We strive to maintain a strong and healthy community at Providence for all students, staff and faculty. In order to do that, the following policies have been laid out.
Accountability to the Covenant
When students apply and have been invited to be members of the Providence community, the students become “co-owners” of the mission and are accountable to every other member of the community to contribute to a positive and learning-centered environment. This accountability is facilitated through the Covenant of Community Life that all students sign upon application to Providence as well as the community expectations outlined in our handbook and on our website. If those expectations are not met by a student, the student will be held accountable through the Student Life accountability process.
Depending on the issue and willingness of the students involved, either the Restorative Justice Process or the disciplinary Accountability Process will be implemented. Regardless of the process used, the goal is the safety of the students and the community, maintaining a process which respects all involved, and restoring the wholeness of the community and individuals. Whenever an incident occurs that results in the Accountability or Restorative Justice Process (including a warning), an incident report will be filled out by the responding Student Development staff member or student leader and sent to the Director of Student Development.
Disciplinary methods have often centered on educating the offending student or on punitive responses when someone has caused harm to other individuals or to the community as a whole. Restorative Justice (RJ) is an alternative approach that focuses on restoring right relationships from a state of brokenness. The aim of RJ is that those who cause the brokenness and those affected by it should be able to articulate each other’s point of view while demonstrating empathy and compassion in the process. Through this process, the individuals involved learn respect, responsibility, and forgiveness. Student Development staff will facilitate the RJ process. Providence staff as well as the offender(s) and the victim(s) need to agree to using this process for it to be implemented. If there is not a willingness from both the victim(s) and the offender(s) to use the RJ process, the Disciplinary/Accountability Process will be implemented.
The RJ process will proceed as follows:
Student Development staff will meet with both the harmed party (victim) and the responsible party (offender) and any other involved parties to gain clarity regarding the situation and secure willingness from all parties in order to proceed with RJ;
A meeting is organized involving the victim, the offender who takes responsibility for his/her actions, as well as at least one member of Student Development;
Ground rules for the discussion are established in order to create a safe environment for all involved;
An understanding of what happened (story) and the impact (harms) is reached between the parties. The questions asked are: “Who has been affected?” and “In what ways have they been affected?”
Resolutions (repairs) are explored. The question is: “What do you think needs to happen next?”
Agreement is confirmed between both parties and Student Development staff and documented. Each student receives a copy;
Follow-up (agreement mentoring): A staff member is assigned to ensure that the agreement is acted upon.
Designated Student Development staff members will follow up on the situation with the offending student(s) and affected student(s) (if applicable) involved. This involves discussing the allegation or incident with the student(s) and determining an appropriate response (e.g. meeting with all the people involved, suitable apologies, restitution, warning, community service, monetary fine, reimbursement, etc.). When necessary, other appropriate staff/faculty may be consulted, and/or local authorities may be notified.
Formal Process (Serious Issues or Repeat Incidents)
Subsequent or more serious breaches of the responsibilities may be dealt with in a formal process overseen by the Director of Student Development and may be referred to the Accountability Committee for resolutions if deemed necessary. The Accountability Committee may consist of, but is not limited to: Director of Student Development, Associate Dean of Student Affairs, Student Development staff member, and student representative(s).
Student Development staff will meet with all students involved to gain clarity regarding the situation;
The student(s) involved will be advised of the situation;
The student(s) will be given notice of any hearing process;
The student(s) will be allowed to hear any evidence presented against him/her;
The student(s) will be afforded an opportunity to speak on his/her own behalf during any discipline hearing, formal or informal;
The student(s) will be allowed to have another student accompany him/her through this process;
The persons conducting the hearing will be fair and impartial, and;
The student(s) will be allowed opportunity to contribute to the reconciling process and decision;
The student(s) will be advised of the decision resulting from a hearing. The formal accountability process may be waived at the discretion of Providence in the event of serious incidents. Providence reserves the right to notify local authorities who may become involved in incidents and press criminal charges.
Actions are applicable to the Disciplinary/Accountability process not Restorative Justice Process.
The Disciplinary/Accountability Process, whether formal or informal, will result in an Accountability Action being taken ranging from Level 1 to Level 5. Although the levels indicate a progression of consequences for breaking the covenant and Student Handbook standards, students should be aware that serious incidents may result in actions being taken at any of these five levels. Additionally, although each situation is considered on an individual basis, repeated violations of the Covenant of Community Life and Student handbook standards are taken into consideration when consequences for chosen behaviours are determined. As well, because Providence values community, the welfare of the community will be balanced against the rights of the individual as the restitution process is entered into and accountability decisions are made. Please note that Actions of Levels 3, 4, and 5 will be administered through the formal process above.
Level 1: Miscellaneous Consequences — An incident report is filled out by the responding Student Development staff member or student leader. There may be a variety of consequences including an apology, community service, payment for damaged property, fines, etc. A letter may also be sent from a Student Development staff member outlining the details of the situation as well as providing an explanation of the relevant Covenant of Community Life section.
Level 2: Official Warning — A letter is given by a Student Development staff member providing an explanation of the relevant Covenant of Community Life section along with a written warning that future violations could result in probation, suspension, or if relevant, a requirement that the student leave Providence housing. There may or may not be miscellaneous consequences in addition to the official warning.
Level 3: Probation — The student remains enrolled with the understanding that further violations of the Covenant of Community Life and Student Handbook standards would likely result in suspension. Probationary status does not allow a student to participate on athletic teams, in music groups, and in student leadership positions. Probationary status may extend for one or two semesters.
Level 4: Suspension — An involuntary separation of the student from Providence for a specific length of time.
Level 5: Expulsion — A permanent suspension of the student from Providence. Accountability action decisions may be appealed by the student in writing to the President, or his/her designate, of Providence within 96 hours of being informed of the decision.