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Queen's University

Information for Students

Student conduct is governed by the Student Code of Conduct. Students are responsible for educating themselves on the standards of behaviour expected of them. Students who wish to report a violation of the Student Code of Conduct may contact the appropriate student government society, the Alma Mater Society (AMS) or the Society of Graduate and Professional Students (SGPS) at any time to file a complaint, or may contact the Coordinator of Dispute Resolution Mechanisms (CDRM) with questions or concerns.

Academic Matters

Students are generally expected to resolve disputes informally with their instructors. When attending a meeting with an instructor, students may choose to be accompanied by a University Dispute Resolution Advisor. Dispute Resolution Advisors, appointed by Senate from the ranks of faculty, are available to students facing adverse academic decisions or other difficulties relating to their academic program. They provide information and advice about Queen’s policies and procedures, help students identify and evaluate options and promote informal resolution of academic and non-academic discipline related-concerns. When requested by any interested party, a Dispute Resolution Advisor may, as of right, be present at any meeting between the student and any decision-maker. To request an Advisor, please contact the CDRM.

Procedures for resolving disputes of this nature have been established by each faculty. For information on the process governing dispute resolution in your particular academic setting, please consult the appropriate Faculty Calendar. Should you exhaust the options available to you under faculty policy, the rules governing appeals may be found in the Senate policy on Student Appeals, Rights & Discipline (SARD- specifically sections 10, 11, and 25), or you may contact the CDRM for more information.


The policies governing discipline in residence can be found in the Community Standards in Residence Handbook. An internal appeals process is described in the Handbook; a student who has exhausted his or her options under the internal appeals policy should contact the CDRM if he or she would like to appeal to an outside body.

Non-Academic Discipline

The University Senate is ultimately responsible for student discipline. However, initial responsibility for discipline has been delegated to the student government societies (the AMS and SGPS). In most cases, complaints regarding student misconduct (usually a violation of the Student Code of Conduct) will be handled entirely by either the AMS or SGPS, but some cases may be referred directly to the University Student Appeal Board (USAB) for a hearing (see SARD section 17(c)).


All hearings conducted on behalf of the University must contain the following components of procedural fairness:

  • Participatory Rights: “hear the other side”. The decision-maker must give a party an opportunity to present his or her case and respond to evidence and arguments.
  • Rule against bias: “no one shall be a judge in his or her own case”

The extent to which procedures safeguarding procedural fairness rights are observed depends on the interests at stake in the hearing. Procedures for handling serious offenses which carry the penalty of sanctions that may have an adverse affect on a student’s academic career or on their ability to participate in the Queen’s community are taken extremely seriously.

Generally, the following participatory rights are observed in all hearings:
The right to:

  • notice of the hearing
  • discovery of the evidence and information before the decision-maker
  • information regarding the nature of the hearing
  • representation (limitations may apply to the type of representation allowed or the role the representative may assume in a particular type of proceeding)
  • an interpreter
  • an adjournment (when due to extenuating circumstances the student was unable to prepare for the hearing and/or was unable to obtain the assistance of a University Grievance Advisor or other representation.)
  • present evidence and arguments, and have the matter decided based on the evidence/arguments presented at hearing
  • receive reasons for the decision

However, in less serious cases, procedures which are less formal may be adopted.

For information on hearing policies and procedures in cases handled by student government, please contact the AMS or SGPS.


Students may appeal a decision of the AMS or SGPS Judicial Committee to USAB only in limited circumstances (please see SARD section 21). Depending on the situation, if the student is successful USAB may:

  • send the case back for rehearing by the original decision-maker (and in doing so USAB may retain jurisdiction pending the outcome of the rehearing),
  • Modify the original decision or make any decision the original decision-maker could have made (although normally USAB will only do this where the rights or interests of the student would be prejudiced by a rehearing, or where a rehearing would be impractical)

Should you wish to appeal a decision of the AMS or SGPS Judicial Committees, it is important to note that there are strict deadlines and filing requirements concerning appeals. Please see SARD sections 25 through 28, inclusive, or contact the CDRM for further information.

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