Student Rights & Responsibilities

Student Records

Students at St. Mary’s University have a confidential student record containing financial and academic information.

Change of Name or Address

If there is a change in pertinent information, such as name, address or telephone number, a student must submit a Change of Information form. St. Mary’s University is not responsible for failing to contact a student if that student has neglected to inform the University of a change of information.

Confidentiality

St. Mary’s University is subject to the provisions of the Personal Information Privacy Act (Alberta). No personal information about a student may be given to any organization or person, including a parent or spouse, without the student’s written authorization.

Student Access to information

Students can access their up-to-date financial and academic information through their secure access to my.StMU. If students choose to access information at the Enrolment Services Office, a student identification card will be required to access this information. Students who wish to view their student file may submit an Information Release Form to the Enrolment Services Office.

Access to a student’s record will be given in the presence of a University staff member and the student may request corrections to any part of the record believed to be incorrect. Correction requests will be handled in accordance with the provisions of the Personal Information Privacy Act.

Student Identification Cards

Student identification cards bear a picture of the student and confirm that an individual is a current St. Mary’s University student. The photo will also be housed in the St. Mary’s Student Information System and will be available to faculty members and staff for the purpose of verification of identity. Issuance of a replacement card will be subject to a replacement fee of $5 and a $117 U-Pass replacement fee for full-time students. The student identification card is required to borrow books from the St. Mary’s University library and to access the University of Calgary and Ambrose University libraries. University staff and faculty also have the right to ask to see the student identification card of anyone on campus, particularly for the purpose of issuing cheques and documentation, or for writing an examination.

Student Orientation

Enrolment Services offers a new student orientation at the start of each term. The purpose of orientation is to familiarize students with the campus, and to give them the opportunity to meet peers and faculty and participate in sessions to support their post-secondary academic endeavours. All new students are encouraged to attend.

Student government

In the earliest medieval liberal arts universities, students had influence over the governance and programs of the university. Continuing in this tradition, the administration of St. Mary’s University values the input it receives from its students.

All students are automatically members of the Students’ Association of St. Mary’s University, an autonomous body governed by its own constitution and bylaws. Students are invited to become active in the Students’ Association by running for positions on the Students’ Legislative Council (SLC), which represents the student body to the faculty and administration, or by volunteering to help with SLC-sponsored events both on and off campus. The SLC includes the following positions: President, VP External, VP Internal, VP Events, VP Finance, and three to ten Student Representatives.

The SLC is actively involved in campus life. The President of the SLC serves on the University’s Board of Governors and two representatives sit on the University’s Academic Council. SLC members are invited to attend other committee meetings as required.

In addition to committee work, the SLC is responsible for providing leadership to the student body, facilitating social events, fostering a sense of community among students, and listening to students’ concerns and reflecting them to the University. The SLC is assisted in its endeavours by a faculty liaison appointed by the Vice President Academic and Dean.

Clubs

University clubs may be established by members of the Students’ Association to promote and develop the interests and skills of St. Mary’s University students. Current clubs include the Literary Guild, Leaves Book Club, Hockey Club and the Education Student Association. Contact a member of the SLC in the Student Association Building for information about current clubs or if you wish to establish a new university club.

Course/instructor evaluations

Course/instructor evaluations are distributed to all students near the end of each term. Students have the opportunity to share their comments through this feedback. Evaluations are strictly confidential and anonymous. Other student surveys may also be conducted at the University in order to gain information for academic and student services planning purposes.

Class Attendance

Students are expected to attend all classes, tutorials and labs for which they are registered. Unexcused absence may result in loss of marks or in additional assignments being required. Unexcused absences may also lead to a penalty on the final grade. If a student has been absent without permission or legitimate cause for more than one-quarter of the classes, an instructor may bar the student from writing the final examination in any course. Faculty members may include specific regulations regarding class attendance in their course syllabus. In cases where students have missed the first three consecutive meetings of a course without prior approval from the instructor, the instructor has the right to drop them from the course list, especially if there is a wait list for the course.

Because of the incremental nature of knowledge, missed lab sessions may create a hazardous situation. Students who are judged to have missed an unacceptable number of lab sessions in a course will be required to withdraw from that course. In cases involving critical course content, a single missed session may be judged as unacceptable.

Campus integrity and human rights

Human rights law has defined discrimination as the wrongful exercise of power, authority or control over others, whether intended or not, based on the following grounds: physical and mental disability, gender, sexual orientation, race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, ethnic origin, citizenship, religious beliefs, age, marital status, family status, socioeconomic status or source of income. St. Mary’s University is committed to a campus free of discrimination and is dedicated to the highest standards of human equality and academic freedom. The University endorses these standards at every level of the institution and in all aspects of student, faculty and staff life while individuals or groups are acting in a capacity defined by their relationship with the University. Achievement of an environment free of discrimination requires the cooperation and dedication of all members of the University community. Expression of this commitment can take many forms, including participating in healthy debate and discussion, behaving in a manner that recognizes, values and nurtures the diversity of the University community, and offering support to those who are subjected to discrimination. Members of the University community who are aware of acts of discrimination are encouraged to take appropriate steps to stop the discriminatory behaviour. If you feel your integrity and/or human rights or those of another person have been violated in any way or if you would like information regarding the Campus Integrity and Human Rights Policy and Procedures, please contact Dr. Helen Kominek at (403) 254.3708 or campusintegrity@stmu.ca.

Campus Behaviour

St. Mary’s University is committed to a safe, healthy, productive work and learning environment that respects the inherent dignity of each member of this scholarly community. Incidents that threaten this environment such as acts of harassment, aggression, hazing, assault (sexual, verbal and physical), bullying, theft or other inappropriate behaviour must be reported to the Vice-President Academic & Dean. Those who violate these regulations may be subject to discipline, academic suspensions, team suspension, report to Calgary Police Service and possible expulsion from the University.

Smoking

St. Mary’s University is a non-smoking environment. Smoking is prohibited in all buildings and allowed only in designated outside locations.

Alcohol and Drugs

Alcohol may be consumed on the University premises only at licensed events sponsored by the Students’ Association or the University. These events are governed by the St. Mary’s University Alcohol Use Policy. People who arrive at the University with alcohol and/or drugs in their possession, under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs or selling alcohol and/or drugs will be reported to the Vice-President Academic & Dean. Individuals who violate these regulations may be subject to discipline, academic suspension, team suspension, report to Calgary Police Service and possible expulsion from the University.

Academic accommodation

St. Mary’s University embraces its moral and legal duty to provide academic accommodation. The University removes barriers and provides opportunities to students with disabilities, enabling them to access University services, programs and facilities, and welcoming them as participating members of the University community.

New students are encouraged to self-identify to the Academic Accommodation Coordinator at the time of admission in order to allow for arrangement of accommodation. Returning students requesting continued accommodation are required to contact the Academic Accommodation Coordinator before the commencement of each term. Students who become disabled either permanently or temporarily, and students with disabilities whose health status changes significantly during their time at the University, should contact the Academic Accommodation Coordinator as soon as possible.

Requests for academic accommodation will be reviewed by the Academic Accommodation Coordinator and decisions regarding accommodation will be reviewed with each student.

Academic accommodation may include, for example, extended time for examinations, a quiet room for examinations, use of a computer for examinations or access to adaptive technologies. Students will be given an official accommodation letter and form. Any student with a disability applying for student loans must also contact the Academic Accommodations Coordinator to discuss funding options.

Accommodations for all tests and examinations will be arranged between the student and the C.L.A.S.S. Coordinator. All information obtained by the Academic Accommodation Coordinator will be treated as confidential and will be destroyed five years after a student’s last registration.

To be eligible to receive academic accommodation, students must self-identify and provide appropriate documentation of their disability. Documentation acceptable to the University must be obtained from a licensed professional. Documentation should include test results, a formal diagnosis, detailed explanation of the functional impact of the disability and recommendations for appropriate accommodation.

Academic Misconduct

Academic honesty is the cornerstone of the development and acquisition of knowledge and St. Mary’s University insists on academic honesty in scholarship. Knowledge is cumulative, growing on the basis of previous knowledge, so we are all beholden to others for their contributions. In the course of scholarship, these contributions are reflected upon, critically analyzed and used as the foundation for further knowledge. Scholarship and academic honesty demand that these contributions be acknowledged and not passed off as products of one’s own thought. Two major categories of academic misconduct are plagiarism and cheating.

Plagiarism

Plagiarism is a very serious academic offence that involves presenting work in a course as if it were the result of one’s own study and investigation when, in fact, it is the work of someone else. Plagiarism takes place when:

  • an essay or other work is copied from another source and submitted as one’s own
  • parts of a work, including words, ideas, images or data, are taken from a source without acknowledgement of the originator
  • work presented for one course is also submitted for another course without prior agreement of the instructors involved
  • another person prepares the work that is submitted as one’s own
  • substantial editorial or compositional assistance from another person is received on work that is submitted as one’s own.

Cheating

Cheating is also a very serious academic offence. Cheating on examinations, assignments and/or labs may take a number of forms, including:

  • tampering or attempting to tamper with examination scripts, class work, grades or class
    records
  • obtaining unauthorized assistance from anyone during the course of an examination
  • impersonating another student during examinations
  • falsifying or fabricating lab reports
  • communicating with other students during an examination
  • bringing unauthorized written material or electronic devices to an examination
  • possessing, distributing, or attempting to possess or distribute unauthorized material in respect to examinations
  • attempting to read the examination papers of other students
  • deliberately exposing one’s own examination papers to another student.

Penalties for Academic Misconduct

Penalties for a first occurrence of academic misconduct may include a failing grade on the examination, assignment and/or lab and/or a failing grade in the course as determined by the course instructor. The instructor will immediately send a letter stating the particulars of the offence to the Vice-President Academic & Dean and it will be placed in the student’s permanent file. In the event of a subsequent occurrence of academic misconduct, in any course during the student’s academic tenure at St. Mary’s, the Vice-President Academic & Dean will decide on appropriate disciplinary action, which may include possible expulsion from St. Mary’s University. If a student is expelled, the reason for expulsion will be stated on the student’s permanent academic record. All correspondence regarding acts of academic misconduct by a student will be copied to the student.

Academic Misconduct Appeals

A student found guilty of academic misconduct may appeal the finding that an offence has been committed, the penalty imposed, or both. The appeal of the student may be based either on the validity of the offence, or the severity of the penalty imposed, or both. The student may appeal the decision of the instructor in writing to the Registrar within 10 days of the decision of the instructor. The appeal letter must state the decision being appealed, the grounds for appeal and the remedy sought by the student.

The Registrar will request a meeting of an Academic Misconduct Appeals Committee to hear the appeal. The committee will give the appellant, the instructor and any others involved five days written notice of the hearing date. After the hearing, the Registrar will notify the student and the Vice-President Academic & Dean in writing of the committee’s decision.

Academic Regulation Appeals

Students who feel they have been unfairly treated in the application of academic regulations may appeal decisions to Academic Council (except for grade appeals which are heard by a Grade Appeal Committee). Decisions may be appealed on the following grounds only:

  • alleged bias
  • alleged unfair procedures
  • substantial new evidence that could not be presented at the time of the decision
  • where the original decision was in response to an unusual situation for which criteria are ambiguous.

The appeal must be made in writing and submitted to the Chair of Academic Council within 30 days of the date of the decision, outlining and, where possible, substantiating the grounds for the appeal. Academic Council will consider the appeal within 30 days. The decisions of Academic Council are final.