University Protocols

Code of Conduct

Western University is a community of students, faculty and staff involved in learning, teaching, research, and other activities. The University seeks to provide an environment of free and creative inquiry within which critical thinking, humane values, and practical skills are cultivated and sustained. It is committed to a mission and to principles that will foster excellence and create an environment where its students, faculty, and staff can grow and flourish. Toward these ends, there is a general standard of conduct expected of students registered at Western University.

Equity, Human Rights, Discrimination and Harassment

Affiliation with the Department of Geography and Environment presumes mutual respect among students, staff, teaching assistants, and faculty. A positive atmosphere of professionalism and collegiality is essential for everyone to perform to the best of his, her, their abilities. This requires respect for the opinions and questions of others and behaviour that is, at all times, courteous, and conducive to creating a pleasant and productive environment for learning and working.

As members of the Department of Geography and Environment, we are expected to show special respect for our environment, being individually responsible for promoting a clean and safe work environment within the facilities of the Department and the Social Science Centre, including classrooms, laboratories, offices, hallways, washrooms, exterior grounds, and the facilities and vehicles used in field courses and field trips.

It is inevitable that misunderstandings will occur from time to time. However, it is in everyone's interest to try and resolve problems in a non-confrontational manner. Threatening, violent, or abusive behaviour, harassment (including sexual and racial harassment), rudeness (in person, in writing, or on the telephone), and abuse of authority, for whatever reasons, corrode good working and learning conditions, and are unacceptable.

Incidents that cannot be resolved amicably may be reported to the Chair of the Department (661-3653). The Chair will consider appropriate actions for resolving the problem, usually after consultation with the parties involved. If required, contact with university services (e.g., Police, Equity) or civil authorities will be invoked.

Western University has a number of policies, procedures and resources related to equity, human rights, discrimination and harassment. The University has also agreed with several unions and employee groups to include equity and human rights articles in the Collective or Employment Agreements of many of the unions and employee groups on campus.

For more information about these and related matters, please go to Equity and Human Rights Services

Health and Safety

The Department of Geography and Environment, and the University of Western Ontario, strive to foster the development of a safety consciousness in all members of the University community. We want to minimize risk of injury to persons and damage to property or facilities. There are numerous resources, training procedures, and polices that assist Graduate Students to maintain the health and safety of themselves, the Department, and the broader University community. For detailed information please see the department health and safety page.