Student leader at Western strikes out in defending harassment claim, loses Charter argument

Student politics is a nasty business.  Universities, for their part, need to respect the process and keep a distance while having the courage and wisdom to act when a student’s conduct goes to far. The case of Tefler v. The University of Western Ontario (CanLII) involves one student leader who was elected president of the graduate students’ society, […]

Ontario court sides with U of Ottawa against MD accused of “unprofessional and disruptive behavior”

The recent decision of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in AlGhaithy v. University of Ottawa (CanLII) is an important one for universities to consider when setting up internal rules and procedures and addressing concerning behavior of students.  Accordingly to the decision, Dr. AlGhaithy practiced in Saudi Arabia for several years before beginning a neurosurgery residency with the University […]

Coming up next, on all channels: students behaving badly

This month you really didn’t need to look far to find pictures of students somewhere in Canada appearing to break the rules.   The question is: what have their universities done about it? The most obvious incident took place in London, Ontario, where students participated in an off-campus St. Patrick’s Day riot (CBC).  Late that day, parties in a […]

Tips for students looking for advice on misconduct allegations

Increasingly, students are calling lawyers when their degrees are in jeopardy.  On a fairly regular basis, students at every educational institution are accused of academic or non-academic misconduct.  This includes cheating on exams, copy-and-pasting on essays without attribution, harassing another student, and so on.  Often, the professor or other staff member who notices or hears of […]

Should the mandate of student societies exclude political activism?

Universities in Quebec are in the midst of massive student protests (Montreal Gazette) and heated political debates surrounding the provincial government’s creeping tuition increases, which started in fall 2011and will continue for several years.   Some students at universities and CEGEPs held a one-day strike in November to protest the increase, but further opposition has grown steadily.  Earlier this month, many student […]

UBC medical school admissions procedures come under fire

Pamela Fayerman at the Vancouver Sun has been reporting over the past two weeks about accusations that high-profile or influential parents have crossed the line in their efforts to get their kids a seat in the University of British Columbia (UBC) medical school program. The story began with a memo obtained by the Vancouver Sun that was written by Denis […]

A teachers’ strike means, unfortunately, that we are living in interesting times

Tomorrow is the start of a three-day strike that will impact nearly every person in British Columbia.  Roughly 41,000 teachers will withdraw their services following a recent vote of members of the British Columbia Teachers’ Federation (see the BCTF’s press release here).  Janet Steffenhagen of the Vancouver Sun reported that most public schools in the province will be […]

Does the Charter apply to universities? The plot thickens with recent decision

Many university administrators and student leaders have been watching with interest as the legal dispute between anti-abortion activists and Carleton University winds it way through the courts (see here and here for background).  Specifically, the curiosity surrounds one issue: does the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms apply to universities?  If the Charter does apply, then political activists, not to mention anyone […]