Code of Conduct

Preface

This Code of Conduct sets out the required levels of conduct at CASA (Canadian Alliance of Students Associations) Conferences, Official Events, and Privately Organized Events during the course of a CASA conference or Official Event, as defined herein.  All Conference/ Official Event attendees must review and agree to abide by this Code as a condition of attendance at any CASA Conference and/or Official Event.  Departures from this Code of Conduct are taken very seriously and may result in various repercussions, including an attendee’s suspension from the conference without refund, and/or banning from future attendance at CASA Conferences and Official Events.
 

Scope

This Code addresses Human Rights standards (i.e. anti-harassment and anti-discrimination standards), alcohol usage standards, and expected standards of conduct for CASA-related business practices.  There may also be other standards of conduct/rules (such as the rules of the Host School) with which attendees may be expected to comply.  These Rules/standards will be brought to attendees’ attention prior to the commencement of the Conference/Official Event.

This code of conduct policy regulates conduct during the course of CASA conferences or Official Events, as well as privately organized events in the course of a CASA conference or Official Event.

CASA is not liable for delegates’ conduct that may occur outside of CASA Conferences or Official Events.  Such events may include, without limitation, events privately organized in the course of individuals’ attendance at a CASA Conference or Official Event. By registering for a CASA conference, the attendee expressly acknowledges this Code of Conduct and accepts that CASA bears no responsibility of any kind or any nature in respect of any such conduct.

 

Role of the Code of Conduct Officers [“Officer”]

Each year, two individuals will be appointed and identified as the contact persons for the purpose of receiving any Complaints regarding departures from this Code, and for ensuring compliance with the Code more generally [“the Officer”].  The Officer’s contact information (i.e. phone, email etc.) will be provided to all attendees at the outset of each Conference/Official Event.

The Officer will conduct each of these in as confidential a manner as is reasonably possible in the circumstances.

 

Definitions

“Alcohol abuse” means consuming alcohol to the point of legal intoxication or to a level which, in the sole discretion of the Officer or Board, is excessive.

“Alcohol use” refers to alcohol consumption that is acceptable to the extent that a reasonable person would consume in the same circumstances. The standard of conduct is centered on reasonable and responsible drinking.

“Attendee” includes any delegate, staff, observer, or guest appearing at, or attending, a CASA conference in connection with a member school. 

“Board” means the CASA Board of Directors.

 “CASA Conferences” include CASA’s four(4) annual Conferences, as well as CASA-related business activities, including, but is not limited to, committee meetings, committee of the whole, plenary sessions, lobbying meetings, or any session relating to the affairs of CASA.  CASA Conferences do not include events or meetings that are organized privately by individuals attending at CASA Conferences/events.

“CASA Official Event” means an event that is endorsed or hosted by CASA proper.  It does not include events or meetings that are organized privately by individuals attending at CASA Conferences/events.

 “Conference Facility” refers to any hotel or other accommodation utilized for lodging attendees or holding meetings associated with CASA Conferences/CASA Official events.

“Officer” means an individual appointed by, and in the sole discretion of, the Board for the purpose of ensuring compliance with this Code of Conduct. 

“Privately Organized Event” means an event that is privately organized by individuals attending CASA Conferences or events. This could include, but is not limited to, spontaneous excursions, hotel gatherings, or visits at a local bar or pub.

“Substance Use” means utilizing banned substances to any degree or in any form (other than for medicinal purposes).

 

Enumerated Grounds for Violation of the Code of Conduct

The following is a list of actions that may constitute a violation of this Code of Conduct.

 

1. Violation of Human Rights

CASA supports and abides by the principles articulated in the various pieces of the Human Rights legislation applicable in the Provinces in which it meets and operates.  It supports diversity, and mandates equal treatment of all without discrimination on the basis of race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, social origin, social condition, ethnic origin, source of income, political belief, affiliation or activity, religious belief, association, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, same-sex partnership status, family status and physical or mental disability [“the enumerated grounds”].
 

Discriminatory treatment 

Attendees will not engage in behaviour that, in any way, discriminates, demeans, or treats another attendee adversely on the basis of any of the enumerated grounds.  Examples of discriminatory treatment may include inappropriate use of language during CASA Conferences/Official events, denial of a benefit based on any enumerated ground and/or any other conduct which in any way differentiates or distinguishes attendees on the basis of any enumerated ground.
 

Harassment

Attendees shall not harass other attendees on the basis of any enumerated ground.  ‘Harassment’ for the purpose of this Code of Conduct includes a course of unwelcome conduct or comment that is known, or reasonably known, to be unwelcome.  

This includes, but is not limited to, sexual harassment. Examples of sexual harassment may include:

  • Unwelcome physical contact
  • Unwelcome sexual remarks or jokes which denigrate one’s gender
  • Unwelcome sexual solicitations or advances
  • Displaying derogatory materials such as pictures etc. that denigrate a gender

 

2. Alcohol Abuse

During CASA Official events, as well as Privately Organized Events organized during the course of a CASA conference, alcohol use is permitted to the extent that a reasonable person would consume in the same circumstances. The standard of conduct is centered on reasonable and responsible drinking. Alcohol use is however strictly prohibited during CASA plenary or conference meetings.

Alcohol abuse refers to the consumption of alcohol to the point of legal intoxication, or to a level that is considered excessive by the Code of Conduct Officer or Board of Directors. Alcohol abuse will not be tolerated in the following capacity:

  • At official CASA Events
  • While representing CASA in an official capacity
  • At the expense of participation in an official CASA event
  • At a Privately Organized Event during the course of a CASA conference or Event

Any person found to be engaging in alcohol abuse may, in the discretion of the Board, be suspended from the Conference or Official Event without reimbursement of any registration or other conference related fees, and/or may be banned from future attendance at CASA-related events and Conferences.

Report to Officer: Attendees who become aware of alcohol abuse or substance use during the course of a CASA Conference or other Official Event must report that abuse/use to the Officer immediately.   The Officer will take appropriate steps to address any such conduct.

 

3. Criminal Behaviour

 Attendees shall not engage in any conduct deemed illegal by the Criminal Code of Canada.  Such conduct may include, but is not limited to:

  • Criminal harassment of any kind (Section (s.) 264 (1) Criminal Code)
  • Assault (s.265 Criminal Code)
  • Sexual assault (s.271-273 Criminal Code) – Please see the definition of “consent” at s.153 (2) Of the Criminal Code
  • Substance use (see Controlled Drugs and Substances Act)
  • Possession of any weapon (see part III of the Criminal Code for definitions and interpretation around firearms and other weapons)

Criminal behaviour constitutes grounds for immediate suspension from the Conference or Official Event without refund, and may be banned from attending future CASA-related events and Conferences.

4. Business Practices

CASA, as a non-profit, non-partisan, federal lobbying organization, mandates a high standard of ethical business practice and integrity among its delegates. All delegates, staff, observers, and guests must conduct business in an ethical manner that promotes honesty, fairness, consideration, and enlightened professionalism. An infringement of business best practice conduct includes, but is not limited to, knowingly misrepresenting, for personal gain or otherwise, an issue of importance to the membership/other attendees at a Conference or Official Event.

Report to Officer: Attendees who become aware of business practices contrary to these articulated principles are encouraged to report those practices to the Officer immediately. 

Attendees are expected to display behaviour that respects this Code of Conduct during a CASA Conference, Official Events, and Privately Organized Events in the course of a CASA conference or Official Event.

However, as stated above, CASA is not liable for delegates’ conduct that may occur outside of CASA Conferences or Official Events.  Such events may include, without limitation, events privately organized in the course of individuals’ attendance at a CASA Conference or Official Event. By registering for a CASA conference, the attendee expressly acknowledges this Code of Conduct and accepts that CASA bears no responsibility of any kind or any nature in respect of any such conduct.

 

Grievance Process and Reporting

1. Reporting

Attendees who become aware of violations of this Code of Conduct at CASA Conferences or other Official Events must report that abuse/use to the Officer immediately. The Officer will take appropriate steps to address any such conduct.

Where an attendee believes he/she has experienced discrimination or harassment by another attendee, that individual should:

a) Raise his or her concern and attempt to resolve his/her concern directly with the individual involved; AND/OR

b) If the attendee deems it appropriate, immediately bring his/her concern to the attention of the Officer either personally, by phone or by email. 

 

2. Complaints process

Upon receipt of a complaint (whether written or verbal) by an attendee, the Officer will take appropriate steps to investigate and address the matter.  These steps may include, among other steps:

i. Where a verbal complaint has been received, asking the complainant to put his/her concerns in writing; 

ii. Requesting that the respondent reply to the complaint either verbally or in writing;

iii. Investigating the allegations of discrimination/harassment;

iv. Meeting with the concerned parties;

v. Mediating the dispute, and/or;

vi. Involving the Board for the purpose of suspending the perpetrator from the Conference and any other disciplinary action which the Board, in its discretion, may decide;

vii. Taking the steps he or she deems appropriate in the circumstances.

 

3. Enforcement of the Code of Conduct

Misdemeanours regarding the violation of the Code of Conduct will be reviewed by the Board of Directors and Code of Conduct Officers.

Behaviours considered violations of this Code of Conduct could result in various repercussions, ranging from a verbal or written notice, suspension, or other. More than two written notices of violations will result in an immediate suspension.

In circumstances where an attendee is suspended from a Conference, that attendee shall be required to leave the Conference and the Conference facilities immediately upon being requested to do so.

In such event, the attendee shall not be refunded any registration or conference related fees, nor shall CASA bear responsibility for assuming any costs associated with such early departure - whether arising from the requirement to alter travel arrangements or otherwise.

Any criminal behaviour committed at a CASA conference will result in immediate suspension from the conference, and all participation in CASA events for that individual will be revoked while a proper investigation is undertaken.

 

4. Appeals 

Whereby an attendee is the subject of a suspension, pending investigation/review or found, by the Board and the Code of Conduct Officers, to be guilty of criminal behaviour, he or she shall have ten days from the date of discipline to appeal this discipline.

In the event that an Appeal is initiated by a member of the Board on his/her own behalf (i.e. where a member has been disciplined), the process for appeal shall be the same; with the exception that the effected member of the Board shall be excluded from the review process and such review shall be conducted by the remaining members of the Board.

All appeals shall be directed to the Board; shall be in writing and will describe, in detail, the nature of the events giving rise to the discipline as well as the precise discipline imposed (i.e. suspension from a Conference, banning from future Conferences, etc.) and the remedy sought ["A Letter of Appeal"].

Upon receipt of a Letter of Appeal

The Board shall, in its sole discretion, determine whether to uphold, modify or revoke the discipline imposed. It is the Board's mandate that, within 30 days of receipt of the Letter of Appeal, advice the attendee, in writing, of that decision. There shall be no further right of appeal following the written decision of the Board having been issued.

 

Acknowledgement

The attendee acknowledges that attendance at all CASA Conferences and Official Events is entirely voluntary and that CASA bears no responsibility for any damages that may occur or arise in the course of such attendance.