Student Conduct in the Community

 

While we understand that our students are eager to feel connected to Dal and each other, please know that our community’s health and safety remains our number one priority. Dalhousie is committed to being a good neighbour, and we have the very same expectations of our students as citizens in our shared community.

Our students have a long tradition of involvement in the community and the vast majority of Dalhousie students maintain positive, respectful relationships with their neighbours. However, we feel it is important to ensure that our students are provided information about the consequences of breaking the law, especially as it relates to community safety, bylaws, and alcohol consumption.

Off-campus conduct is governed and enforced by the same processes that apply to all citizens of Halifax Regional Municipality. Notably, for matters related to the Criminal Code and public health protocols, enforcement rests with the Halifax Regional Police (HRP). By-law issues are within the jurisdiction of HRM by-law enforcement officers.

We are fully committed to working closely and supporting both the province, city and HRP’s efforts to maintain safe and respectful communities. As in past years, considerable efforts are made to proactively monitor and communicate the potential risks involving unsafe student behaviour on and off campus, and through regular check-ins with HRP. 

Here are some of the actions we’ve undertaken:

  • We have been in constant contact with students to educate and inform them on their responsibilities as citizens of Nova Scotia
  • We have implemented a vaccine and testing requirement for campus access for all students, staff and faculty 
  • We have updated our existing Code of Student Conduct as of September 1, 2021
     

Connect with us

Are you a student or community member with questions about issues, responsibilities in our community surrounding Dalhousie? Please see our list of frequently asked questions below. If you have more questions, you can contact us at community.relations@dal.ca.

For immediate issues or emergencies at or near Dalhousie, calls should be directed to:

  • 902-490-5020 – Halifax Regional Police non-emergency line 
  • 311 – HRM municipal services contact centre
  • 911 – emergencies only
  • 902-494-6400 – Dalhousie Security (on-campus issues only)
     

Frequently Asked Questions

What is expected of me as a Dalhousie student?

We’re counting on all of our students to share the responsibility for keeping our Dalhousie community and the surrounding community of Halifax, safe and healthy. Dalhousie provides opportunities for students to connect in ways that are safe, respectful and follow all provincial health guidelines. We encourage students to introduce themselves to their neighbours and remind them to become familiar with city by-laws, that their guests are their responsibility, and that disobeying the law can result in fines and criminal charges. Dalhousie students living off-campus are subject to all laws of the province of Nova Scotia.

Where do I find information about HRM by-laws?

It is important for students and our community members to understand their responsibilities as residents of HRM. Information about Halifax Regional Municipality by-laws including noise, garbage, construction, property concerns, and alcohol can be found on HRM’s by-law website.

Is Dalhousie responsible for student’s behaviour off-campus? What about the Student Code of Conduct?

Dalhousie recognizes students living off-campus as independent adult citizens subject to the laws and by-laws of Nova Scotia and the Halifax Regional Municipality. Enforcement of illegal behaviour in the greater Halifax community lies with the Halifax Regional Police. Dal proactively communicates and encourages respectful behaviour to students living both on and off-campus. 

The Dalhousie Code of Student Conduct was revised this fall and applies to non-academic misconduct by a student or group of students that takes place off University property, including online activities, in circumstances where:

  • a student is participating in a sanctioned University activity, regardless of where that activity takes place;
  • Student represents, claims to represent or would reasonably be perceived to be representing, the University;

or in the context of an academic program, including conduct that occurs when a student is participating in:

  • any class activity, including a lecture, tutorial, lab, classroom discussion forum or the like, on or off University property or online; and, 
  • any organized academic activity, such as a clinical placement, exchange, field placement, field trip, internship, research activities that occur virtually or off University property. 

In most common situations off campus, complaints involve violation of municipal, provincial or federal laws and the Code will only apply if there has been a material negative impact to the university community.

When a complaint is made under the Code of Student Conduct, each complaint is reviewed to assess whether it falls under the Code or another more appropriate policy or process.

For the full Dalhousie Code of Student Conduct, please visit our Student Conduct site.

What does Dalhousie do to encourage positive student behaviour in the community?

Dalhousie has a robust program to encourage positive student/community engagement on and off campus, which includes:

  • Constant contact and communications to students by the Student Affairs team, for both on and off campus students
  • Campus-wide COVID information through the “In This Together” campaign
  • student education initiatives, outreach, programming and policies
  • A new student conduct team dedicated to mitigating unsafe student behaviour 
  • relevant and timely newsletters for the off-campus community
  • community meetings
  • full-time community engagement team and off-campus housing advisor
  • Dalhousie Security Services 24/7 patrols on all Dalhousie campuses
  • peer-to-peer home visits from Dalhousie students
  • Proactive home visits with HRP and partners
  • working groups identify issues and proactive approaches to address neighbourhood concerns. 

How are the police involved in ensuring safety in the community near Dalhousie? What is Operation Fallback?

Operation Fallback is an independent program operated by the Halifax Regional Police during the month of September. It focuses on the neighbourhoods in South End Halifax, as there is increased activity in these areas when students from all Halifax-area universities move back in the fall. During Operation Fallback, HRP distributes pamphlets and other resources to educate about the laws related to noise, safety and parties and staffs more officers in the South End to help mitigate any issues and improve response time.

For more information visit HRP’s website.

 

What does "HOCO" or "fake homecoming" have to do with Dalhousie University? How does the university mitigate this problem?

For the record, Dalhousie does not host a sanctioned homecoming event in the fall and it does not condone any kind of illegal street party. People attending these gathering have used the term “homecoming” colloquially but this gathering is not associated with any official Dalhousie event. 

Large unsanctioned street parties are a complex and growing problem across North American university campuses that pose a high-risk for alcohol-related and safety incidents on campuses and nearby neighborhoods. They require extensive efforts from universities and community partners to mitigate as they are organized by a loose network of informal groups on social media and their size and scope are hard to predict.

When the risk of an unsanctioned party is presented, Dalhousie taps into an integrated response team designated to help address and mitigate the potential impacts. This is done in close partnership with the Halifax Regional Police (HRP), HRM and emergency services. Campus and community partners are all involved in educating and informing students with targeted messages around conduct and consequences around illegal or prohibited behaviour. In addition, Dalhousie provides a number of alternative opportunities for students to connect in ways that are safe and respectful. These are complemented with comprehensive and collaborative alcohol and harm reduction programming.

Off-campus conduct related to the Criminal Code and public health protocols is enforced by the Halifax Regional Police (HRP). Therefore, Dalhousie shares information on unsanctioned parties with the Halifax Regional Police and emergency services. HRP also conducts proactive daytime house visits in the neighbourhoods surrounding Dalhousie to ensure students are aware of the consequences of their actions. When unsanctioned events pose a serious threat to student health and safety, our neighbours well-being and community as a whole, we consult with our community partners to designate additional resources required to help keep students and our community safe.

Finally, there are some occasions where Dalhousie’s Code of Student Conduct can be applied to off campus situations if a violation of municipal, provincial or federal laws results in a material negative impact to the university community. These situations will be addressed on a case-by-case basis if a Code complaint is filed. 

Who do I call if I have a noise complaint?

Enforcement of noise-related complaints rests with the Halifax Regional Police and Halifax Regional Municipality. HRM by-law officers can address these complaints, or follow up on an existing complaint, during work hours. For issues in the evenings or weekends, please contact HRP at their non-emergency line (902-490-5020). 

What is Dalhousie’s COVID safety plan?

Dalhousie University continues to plan for the fall while adhering to the latest Nova Scotia Public Health guidelines, ensuring the health and safety of our students, staff and faculty as they return to campus. The most current information on the multiple layers of our plan, can be found here.

For Nova Scotia updates around COVID-19, please visit novascotia.ca/coronavirus.

Does Dalhousie have dry campus policy?

Dalhousie university does not have a dry campus policy. While we currently have a ban on alcohol and substances in residences, this policy is in place as we have emergency restrictions due to COVID to protect the health and safety of our students and employees living, learning and working in our residences. We cannot hold students accountable for compliance to strict rules around health and safety while permitting behaviour which impairs judgement. Currently, 80% of our residence students are not legal drinking age in Nova Scotia.

What do I need to know about winter parking in Halifax?

The Halifax municipal overnight winter parking ban is in effect every year from Dec. 15 to March 31. It is enforced only during declared weather events and ongoing clearing operations. When enforced, the parking ban is in effect from 1 a.m. until 6 a.m. throughout the Regional Centre of the municipality.

For updates on the status of the parking ban, you can visit halifax.ca, follow @hfxgov on Twitter, or call 311. You can sign up to receive winter parking ban notifications here.

Learn more about the winter parking ban here.