Community Guide

A Guide to Community Membership at York University

August 2006

The primary mission of York University is 'the pursuit, preservation and dissemination of knowledge'. As a community of nearly 60,000 people, York operates on certain basic principles to ensure the preservation of a productive, safe and peaceful learning environment. These principles are the basis of University policies and regulations. They also reflect the rights and responsibilities of the members of the York community and accepted standards of conduct within Canadian society which enjoys a high level of freedom and respect for diversity. York University shares and promotes these values and individual members have a responsibility to uphold them for the sake of the entire York community. This guide reflects the values expressed in existing policies.

Guiding Principles

Freedom of Expression
York University is committed to free speech as a fundamental democratic right. Members of the York community have the right to express their views and to test and challenge ideas, provided they do so within the law and in a peaceful and non-threatening manner. As a university, York encourages civic participation and open debate on issues of local, national and international importance. One person's strongly held view does not take precedence over another's right to hold and express the opposite opinion in a lawful manner.

Mutual Respect and Diversity
York University values diversity and is committed to promoting a culture of mutual respect and inclusivity on campus. York University will uphold the rights and freedoms of all members of the University to work and study free from discrimination and harassment, regardless of race, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation or sexual identity, gender identification, disability, religion, nationality, or politics. Inherent in this is a rejection of hatred and intolerance of the identities, beliefs and politics of others.

A Commitment to Non-violence
Members of the York community are expected to adhere to the principles of peace and non-violence in the exercise of their civic rights and responsibilities on campus. Physical assault of any kind or threat of violence or harm is illegal and will not be tolerated.

A Commitment to Justice and Fairness
All rules and regulations regarding conduct for all parties on campus embody the principles of procedural fairness. Processes will be pursued according to established procedures, fairly, responsibly and in a timely way, reflecting the seriousness of any infractions. All community members should provide the fullest possible co-operation in order that these processes can be completed.

Security and Safety
The University will act to protect and preserve the security and safety of all members of the York community. When situations arise on campus in which disagreements or conflict become a security concern, the University will invoke appropriate processes to protect the safety and well being of community members. Those found in violation of university policies or the law will be subject to the appropriate sanctions, which may extend to immediate removal from University property and contact with law enforcement authorities if required.

Non-Interference with Proper Functioning of the University
York University has a mandate to deliver its educational program to its 47,000 student members. Achieving this mandate requires that the University, its programs and facilities function effectively. Members of the York community are expected to refrain from unsanctioned conduct that may impair or threaten to impair the proper functioning of the University. One member's strongly held view does not take precedence over another member's right to pursue their educational or community activities at York.

Respect for the Environment
York University is committed to creating and maintaining a secure and sustainable environment on campus, where community members feel a sense of ownership and pride of place. In the broadest sense, members are expected to respect University grounds, property and facilities and to support such practices as recycling, waste reduction and energy conservation.