SECTION 9: Inappropriate and Disruptive Student Behaviour
1.0 Reason for Policy
In the event of a student or students exhibiting inappropriate or disruptive behaviour, the following policy can be implemented.
2.0 Policy Statement
Although this policy is directed to dealing with students who exhibit inappropriate or disruptive behaviour, there are some general statements which should be made:
2.1.1 The vast majority of students will complete their academic life at the University acting appropriately and without causing disruptions to their fellow students or to the University. This policy is not directed towards individual students who have a mental illness, provided their behaviour is neither inappropriate nor disruptive.
A staff member may notice that an individual student is exhibiting debilitating stress, even though he/she is not acting disruptively. In that case, the observation should be addressed with the student and, if appropriate, the student should be referred for voluntary counselling.
2.1.2 “In appropriate or disruptive behaviour is behaviour which persistently interferes with the academic or administrative activities of the University (and/or) which inhibits the ability of other students to learn and of instructors to teach.” – Amanda, G. “Dealing with the Disruptive College Student: Some Theoretical and Practical Consideration”, College Health, April 1986.
Such behaviours would include but would not be limited to the following:
a) threats to the physical safety of the individuals or others;
b) verbal threats to or abuse of students or University personnel;
c) recurring and wilful damage of University property;
d) inappropriate or disruptive behaviour as a result of misuse of drugs or alcohol on University property; and
e) actions which habitually interfere with the learning environment or requires the inordinate time and attention of faulty and staff.
2.1.3 Where the individual students act inappropriately or disruptively:
a) The majority of such students will accept personal responsibility for their inappropriate or disruptive behaviour, and will accept appropriate referral for voluntary counselling. For the most part, staff members need only use the “Normal Procedure for Dealing with Inappropriate or Disruptive Behaviour” set out below.
b) Information and input received from professionals in the mental health field and professional practitioners at the University would suggest that the numbers of such students who do not accept personal responsibility or appropriate voluntary counselling are small. Where a student to whom this policy should apply identified by a staff member, he/she will use part 2 of the “Normal Procedure”; and if appropriate in more extreme cases involving physical or mental harm, he/she should use the “Procedure for More Extreme Behaviour”.
c) Where an officer(s) of the University believes that a student is inappropriately involving more than one of the various service and administration offices of the University, he/she shall request the Vice-Provost (Student Affairs) to initiate a staff conference to facilitate communication and problem resolution.
d) Information regarding an acute problem of inappropriate or disruptive behaviour which is disclosed during the student application process, should be referred to the Director of Admissions or the Dean of Graduate Studies as appropriate. If the information is of serious concern to the respective Director of Admissions or the Dean of Graduate Studies, he/she may seek the advice of the University Legal Counsel and may initiate a student conference.
2.2. Normal Procedure for Dealing with Inappropriate Behaviour
When a student acts inappropriately or disruptively, staff members should, where appropriate:
2.2.1 Make timely voluntary counselling referrals through existing support services at the University. Such services include:
Psychological Service Centre,
University Health Services
Faculty (of Medicine) Counselling Services.
2.2.2 Use the existing Student Discipline Bylaw and other policies, rules and regulations where additional action is necessary to deal with inappropriate or disruptive behaviour or students.
2.3 Procedure for More Extreme Behaviour
2.3.1 If a staff member is of the opinion that a student is exhibiting a behaviour of a nature of quality that likely will result in:
a) Serious harm to student,
b) Serious harm to another person, or
c) Substantial deterioration of the student’s health;
The staff member shall, in addition to using the “Normal Procedure”, immediately refer the matter to his/her respective Dean, Director, or Administrative Unit Head.
2.3.2 If the respective Dean, Director, or Administrative Unit Head is of the same opinion, he/she shall:
a) Advise the student to seek professional help; and
b) Contact the Director of University Health Services if the student refuses to voluntarily seek professional help. The Director of University Health Services or designate shall follow mental health legislation and regulations when determining whether or not involuntary psychiatric assessment is advisable.
c) In addition to the foregoing procedure, the Campus Police should be contacted immediately if it is deemed necessary for the protection of the student, other persons, or property. It should also be noted that, subject to the Student Discipline Bylaw, the President may at any time make an order restricting or prohibiting access by a student to any University property.
This policy is available online at: umanitoba.ca/admin/governance/governing_documents/students/279.html