Students at Risk
In addition to dealing with student misconduct, the University has the right and responsibility to address the conduct of a student-at-risk in order to protect that student and/or other members of the University or local community from any threat posed by their conduct, whether or not misconduct under this Code has occurred. The University must seek to balance the rights of the student-at-risk and the rights of other members of the University community when governing the conduct of the student-at-risk.
“Student-at-risk” refers to any student whose physical or mental state is such that they may be or have become a threat to themselves, others, the educational process, or the Brock community in general. This state may or may not involve allegations of misconduct by the student.
Student-at-Risk – Threat Assessment: There are three levels of threat a student-at-risk may pose to her/himself or others. A Level 1 threat means that there is no clear, immediate threat at present and no known occurrence of misconduct, but the conduct of the student-at-risk creates a reasonable fear/concern that a threat may exist in the future and/or misconduct is likely to occur. A Level 2 threat means that there is no clear, immediate threat at present but misconduct has occurred and the conduct of the student-at-risk creates a reasonable fear/concern that a threat continues to exist and further misconduct is likely to occur. A Level 3 threat means that there is a clear, immediate threat at present, which triggers the University’s duty to warn and to take action to protect the student-at-risk and/or others.
Student-at-Risk Case Team: A Student-at-Risk Case Team will be used to provide a coordinated response and support to the student-at-risk. Protocol for dealing with students-at-risk may differ depending on the level of threat posed by the student-at-risk, and is set out in the Process and Procedures for Responding to Students at Risk, as set out below. In addition, the Student-at-Risk Case Team will meet on a regular basis as a working group on campus to support each other and to continue to develop and deliver a coordinated response to the issue of students-at-risk at Brock University.
Addressing the conduct of a student-at-risk can pose unique challenges to the University where that student has a mental or physical disability that is contributing to the “at-risk” behaviour. The University acknowledges that it has a duty to accommodate a student with a disability, in accordance with provincial law and University policy. Accommodation of students with disabilities should be made in accordance with the following principles: respect for dignity, individualized accommodation, and inclusion and full participation. The University has a duty to accommodate up to the point of undue hardship. The Ontario Human Rights Commission sets out three considerations in assessing whether an accommodation would cause undue hardship: (i) cost, (ii) outside sources of funding, if any, and (iii) health and safety requirements, if any. It further states that “health and safety risks will amount to undue hardship if the degree of risk that remains after the accommodation has been made outweigh the benefits of enhancing equality for persons with disabilities”. In some circumstances, the level of care and accommodation required may exceed the resources or staffing capabilities of the University and/or may be beyond the standard of care that Student Health Services, Services for Students with Disabilities, and Personal Counselling can provide or monitor. The student has a corresponding responsibility to make full disclosure of their disability and to cooperate with the University in making appropriate accommodation for them, including advising University officials of the need for accommodation, cooperating with University officials in the accommodation process, and providing medical or other requested information relating to the disability and the required accommodation.
ENCOUNTER / INITIAL RESPONSE
The following is a formalization of networks and procedures to deal with students who are exhibiting behaviours which may be harmful and/or threatening to others/themselves and may/may not be responsible for breaches of the Code of Conduct. Please note that this is an outline, and that each situation is different and will be dealt with on a case by case basis.
If a faculty/staff member is not sure if the student in question qualifies as “At Risk” after reviewing the definitions below, the matter should be discussed with the Manager, Student Rights & Responsibilities at ext. 4041 to decide upon appropriate courses of action in accordance with these protocols.
Upon identification of a student-at-risk where there is no immediate threat (level 1 or 2), the Manager, Student Rights & Responsibilities should be notified ASAP at ext. 4041. This allows for one primary point of contact in the interest of maintaining consistent information. At this point, appropriate courses of action will be established, which may include calling together the Students-at-Risk Case Team. In all cases, the Manager, Student Rights & Responsibilities will be responsible for retaining/maintaining appropriate documentation.
If a faculty/staff member feels as though there is an immediate threat to student and/or campus safety (Level 3 threat), Campus Security Services (CSS) should be notified immediately at ext. 3200. This is the Emergency number and CSS can assist in making the appropriate connections (i.e. Counselling/Health Services) both during and after regular business hours.
Level 1 Threat: If the student’s behaviour is assessed as a Level 1 threat, the Manager, Student Rights & Responsibilities in consultation with the report writer will determine whether consultation with the Student-at-Risk Case Team is required and will determine appropriate outcomes. If consultation with the Student-at-Risk Case Team is required, it will normally meet within five (5) working days to review the case and make recommendations regarding how to proceed. Where consultation is not required, the Manager, Student Rights & Responsibilities will update the Student-at-Risk Case Team at its next regular meeting. Possible outcomes for Level 1 threat behaviour include, but are not limited to: an offer of appropriate support and/or referral, and/or a behaviour contract.
Level 2 Threat: If the student’s behaviour is assessed as a Level 2 threat, the Manager, Student Rights & Responsibilities in consultation with the report writer will determine whether consultation with the Student-at-Risk Case Team is required and/or whether disciplinary procedures will be invoked to deal with the alleged misconduct. If consultation with the Student-at-Risk Case Team is required, it will normally meet within three (3) working days to review the case and make recommendations regarding how to proceed. Where consultation is not required, the Manager, Student Rights & Responsibilities will update the Student-at-Risk Case Team at its next regular meeting. Possible outcomes for Level 2 threat behaviour include, but are not limited to: those outlined under Level 1 and/or referral of the case through the non-academic discipline process in accordance with the Process and Procedures for Addressing Student Misconduct and/or immediate involuntary leave.
Level 3 Threat: If the student’s behaviour is assessed as a Level 3 threat, the Manager, Student Rights & Responsibilities and/or the report writer will first determine whether Interim Conditions and Measures are required to address any immediate threat to the student-at-risk, others or the larger community. Assessment of a Level 3 threat triggers the University’s duty to warn and to take action to protect the student-at-risk and/or others. The University reserves the right to share information regarding the student-at-risk in order to address the immediate threat and the student’s behaviour. The Manager, Student Rights & Responsibilities will then immediately schedule a meeting of the Student-at-Risk Case Team. The Student-at-Risk Case Team will normally meet within two (2) working days to review the case and make recommendations regarding how to proceed. Possible outcomes for Level 3 threat behaviour include but are not limited to: those outlined under Levels 1 and 2, and/or immediate involuntary withdrawal from the University.
The Case Team will determine two decisions:
1. Immediate Risk Management (This is to include but is not limited to the following courses of action)
- Victim Assistance
- Limiting access/conditional usage to University Facilities
- Verbal/Written Contract
- Parental Assistance
- Legal Implications/Criminal Charges
- Media Management/Relations
2. How the alleged breach of the Student Code of Conduct should be heard – either through The Discipline Panel (preferred in most cases) or with the Manager, Student Rights & Responsibilities only (should extenuating circumstances exist).
The student will be notified ASAP of any decisions that would affect their presence on Brock Campus. This should be done in letter form under the signature of the Director of Campus Security Services with a carbon copy being sent to the Manager, Student Rights & Responsibilities and others as needed.
Once an incident report has been submitted (if there is a pending disciplinary hearing), primary contact with the student should be with the Manager, Student Rights & Responsibilities in order provide consistency and accurate tracking. Any involved party that is contacted by the Student should immediately refer them to the Manager, Student Rights & Responsibilities and consult with the Manager, Student Rights & Responsibilities on how to proceed with the communication. TheManager, Student Rights & Responsibilities will notify all departments who may be involved and/or affected by any intervention(s) or action(s) taken.
In accordance with published procedures, the Manager, Student Rights & Responsibilities will decide if any Brock University Staff should be present in any discipline hearing as witnesses and/or for security purposes. The hearing procedures will be as outlined in the Student Code of Conduct. The Manager, Student Rights & Responsibilities will contact the student, as per usual, to view the Incident Report. If needed, a release of information will be obtained if possible for the Manager, Student Rights & Responsibilities to contact any professionals that the student has indicated they are seeing.
Procedures For Students-at-Risk Case Team
The Case Team shall be responsible for making recommendations to all front line staff and administration in the handling of students at risk. The Case Team brings professionals from different backgrounds, all of which are essential in handling students at risk. The team will provide advice and support in reacting, resolving and addressing students at risk issues.
Case Team membership shall consist of the following persons or their Designate:
1. Manager, Student Rights & Responsibilities (Chair)
2. Director of Student Health Services and/or Medical Director
3. Assistant Director of Campus Security
4. Manager of Personal Counselling
5. Representative from the Office of Human Rights and Equity Services
Occasionally, theManager, Student Rights & Responsibilities may invite the following persons (or their Designate) to a Case Team meeting when there is a case that relates to their position within the University:
1. Accessibility Coordinator
2. Manager of Services for Students with Disabilities
3. Representative(s) from the Department of Residences
4. Campus Security Inspectors
5. Student Ombudsperson
6. Student Health Services Staff
7. Academic Dean or Faculty member
8. International Student Services
Students-at-Risk in Brock University Residences:
In circumstances where a student residing in a Brock University Residence is deemed to be a threat to her/himself or other students, the Department of Residences may impose, as an interim measure, an immediate and indefinite suspension from residence. An indefinite suspension requires the student to leave residence until a determination has been made about the next steps for responding. After consultation with the Case Team and/or the Manager, Student Rights & Responsibilities, the Department of Residences will advise the student whether the suspension is lifted or converted to an eviction from residence, along with any special conditions.