Student Conduct

Student Conduct

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University District Safety Initiative

Safe communities. Good citizenship.

Announced on June 11, 2018, as a joint initiative between the City, Kingston Police and Queen’s to help address ongoing safety concerns with large street parties in the University District, the University District Safety Initiative is a pilot program targeting high risk and disruptive behaviours.

The new initiative has two basic components:

  • a change to the process for dealing with bylaw tickets issued at large parties, and
  • a change to how the university identifies and refer students for case-based assessment through its student conduct system.

 The impacts of dangerous behaviours at large street parties to health and safety can be serious. The goal of the University District Safety Initiative is to keep everyone in our communities safe and to encourage good citizenship.

Under the new initiative, people who are charged in the University District for certain offences during move-in week, Homecoming weekend and St. Patrick's Day, and any offences under the Nuisance Party Bylaw will be issued a summons to court. Individuals charged will be required to appear before a Justice of the Peace in Kingston, regardless of where they live, and will not have the option to pay their tickets online or by phone. The goal is to ensure that accused persons have to account for their actions in person.

Is this initiative targeting students? Why is the university part of this initiative?

The University District Safety Initiative is not targeting students, but it is targeting the location where the problems exists.

The University recognizes not everyone participating in these events is from our Queen’s community, and the majority of our students do not engage in the types of risky behaviours that are of the greatest concern.

The sheer size these large parties and the impact of so many people in a confined area is a very serious issue that we have worked hard to confront over the years, and it happens on the university’s doorstep. That is why the university is now working in close partnership with the City of Kingston and Kingston Police to address this problem.

As part of the university and broader Kingston communities, Queen’s students are accountable to both.

How does the Student Code of Conduct apply if a student receives a ticket?

If a Queen’s student receive tickets under this initiative, they will be identified and assessed as appropriate through the university’s Student Conduct system. Each case will be looked at individually. Circumstances such as the nature of the violation, behaviour, history of misconduct, and other considerations will be part of the decision-making process of what actions may be appropriate.

Could students be expelled under this initiative?

Suspension or expulsion through this process is highly unlikely. The intent of the university is to promote student safety, community well-being and good citizenship. Each case will be assessed individually and appropriate steps taken. Consequences will be case dependent, appropriate, and progressive if the behaviour is repeated.

Will Queen’s publicize the names of the students who are brought into the university’s process?

Names of students who are part of our misconduct process will NOT be publicized. It is a confidential process.

What does case-based mean? Why aren’t the consequences the same for all students in every case for the same infraction?

Case-based means we will look at each person individually to determine what actions are most appropriate depending on the situation. Circumstances such as the nature of the violation, behaviour, history of misconduct, and other considerations will be part of the decision-making process of what actions may be appropriate that may be applied.

Could a student’s future employability be impacted if they receive a summons through this process?

The University is not involved in the court side of this initiative – but no one would normally receive a criminal record based solely on receiving a summons or fine described under this initiative.

When Queen’s students receive tickets under this initiative, they will be identified and assessed as appropriate through the university’s student conduct system. If a student is in our misconduct process, it is confidential, no names are published.

Nevertheless, students are responsible for their own behaviour and should think twice about engaging in any behaviour that could impact their future.

Will alumni attending Homecoming be impacted by this safety initiative?

If an alum receives a ticket at one of these parties, they will face the same requirement to appear in court as anyone else.

What are other communities/universities doing to address this same problem?

Some cities have instituted nuisance party bylaws similar to Kingston, and some universities have undertaken education/prevention strategies similar to ones at Queen’s, but this specific approach has not been tried in other areas.  Queen’s will also maintain and advance other strategies around education and awareness, plan alternate events and continue to work with our community partners.

When does the initiative start?

The initiative will be implemented in September. Over the summer, the university, including the Department of Alumni Relations, will continue to consult with the AMS on the implementation.

More information: City of Kingston bylaws