Code of Student Rights & Responsibilities

The Code of Student Rights & Responsibilities is the set of identified values that the York University community is expected to uphold. The Code upholds a philosophy and practice that is intended to balance a set of principles: support, accountability and education. The Code was updated in September 2021 to include:

  • use of gender-neutral pronouns for a broader scope of representation;
  • expanded definitions to improve clarity;
  • improvements to procedural fairness guidelines;
  • the addition of York's postering guidelines;
  • the inclusion of language around conduct during off-campus experiential education opportunities and University-related issues/events;
  • COVID-19 vaccination requirements policy process for students; and
  • disruption of academic evaluation (as per Senate Policy on Academic Honesty).

There were also additional updates surrounding complaints, including:

  • an extension to the definition of who can file a complaint;
  • the timeline to amend a complaint;
  • changes regarding safety concerns; and
  • an emphasis on Informal Resolution as the preferred approach to resolve complaints.

The Code of Student Rights & Responsibilities is available in English (HTML, PDF) and French (HTML, PDF). We recommend that all York community members familiarize themselves with the Code.

Summary of the Process

Non-academic student conduct falls under the jurisdiction of the Code of Student Rights & Responsibilities. All students and student groups/governments are expected to conduct themselves in a way that promotes an atmosphere of civility, diversity, equity and respect in their interactions with others. Behaviour that is inconsistent with these values may be held accountable through the CSRR. It is the responsibility of Local Adjudicators and the University Tribunal to make decisions with regard to breaches of community values.

Filing a Complaint

Any student, staff or faculty member (a Complainant) may file a complaint under the CSRR, alleging a breach of community standards by a student. See the Code of Student Rights & Responsibilities.

All Complaints must be filed with the Office of Student Community Relations with designated Residence Life Staff members within the residence system.

All Complaints must be in writing with the Complainant's name attached to it; a residence incident report or a security report may constitute a complaint. Anonymous Complaints will not be taken forward.

The Complaint must be filed within thirty (30) business days of the alleged violation of the CSRR unless the decision-maker (e.g. Local Adjudicator) upon first addressing the Complaint, considers it reasonable to extend that time limit.

Complaint Form

Overview of Process

Filed by affected Student, Staff or Faculty Member online using the Complaint Form.
Office of Student Community Relations
Attempts Early/Informal Resolution (when appropriate) Refers the Complaint to a Local Adjudicator or University Tribunal
Local Adjudicator
Assesses whether Complaint should be dismissed, investigated, informally resolved or referred to the University Tribunal.
Local Adjudicator Hearing
Meets with Complainant and Respondent, gathers information, makes a decision of responsibility and assigns sanction(s) where necessary.
University Tribunal Hearing
Responsible for hearings both parties, make a decision of responsibility and assign sanction(s) where necessary.
Request for a University Tribunal
Hearing University Tribunal Hearing held if request is granted on appropriate grounds.
Appeal hearing held if appropriate grounds are demonstrated.

Local Adjudicator Decision-Making

When a Local Adjudicator receives a complaint, he or she will initiate an investigation. The Local Adjudicator may find the case is appropriate for informal resolution and, as a result, may invoke that process. He or she may also refer the matter to an alternative person, process or University Tribunal.

If a Local Adjudicator determines that there has been a breach of the this CSRR, then sanctions may be imposed. The Local Adjudicator will issue a written decision stating the reasons for the decision within 10 business days from the date on which the Respondent is advised of the decision.

The written decision, including the reasons for the decision, of the Local Adjudicator will be provided to the Respondent and will be filed with the Office of Student Community Relations. The Complainant may also be informed of the decision of the Local Adjudicator.

Request for a University Tribunal Hearing Following a Local Adjudicator or Peer Review Board’s Decision

Following a decision of a Local Adjudicator or Peer Review Board, a Respondent may request a hearing or a review of the decision or imposed sanctions before the University Tribunal on certain grounds. These grounds are outlined in Section 10 of the CSRR. The request must include detailed reasons and be in writing delivered to the Director, Office of Student Community Relations, within 10 business days after the date on which the Local Adjudicator's written decision was issued.


University Tribunal Hearing

Members of the University Tribunal (UT) are students, faculty, and staff volunteers appointed by the Vice-Provost Students upon recommendation by a selection committee comprising University Tribunal members, one of whom will be a student. Each UT;Hearing panel will be comprised of three persons, one of whom must be a student. They will elect a Chair for the proceedings. A University Tribunal Hearing may be called:

  • If the case falls into the CSRR’s jurisdiction, then OSCR may refer the complaint to a University Tribunal
  • If the Local Adjudicator feels it necessary to refer the Complaint to the University Tribunal level.

Tribunal hearings provide an opportunity for a balanced airing of facts. The hearings are held in “private”. The UT Hearing panel is not bound to observe strict legal procedures, but in order to ensure that its procedures are as fair as possible in the context of University circumstances and traditions it shall comply with the procedural guidelines outlined in Section 11 of the CSRR. For quick reference, review the information sheets

Appealing the Tribunal's Decision

  • Requests for appeals can be made by Respondents or the University.
  • Appeals must be sent in writing to the Director, Student Relations, Office of Student Community Relations within 10 business days of the original written decision.
  • Appellants may find it useful to use an APPEAL REQUEST FORM (PDF).