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Rights & Responsibilities

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Below, you will find a detailed listing of the policies, guidelines, publications, and resources that relate to your work and conduct as a student at the University of Toronto.

Academic Accommodations

This section outlines the University’s commitment to developing an accessible learning environment that provides reasonable accommodations to enable students with disabilities to meet the essential academic requirements of the University’s courses and programs.

Accommodations for Religious Observances

This section outlines the University’s commitment to developing an accessible learning environment that provides reasonable accommodations to enable students with disabilities to meet the essential academic requirements of the University’s courses and programs.

Code of Student Conduct

The University of Toronto assumes no general responsibility for the moral and social behaviour of its students. There are some cases in which the University’s interest is unique and not adequately recognized by the wider justice system. For such instances, the University has its own set of internal offences, procedures, and sanctions – called the Code of Student Conduct.

The Code of Student Conduct is a Governing Council Policy that sets out expectations for student behavior, and prescribes processes for dealing with prohibited behaviour. It can be used as a tool in the cases when the rights of the University’s community members are infringed upon by the behaviours of others.

The Students Companion to the Student Code of Conduct is a set of frequently asked questions and the responses about the Code of Student Conduct. It aims to simplify and clarify Code usage for the University’s community members.

Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters

The Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters outlines the responsibilities of of faculty members and students are it relates to teaching and learning at the University of Toronto.

Academic offences are treated as a threat to the integrity of the institution and penalties can be severe. These offences are outlined in the Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters.

For more information about academic integrity at the University of Toronto, please see the following website:


There are several policy documents that confirm the University’s commitment to acting against discrimination. The Statement on Human Rights states that the University “acts within its purview to prevent or remedy discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, marital status, family status, receipt of public assistance or record of offence.”

Though you are — for the most part — free to express your opinions no matter how controversial, there is a point at which the right to free speech is limited. You are not entitled to target individuals with vexatious comments based on human rights grounds. If you do so, and your conduct is known to be unwelcome, this is defined as “discriminatory harassment” and is an offence under the University’s Code of Student Conduct.

Freedom of Speech

The right to free speech is integral to the University’s mission as an institution devoted to the pursuit of truth, advancement of learning and dissemination of knowledge. It is only when the freedoms of others are jeopardized that the University places any limits on what can be said.

The important exceptions to the right of free speech – such as threats, obstruction, or harassment – are described below in the section on “Discrimination”; but in general, students are encouraged to express their opinions and to contribute to the discussions and debates that characterize campus life.

Defined in the University’s Statement on Freedom of Speech, the right to free speech includes:

  • the right to examine, question, investigate, speculate and comment on any issue,
  • the right to criticize the University,
  • the right to form groups, and
  • the right of such groups to express themselves.

Resources for International Students

The University of Toronto offers programming and support for international students across all three campuses. This includes support with pre-arrival and transition to University, supporting questions and providing guidance on study permits and immigration, and offering workshops and resources for current students to support their learning the classroom and beyond.

The University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP) is a mandatory health insurance plan for all international and exchange students enrolled in an Ontario university. UHIP helps to cover the cost of hospital and medical services you may need to maintain your health while in Canada.

Sexual Violence & Sexual Harassment Prevention and Support

The University of Toronto is committed to creating an environment in which all members of the University community can study, work, and live free from sexual violence – including sexual assault and sexual harassment. See the Provost’s Office website for details of the University’s Action plan on Preventing and Responding to Sexual Violence and online sexual violence education and prevention training for all students, staff, and faculty members. The University of Toronto Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment pertains to all U of T students, staff, and faculty.

The Student’s Guide to the Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment Policy is a set of frequently asked questions and the responses about the Policy. It aims to simplify and clarify Policy usage for the University’s community members.

The University of Toronto’s Sexual Violence Prevention and Support Centre was established in 2017 as part of the University’s Action Plan on Preventing and Responding to Sexual Violence. The Centre has locations on all three campuses and provides support to members of the University community who have been affected by sexual violence or sexual harassment.

Supportive Leaves Policy

The Supportive Leaves Policy provides a process to ensure supports and options are available in rare situations where concerning behaviour is believed to be a result of serious mental health or other issues. The Policy was created specifically for situations where concerning behaviour poses a risk of harm to others, or a student is unable to engage in the essential activities required to pursue an education. It is designed to be used in exceptional circumstances, and even then, only with very significant procedural safeguards for students and a rigorous approach to exploring accommodations and supportive resources. It is driven by compassion in responding to the needs of students and accepting our responsibility to intervene before safety issues drive our response.

Safety Abroad

The U of T Student Safety Abroad Team supports students and activity sponsors by:

  • Providing direction to the University in regards to managing risk pertaining to student travel abroad
  • Offering students support and resources in understanding risks associated with the location of their international activity and working with students to develop measures to mitigate those risks
  • Monitoring situations abroad and advising students on any emerging issues
  • Providing emergency support when regional or personal emergencies arise


Students have the right to peacefully protest any University activity. However, that right does not extend to the point of disruption of any activity or to point where a member of the University’s freedom of speech is jeopardized. For example, picketing outside a classroom may be acceptable, but shouting during or otherwise preventing a lecture from taking place is not. Disruption is an offence under the University’s Code of Student Conduct and charges are dealt with through its procedures.


For students of legal drinking age, alcohol use is, primarily, their own responsibility. Under the campus Alcohol Policy, the University will intervene when alcohol is used illegally or when its abuse leads to conduct that endangers the individual(s) involved or others, or that results  in damage to property of the University, disrupts its activities, or interferes with the rights of other persons.

Use of Technology

Students using any University information technology – whether it be a computer lab or email account provided by the University – are expected to follow the guidelines set out by the department/office that granted those privileges. The Guidelines for the Appropriate Use of Information and Communication Technology prohibit harassment as well as the propagation of hate literature. The source of such material is easily traced and individual privileges will be revoked if violation occur.

Furthermore, individuals can face charges under other University policies as a result of materials distributed through University information technology. Do not let others use your email or computer access account; students are responsible for whatever material are distributed or activity is conducted through their account.