Non-Academic Misconduct on the rise

By Adriana Hunstad

In 2001-2002, there were 12 instances of Non-Academic Misconduct resulting in probation–triple that of the previous year. The General Faculties Council’s ad hoc Review Committee for Non-Academic Misconduct reported that the highest rates of misconduct were in the Graduate Studies and Communication and Culture faculties with three each.

Students’ Union Vice-President Academic Rosie Nagra explained the high numbers in those faculties are a result of the higher number of students entered in Communication and Culture prior to direct entry, while Graduate Studies encompasses all faculties.

“Since September 11, the general attitude on campus is that certain acts won’t be tolerated,” said Nagra. “There is less leniency now. People are more vigilant of what’s going on and taking a stance.”

Each time a student commits Non-Academic Misconduct, the dean of their faculty or related course immediately reviews it.

Non-Academic Misconduct is defined by the university as: “conduct which causes injury to a person and/or damage to university property… the unauthorized removal and/or possession of university property, and conduct which seriously disturbs the lawful educational and related activities of other students/staff.”

Students accused of Non-Academic Misconduct have the option for a one-time appeal.

The SU Student Rights Advisor has seen more students over the year, as they want to be fully aware of their rights, according to Nagra.

Each review is held in strict confidence, with the penalty known only by only the dean, members of the committee and the student. At each hearing, there are at least three members: a chair member, plus a student and faculty representative. Temporary suspension is the usual course of action.

“There are not many cases of expulsion from University of Calgary,” said Nagra. “Generally students are suspended for a certain time.”

Suspensions only remain on a student’s record until graduation; but expulsion remains permanently.

Currently, the committee is composed of 20 members: 13 faculty member representatives; four Students’ Legislative Council representatives; and three Graduate Studies Association representatives. However, because of the increased number of hearings, they will be adding ten more positions.