Residence Community Standards
***Please note that this section is currently under review for the 2017-2018 academic year.***
Rights & Responsibilities in Residence
Role of the Residence Don in Addressing Community Standards
Residence Dons are student staff members who are responsible for the development of a community based on mutual respect. Dons play an active role in policy enforcement within the residence buildings in an effort to ensure that community members adhere to the Code of Student Rights & Responsibilities (CSRR) and the Residence Community Standards (RCS). Faced with a complaint and/or incident, Dons will address the behaviour in the moment and try to deal with the immediate issues. Any behaviour which may be considered prohibited by the RCS or the CSRR will result in the situation being documented and an incident report being submitted to the RLC. Residence Dons are expected to follow up with the students named in an incident report within 48 hours to discuss the incident, the student’s perspective on the incident, encourage reflection and learning, and discuss potential remedies. If the incident is deemed to be Level 1, the student has accepted some responsibility and is open to working with the Don on a remedy, the Don, in consultation with the RLC, will administer the appropriate sanctions/outcomes.
Process for Dealing with a Breach of Community Standards
Many disputes can be resolved by using simple, polite requests for a change in behaviour to encourage appropriate conduct. Students are encouraged to make such informal attempts as a first step. The Dons and other Residence Life Staff may also make similar requests and issue verbal warnings. These will also be documented through the Incident Reporting system as per their job requirements.
If a simple request or warning is insufficient, or inappropriate given the level of offense, an incident report will be submitted and/or a complaint under the CSRR may be initiated. While the Residence Life Staff are required as part of their job to report a breach, any community member may file a complaint alleging a violation of the CSRR and/or the RCS.
In cases where a warning is insufficient either because of the severity of the offense, a pattern of behaviour, or lack of cooperation, and so long as the case does indeed fall into the jurisdiction of the Code, then the following options may be pursued:
- informal resolution options;
- local adjudication (usually your RLC);
- referral to a Peer Review Board (for residence cases only); or
- referral to a University Tribunal.
Typically, and where appropriate, informal resolution options will be explored before the matter is referred to an adjudicative process. The choice of option depends mostly on the Level of Offense, but other factors may also be considered. For example, informal resolution options typically require willingness on the part of all those involved to participate in remedies such as mediation.
Whatever avenue is pursued in resolving the complaint, the Respondent will be provided with an opportunity to tell their side of the story, present their case, and refute any details of the complaint they might deem inaccurate. Please consult the CSRR for more information on your rights in each of these processes.
There are several options for resolving a matter informally. Options may include providing advice, conflict coaching, conciliation, mediation, and restorative justice circles. Within the residence community, according to the criteria outlined in the RCS document, Dons and Residence Life Staff members are empowered to attempt informal resolution before referring a matter to an adjudicative process. If either party does not respond to a notice for an informal resolution meeting, then the matter will normally proceed to adjudication.
When a Local Adjudicator receives a complaint, he or she will initiate an investigation. The Local Adjudicator will gather the facts of the case by meeting separately with the parties, and if necessary, with any relevant Witnesses that have been identified. Normally the Adjudicator will meet first with the Complainant and Witnesses for the Complainant before meeting with the Respondent. The Local Adjudicator will also review relevant policies and any relevant documents and information that are provided. Sanctions that may be considered are outlined in Section 14 of the Code. The Respondent will be given an opportunity to comment on the appropriateness of any sanctions that are within the authority of the Local Adjudicator and which may be applicable to the situation. For cases involving allegations of danger to personal or community safety, the Office of Student Conflict Resolution or a Local Adjudicator may order interim behavioural restrictions.
The Peer Review Board (PRB) is a panel of 3 to 5 student volunteers and provides an opportunity for a balanced airing of the case as presented by the various parties to the hearing. The philosophy of the PRB is to empower student peers to help to define and uphold community standards in the residence context. The role of the PRB is:
- To hear cases, make decisions and either impose or recommend sanctions (see Section 8 of the CSRR) for residence conduct matters.
- To consider the needs and interests of the community in balance with those of the individual(s) involved in any CSRR or Standards violations.
- To conduct hearings in a fair and consistent manner.
- To address behaviour that is inappropriate without making a judgment about the person who breached community standards.
- To address “harm” that has been caused that affects a resident, residents, the residence community and/or the larger York community.
- Where possible, to employ sanctions whose aim is educational not punitive.
- To make decisions in a fair and timely manner.
- To recommend (where appropriate) to the Assistant Director, Residence Life or his/her designate the sanctions of 1) removal from residence, or 2) residence probation.
- To make recommendations regarding residence policies.
Further details about the Peer Review Board and its proceedings can be found here.
If, at any time after receiving a complaint, the Local Adjudicator or Peer Review Board is of the opinion that the nature of the complaint makes resolution by the Local Adjudicator inappropriate, the Local Adjudicator may refer the complaint to be dealt with at a University Tribunal hearing. For additional info on the University Tribunal and the sanctions it may apply please refer to the CSRR at www.yorku.ca/oscr.
The process for addressing violations of the CSRR and/or RCS is informed by Administrative Law. As such, the process for resolving complaints is not based on the criminal court model where the standard of evidence is “beyond a reasonable doubt”, but instead is based on the principle of “balance of probabilities.” This means an adjudicator or board must determine whether the evidence shows that it is more likely than not that the alleged events and/or Code breach(es) occurred.
At this level are forms of behaviour that diminish the civility and academic ambiance of residence space. Level 1 behaviour will result in a follow-up meeting with a Residence Don, Residence Life Coordinator (RLC), who is a LA, or the PRB if deemed necessary. See document titled Role of the Residence Don in Addressing Community Standards on a subsequent page in this section which outlines the Residence Don’s responsibility in the case of a Level 1 incident. In accordance with Section 14 of the CSRR, sanctions for behaviour at this level may include:
- educative requirements such as community service, reflective essay, or research on a specified topic;
- refundable fine of up to $500;
- restrictions on behaviour;
- fines up to $250;
- full restitution for damage up to $500;
- loss of non-essential services 1 (e.g. guest privileges).
1In the CSRR, “non-essential services” is defined as services that are not essential to the completion of academic requirements. Recommendations and Agreements Decision-makers may also make recommendations and/or acknowledge agreements coming from a party or parties to the complaint. For example:
- Refer parties to counselling services and other potential sources of support such as financial aid;
- Recommend participation in a conflict resolution or a restorative justice circle process;
- Recommend or assist with the preparation of an apology or statement of regret to a harmed party or to a symbolic representative of a community on campus (e.g. team, classmates, Assistant Director, Residence Life) according to specified guidelines and with the agreement of the Respondent.
TYPE OF PROHIBITED BEHAVIOUR DESCRIPTION - LEVEL 1
- Possession of open alcohol and/or alcohol in a breakable container in public areas within the residence (e.g., stairwells, hallways, washrooms, and elevators). Alcohol may be consumed in designated common areas from single serve plastic containers or aluminum cans.
- Possession or consumption of alcohol by persons under 19 years of age and/or supplying alcohol to anyone under the age of 19.
- Housing pets, including fish, in residence on a temporary or permanent basis (service animals registered with Housing are exempted).
BUILDING ALTERATIONS & DAMAGE
- Removing residence property including furniture and window coverings
- Bringing own beds in without written permission from Housing Services at York
- Storing personal belongings outside of your residence room (such as bicycles, boots, garbage, materials for recycling)
- Removing screens from windows and/or tampering with window mechanisms
- Painting or damaging the walls
- Compromising health and safety by failing to keep one’s room/suite reasonably clean. Students may be given an opportunity to address cleanliness issues and, failure to make a marked improvement, may result in follow up through a Level 2 violation.
- Potentially destructive activities that may damage the facilities and pose risks to residents moving through the building (e.g., sports in the hallway)
- Blocking Fire Routes
- Failure to remove oneself from a situation that is contrary to community standards (i.e. joining in or passively condoning another person’s disruptive behaviour)
DYE & PAINT
- Entering and/or using paint or dye in a residence building that results in damages and/or requires additional cleaning.
FAILURE TO COOPERATE
- Failure to comply with the instructions or request of any residence staff member, Campus Security, and/or any other University official, including the failure to present student identification card upon request.
- Posting flammable materials on room doors or on surfaces other than authorized bulletin boards
- Use of cooking appliances in a residence bedroom or non-designated area of a suite. Cooking appliances (kettles, rice cookers, microwaves, hot plates, etc.) may only be used in a designated kitchen space
- Failure to sign in guest or abide by the Guest/Escort Policy
- Guest conduct that violates any Level 1 offence (the host resident will be held accountable)
- Failure to report lost/stolen keys to Housing/Security
- Failure to return keys upon move out
- Repeated incidents of lost/forgotten/stolen keys
- Failure to maintain a level of noise that respects others in the residence community and their ability to study, sleep or otherwise enjoy the residence environment
- Failure to comply with quiet hours
- Using sub-woofers or amplifiers including computer speakers that have built-in sub-woofers.
- Using musical instruments in rooms and other non-designated areas.
- Posting unapproved or inappropriate material in plain view or in public areas (e.g. bulletin boards, doors)
- Damaging or removing approved signs and/or posters
- Smoking of any substance within 9 meters of any residence building and/or in non-designated smoking areas
- Displaying drug paraphernalia (e.g., bongs, pipes) in residence in view of public/common spaces (i.e. hallways, common rooms, from windows, etc.)
- All forms of soliciting or canvassing in residence without prior approval from the RLC. See http://studenthousing.info.yorku.ca/undergrad/agreement/ for more information on this
- Operating a private business or outside organization in residence
At this level are actions that have a significant negative impact on other individuals within residence; actions that endanger the safety and security of oneself or others in residence; actions that undermine the dignity of another individual; or actions that result in damage to University property. Level 2 Prohibited Behaviour will usually result in a follow up meeting with a RLC, other LA, or the PRB. Some cases may be referred to the University Tribunal. Sanctions for this level may include: Any sanctions, recommendations, or agreements listed in Level 1 plus:
- relocation to other University housing; or
- residence suspension (up to five days).
TYPE OF PROHIBITED BEHAVIOUR DESCRIPTION – LEVEL 2
- Possessing or consuming alcohol from containers classified as a keg and/or containers that are 1.75 L (60oz.) or larger.
- Participating in a game and/or activity that promotes the consumption or overconsumption of alcohol. This may result in a risk to the individual, community and/or is disruptive to the community.
BUILDING ALTERATIONS & DAMAGE
- Relocating residence furniture in a manner that is unsafe (e.g. placing beds under shelves or raising beds).
- Vandalism and/or damage to University property including all forms of graffiti.- Vandalism and/or damage to residents’ personal property. Damage to elevators.
- Destructive activities that cause damage to the facilities and pose risks to residents moving through the building (e.g., sports in the hallway).- Fraudulent reporting (e.g. unfounded complaints).
- Unauthorized possession of another resident’s property.- Displaying or making viewable pornographic material from common areas (e.g., hallways, common rooms, and from windows).
FAILURE TO COOPERATE
- Failure to comply with the instructions or requests of University personnel including Residence Life Staff and/or responding in a belligerent manner.
- Failure to provide proper identification to University personnel upon request.
- Knowingly providing false testimony or otherwise hindering the work of a Local Adjudicator and/or the Peer Review Board.
FIRE AND LIFE SAFETY
- Discharging, operating, disconnecting, or otherwise tampering with fire alarms, smoke detectors, or any fire prevention or detection equipment for any purpose other than the control of a fire.
- Failure to evacuate during a fire alarm.- Entering a residence building after a fire alarm before authorization is given.
- Any willful or negligent act that results in the activation of a fire alarm or a fire being ignited (including use of cooking appliances, smoking, use of smoke machines, etc.).
- Lighting candles, incense, and/or burning any substance in residence.
- Using hazardous materials and/or failing to follow directions for use of cleaning supplies (e.g., oven cleaner in suites).
- Propping open fire and/or external doors.
- Using non-CSA approved electrical appliances in residence.
- Participating in and/or running an illegal gaming or gambling operation.
- Guest conduct that violates any Level 2 offence (the host resident will be held accountable).
- Hosting a guest while guest privileges are restricted.
- Harassment, bullying, gossip, and/or slander that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome. This includes, but is not limited to, use of white boards, via social media, and texting.
- Possessing and/or using illegal drugs, any nonprescription narcotic, and/or the use of prescription medication for purposes other than those for which they were prescribed.
- Loaning keys or any practice that jeopardizes the safety of the community.
- Initiating, participating in, or encouraging raids and/or pranks that are destructive, harmful, malicious, and/or offensive to residents and/or staff.
PROGRESSION OF OFFENCES
- Responsible for three or more Level 1 violations. A single incident involving multiple Level 1 violations may, likewise, be treated as a Level 2 offence.
- Accessing restricted areas (i.e. residence roof, restricted floors, mechanical rooms, tunnels, etc.).
- Smoking and/or burning of any substance by any means within residence.
- Throwing and/or dropping material from residence buildings, windows, and balconies.
- Entering a room/suite/building, other than one’s own, or disturbing another resident’s property without specific permission.
Level 3 behaviours are (a) serious breaches of the standard of conduct that are not expressly described under Level 1 or Level 2, (b) egregious examples of behaviour that, if it were less serious, could be assessed as Level 1 or 2, and (3) behaviours that constitute a cumulative series of breaches at any level. A Level 3 incident will sometimes be handled by PRB or LA but because of the seriousness of the behaviour, Level 3 cases may be referred directly for hearing by the University Tribunal. Sanctions for this level, adjudicated by the PRB or LA, may include: Any sanctions, recommendations, or agreements from Level 1 and 2 plus:
- Denial or loss of Residence Eligibility.
Cases at this Level may be referred to the University Tribunal and the following sanctions (in addition to those previously listed for use by the LA or PRB) may be considered:
- fines up to $1000;
- campus restrictions;
- full restitution;
- suspension; or
TYPE OF PROHIBITED BEHAVIOURDESCRIPTION – LEVEL 3
- Fraudulent reporting (i.e. Bomb or fire threats, unfounded complaints)
FIRE AND LIFE SAFETY
- Any malicious pull of fire alarms, or negligent or reckless act that results in the activation of a fire alarm.
- Harassment, bullying, gossip, and slander that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome. This includes, but is not limited to, use of white boards, via social media, texting, etc.
- Possessing large quantities, trafficking or intent to traffic, distributing, and/or manufacturing illegal drugs, any nonprescription narcotic, and/or any prescription drugs.
- Inappropriate or disruptive conduct including behaviour that may be discriminating, harassing, or retaliatory in nature and that has a significant negative impact on an individual or community.
PROGRESSION OF OFFENCES
- Responsible for two or more Level 2 violations. A single incident involving multiple Level 1 and/or Level 2 violations may be treated as a Level 3 offence.
- Theft of University property or another resident’s property of an amount of $500 or more.
- Any action that results in personal injury or trauma.- Acts of aggression and/or assault – physical, mental, and/or sexual.- Uttering threats of harm to physical and mental wellbeing.
- Possessing any kind of weapon, or facsimile of a weapon, in residence (e.g. guns, swords, knives including hunting/fishing knives, BB guns, paint-ball guns, bows & arrows, explosives, fireworks, mock weapons, including any for theatre or film use).
Guests in Residence
All hosts must remain with their guests at all times when inside the residence building. During Night Porter hours, all guests must be signed in at the Night Porter Station and have proper government photo identification or York photo identification. Ensuring that all guests are signed in and all have appropriate photo identification helps ensure that all community members and guests are safe within residence and, in cases of emergency, can easily be identified. All guests are expected to be made aware of and follow the Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities (CSRR) and Residence Community Standards (RCS). The host is accountable for their guest’s behavior under both of these documents. During Orientation Week, residents are allowed to sign-in 1 York student as a guest. Following Orientation Week, residents are allowed to sign-in a maximum of 3 guests at a time, with 2 being allowed to stay overnight. Please note that during the exam period the guest policy is adjusted to help minimize distractions and create an environment that is conducive to studying for final exams. Each resident will be permitted to sign in 1 guest during this time. If a resident wishes to host a study group, they must speak with their RLC at least 24 hours in advance to see if arrangements can be made (http://reslife.scld.yorku.ca/contact-us/). Failure to uphold the Guest/Escort Policy will result in the host being held accountable through the CSRR and RCS and may result in the loss of guest privileges. Should the guest be a York University Residence Student, they will also be held accountable under the CSRR and RCS and may also lose guest/visiting privileges. Should the guest be a York University student, they will be held accountable under the CSRR and may lose visiting privileges.
Noise & Quiet Hour Policy
The Residence “noise & quiet hour” policy is in place to maintain an atmosphere conducive to study, sleep, and success. Respecting each other’s rights to sleep and study free from undue interference or distraction takes precedence over individuals’ rights to entertain themselves or their guests. All residents and guests are expected to observe “quiet hours” by keeping noise to a minimum, 11pm to 8:00am Sunday - Thursday and 1:00am - 8:00am Friday - Saturday. Quiet hours are set in accordance with City of Toronto by-laws and are not negotiable. Students involved in noise disruptions during quiet hours can expect to be held accountable under the Code of Student Rights & Responsibilities (CSRR) and/or Residence Community Standards (RCS) and may, as a result, face sanctions. Outside of quiet hours, residents must keep noise to a courteous level. Failure to do so may also result in students being held accountable under the CSRR and/or RCS. Please be cooperative when you are asked to reduce your noise or observe “quiet hours.” Residence is a compact community where noise travels easily so it is important to minimize your impact on others around you. During exam time, extended “quiet hours” are in place for 22 hours of the day with “courtesy hours” from 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm daily.
An acceptable level of noise is one that will not impact those around you. This will vary depending on the time of day. For example, a conversation in the hallway with a neighbour may be considered acceptable at 2 pm but would be unacceptable at 2 am. Use good judgment in determining how your actions relate to those around you or even ask your neighbours about your noise level. Being a courteous neighbour can make your residence community an even more positive place and experience for everyone. Here are some tips to ensure that you are following the residence noise policy and acting in a way that is respecting those around you.
- Stereos, televisions, radios, computers, and other sound equipment must be used at a volume not audible in the hallway with the door closed. Headphones/earphones are recommended at all times and must be used at the request of the Don.
- Subwoofers, amplifiers, bass bins, etc. for electronic equipment are strictly prohibited. If your computer speakers require a subwoofer to be plugged in, please turn off the bass while using the speakers or your computer.
- Playing loud bass at any time is strictly prohibited. Bass carries well through the building and can be very disruptive to other residents.
- Excessive noise directed outside at any time, including speakers in windows and shouting out of windows, is strictly prohibited.
- Talking loudly or arguing in your room/suite/hallway or on the House Phone, bouncing or banging objects on the floor and/or walls, or scraping furniture across the floor may be disruptive for your neighbours.
- During quiet hours, ambient noise is reduced. After the start of quiet hours, please turn your volume down and lower your voice so that it is no longer audible in the hallway or in any adjoining rooms. Likewise, when in the hallways or common areas, please reduce your volume so that it is not audible from inside of rooms/suites.