Introduction to Columbia College

A brief introduction to Columbia College Culture: 

In the classroom at Columbia College teachers aim to provide the best learning environment for students. This means that the Instructor is the only one who speaks in the class unless indicated otherwise. It is considered rude to talk with your friends while the Instructor (or another student) is speaking as this is a major distraction to both the instructor and your fellow classmates. Furthermore, to gain the maximum benefit from the classroom you should not be distracting yourself by texting or playing with other electronic devices.

In the Library it is socially expected that there is silence in consideration of others who are there to study.

College policies such as course pre-requisites, course load, deadline for withdrawals and final exam dates are NOT open for individual negotiation. Grades given in class are NON-NEGOTIABLE. You may request an explanation about your given grade; however, marks are rarely, if ever, changed by arguing or trying to negotiate with the Instructor. Your teacher is grading you based on their long-time experience and you earn grades by meeting class expectations. The best way to improve your grades is by following the readings, attending all classes, and completing the required assignments.

Responsibilities of the Student:

Classroom Code of Conduct

Students at Columbia College are expected to show respect for the rights of other students, in particular the right to study and learn. Any behaviour in a classroom that interferes with the instructor’s ability to conduct the class will be treated as disruptive; the penalties for disruptive behaviour are set out in the College Calendar, and include suspension and possibly expulsion from the College. In general students are expected to be attentive and courteous during class and lab time, to complete assigned work and to accept responsibility for their own achievement. In particular:

  • Students will aim to arrive at all classes early and be ready when the class begins – this means taking a seat and getting out paper, pens, necessary texts before the class starts.
  • Students will not expect to leave the class before the instructor has finished. On those rare occasions when a student must leave a class early he/she should seek the permission of the instructor before the class begins. If a student must excuse himself/herself during a class the student should request permission and leave as quietly as possible.
  • Mobile phones and other devices MUST be turned off during classes and not switched to “vibrate” mode. Students should never consult their phone during class.
  • Students will not talk while the instructor is talking.
  • Students will speak respectfully when asking or answering a question.
  • Students may not eat or drink during classes unless the instructor indicates that this is acceptable in his/her class.


It is very important the campus and surrounding area is treated with respect and appropriate behaviour.


The City of Vancouver Health By-law No. 9535 prohibits smoking within six metres of any building entrance or airway (including revolving doors and windows). Persons who violate this by-law can be fined up to $500.00.

Hallways, Galleries and Staircases

Loud voices disrupt classes and can carry to all floors of the building. Please keep your voice to a reasonable level. Students must avoid congregating in large groups anywhere outside of the classroom.

Student Lounges

The Student Lounge is used by more than 300 students a day. Please throw out your garbage, empty unfinished drinks into the sink and clean up after yourself when you are finished eating.

Public urination

It is against the City of Vancouver Health By-law No. 6580 to expectorate, urinate or defecate in or on any public street, lane or park. Any person who commits an offence against this by-law is liable to a fine and penalty up to $2,000.00.


Please be courteous when traveling on the elevators and be sure to check whether people are coming before pushing a flour button and closing the doors.

Emergency Short-term Closures

In the event that some form of emergency (such as an outbreak of the Flu or a snowstorm) causes Columbia College to cancel classes for a short period, your instructor may wish to communicate with you by email to provide information on required readings, assignments, and so on. It is your responsibility to check your College email regularly.  You can also check our social media channels (see the front page of this guide) for updates.


Everyone should be concerned about the environment. While you study here we encourage you to participate in our recycling program.

  • Recycle all paper! Recyclable paper includes white paper, coloured paper, and newsprint. Please put tissue, hand towels, and lunch bags into the garbage bins. Do NOT put dirty or soiled paper in the recycling bin. This includes coffee and tea cups, as well as food wrappers.
  • Put your drink cans in the pop can bins, located in both Student Lounges. Please throw away your straw in the garbage bins.
  • Use the garbage bins for non-recyclable garbage.

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