McMaster University

McMaster University

Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities


McMaster is a community dedicated to providing a safe and secure environment in which all community members conduct themselves in a manner that respects community members’ rights, upholds their responsibilities as a member of the community and promotes the educational goals of the University.

Outline of the rights and responsibilities of McMaster students

Review the full Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities (PDF)

Student Rights in the Conduct Process

Outline of the rights and responsibilities of McMaster students:

All students have the right to:

  1. protection under the laws of the land and this Code;
  2. fair procedures and process under this Code;
  3. participate unhindered in their academic pursuits which includes the opportunity to participate in respectful dialogue that examines diverse views and ideas;
  4. live and work in an environment free from harassment, intimidation, discrimination or assault; and
  5. have their personal privacy respected by other students, to the extent possible;

All students are responsible for:

  1. obeying all the laws of the land and being acquainted with the relevant policies, procedures and rules of the University as they apply to their specific role(s) within the University;
  2. treating others in a way that does not harm them physically and/or threaten or intimidate them emotionally or mentally;
  3. supporting the ethical environment on campus through civility, honesty, respect and through valuing the inherent diversity of our community;
  4. consuming legal substances in a safe and responsible manner; and
  5. complying with any disciplinary measures assigned under this Code, and respecting the authority of University officials in the course of their duties;

Violations of the Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities, include but are not limited to:

    Personal or University Property

  1. vandalising, stealing, or being in possession of property that is not one’s own e.g. intellectual property, digital files, property of the university and personal property, etc.;
  2. Safety of Oneself and the Community

  3. failing to comply with fire safety regulations, e.g. setting unauthorized fires, tampering with fire and emergency equipment, failing to exit a building during an alarm, etc.;
  4. possessing, storing, or using a hazardous material, explosive substance or weapon, including any item that can be reasonably be perceived to be a weapon by others e.g. replica guns, air soft guns, etc.;
  5. engaging in physical actions which are threatening, physically abusive and/or compromise the safety and security of any individual and/or group;
  6. engaging in verbal or non-verbal behaviour or communication toward any individual or group that may be perceived to be intimidating, degrading, harassing and/or discriminatory, and in a manner that exceeds the bounds of freedom of expression;
  7. Community Standards

  8. failing to cooperate with Special Constables, or a University official who is performing their duties under this Code, e.g. including furnishing false information, etc.;
  9. assisting with or conspiring in any conduct that violates this Code;
  10. trespassing and/or fraudulently gaining, or attempting to gain entry to University property;
  11. engaging in disruptive behaviour in or out of class e.g. making excessive noise at any time of the day, causing a disturbance in class, or interrupting the daily functions of the University;
  12. sharing the private information of any individual without consent;
  13. fraud of any kind, including misusing University issued keys or identification, passwords, meal cards;
  14. publically displaying and/or making pornography material anywhere on University campus;
  15. smoking in non-designated areas according to the Smoking in the Workplace/Public Areas Program;
  16. failing to adhere to their responsibilities and expectations as identified in Section II: Rights, Responsibilities, and Expectations;
  17. breaching any contract under this Code that outlines specific parameters for a student’s behaviour (e.g. behavioural contract, probation) and/or failing to complete an educational outcome or sanction on time;
  18. Legal and Illegal Substances

  19. possessing, consuming, trafficking or being under the influence of any illegal substance;
  20. possessing or consuming alcohol when under 19 years of age, or distributing alcohol to those under 19 years of age;
  21. consuming or being intoxicated by any legal controlled substance, in a public space regardless of age.

When the expectations in the Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities are not upheld, students will meet with a Student Conduct Officer (SCO). The SCO reviews the facts of the situation and determines how the process will proceed.

Often, cases are resolved through a meeting with the SCO, however; if a situation cannot be resolved in this meeting, a decision regarding the outcomes of the situation, will be made at a more formal meeting. More information about the procedures in the Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities can be found in Section IV: Procedures.

Student Rights in the Conduct Process

If you have been in a situation where a meeting with the Student Conduct Officer (SCO) is required, you have the following rights:

  • Right to Notice – You have the right to know about the meeting and why a meeting is being scheduled. You will be contacted to set-up a meeting with the SCO in which you will be informed of the date, time and location of the meeting. 
  • Right to Know – You have a right to know what information has been provided about you and the situation. In the meeting with the SCO they are to share the information that they have received in regards to the allegations made about you and your perceived involvement in a situation.
  • Right to Be Heard – You have the right to share your perspective. The meeting with the SCO provides you the opportunity to share your perspective and ask questions.
  • Right to Appeal – If you disagree with the findings and/or outcomes from the meeting, you have the right to appeal the finding and/or outcomes.  Information about appeal procedures can be found in Appendix D: Appeals in the Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities.

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