The Wilfrid Laurier University (WLU) Department of Athletics and Recreation requires that all student athletes defined for the purpose of this code as a WLU student meeting all OUA/CIS eligibility requirements who has been selected to be a member of a WLU inter-university team competing in the OUA or CIS, as well as members of the WLU cheerleading team, conduct themselves consistent with the tradition of academic and athletic excellence at WLU, and according to the highest standards of ethical behaviour.
Student athletes are students of WLU and are required to conduct themselves in accordance with all WLU policies, including the WLU Student Code of Conduct. Involvement in inter-university sports imposes an additional responsibility on student athletes. If a student athlete is facing a suspension or expulsion from the university as a result of a complaint under this policy, the procedures and sanctions related to the student misconduct under the WLU Student Code of Conduct applies.
Generally, the Head Coach, in accordance with league regulations and issues pertinent to the specific sport, is responsible for the establishment and implementation of team rules. The WLU Department of Athletics and Recreation requires that all WLU teams establish team goals that meet the high standard of behaviour outlined in this code.
1. Behavioural Requirements
The Student Athlete Code of Conduct (SACC) applies to a student athlete's conduct that is associated with student membership or participation in any WLU inter-university or cheerleading team and that has, or might reasonably be seen to have, an adverse effect on the proper functioning of the university, the rights of members of the WLU community or the reputation of WLU.
The WLU Department of Athletics and Recreation holds the following requirements for all student athletes while representing WLU and failure to adhere to such requirements is an offense under this code.
1.1 You are committed to behaviour that will reflect well on the reputation of Wilfrid Laurier University by treating your teammates, opponents, officials, spectators and the public in general with respect and consideration.
1.2 You abide by the rules and regulations of your sport as set out by the OUA and CIS (including the use of illegal/banned substances) and the sport governing body.
1.3 You conduct yourself in all situations in a manner that would maintain and enhance positive student athlete-coach relations.
1.4 You do not willfully damage the property of others which would include, but is not limited to, hotel rooms, facilities at WLU and other universities, transportation vehicles.
1.5 You treat others and yourself with respect and dignity which could include, but is not limited to:
1.51. Refraining from sexist, racist or discriminatory language and/or behaviour as prohibited by the Ontario Human Rights Code.
1.5.2 Refraining from the consumption/use of alcohol or illegal/banned substances while on route to or from, or at the site of athletic events/contests, hotels, competitions or practices. The consumption or possession of alcohol on WLU team transport is strictly prohibited. At Department of Athletics and Recreation sanctioned events, or those events sanctioned by other OUA/CIS member institutions where alcohol may be available, student athletes are required to adhere to all provincial and/or federal laws and conduct themselves responsibly.
1.5.3 Refraining from hazing/initiation activities of any type. (WLU Department of Athletics and Recreation definition of hazing. Hazing activities are defined as: any action taken or situation created as part of initiation to or continued membership on a team, which 1) produces or could be expected to produce mental or physical discomfort, harm, stress, embarrassment, harassment, or ridicule; or 2) which violates WLU policy, the WLU Student Code of Conduct, the Student Athlete Code of Conduct or law. This applies to behaviour on or off Wilfrid Laurier University premises. See commentary on definition of hazing outlining examples of hazing in Schedule A attached.).
Note: No policy can address, in specific fashion, all possible situations, which may take place. When this policy does not address a specific behaviour, student athletes and teams are expected to conduct themselves and their activities in a spirit of social responsibility and respect for others.
Further for the purpose of this code, the person(s) alleging that a breach/violation of this code has occurred shall be known as the "complainant(s)" and the person(s) who allegedly have breeched/violated this code shall be known as the "respondent(s)".
2.1 Any person may advise in writing the Director of Athletics and Recreation, the Dean of Students, the Harassment Officer or any other appropriate WLU official that he/she believe a breach/violation of the WLU Student Athlete Code of Conduct has occurred or the Director of Athletics and Recreation, the Dean of Students, the Harassment Officer or other appropriate WLU official may independently come to the belief that a breach/violation of the WLU SACC has occurred. Upon being so advised or coming to such belief, notice shall be forwarded of same to the Director of Athletics and Recreation.
2.2 Upon being advised or coming to the belief that a breach/violation may have occurred and upon deciding to proceed further, the Director of Athletics and Recreation shall record the complaint in writing and direct the complaint/breach/violation to be dealt with under the WLU SACC procedural protocol (Schedule B attached).
2.3 Immediately upon receipt of a complaint in the view of the Head Coach or the Director of Athletics and Recreation that a serious breach/violation of this code has occurred, the relevant Head Coach or Director of Athletics and Recreation may exercise the power of temporary suspension of the respondent(s) on an interim basis pending an investigation. The Head Coach or Director of Athletics and Recreation can require that the student athlete(s) appear before him/her to respond to the complaint. If the Head Coach or Director of Athletics and Recreation, as the case may be, is not satisfied with the respondent(s)' response or if the respondent(s) fails to appear before the Head Coach or Director of Athletics and Recreation as requested then he or she may exercise the power of temporary suspension of the respondent(s) and convey his or her decision to the respondent(s) and in the case of such exercise being by the Head Coach convey same to the Director of Athletics and Recreation.
3. Procedural Protocol
Complaint/breach/violations of the WLU SACC determined by the Director of Athletics and Recreation to be dealt with under this code shall be dealt with in the following manner:
3.1 Immediately upon receipt of information from the Director of Athletics and Recreation that there may be a complaint that will be dealt with under this code, a trained Investigating Officer will be appointed by the Director of Athletics and Recreation to gather information. Because of the time sensitive nature of the athletic season, the Investigating Officer will be asked to make his or her report to the Director of Athletics and Recreation in a timely manner of being appointed.
3.2 If the Investigating Officer concludes that there has not been a breach/violation of this code, the complainant(s), the respondent(s), the Director of Athletics and Recreation, the Head Coach and the Dean of Students will be informed by the Investigating Officer that no further action should be taken. Appeals of the Investigating Officer's conclusion that there has been no breach/violation can be made in writing to the Dean of Students' Appeal Committee within ten (10) days of the notification being provided by the Investigating Officer. The decision of the Dean of Students' Appeal Committee shall be given in writing within a timely manner of receiving the note of appeal with copies thereof to the complainant(s), the respondent(s), the Head Coach and the Investigating Officer. The Dean of Students' Appeal Committee in this regard shall be final.
3.3 If the Investigating Officer concludes that there is potentially a case of misconduct, the respondent(s) will be informed in writing of the nature of the complaint and will be provided with a copy of the complaint and be given the opportunity to respond in a formal hearing before a Committee of Inquiry established by the Director of Athletics and Recreation. The Investigating Officer shall also inform the respondent(s) of the sanctions/penalties that may be levied under the WLU SACC.
3.4 Each Committee of Inquiry shall be composed of the Investigating Officer and a minimum of three (3) members of the Laurier campus community (faculty, staff, student athletes, alumni) who have not been directly involved in a case. The Investigating Officer shall act as Chair of the Committee of Inquiry. It shall be the responsibility of the Department of Athletics and Recreation that Committee of Inquiry appointees are trained in procedural fairness in hearings.
4. Hearing Procedures
4.1 The hearing shall be held in camera unless mutually agreed by the complainant(s), the respondent(s), the university and if applicable, the Coach, that the hearing be opened to the public.
4.2 The respondent(s) and/or the complainant(s) may be represented by an advisor prior to and present at the Committee of Inquiry hearing.
4.3 Should the respondent(s) or the complainant(s) refuse to or fail to appear before the Committee of Inquiry without due notice or just cause, a decision may be rendered in the respondent(s) or the complainant(s) absence and such refusal or failure to appear shall be noted in the decision.
4.4 A language interpreter will be allowed to participate at the respondent(s), the complainant(s), or the Committee of Inquiry or the WLU Department of Athletics and Recreation's request.
4.5 First the case against the respondent(s) shall be presented by the Investigating Officer, including evidence from the complainant(s), other witnesses, the Coach, etc. As the evidence of the Investigating Officer and of each witness providing evidence in support of the complainant is presented, the respondent(s) will have the opportunity to question same. Thereafter, the respondent(s) will have an opportunity to present his or her reply and the Investigating Officer will have the opportunity to question the respondent(s) and his or her witnesses.
4.6 Any party to the proceedings may call witnesses to provide information relative to the case being heard; however, the Committee of Inquiry may limit the number of witnesses or the amount of cross examination when a summary of the evidence or cross examination questions reveals the information will be repetitive or irrelevant. Hearsay evidence is to be avoided but may be admitted at the discretion of the Committee of Inquiry in necessary and appropriate cases.
4.7 Any member of the Committee of Inquiry may question any person appearing before the Committee of Inquiry.
4.8 All parties shall have the right to present evidence on appropriate sanction recommendations during the hearing. A majority decision of the Committee of Inquiry shall be rendered. Sanction recommendations will be forwarded to the Director of Athletics and Recreation to be communicated to the respondent(s).
4.9 The Committee of Inquiry hearing may be audio taped to assist with an accurate record of the proceedings. The respondent(s), complainant(s) or the Dean of Students can request access to the tapes for appeal purposes.
4.10 Testimony before the Committee of Inquiry is in strict confidence subject to disclosure required at law. All members of the Committee of Inquiry are to be responsible for maintaining confidence regarding all information received during the course of the hearing.
4.11 The Chair of the Committee of Inquiry will endeavour to inform the Director of Athletics and Recreation in writing of the Committee of Inquiry's decision and recommendations regarding any sanction(s) in a timely manner following the hearing unless further information is required, in which case the respondent(s), complainant(s) and the Director of Athletics and Recreation will be informed in a timely manner of a decision being reached. The Director of Athletics and Recreation will immediately following receipt of the decision of the Committee of Inquiry, inform the respondent(s) and the complainant(s) in writing of the decision and sanction recommendation(s) imposed. The right to appeal will also be clearly communicated in writing by the Director of Athletics and Recreation.
4.12 The Director of Athletics and Recreation is responsible for deciding whether to accept the recommendation of the Committee of Inquiry and for communicating this decision, whether to accept the recommendation or not, to the Committee of Inquiry, the respondent(s) and the complainant(s). A recommendation may only not be accepted for procedural reasons, error at law, in which case the case is directed back to the Committee of Inquiry outlining the concerns. The Committee of Inquiry will then review the concerns, take corrective action and resubmit the recommendation for implementation as outlined above.
4.13 All costs of the respondent(s) and the complainant(s) shall be born by these individuals themselves and WLU shall in no way be responsible for any such costs.
4.14 It should be noted that because of the time sensitive nature of the athletic season every effort will be made to render a decision before the team's next competition.
4.15 The Committee of Inquiry can exercise its discretion at any time in a hearing to refer the matter that it believes may result in a university suspension or expulsion to the Dean of Students under the procedures of the WLU Student Code of Conduct.
5. Sanction Recommendations
Sanction recommendations will be based on the finding of the investigation, the number and nature of the previous offences (if any), any other relevant factors in the Committee of Inquiry's discretion and any extenuating circumstances which might exist. Appropriate sanctions for a breach/violation of the Wilfrid Laurier University Student Athlete Code of Conduct are at the discretion of the Committee of Inquiry and include, but are not limited to:
5.1 suspension of student athlete(s) or team for one or more competitions, an entire season or permanently
5.2 suspension of travel
5.4 community service
5.5 reprimand letter
5.7 removal of privileges
5.8 behavioural contract between the respondent(s) and WLU to correct behaviour
5.9 withdrawal of team funding
5.10 termination of team program
The respondent(s) or complainant(s) may appeal in writing a decision reached by the Committee of Inquiry to the Dean of Students' Appeal Committee delivered within ten (10) days of notice of the Committee of Inquiry's decision. The appeal is not a trial de novo. The Dean of Students' Appeal Committee can determine its procedure. Each party will have the necessary time allotted to it by the Dean of Students' Appeal Committee to argue its case based on the issues it raised in the Notice of Appeal. A Notice of Appeal must include a copy of the decision, the grounds of the appeal, the outcome sought, a full statement supporting the grounds of appeal, the name of advisor/counsel, if any, and relevant documentation in support of the appeal. If any new evidence is to be admitted, there must be a full description of it and names of any witnesses. The responding party must also file the same materials. The decision of the Dean of Students' Appeal Committee may be appealed in writing and delivered within ten (10) days of notice of the Dean of Students' Appeal Committee to the President who may arrange to meet with the respondent(s) and/or the complainant(s). The decision of the President is final.
Except as required to explain the basis of new evidence, an appeal shall be limited to review of the verbatim record of the initial hearing and supporting documents for one or more of the following purposes:
6.1 To determine whether the original hearing was conducted fairly in light of the charge(s) and evidence presented.
6.2 To determine whether the decision regarding the accused Student-Athlete(s) was based on substantial evidence.
6.3 To determine whether the sanction(s) imposed was appropriate for the violation of the Wilfrid Laurier University Student Athlete Code of Conduct, which the Student-Athlete(s) was found to have committed.
6.4 To consider new evidence sufficient to alter the decision, or other relevant facts not brought out in the original hearing, because such evidence and/or facts were not known to the person(s) appealing at the time of the original hearing.
7.1 The Dean of Students' Appeal Committee shall consist of the Dean of Students and two Judicial Affairs Counsellors selected by the Chair of the Wilfrid Laurier University Student Code of Conduct Judicial Affairs Committee.
7.2 Any notice required or permitted to be given, sent or delivered to any person under this Code shall be in writing and shall be sufficiently given or sent or delivered if it is:
7.2.1 Delivered personally to such party.
7.2.2 Sent to such person by facsimile machine or registered mail.
to that person's last known address, fax number or email address, as the case may be, as known to Wilfrid Laurier University and which addresses shall be confirmed, in writing, by such person, to the Committee of Inquiry and the Director of Athletics and Recreation at or before the time of the hearing.
7.3 Any notice given or sent or delivered as set out above shall:
7.3.1 If delivered as set out as above, be deemed to have been given, sent, delivered and received on the date of delivery.
7.3.2 If sent by facsimile machine, be deemed to have been given, sent, delivered and received on the date the sender receives the facsimile answer back confirming receipt by the recipient or the date the email has been sent successfully to the person's email address.
Commentary on definition of Hazing. Hazing consists of a broad range of behaviours that may place another person in danger of physical or psychological harm or activities that demonstrate disregard for another person's dignity or well-being. Even when demeaning or embarrassing behaviours do not appear overtly harmful in themselves - as where the participants appear to engage in them willingly - they may constitute hazing if they are part of a team's initiation or membership activities and if they might cause humiliation. The determination of whether a particular activity constitutes hazing will depend on the circumstances and context in which that activity is occurring. Some examples of conduct that may constitute hazing, when used to mistreat, intimidate or humiliate the participant, include the following: consumption of alcohol; drinking games including pub crawls, century club and the use or possession of paraphernalia used in unsafe drinking practices like a funnel, boot, etc.; paddling in any form, creation of excessive fatigue; physical and psychological shocks; inappropriate scavenger hunts or road trips; wearing of apparel likely to subject the wearer to embarrassment or ridicule; engaging in public stunts and buffoonery; degrading or humiliating games and activities; activities that would unreasonably interfere with students' other activities or obligations (academic, extracurricular, family, religious, etc.); any other activities devoid of legitimate educational value that subject the participant to humiliation; and any such activities that violate Wilfrid Laurier University policy, the Wilfrid Laurier University Student Code of Conduct, this Code of Conduct for Wilfrid Laurier Student-Athletes, or federal, provincial or municipal law.
There are indeed, new-member activities that are positive and educationally valid. However, almost anything that new members are required to do that is not required of more senior members is likely to constitute hazing. Ask yourself if you could satisfactorily explain a questionable activity to your parents, the parents of a fellow-student, a university official, a police officer, or a judge. If you don't think you could, then the activity probably constitutes hazing. When in doubt about an activity, ask a coach, or a staff member of the Department of Athletics and Recreation, or the Director of Athletics and Recreation, or the Dean of Students. They can also provide you with additional examples of behaviours that might constitute hazing, examples of positive group-building activities, assistance with organizing legitimate events to foster teamwork and cohesiveness, a list of questions to ask in order to evaluate the appropriateness of activities, and other relevant information and support.
COACHING CODE OF CONDUCT
The athlete/coach relationship is a privileged one. Coaches play a critical role in the personal as well as athletic development of their athletes. They must understand and respect the inherent power imbalance that exists in this relationship and must be extremely careful not to abuse it. Coaches must also recognize that they are conduits through which the values and goals of a sport organization are channeled. Thus how an athlete regards his/her sport is often dependent on the behaviour of the coach. The following Code of Conduct has been developed to aid coaches in achieving a level of behaviour which will allow them to assist their athletes in becoming well-rounded, self confident and productive human beings.
COACHES HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY TO:
1) Treat everyone fairly within the context of their activity, regardless of gender, place of origin, colour, sexual orientation, religion, political belief or economic status.
2) Direct comments or criticism at the performance rather than the athlete.
3) Consistently display high personal standards and project a favourable image of their sport and of coaching.
a) Refrain from public criticism of fellow coaches; especially when speaking to the media or recruiting athletes.
b) Abstain from the use of tobacco products while in the presence of her/his athletes and discourage their use by athletes.
c) Abstain from drinking alcoholic beverages when working with athletes.
d) Discourage the use of alcohol in conjunction with athletic events or victory celebrations at the playing site.
e) Refrain from the use of profane, insulting, harassing or otherwise offensive language in the conduct of his/her duties.
4) Ensure that the activity being undertaken is suitable for the age, experience, ability and fitness level of the athletes and educate athletes as to their responsibilities in contributing to a safe environment.
5) Communicate and co-operate with registered medical practitioners in the diagnoses, treatment and management of their athletes' medical and psychological problems. Consider the athletes' future health and well being as foremost when making decisions regarding an injured athletes' ability to continue playing or training.
6) Recognize and accept when to refer athletes to other coaches or sport specialists. Allow athletes' goals to take precedence over their own.
7) Regularly seek ways of increasing professional development and self-awareness.
8) Treat opponents and officials with due respect, both in victory and defeat and encourage athletes to act accordingly. Actively encourage athletes to uphold the rules of their sport and the spirit of such rules.
9) In the case of minors, communicate and co-operate with the athlete's parents or legal guardians, involving them in management decisions pertaining to their child's development.
10) In an educational institution, be aware of the academic pressures placed on student-athletes and conduct practices and games in a manner so as to allow academic success.
1) Ensure the safety of the athletes with whom they work.
2) At no time become intimately and/ or sexually involved with their athletes. This includes requests for sexual favours or threat of reprisal for the rejection of such requests.
3) Respect athlete's dignity; verbal or physical behaviours that constitute harassment or abuse are unacceptable (definition of harassment is attached).
4) Never advocate or condone the use of drugs or other banned performance enhancing substances.
5) Never provide under age athletes with alcohol.
DEFINITION OF HARASSMENT
Harassment takes many forms but can generally be defined as behaviour including comments and/ or conduct which is insulting, intimidating, humiliating, hurtful, malicious, degrading or otherwise offensive to an individual of groups or individuals or which creates an uncomfortable environment.
Harassment may include:
- written or verbal abuse or threats;
- sexually oriented comments;
- racial or ethnic slurs;
- unwelcome remarks, jokes, innuendoes, or taunting about a person's body, attire, age, marital status, ethnic or racial origin, religion etc.;
- displaying of sexually explicit, racist or other offensive or derogatory material;
- sexual, racial, ethnic or religious graffiti;
- practical jokes which cause awkwardness or embarrassment, endanger a person's safety, or negatively affect performance;
- unwelcome sexual remarks, invitations or requests whether indirect or explicit, or intimidation;
- leering (suggestive staring), or other obscene or offensive gestures;
- condescension, paternalism or patronizing behaviour which undermines self-respect or adversely affects performance or working conditions;
- physical conduct such as touching, kissing, patting, pinching, etc.;
- physical assault.