For Respondents & Complainants

Below is more comprehensive information pertaining to the Non-Academic Misconduct system that respondents and complainants may find useful. For further inquiries please contact the Judicial Affairs Manager at judicial@ams.queensu.ca or the Office of the Secretariat at secretariat@ams.queensu.ca.

In 1898, the University Senate officially delegated the responsibility of administering Non-Academic Misconduct (NAM) for undergraduate students to the Alma Mater Society (AMS). The NAM system is restorative in nature; after a complaint has been received, the process aims to repair any damage done to Queen’s and/or the members of the Queen’s community. The NAM system also notes the importance of deterring re-offence, but NAM is not a means of policing students. With NAM being independent of the Canadian legal system, Queen’s students are subject to two separate judiciary systems, and are thereby held more accountable for their actions than ordinary citizens. Statistics are available on NAM complaints and sanctions for the 2011 year:

Students may be held accountable for their actions both on and off campus when a real and substantial connection to the interests of Queen’s and/or the University community can be established. This connection includes, but is not limited to direct harm to the University community and reputational harm suffered by the University.

The NAM system does not handle cases of blatant discrimination (sexual, racial or otherwise), harassment, sexual assault, serious assault of a non-sexual nature, and murder as there are more appropriate bodies which are better able to address these.

Since the mid-1800s, Queen’s University has utilized some form of Code of Conduct to which it has held its student body accountable. The latest version of the Code of Conduct was published in 2016 after an extensive review and it encompasses academic, non-academic and human rights issues. The University Senate has expressly delegated authority to the Alma Mater Society, the undergraduate student government, for administering the part of the Code that addresses non-academic student conduct. By accepting undergraduate admission to Queen’s, students agree to abide by the Queen’s Code of Conduct. Those who have had a violation committed against them by a student or group are eligible to file a complaint.

If you know the student who has committed the violation(s), click the link below and fill out the attached form. To assist us in the investigatory process, please include as much information and detail as possible. You must include your information under ‘Contact Information’ as well as the name and/or student number of the person you are making a complaint against, or the case cannot be processed. All information is kept confidential.

You can submit the complaint in person to the Office of the Secretariat in room 054 of the John Deutsch University Centre, or by attaching the form in an email to secretariat@ams.queensu.ca 

Click here to access an individual complainant form.
Click here to access a group complainant form.

If you do not know the student or are not comfortable filing a complaint, you can contact Campus Security by calling 613-533-2922 or by sending a photo/e-mail using the Queen’s SeQure app (Select “Personal Safety Toolbox” then “Report Suspicious Activity”).

General types of offences that would fall under the aegis of the AMS include, but are not limited to:

  • public disturbances
  • illegal possession and/or consumption of alcohol
  • theft
  • vandalism
  • trespassing
  • assault
  • perjury
  • fraud

The full Code of Conduct can be read here.

The NAM process is initiated when a complaint, accompanied by the appropriate information, is submitted to the Office of the Secretariat. The complaint is then forwarded to the NAM system’s investigatory body, the AMS Judicial Affairs Office (JAO).  The JAO investigates the complaint and proposes appropriate restorative sanctions if it feels that sanctions are warranted. These sanctions are then presented to the respondent in the form of a settlement proposal. If the respondent accepts the terms of the proposed sanctions, the case is presented to the AMS Judicial Committee (JComm), NAM’s judiciary body, in a closed settlement hearing. If the respondent does not accept the sanctions, the case is presented to JComm in a closed non-settlement hearing (with few exceptions). The difference between settlement and non-settlement hearings is that with the former, JComm cannot directly increase sanctions, while JComm decides exclusively what the sanctions will be with the latter. Once JComm renders their decision, the respondent can appeal within two weeks of the hearing; otherwise they must complete the sanctions by a proscribed date. If the respondent chooses to appeal, then they must present their case to the University Student Appeals Board, who will render a final decision.

AMS Policy on the Judicial Committee is outlined in Part A, Section 4 of AMS Policy Manual 4.

The NAD system aims to ensure that respondents receive fair and impartial treatment. Before meeting with a representative from the Judicial Affairs Office, all respondents are required to sign a Form 1 which outlines the following rights that all respondents possess:

  • The right to representation – Respondents may bring any counsel they choose and are eligible for free consultation with Queen’s Legal Aid (613-533-2102) or the Coordinator of Dispute Resolution Mechanisms (613-533-6495)
  • The right to end a meeting with the JAO at any time
  • The right to refuse being recorded by the JAO
  • The right to a translator
  • The right to disclosure of evidence possessed by the JAO or the Judicial Committee relevant to the matter – Sensitive information such as the names of witnesses or other parties may be removed from the evidence.
  • The right to a full and open hearing by the Judicial Committee
  • The right to be notified of a hearing in front of the Judicial Committee
  • The right to call and examine witnesses and present arguments and submissions at the hearing – Respondents may conduct cross-examination of witnesses as is reasonably required for a full and fair disclosure of the facts relevant to the matter before the Judicial Committee
  • The right to request that an open hearing be closed to the public – This request will be considered by the Judicial Committee
  • The right to choose to waive the right to an open hearing – Respondents may opt to reach a settlement with the JAO instead and the Judicial Committee hearing will be closed
  • The right to make a statement to the Judicial Committee in a closed hearing
  • The right to appeal a decision made by the Judicial Committee – Respondents must be informed of all the relevant appeal procedures upon receipt of a Judicial Committee decision
  • The right to express concern over a member of NAD whose judgment may be biased due to a prior relationship with the respondent and/or complainant – If the respondent or complainant is a friend, classmate, neighbour, sibling, etc. of a member of the JAO or the Judicial Committee, and the concern expressed is reasonable, the party may be removed from the disciplinary process.