1. Student Rights and Responsibilities at Carleton
    1. Student Rights and Responsibilities
    2. Responding to Complaints
    3. Appeals
    4. Sanctions
    5. Resources
    6. FAQs

Student Rights and Responsibilities at Carleton

Carleton University strives to provide a safe environment conducive to personal and intellectual growth, free of injustice and characterized by understanding respect, peace, trust, and fairness.

The Student Rights and Responsibilities Policy (PDF, 1MB) governs the non-academic behaviour of students. Carleton University is committed to building a campus that promotes personal growth through the establishment and promotion of transparent and fair academic and non-academic responsibilities.

Student Rights and Responsibilities

The 7 student rights and responsibilities are listed below and represent essential components of an environment conducive to personal and academic growth.

Graphic listing the Student Rights and Responsibilities as follows: Participation in University and Student Associations, Freedom of Discussion, Assembly, Confidentiality, Right to Fair Process and Natural Justice, Individual responsibility and accountability, and Right to Representation.

In exercising these rights, the University expects that community members act with a high level ofresponsibility in order to preserve a safe, respectful and inclusive academic environment and promotes thesafety and well-being for the community, on and off campus. The Office of Student Affairs provides assistance to members of the community when there is conflict between the exercise of the above rights and the responsibility of all students to act with respect for others safety and wellbeing.

The responsibilities that students are expected to demonstrate are listed in the policy and are as follows:

Responding to Complaints

Concerns regarding the Rights and Responsibilities can be reported directly to Student Affairs or are referred for follow up from Campus Safety Services. The Manager, Student Conduct & Harm Reduction receives, reviews, and adjudicates allegations of misconduct under the Student Rights and Responsibilities (SRR) Policy. The Decision Process flow chart shown below is followed when there is a potential violation of the Policy.

Step 1: Confer reported to OSA. Step 2 - OSA meets with Respondent to determine if a violation has occurred. Step 3 - Respondent receives Outcome Letter with assigned Sanctions. Step 4 - Respondent may appeal to the AVP Student Affairs. Step 5 - Appellant notified of outcome within 10 working days.

Meeting Notice

If the Manager believes there may have been a breach of the SRR they will send a Meeting Notice to the involved parties requiring them to meet to discuss the matter further. The Meeting Notice will provide a summary of the incident and which sections of the SRR are involved. The intent of the meeting is to discuss the incident and provide an opportunity to present additional information to be considered by the Manager in reaching a decision. It is also an opportunity for those who have breached the policy to demonstrate accountability and participate in a discussion about appropriate educational outcomes. Should a student refuse or fail to attend the meeting as scheduled without appropriate notice or justification, the Manager will make a decision and issue outcomes based on the information available and without the benefit of the respondent’s input.

Seeking Support

Students are permitted to have a support person accompany them to the meeting however this individual is not permitted to actively participate in the meeting or advocate on the students behalf.  The Ombudsperson can act as a support person and/or provide students with guidance as to the SRR and other university policies


Students may appeal sanction decisions made by the the Manager, Student Conduct & Harm Reduction to the Associate Vice President Student Affairs within 10 calendar days of the original decision.

For more information on Appeals please consult the Student Rights and Responsibilities Policy (PDF, 1MB).

Category 1 offences

These are minor violations. It includes damage to property, facilities, and/or non-compliance with any university rule, regulation or policy. Repeated Category 1 Offences may become Category 2 Offences.

Some examples of Category 1 violations are listed below, for more information consult the Student Rights and Responsibilities Policy (PDF, 1MB).

  • Disruption.
  • Unauthorized Entry/Presence.
  • Damage and Destruction of Property (under $500).
  • Unauthorized Use or Misuse of Facilities, Equipment, Materials or Services.
  • Misuse of Library or Computer Resources.
  • Failure to Comply and/or Identify.
  • Mischief

Category 2 offences

These are major offences. This category includes offences that jeopardize the health safety and/or security of members of the University community.

Some examples of Category 2 violations are listed below, for more information consult the Student Rights and Responsibilities Policy (PDF, 1MB).

  • Verbal/Physical Abuse, Threatening Behaviour and/or Dangerous Activity.
  • Inciting Violence.
  • Harassment and/or Hazing.
  • Damage or Destruction of Property (over $500).
  • Possession, Use or Distribution of False ID.
  • Misconduct Related to the Use of Alcohol/Drugs.
  • Theft or Unauthorized Possession.
  • Abuse or Misuse of Copyright Materials.


A sanction is an outcome or consequence imposed whena student is found in violation of a particular policy. The SRR Policy aims to address violations of misconduct with sanctions that are educational or restorative whenever possible. In most cases, those found responsible for a breach of the policy are able to work collaboratively with Student Affairs staff to determine appropriate and effective outcomes in response to an incident.

Examples of Sanctions

Below are some examples of sanctions that may be used independently or in combination depending on the details of the violation.

  • Written Warnings.
  • Verbal or Written Apologies.
  • Educational Outcomes (workshops, essays, completion of an educational program/service, etc.).
  • Community Engagement Sanctions.
  • Loss of privileges or access to University
  • Restitution for Damages.
  • Imposition of a Behavioural Contract

In exceptional circumstances and/or in response to repeat or escalated concerns, the university may be required to impose a suspension, expulsion, or trespass from University property.


Involvement in the SRR process can be stressful or challenging for both complainants and respondents. Students are encouraged to seek additional support and can find resources and accesses Health and Counseling Services via the Wellness webpage or  Service Navigator

For additional questions about the Student Rights and Responsibilities Policy and process please consult the FAQ (below)  or contact the Manager, Student Conduct & Harm Reduction, Dillon Brady at dillonbrady@cunet.carleton.ca.

For support in relation to questions or concerns regarding University policies or processes you can contact the University Ombuds at Ombuds@carleton.ca or visit their website.