counsel as to specific aspects of or the structure of the investigation or written investigation report.
6.5 If a Formal Investigation is required, the Senior Officer will appoint a minimum of two investigators within 10 business days of receipt of the Complaint. The Formal Investigation will be completed as expediently as possible, ideally within 30 calendar days of the date the investigators are appointed.
6.6 For a Formal Investigation, investigators may be employees of the University or external persons. Internal Investigators will typically be chosen from the roster of trained investigators maintained by the Gender-Based and Sexual Violence Response Team. Additional investigators may also be drawn from this roster or include the Responding Officer or an external or other internal investigator as may be appropriate to best carry out the objectives in section 6.2. The investigation team should consist of at least one male and one female (where the Complainant(s) and Respondent(s) are of more than one gender). If an external investigator is hired, they may conduct the investigation on their own. If the Complaint relates to Classroom Community Standards set out in Section 7B of the Policy, the investigation team must consist of a faculty member. No more than two investigators should take part in any interviews at one time.
6.7 The Senior Officer will consider all relevant factors in the circumstances when appointing investigators for a Formal Investigation, including without limiting:
- Nature of the Complaint
- Ability for objectivity and lack of bias in the investigation (i.e. no investigation team members with real, potential or perceived conflicts of interest or biases)
- Ability to maintain the confidentiality of all information
- Knowledge of legal and compliance requirements of the core nature/subject matter of the allegation
- Potential investigation team member’s ability to identify and access the appropriate resources to conduct the investigation in a timely manner
- Need to balance the functional skills, operations knowledge, and seniority of the individuals
- Need to retain external investigators or experts in highly sensitive, specialized or confidential matters.
7.0 Restorative Resolution Process
7.1 In line with the Ambrose Mission, Ambrose seeks to be a place that models redemptive engagement within the institution itself. In situations where restorative justice principles can be implemented and all parties consent, Ambrose will offer the opportunity for Students to participate in a Restorative Resolution Process.
7.2 The Restorative Resolution Process allows an opportunity for Students to intentionally consider their behaviour and to enter into repairing the resulting harms in a way that aims to restore the person who has caused harm to community and to repair the harms they have caused and rebuild trust. There are situations where the Restorative Resolution Process cannot be applied but it is the preferred option in Residence in particular.
7.3 The Restorative Resolution Process is a guided process that involves a trained facilitator. When multiple parties are impacted, a community resolution or restorative conference is implemented to explore the incident, identify harms, and come to documented agreements as to the path toward repairing them agreed upon harms. While this process in and of itself can be difficult, the benefits to restoring true community can be transformative for all who participate. The Restorative Resolution Process will generally be carried out as follows:
- An exploratory pre-conference takes place with the Responding Officer and involved parties
- Conference is held with all parties and agreements are made as to the path forward in repairing harms and rebuilding trust
- Agreements are recorded into binding action between participants with reasonable deadlines
- The Responding Officer holds record of the agreements and follows through on deadlines
7.4 In cases where the Restorative Resolution Process fails or is ended by one of the parties or the Responding Officer, the Responding Officer will continue handling the Complaint through either a Direct Investigation or Formal Investigation, pursuant to the Procedures.
8.0 Corrective Measures and Sanctions
8.1 Sanctions may be applied independently or in combination for any Misconduct.
8.2 Repeated Misconduct may result in Sanctions that are more severe than would be imposed for a single incidence of Misconduct. In Residence, repeated Community Resolutions may also result in Sanctions.
8.3 The following sanctions may be imposed through the accountability decision-making process:
a) written warning;
b) written reprimand;
c) discretionary sanction – work assignments, educational assignment, restorative measures, service to the University, or other discretionary assignments;
d) letter of behavioural expectations – an undertaking not to engage in certain behaviour and setting out the consequences if the requirements set out in the letter are not followed;
e) monetary compensation for loss, damage or injury, or replacement of damaged or destroyed property;
f) monetary fine;
g) loss of privileges – denial of specified privileges for a designated period of time;
h) withdrawal from one or more courses;
i) restrictions on participating in a University club or organization or in certain activities of a University club or organization;
j) suspension – suspension of the Student from the University for a specified period of time, after which the Student is eligible to return. A permanent or temporary transcript notation may be placed on the official University transcript. Conditions for readmission may be specified;
k) expulsion – permanent separation of the Student from the University. A permanent transcript notation may be placed on the official University transcript; and
l) other appropriate sanction.
8.4 If the Sanctions includes suspension or a ban from the University, the Respondent will be notified of the terms and conditions associated with their return to campus at the time they are notified of the Decision. At the end of such specified period of suspension or trespass from the University, the Respondent will be eligible to return to the University provided that:
- All terms and conditions of the suspension or ban have been met; and
- All other Sanctions or corrective measures required to be completed before the end of the suspension or ban period have been completed.
8.5 The Student Life office maintains confidential records of all Complaints, decisions, sanctions, and Interim Measures. Records will be shared only in accordance with this procedure.
8.6 Decisions may include an alert that will be placed on the Student’s file in the University’s records management system that will notify viewers to request further information from the Senior Officer if the Student attempts to register for a course or course of study at the University or applies for readmission to the University.
8.7 Decisions may direct that corrective measures and Sanctions be included on the Respondent’s student academic records.
9.1 Where a Decision is made by the Residence Director, the Respondent may appeal to the Director of Community Life, who shall take such further actions and steps as he or she may determine. The new decision or confirmation of original decision shall be provided to the Respondent, in writing if Sanctions are being applied.
9.2 Where a Decision is made by a Chair, the Respondent may appeal to the applicable Dean and a second Dean (chosen by the VP Academic Affairs), who shall take such further actions and steps as they may determine. The new decision or confirmation of original decision shall be provided to the Respondent, in writing if Sanctions are being applied.
9.3 Where a Decision is made by the Director of Community Life or a Dean(s), the Respondent may appeal to the VP Student Life or the VP Academic Affairs, respectively. The applicable VP shall take such further actions and steps as he or she may determine. The new decision or confirmation of original decision shall be provided to the Respondent, in writing if Sanctions are being applied.
9.4 Where a Decision is made by the VP Student Life or the VP Academic Affairs, the Respondent may appeal to the Appeal Board. The Appeal Board shall take such further actions or steps as it may determine. The new decision or confirmation of original decision shall be provided to the Respondent in writing and shall be final.
9.5 All appeals must be filed within 10 business days of receiving a Decision, must be submitted to the party to whom the appeal is to be made (the President of the University in the case of the Appeal Board) and must include the following in writing:
- a copy of the Decision
- a statement of the basis for appeal
- a statement of facts relevant to the basis of appeal
- a statement of the outcome sought; and
- any supporting documentation.
9.6 A Respondent may appeal a Decision on any of the following bases:
- clear, compelling, and extenuating circumstances were not considered;
- relevant new evidence has emerged that was not available at the time of the original decision;
- the Procedures were not followed and the outcome of the case might have been substantially affected by this failure; or
- the severity of the Sanctions imposed exceeds the nature of the misconduct for reasons identified by the Respondent.
9.7 An appeal of a Decision may, at the discretion of the Appeal Board, include an appeal hearing. The procedure(s) for any Appeal hearing will be set by the Appeal Board and communicated to the affected parties in advance. Appeal hearings will not be open to the public.
10.1 A request for amnesty does not guarantee that a Student will be granted full amnesty or immunity from Sanction, however a student’s voluntary disclosure of Misconduct, before the University receives a Complaint or otherwise becomes aware of such Misconduct, will be considered in the discipline or Sanction(s) imposed (if any). The discipline or Sanction(s) imposed on a Student who voluntarily reports Misconduct will depend on the nature of the Misconduct and the circumstances surrounding the Student’s voluntary report of the same.
10.2 Students requesting help are asked to abstain from the behaviour and may be asked to sign a behavioural agreement and/or seek professional help. Students must request help and amnesty from the Director of Community Life, typically before a Complaint is filed or any disciplinary conversation addressing the Misconduct occurs. Where potential Misconduct relates to the Classroom Community Standards set out in Section 7B of the Policy, the applicable Responding Officer must be consulted prior to amnesty being agreed to.
10.3 Students also must be honest, cooperative and compliant with amnesty requirements, and demonstrate a true desire to change. Failure to abide by the terms of an amnesty agreement may result in the termination of the amnesty agreement and reversion to the accountability processes set out in the Procedures.
10.4 Amnesty requirements may include one or more of the following:
- Take action by obtaining a behavioural assessment with a University counselor (at the expense of the University) and to follow the recommendations of that counsellor;
- Meet regularly with a mentor for accountability and support;
- Attend a support group(s), such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Celebrate Recovery;
- Conduct research and write a reflection relating to an area of struggle;
- Develop a written statement of the Student’s physical/emotional convictions, by which the Student will abide; or
- Participate in restitution regarding a victim(s) or potential victim(s) in situations where the Student has revealed any threats or acts of harm to others or if the Student is assessed as being potentially harmful to others.
10.5 No identifying information revealed in the process is to be discussed outside of the amnesty program with the following possible exceptions:
- If the Student permits or requests such disclosure;
- If the Student reveals any threats or acts of harm to him/herself or others or if the Student is assessed as being potentially harmful to him/herself or others;
- If a Student has potentially violated a federal, provincial, or local law; or
- If required by law, by the University’s policies, or by an external body with appropriate authority.
11.1 All Responding Officers will report regularly to their Senior Officers on all Complaints, RRP Summaries and Decisions. This will include a report in January (summary of fall semester) and a report in June (summary of winter and spring semester) at minimum as well as immediate reporting of all Decisions following Formal Investigations.
11.2 Records of all Complaints, RRP Summaries, Decisions and Appeals will be maintained for a minimum of 5 years by applicable Senior Officer’s office and may be used for purposes of future disciplinary processes. Expulsion records will be kept indefinitely.
11.3 On an annual basis, each Senior Officer will prepare a summary report on all Complaints, Decisions and Appeals reported to their office for review by the Cabinet of Ambrose University, such summary report to exclude identifying information where appropriate. The Cabinet or the President of the University may share the report with the Board of Governors of the University.
12.1 Information about Complaints, Decisions and Appeals will be shared only with those who have a legitimate need for information. In order to enhance confidentiality, as few people as are required will handle Complaints.
12.2 Confidentiality is subject to the provisions of the Personal Information Protection Act (Alberta), other legislation and University policy.
12.3 Notwithstanding section 12.1, confidentiality may not be possible:
- When an individual is judged to be at imminent risk of harming self and/or others;
- There are reasonable grounds to believe that Members of the University Community or wider community may be at risk of harm;
- In order to promote fairness of process for all parties; and/or
- Reporting and/or conducting an investigation is required by law, by the University’s policies, or by an external body with appropriate authority.
For questions regarding these standards, contact:
Vice President Student Life