One of the guiding principles of the Supportive Leaves Policy is that “students have personal autonomy regarding their health and wellness and are encouraged to seek the help they may need” (I.A.3). As part of this respect for autonomy, students have the ability to request a Voluntary Leave of Absence, under either a Divisional process or through the Policy, at any time during the application of the Policy.
A voluntary Supportive Leave is considered when a student is able to engage with the University about the concerning behaviour and determine for themselves a Leave from their studies would support their mental health and well-being. The decision to take a voluntary Supportive Leave is up to the student.
Supportive Leaves must only be mandated in exceptional circumstances when there is significant concern that a student’s behaviour poses a risk of harm to other members of the University community, there is reason to believe that the behaviour is related to significant mental health or other similar issue, and all other accommodative measures have been exhausted.
The process and supports provided for a voluntary Supportive Leave and mandated Supportive Leave are consistent. In either Leave, the student can choose to have input in the terms and conditions of a Leave, and let the University know when they feel ready to initiate a return to studies process.
Please refer to Section IV. E of the Supportive Leaves Policy for additional information about voluntary Supportive Leaves and Section IV.F. for additional information regarding mandated Supportive Leaves.