The Office of Student Judicial Affairs (OSJA) investigates allegations of misconduct based on the principles of due process and natural justice. Procedures listed on this webpage have been condensed.
Receiving a Complaint
Each complaint received is evaluated on the merits of the specific case, upon which the Office of Student Judicial Affairs (OSJA), or designate, will decide if the case warrants a formal investigation. The Office of Student Judicial Affairs (OSJA) will open a case file when there has been an allegation of policy violation that warrants an investigation or when a student admits responsibility for a policy violation.
In certain cases where there is deemed to be a high or immediate risk to the KPU community, a student(s) may be temporarily suspended pending an investigation. A temporary suspension is a complete separation of a student from the university that helps maintain a safe learning and working environment for the KPU community, until it is determined that the student(s) can return to campus without risk to others or him/herself. A Temporary Suspension is typically given in cases of physical violence/assault. If it is not clearly discernible who is at fault in a physical assault, all parties will be temporarily suspended while investigators gather information as to what transpired. A Temporary Suspension is not a sanction, but an emergency short-term response that provides time for administrators to assess the situation. Temporary Suspensions are not indicated on a student's transcript. The length of a temporary suspension depends on the level of risk of the incident.
In some cases, the misconduct reported to the OSJA may also result in criminal or civil proceedings if initiated by the parties involved. A simultaneous criminal or civil proceeding will not hinder a SJA investigation. The OSJA will proceed with an investigation in accordance with its own policies and procedures.
Please Note: A student judicial affairs process is an administrative process that determines if a Kwantlen policy was violated, what harm was caused, who caused the harm and what needs to be done to repair the harm.
A criminal process is a legal process that determines the guilt or innocence of a violation of the Canadian Criminal Code of Canada. This process is wholly independent of the OSJA.
Opening a Case File
Initial letters to the complainant informing them of the action being taken by the OSJA will be sent to their Kwantlen issued email (as listed in Banner), couriered, or delivered by Canada Post. The letter will include:
- Acknowledgment of complaint;
- The action being taken by the OSJA;
- A request for an interview (if required); and,
- The need for confidentiality.
Complainants will also be given a copy of Preparing for an Investigative Interview document.
Initial letters informing the respondents of the allegations are generally couriered to their primary address as listed in Banner. If the Respondent cannot be reached by courier, it may be necessary to deliver the letter in person while he/she is on KPU campus, or it will be sent via a Kwantlen issued student email, couriered or by Canada Post.
The letter will include the following:
- The allegation(s);
- The identification of who made the allegation;
- The alleged policy violation;
- A request for an investigative interview, how to prepare for it and the consequences for failing to respond by the required date;
- A statement that disciplinary action may result depending on the outcome of the investigation;
- A request to contact the OSJA by a specific date;
- A statement that retaliation (direct or indirect) against the complainant (or any person associated with the incident or its investigation) is expressly prohibited;
- Information on how to contact the KSA Student Advocate; and,
- The requirement for confidentiality.
A copy of the policy allegedly violated and Guidelines for Participation in an Investigative Interview are also included in the letter.
Options for Resolution
The OSJA offers options for resolution in dealing with allegations of misconduct. Those options include an informal administrative process; a formal admnistrative process; and resotrative action. Restorative action will be an option only in cases that all parties, including the Student Judicial Affairs Officer (or designate) agree on resolving the case in this manner. A note on the respondent's conduct file will indicate that he/she participated in a restorative action process, and contain a copy of the accepted resolution agreement.
Options available will be dependent upon the merits of each case.
Investigative interviews are an integral part of the student judicial affairs process. They provide an opportunity for all parties involved in an alleged misconduct or grievance to share their perspectives on what occurred. The information gathered in investigative interviews is essential when considering the totality of the information used in rendering a decision.
The presentation of information and testimony by any party involved in the investigative process shall be conducted in a manner that is courteous to all parties, that is devoid of intimidation and harassment, and that limits discussion to information relevant to the facts and issues of the case.
Students will be required to show picture identification at the beginning of the investigative interview. During the investigative process there may be a necessity for subsequent investigative interviews and respondents will be given the opportunity to have a final hearing to know the information that will be considered in rendering a decision.
A Complainant or Respondent may bring a support person(s) to the investigative interview for moral support only. A support person is not permitted to answer the questions of the investigator. Support persons are not representatives who speak on behalf of the student. The investigator may ask if the support person (s) if s/he has any questions regarding process at the end of the interview.
The Kwantlen Student Association now provides student advocacy for students facing misconduct allegations, whether the allegations are academic or non-academic related. The Student Advocacy Coordinator may assist students in preparing for their investigative interview, help them in understanding Kwantlen policies and procedures, and in understanding the student judicial process. The Student Advocacy Coordinator may also attend investigative interviews and/or hearings at a student's discretion. The Student Advocacy Coordinator may be reached at 604.599.2126 (main) or at email@example.com.
Rendering a Decision
Decisions rendered in response to alleged student misconduct are provided in accordance with the principles of fundamental fairness. An accused student will be given the opportunity to know the allegations against him/her, will be given the opportunity to know who made the allegation(s) and will be given the opportunity to respond. All decisions will be made by an impartial decision maker. Allegations of misconduct will be deemed either substantiated if the information in the case reasonably indicates that it is more likely than not that the misconduct occurred; or, unsubstantiated if the information in the case does not meet the standard of proof of more likely than not to have occurred.
If the allegations are substantiated, factors such as a respondent's present attitude, extenuating circumstances, student conduct history, the nature of the current offence and the severity of the harm caused will be considered in rendering the level of sanctions imposed.
The Office of Student Judicial Affairs adheres to a standard of proof that is a preponderance of the information. For an allegation to be substantiated, it must be shown that it is 'more likely than not' that student misconduct occurred.
All decision letters will be kept in the case file.
Respondents and Complainants will receive a final letter indicating the findings of the case and subsequent sanctions if necessary.
Witnesses who provided information during the investigation will receive a final letter thanking them for their involvement in the investigative process. Final decisions will not be disclosed to witnesses.
All parties involved in an investigative process are required to uphold utmost confidentiality regarding the findings, outcome of the investigation and any other information about the investigation they may be privy to.
In the event a student has been found responsible for a violation of policy a sanction may be imposed. A sanction is a consequence and learning opportunity that a student receives for violating University Policy. Sanctions are designed (where possible) to be self-reflective, educational, engaging (active) and restorative for all parties harmed by an incident of misconduct.
The Office of Student Judicial Affairs is committed to providing students with educational, empowering and restorative opportunities in response to misconduct using the lowest level of meaningful sanctions. Sanctions are considered and given according the merits of each specific case.
Types of Sanctions
There are two types of sanctions: active and inactive. An active sanction requires your active participation (i.e. reflection paper, community service, apology letter, etc.). An inactive sanction is applied to you, and does not require any action on your part (i.e. an Official Warning, an Official Reprimand, a suspension or an expulsion).
The following is a list of common sanctions that a student may receive. This list is not exhaustive; other sanctions may be assigned as deemed appropriate. Students may receive more than one sanction at a time.
- Apology Letter
- Reflection Paper
- Community Service Hours
- Counselling Assessment and Recommendations
- Financial Restitution
- Judicial Hold on Student Account
- Loss of Privilege
- Media/Art Project
- Official Reprimand
- Official Warning
- A Restorative Action Agreement
- Student Conduct Probation
Note: Students will be charged the full replacement cost for any unreturned or damaged resources (eg. books, DVDs, curriculum resources).