The Code

Rights, Responsibilities and More

The Code reinforces McMaster’s commitment to foster an ethical, safe, inclusive and fair campus environment that is conducive to learning and that values integrity, inclusiveness and teamwork.

We administer the Code through a thorough, transparent, and fair process that encourages participation by the campus community while holding students accountable for their actions. In addition, we strive to support the personal and collective growth of the McMaster student community.


In particular, the Code:

  • outlines the rights and responsibilities of all students;
  • emphasizes the importance of applying a harm reduction approach that includes education,  rehabilitation, reparation and restitution in all matters involving the Code;
  • establishes clear pathways for complainants to access the Office;
  • clearly outlines the procedures and potential outcomes for respondents when they violate the Code;
  • applies an alternative, rehabilitative approach to addressing behavior that may be related to a health condition.

Students’ Rights

Under the Code, all students have the right to:

  • protection under the laws of the land and the Code;
  • fair procedures and process under the Code;
  • participate unhindered in their academic pursuits which includes the opportunity to participate in respectful dialogue that examines diverse views and ideas;
  • live and work in an environment free from harassment, intimidation, discrimination or assault; and
  • have their personal privacy respected by other students, to the extent possible.

Students’ Responsibilities

All students are responsible for:

  • obeying all the laws of the land and being acquainted with the relevant policies, procedures and rules of the University as they apply to their specific role(s) within the University;
  • treating others in a way that does not harm them physically and/or threaten or intimidate them emotionally or mentally;
  • supporting the ethical environment on campus through civility, honesty, respect and through valuing the inherent diversity of our community;
  • consuming legal substances in a safe and responsible manner; and
  • complying with any disciplinary measures assigned under this Code, and respecting the authority of University officials in the course of their duties;

The SCM is committed to providing educational initiatives and learning opportunities to help students conduct themselves in accordance with the Code. When students are involved in the Code process, we emphasize the importance of education, reparation and rehabilitation as a way to resolve matters and encourage personal growth to prevent future incidents.