Approved by Senate November 25, 2019 and by the Board of Governors December 9, 2019
1.1 The overarching purposes of this Policy are to reaffirm the University of Ottawa’s commitment to a safe and healthy campus for work, for study and for campus community life for all members of the University community and its commitment to provide support to those members of the University community directly affected by sexual violence.
1.2 This Policy is also intended to
a) set out the University’s statement of values and commitments to address sexual violence;
b) provide information about supports and services available at the University and in the community and to ensure follow-up once a disclosure is made to the University;
c) provide information about the University’s process for responding to and addressing incidents and complaints of sexual violence; and
d) meet the University’s obligations under the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities Act, the Human Rights Code, and the Occupational Health and Safety Act with respect to sexual violence, sexual harassment and workplace sexual harassment.
2. APPLICATION AND RELATED POLICIES
2.1 This Policy applies to all members of the University community, whether they are in the University’s learning or work environment, on or off campus, or interacting through social or other electronic media. The learning and work environment encompasses any setting where University learning, work or other activities take place, whether in the classroom, lab, in other teaching, research, study or office settings, in a University student residence or in connection with clubs or sport teams.
2.2 Related University policies include Policy 67a on the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination, Policy 66 on Violence Prevention, Policy 77 on Health and Safety and the Faculty of Medicine Policy on Professionalism.
2.3 This Policy does not replace or supersede existing collective agreement provisions relevant to addressing sexual violence.
3.1 This Policy must be read and interpreted within the context of the overarching purposes referred to in section 1.
3.2 The following definitions are intended to assist in the interpretation of this Policy as well as other related University policies mentioned in paragraph 2.2.
“Accommodation” refers to a measure implemented in the context of education or employment to provide support to the survivor. These measures may include, for example, exam or assignment deferral, class and/or schedule changes, housing changes.
“Complainant” refers to the person who discloses one or more incidents of sexual violence or who files a formal complaint.
“Consent” means an active, direct, voluntary, unimpaired, and conscious choice and agreement to engage in sexual activity. These elements of consent must be present, even if alcohol or drugs have been consumed. Consent cannot be given by a person whose judgement is impaired by drugs or alcohol or by other forms of impairment. It is not acceptable for a person who is said to have engaged in sexual violence to use their own consumption of alcohol or drugs as an excuse for their mistaken belief that there was consent. For further clarity, consent:
a) cannot be assumed nor implied
b) cannot be given by silence or the absence of “no”
c) cannot be given by an individual who is impaired by alcohol or drugs, or is unconscious
d) cannot be given by an individual who is asleep
e) cannot be obtained through threats or coercion
f) can be revoked at any time
g) cannot be given if the person who is said to have engaged in sexual violence has abused a position of trust, power or authority
h) might not be given properly if an individual has a condition that limits his or her verbal or physical means of interaction – in such instances, it is extremely important to determine how consent will be established.
“Disclosure” refers to a person's choice to report an incident of sexual violence to a member of the university community.
“Formal complaint” refers to the choice of a survivor to file a formal complaint against the alleged perpetrator of sexual violence. On the other hand, the survivor may, if he or she prefers, choose alternative means, but this does not prevent him or her from filing a formal complaint at a later date.
“Interim measure” refers to a measure put in place to protect a person during their academic session and-or employment in order to stabilize the situation, protect the person from reprisals and address any security concerns. Such measures may include the implementation of preventive measures such as avoiding contact between the parties and/or to impose a temporary leave of absence on a respondent on a without prejudice basis.
“Respondent” refers to a person who is alleged to have used sexual violence and who is the subject of a complaint.
“Sexual assault” means any sexual contact, without the consent of a person, which may include unwanted kissing, fondling, sexual intercourse, oral or anal intercourse, other forms of penetration, or any other unwanted contact of a sexual nature.
“Sexual harassment” refers to comments or vexatious conduct based on gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome. In some cases, one incident may be serious enough to be considered sexual harassment. The following is a list of examples that is not meant to be exhaustive:
a) sexual solicitation or unwanted sexual attention from a person who knows or ought reasonably to know that such attention is unwanted;
b) an implied or expressed promise of reward for complying with a sexually oriented request;
c) an implied or expressed threat of reprisal or actual reprisal for refusing to comply with a sexually oriented request;
d) a sexual relationship that constitutes an abuse of power in a relationship of authority; or
e) a sexually oriented comment or behaviour that may reasonably be perceived to create a negative psychological and emotional environment for work or study
“Sexual violence” means any sexual act or act targeting a person’s sexuality, gender identity or gender expression, whether the act is physical or psychological in nature, that is committed, threatened or attempted against a person without the person’s consent. It includes sexual assault, sexual harassment, stalking, indecent exposure, voyeurism, non-consensual condom removing (stealthing), and sexual exploitation. For further clarity, sexual assault includes rape.
“Survivor” refers to a person who has been affected by sexual violence. Although the term is widely used in this Policy, the person is always free to choose whether to use the term victim or survivor to identify themselves.
“Survivor-centered approach” refers to a form of intervention that focuses, as much as possible, on the needs of the survivor and respects the survivor's choices in decision-making, support and intervention.
“University community” means all individuals who have a relationship with or to the University, including but not limited to:
a) students, meaning individuals registered as students at the University, whether full-time or part-time (including special students), at the undergraduate or graduate level;
b) employees, including all unionized and non-unionized academic and support staff as well as those whose salary is paid through sources other than the University’s operating funds, such as grants, research grants and external contracts;
c) clinicians and physicians with an academic appointment; adjunct, visiting and emeritus professors; post-doctoral or clinical fellows; research trainees; and medical residents;
d) contractors, consultants, suppliers or other entities engaged by the University to provide services or goods when on University property or while acting in a capacity defined by their relationship to the University;
e) members of the Board of Governors, of the Senate and any of their respective committees, as well as members of any advisory committee formed to help the University achieve its goals;
f) employees of both unionized and non-unionized employee and student groups when on University property or while acting in a capacity defined by their relationship to the University;
g) visitors, including visiting students and volunteers or persons who serve on advisory or other committees.
“Workplace sexual harassment” means a) engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct against a worker in a workplace because of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, where the course of comment or conduct is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome; b) or making a sexual solicitation or advance where the person making the solicitation or advance is in a position to confer, grant or deny a benefit or advancement to the worker and the person knows or ought reasonably to know that the solicitation or advance is unwelcome. In some cases, a single act of sufficient gravity could constitute sexual harassment.
4. STATEMENT OF VALUES AND COMMITMENTS
4.1 The University is committed to creating and maintaining an environment where members of the University community can study and work free of sexual violence.
4.2 The University recognizes that sexual violence is a fundamental affront to an individual’s rights, dignity and integrity.
4.3 The University seeks to prevent sexual violence, including by safely intervening and speaking out when the University sees it occurring.
4.4 The University ensures that members of the University community who experience sexual violence are believed, heard, supported, treated with compassion and the University will appropriately accommodate their needs.
4.5 The University addresses acts of sexual violence in the University community fairly and promptly.
4.6 The University is committed to a survivor-centred approach to addressing issues of sexual violence and the development of English and French language services.
4.7 The University acknowledges and combats broader social attitudes about gender, sex and sexuality that normalize sexual violence and undermine women and marginalized group’s equality.
4.8 The University will maintain annual statistics, without identifying information, on disclosed incidents of sexual violence on campus and in accordance with legislative requirements. External reporting of such statistics will be done in accordance with legislative requirements.
4.9 The University will provide or make available to members of the University community education and awareness training on this Policy and on the prevention of sexual violence, with content tailored to the audience and relevant to their role and responsibility in responding to and addressing sexual violence.
5. DISCLOSING SEXUAL VIOLENCE TO THE UNIVERSITY
5.1 General provisions about disclosing
a) Prior or subsequent to contacting or disclosing the matter to anyone at the University, the person is encouraged, and is always free, to consult with or seek the advice and support from the relevant student association, union or other employee group about the matter, including regarding confidentiality, support and services, and the complaint process.
b) If an incident of sexual violence is disclosed to a member of the University community, the person to whom it is disclosed has a duty to refer the person to this Policy and inform the person that the Human Rights Office is the office to contact in order to get support and information about the availability of services and on the complaint process and alternative measures.
a) Disclosures of sexual violence to the University will be treated in a confidential manner and in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and in accordance with the provisions of applicable collective agreements.
b) All members of the University community who receive a disclosure of sexual violence or who are involved in addressing or investigating it must keep the matter confidential in order to safeguard individuals against unsubstantiated allegations, to protect the rights of those involved in the allegations and prevent an unjustified invasion of their personal privacy and to preserve the integrity of the investigation. See paragraph 6.5 of this Policy for more details on confidentiality related to the formal complaint process.
c) The University will make every reasonable effort to maintain confidentiality when it becomes aware of an incident of sexual violence and will limit disclosure of information about individuals to those within the University who need to know for the purposes of, or those consistent with, addressing the situation, investigating or taking corrective action. Under the following circumstances, however, the University might face additional legal obligations and may not be able to guarantee complete confidentiality if:
i) an individual is at risk of self harm;
ii) an individual is at risk of harming an identified individual;
iii) members of the University community or the broader community may be at risk of harm; and/or
iv) reporting or investigation is required by law (the following examples are not meant to be exhaustive: an incident involving a minor or obligations related to occupational health and safety or to human rights legislation).
d) If a survivor or other person requests that the University not act on a disclosure of sexual violence, the University must weigh that person’s request against the University’s legal obligation to take action and provide a learning and work environment that is safe and free from sexual violence for all members of the University community.
5.3 Disclose in an emergency – Protection Services
a) In an emergency on campus (imminent threat of sexual violence and of harm to a person or sexual violence is actually occurring) a report can be made to Protection Services:
- Phone (emergency number): 613-562-5411
- Call 911 for areas not serviced by Protection Services, for example, leased premises at 1 Nicholas or the World Exchange Plaza
- Emergency phones: Located throughout campus. Press the button to contact Protection Services. See phones on Main Campus and phones on Roger Guindon Campus
- Panic buttons
- Public phones: Located throughout campus. Dial 613-562-5411 free of charge or press the pre-programmed button located under the keypad
- In person: Visit the Protection Services offices (on main campus, at 141 Louis Pasteur; at Roger Guindon Hall, Room 2013; at Lees Campus, 200 Lees C146), or alert a Protection Services Officer.
b) When a person reports an incident of sexual violence to Protection Services, Protection Services must inform the Human Rights Office for follow-up as referred to in paragraph 5.5 of this Policy.
5.4 Disclose in a non-emergency - Human Rights Office
a) The Human Rights Office is responsible for handling all disclosures of sexual violence involving a member of the University community in a non-emergency situation, whether the sexual violence has occurred on or off campus. An officer in the Human Rights Office will provide information about available support and services, including information about interim measures that may be available to address the immediate situation (see examples in paragraph 5.6 a) iv) of this Policy) and is the point of contact for a person affected by sexual violence to obtain academic, employment or other accommodations.
b) A member of the University community at the Faculty of Medicine can disclose an incident of sexual violence through an online incident report form or contact the Vice-Dean Professional Affairs or another relevant Vice Dean of the Faculty, who in turn must inform the Human Rights Office to ensure follow-up as referred to in paragraph 5.5 of this Policy. The contact information of these faculty administrators is as follows:
- Online incident report form
- Vice Dean Professional Affairs
- Vice Dean of Undergraduate Medical Education (MD Program)Vice Dean Postgraduate Medical Education (Residents and Fellows)
- Vice Dean Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (Graduate Students and Postdocs)
c) The following Faculty of Medicine offices can also offer support to a member of the University community at the Faculty of Medicine:
5.5 Support and services
a) A person affected by sexual violence is not required to disclose an incident of or make a complaint about sexual violence under the formal complaint process of this Policy in order to obtain the supports and services referred to below or in order to receive appropriate accommodation for his or her needs.
b) The supports and services available at the University to obtain information about sexual violence and/or support are as follows:
From the University:
- Human Rights Office
- SASS Counselling and Coaching Service (for students)
- Housing Service (residence life coordinators, community advisers, in-residence professional counsellors)
- Health and Wellness sector, Human Resources (for employees)
- Employee and Family Assistance Program (for employees)
- University of Ottawa Health Services
- Protection Services
- Faculty of Medicine Office of Professional Affairs or the Student Affairs Office (Wellness Program) (for Faculty of Medicine employees, students, residents)
From the University of Ottawa Students’ Union (OUSU) (for students)
- Womxn’s Resource Centre
- Pride Centre
- Centre for Students with Disabilities
- Student Rights Centre
- Peer Help Centre
From other providers:
- Centre d’aide et de lutte contre les agressions à caractère sexuel (CALACS)
- Ottawa Rape Crisis Centre (ORCC)
- Ottawa Police Service
- Sexual Assault and Partner Abuse Program at the Civic Campus of the Ottawa Hospital
5.6 Follow-up on a disclosure
a) When a person reports sexual violence to Protection Services and/or the Human Rights Office, a Human Rights Officer will contact the person to learn more about the circumstances, the person’s needs and expectations, and the outcome sought. The officer will make every effort to assist the person and will discuss with the person potential options to address or resolve the matter in a timely and supportive way, the appropriateness of which will depend on the person’s needs and on the circumstances. The following is a list of examples that is not meant to be exhaustive:
i) referral to contacts for suitable supports, services or resources available at the University and in the city;
ii) providing information to the person on what the person can do or what the Human Rights Officer or other person may do to intervene in the situation;
iii) communication with the person who is said to have engaged in sexual violence to inform that person that the conduct is unwelcome;
iv) availability of accommodations and interim measures or other measures to stabilize a situation or to protect the person from retaliation or the threat of retaliation, to address safety or other concerns, and/or otherwise support the person (examples for students include exam or assignment deferral, class and/or schedule changes, housing changes; examples for employees include making changes that are not disciplinary but precautionary to avoid contact between parties or placing the person who is said to have engaged in sexual violence on a temporary non-disciplinary leave with pay);
v) information about informal methods available or any other existing possibilities to facilitate a resolution. An informal resolution may include voluntary facilitation/mediation, education, restorative justice or other similar methods;
vi) information about the process for filing of a formal complaint under Section 7 of this Policy; and
b) The Director of the Human Rights Office or his/her delegate can, where appropriate, also engage the response team (“Sexual Violence Response Team”) to ensure the safety, follow-up and support for those involved in the disclosure of sexual violence. The Sexual Violence Response Team is composed of:
- the Director of Human Rights Office and/or the Human Rights Officer in charge of the file;
- the Director of Protection Services or his/her delegate;
- a representative of the faculty or administrative service related to the person who disclosed the sexual violence and/or the person who is said to have engaged in sexual violence or his or her delegate;
- any other person considered relevant to the mandate of the response team.
- The Sexual Violence Response Team must ensure that:
i) the person who has experienced sexual violence received information regarding internal and external personal support and advocacy services, and internal (non-criminal) and external (criminal and other legal proceedings) complaint processes;
ii) appropriate accommodations and interim measures are available and implemented to stabilize the situation and/or separate the parties and to address any safety or security concerns; and
iii) a threat assessment is conducted.
c) The Sexual Violence Response Team can, on a confidential basis, consult or seek the assistance of other internal authorities or resources for direction and can consult or seek the assistance of external parties relevant to the particular incident, such as student associations, employee associations, rape crisis centres and counselling services.
6. GENERAL PROVISIONS ON THE FORMAL COMPLAINT PROCESS
6.1 External recourse: This Policy and the formal complaint process do not prevent and are not intended to discourage an individual from also reporting sexual violence to the police and pursuing a complaint of sexual violence through the criminal justice system or from pursuing a complaint of sexual harassment with the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal pursuant to the Ontario Human Rights Code.
6.2 Choice not to file a formal complaint or not to investigate: A person may choose not to file a formal complaint under Section 7 of this Policy. If a person decides not to file a formal complaint under Section 7 of this Policy or requests that the University not investigate, the full range of supports and services outlined in paragraph 5.5 of this Policy remain available to that person. To the greatest extent possible, the University will respect the person’s choice not to proceed with a formal complaint under this Policy or a request that the University not investigate.
However, the University may not be able to fulfill the person’s wishes and the Sexual Violence Response Team can initiate an investigation if the Sexual Violence Response Team has reason to believe that a member of the University community or broader community may be at risk of harm or if the Sexual Violence Response Team determines that the University has a legal obligation to investigate. In such cases, the person has the right not to participate in such an investigation. If requested by the person and subject to any applicable collective agreement provisions and access to information and privacy legislation, he or she will be given an update on the status of such investigation and informed of its result, including the imposition of consequences or measures, if any. The Sexual Violence Response Team will appoint an investigator who will investigate the matter and provide the Sexual Violence Response Team with a written confidential report containing the facts and information gathered during the investigation, the investigator’s analysis of the facts and information, the investigator’s conclusion of whether or not sexual violence occurred and of the role of the person who is said to have engaged in sexual violence. The Sexual Violence Response Team will consult with internal authorities on the investigation report and on the appropriate means for further addressing the matter.
6.3 Harassment and/or discrimination: Policy 67a and Procedure 36-1 and 36-2 apply to complaints of harassment and/or discrimination that do not involve sexual violence, sexual harassment or workplace sexual harassment. However, only this Policy applies if the circumstances of a disclosure or a complaint of sexual violence also encompass harassment and/or discrimination.
6.4 Support person: The Complainant or the Respondent can be accompanied by a support person of their choice at any time during the formal complaint process outlined in this Policy. The support person can provide encouragement or other emotional or moral support. The support person, with the person’s authorization, can speak with the officer and obtain status updates on a complaint. As mentioned in paragraphs 7.6.2 (a) and 7.6.2 (b) of this Policy, the support person’s role is not to act or speak on behalf of Complainant or Respondent; representations (both oral and written) must come directly from the Complainant and Respondent. The support person must agree in writing to maintain confidentiality in accordance with this Policy.
6.5 Confidentiality: In addition to the provisions on confidentiality contained in paragraph 5.2 of this Policy, when a formal complaint is filed under the formal complaint process of this Policy, the following applies:
a) Confidentiality of information disclosed at any time pursuant to this Policy is to be maintained to the extent possible, consistent with the University’s need to respond appropriately to the situation and to the safety of members of the University community. This means that information about the situation may be disclosed as provided for in this Policy only to those who need to know in order to investigate and/or address the formal complaint. Where possible, the person filing a formal complaint will be consulted before any disclosure of information is made and will be informed of any decision to disclose and to whom it was disclosed.
b) To ensure due process while a formal complaint process pursuant to this Policy is underway, the person making a formal complaint, the person who is said to have engaged in sexual violence and others who may have knowledge of the matter, including a support person, must maintain confidentiality in accordance with this Policy and not make public statements pending the outcome of the complaint. Breaches of confidentiality may jeopardize the proper handling of the matter and the functioning of the formal complaint process outlined in this Policy. If a breach of confidentiality occurs, the circumstances of the breach and its impact on properly addressing the matter and the fairness of the formal complaint process may be considered in the ensuing handling of the matter and in the processing of the formal complaint.
c) Information disclosed by a person during an informal resolution under this Policy is without prejudice to that person and cannot be used during subsequent steps in handling the matter or in the formal complaint process under this Policy. Any person conducting an informal resolution of a complaint cannot be called to testify in a subsequent proceeding in relation to information disclosed during the informal resolution, unless ordered or compelled by a court, tribunal or arbitrator.
d) Documents and information related to a formal complaint, including the written formal complaint, written responses, witness statements, investigation notes and reports, and documents related to the formal complaint and its investigation will be securely maintained by the Human Rights Office.
6.6 Deadlines and timelines: The deadlines mentioned in this Policy are meant to ensure that the matters are dealt with in a timely fashion. There may be, in exceptional circumstances, reasons to extend a deadline. In such cases, the Director of the Human Rights Office can extend a deadline where the delay is requested in good faith and the extension does not prejudice or harm those involved in the complaint. It can be difficult to determine appropriate timelines for the resolution, investigation or a final disposition with respect to a formal complaint. Therefore, where no deadlines are mentioned in this Policy, the intention is always to use a reasonable time period and to act as expeditiously as possible in light of the nature and complexity of the circumstances of the complaint and in light of other circumstances that may arise during the process that are beyond a party’s reasonable control.
6.7 Applicable collective agreements: The formal complaint process provided in this Policy is not meant to replace or supersede complaint or investigation processes in applicable collective agreement provisions. If there is an applicable collective agreement, the formal complaint will be dealt with under the relevant provisions of that collective agreement. Where there is more than one applicable collective agreement, the formal complaint will be dealt with under the relevant provisions of the collective agreement applicable to the Respondent. Where there is no applicable collective agreement or no relevant provisions within a collective agreement, the complaint will be handled in accordance with this Policy.
6.8 Examples of interim measures: During the formal complaint process under this Policy, interim measures may be implemented during the formal complaint process and pending a final decision. Examples of such interim measures are as outlined in paragraph 5.6 a (iv) of this Policy.
7. FORMAL COMPLAINT PROCESS
7.1 Filing of a formal complaint
a) The Human Rights Office is responsible for receiving and handling formal complaints of sexual violence. Only a person who reports experiencing sexual violence (the “Complainant”) can choose to file a formal complaint under this Policy.
b) A formal complaint can be filed with a Human Rights Officer (the “Officer”) if the individual who is said to have engaged in sexual violence is a member of the University community and was a member of the University community at the time of the incidents alleged in the formal complaint (the “Respondent”).
c) If the Respondent’s relationship with the University ends and he or she is no longer at or with the University, the formal complaint process in this Policy may be suspended. If the Respondent returns and once again becomes a member of the University community, a formal complaint process may resume. A Respondent’s temporary leave of absence from the University or a temporary break in his or her relationship with the University do not prevent a resumption of a formal complaint process when such leave has ended or when the relationship between the University and the Respondent resumes.
d) A formal complaint must set out in writing the name of the Respondent, the nature and the details of the circumstances, including detailed facts, specific dates and names of potential witnesses. The Officer who receives the formal complaint will acknowledge receipt, review it and if necessary, seek clarification from the Complainant on the information it contains.
7.2 Officer’s assessment
a) The Officer will assess the formal complaint and determine whether the conduct forming the basis of the complaint appears to fall within the definition of sexual violence as set out in Section 3 of this Policy.
b) If the Officer considers that the conduct in question appears to fall within the definition of sexual violence as set out in Section 3 of this Policy, the Officer will appoint an investigator pursuant to paragraph 7.4 of this Policy within 5 business days of the Officer’s determination and inform the Complainant in writing. The Officer will also notify the Appropriate Authority (as defined in paragraph 7.4 (c) of this Policy) of the existence of the formal complaint.
c) If the Officer considers that the conduct complained of does not fall within the definition of sexual violence as set out in Section 3 of this Policy, the Officer will convey this assessment in writing to the Complainant and inform the Complainant of his or her right to request a review under paragraph 7.3 of this Policy, and the Officer will provide the applicable timelines and procedures for requesting this review.
7.3 Review of the Officer’s assessment
a) A request to review the Officer’s assessment of the complaint can be made only if the Officer has determined that the complaint falls outside the definition of sexual violence as set out in Section 3 of this Policy.
b) If the Complainant disagrees with the Officer’s determination that the complaint is outside the definition of sexual violence as set out in Section 3 of this Policy, then the Complainant may ask the Director of the Human Rights Office to review the Officer’s assessment, if the Complainant submits the request in writing within 10 business days after the date of the Officer’s determination. Upon review, the Director’s decision is final and will be communicated to the Complainant in writing.
a) Where the Officer has determined under paragraph 7.2 that the complaint is within the definition of sexual violence as set out in Section 3 of this Policy, the Officer will appoint an external investigator, with competence in conducting investigations related to allegations of sexual violence, to investigate the complaint, except in the following cases:
i) If the complaint is a complaint of sexual harassment, then the Officer can choose to appoint an investigator that is internal to the University with competence in conducting investigations related to sexual harassment and whose status at the University and role of investigator do not present a potential, perceived or actual conflict of interest; or
ii) If the Respondent is a unionized employee and if the Respondent’s collective agreement provides for an investigation process to address a complaint of sexual violence, then the Officer will proceed under paragraph 7.4 (b) of this Policy.
b) Where the Respondent is a unionized employee and the Respondent’s collective agreement provides for an investigation process to address a complaint of sexual violence, the Officer will send the complaint along with any other documentation provided to the Officer in connection with the complaint to a person in a position of authority over the Respondent (the “Appropriate Authority”) for investigation, in accordance with the provisions of the collective agreement. The Officer will also inform the Human Resources Service or the Associate Vice-President, Faculty Affairs, as applicable, of the existence of the complaint and its referral to the Appropriate Authority.
c) For the purposes of this Policy, the expression the “Appropriate Authority” means the person in a position of authority over the Respondent as identified in the applicable collective agreement governing the Respondent’s employment, where the complaint arises from the Respondent’s employment as a unionized employee or as set out in the table below. If the person identified as the Appropriate Authority in the table below is unable to act, then the person who has authority over that person will be the Appropriate Authority. The Director of the Human Rights Office will determine the Appropriate Authority if it is not clear from the table below whom the Appropriate Authority is.
Where Respondent is
Appropriate Authority means
Undergraduate student, special student, graduate student or postdoctoral fellow
Dean of Respondent’s faculty
Professor (full-time, part-time, adjunct, visiting, emeritus)
Dean of Respondent’s faculty
Medical resident, clinical fellow, research trainee, physician with academic appointment at the Faculty of Medicine
Dean of the Faculty of Medicine
Dean or University Librarian
Vice-President Academic and Provost
Support staff (unionized and non-unionized)
Director, Dean, Associate Vice-President or
Chair of the Board of Governors
Member of the Board of Governors
Chair of the Board of Governors
Chair of the Board of Governors
Vice-Chair of the Board of Governors
Contractor, consultant, supplier, volunteer, visitor
University employee in position of authority over the Respondent
d) Once the Officer has appointed an investigator, the Officer will immediately send a written notice to the Respondent informing the Respondent of the formal complaint, enclosing a copy of the complaint and informing the Respondent of the name of the investigator. The Officer will also indicate in the written notice to the Respondent that the Respondent will have an opportunity to provide the investigator with a written response to the complaint. The Officer will immediately notify the Complainant of the appointment and name of the investigator. Both the Complainant and the Respondent will be provided with a copy of the formal complaint process of this Policy.
e) The investigation must be done in a timely fashion and in keeping with the intent described in paragraph 6.6 of this Policy on deadlines and timeliness. The investigator will ask the Respondent to respond in writing to the formal complaint. If the Respondent does not provide a written response within the time requested by the investigator, the investigation will proceed in the absence of a response.
f) The investigator sends the Respondent’s response to the Complainant, who can submit a written reply to the Investigator within the time requested by the investigator. If no written reply is provided within the time requested by the investigator, the investigator proceeds in the absence of such reply. The Respondent will receive a copy of the reply, if any. The investigator will examine all of the information submitted by the parties as well as any other information gathered during the investigation and conduct all interviews in a fair, impartial and professional manner. The investigator will remind the individuals that he or she contacts of the requirement to protect and keep confidential the personal information of the persons involved in the investigation.
g) The investigator will keep the Officer informed on the status of the investigation at regular intervals or at the request of the Officer in order to allow the Officer to monitor the timeliness of the process and to ensure that the scope of the investigation is adhered to. The Officer will keep the Complainant and the Respondent informed on the status of the complaint and of the investigation.
7.5 Investigation report
a) Upon completion of the investigation, the investigator will send the Director of the Human Rights Office a written confidential report containing a summary of the facts and information gathered during the investigation, the investigator’s analysis of the facts and information and the investigator’s conclusion regarding whether or not sexual violence occurred and the role of Respondent.
b) The Director of the Human Rights Office will send the investigation report to the Complainant and to the Respondent and remind them of the need to protect and keep confidential the personal information of those involved in the investigation and to avoid acts of reprisal. The Director of the Human Rights Office will appoint a review committee as referred to in paragraph 7.6 of this Policy.
7.6 Review committee
7.6.1 Within five business days after receiving the investigation report, the Director of the Human Rights Office will appoint three individuals to form a review committee, taking into consideration the parties to the formal complaint (for example if both a Complainant and the Respondent are students, the Director will appoint a student to the review committee).
a) The members of the review committee must have knowledge of proper investigative practices, of basic principles of fairness in complaint processes. The members of the review committee will have received training provided or arranged by the Human Rights Office in the sensitive issues surrounding sexual violence, in procedures leading to fair resolution and in consequences or measures that may be appropriate to an incident of sexual violence and which act as deterrents to further occurrence of sexual violence. This training will not deal with the specific complaint currently before the review committee and is in no way meant to hinder the independence of any review committee member to make a decision and/or recommendation on based on the information provided to the review committee and according to his or her conscience.
b) The Director of the Human Rights Office will send a copy of the complaint, the response and any written replies and the final investigation report to the members of the review committee.
c) The members of the review committee will decide who among them will chair the committee.
7.6.2 Within 10 business days after the date the Director of the Human Rights Office constitutes the review committee, the chair of the review committee will convene a meeting and send a written notice of the meeting to the Complainant and the Respondent. The notice of the meeting will indicate the time, place and purpose of the meeting as well as include a statement that if the Complainant or the Respondent does not attend at or participate in the meeting, the review committee may proceed in their absence.
a) The review committee meeting will be conducted in person and in camera. However the support person referred to in paragraph 6.4 of this Policy can attend the meeting as an observer only and does not speak on behalf of or represent the Complainant or the Respondent.
b) The Complainant and the Respondent will be afforded the opportunity to make written and oral representations to the review committee at the meeting, including representations on the investigation report and on any potential consequences or measures. The Complainant and the Respondent are expected to speak for themselves. Members of the review committee may ask questions of the Complainant and the Respondent and may invite witnesses as they deem necessary.
c) The review committee meeting will be arranged so that the Complainant and the Respondent do not meet face-to-face. The review committee will ensure that the Complainant and the Respondent are given an opportunity to know and respond to information that it intends to rely upon in making the decisions and recommendations referred to in paragraph 7.6.3 of this Policy.
7.6.3 Upon reviewing and considering the final investigation report and upon considering any representations made by the Complainant and the Respondent or other person at its meeting with them, the review committee will,
a) decide whether the investigation was fair and conducted properly;
b) decide whether or not sexual violence occurred and the role of Respondent;
c) recommend consequences or measures it considers appropriate to remedy or mitigate any academic or employment harm or disadvantage arising from the complaint, to prevent its reoccurrence and to ensure the safety of both the Complainant and members of the University community.
7.6.4 The decisions of the review committee and the reasons in support of it must be in writing and be delivered to the Complainant and to the Respondent within 10 business days of the meeting referred to in paragraph 7.6.2 of this Policy. Simultaneous with the delivery of the decision to the Complainant and the Respondent, the decision of the review committee will also be communicated to the Director of the Human Rights Office and to the Appropriate Authority. If the review committee decides that sexual violence occurred and the Respondent was involved, the review committee will also provide the Appropriate Authority with a copy of the investigation report and all of the documentation submitted to and considered by the review committee.
7.6.5 The Appropriate Authority will consider the review committee’s decisions and recommendations and with due regard for and deference to the review committee’s recommendations, will,
a) decide whether to accept, alter or reject the review committee’s recommendations on consequences or measures; and
b) where a consequence or measure is not within his or her authority to decide, recommend such consequence or measure to the University body that has the authority to approve or decide.
Nothing in this Policy precludes the Appropriate Authority from rendering a decision to impose additional consequences or to impose employment disciplinary measures (examples could include reprimand, suspension, dismissal or expulsion).
7.6.6 Consequences or measures in response to sexual violence will depend on the circumstances, on the severity of the conduct, on any mitigating factors and on applicable collective agreements or other University policies. If a complaint of sexual violence is substantiated, consideration will be given to preventing its reoccurrence in the future, to correcting the negative impact of the incident on the Complainant and to ensuring or enhancing the safety of the Complainant and the University community. The following list provides examples of consequences and measures and is not meant to be exhaustive nor necessarily represent a progression of consequences or measures:
a) a letter of apology,
b) attendance at awareness sessions on the impact of sexual violence,
c) attendance at training and coaching sessions to improve communication or conflict resolution skills,
d) restricted or prohibited access to University campuses and/or services.
7.6.7 The Appropriate Authority will decide on consequences or measures and on the imposition of any disciplinary measure within 10 business days after the Appropriate Authority’s receipt of the review committee’s decision and will immediately notify the Complainant and the Respondent in writing of the following:
a) the consequences or measures and any corrective action that has been taken or that will be taken as a result of the investigation and review committee report, subject to applicable collective agreement provisions and access to information and privacy legislation;
b) if the Appropriate Authority decides not to accept the review committee’s recommendation on consequences or measures or decides to diverge from the review committee’s recommendation, the reasons for the decision to reject or diverge from the review committee’s recommendation;
c) the possibility of appeal of the final decision on consequences or measures, in accordance with the requirements of paragraph 7.7 of this Policy.
7.7.1 An appeal is not an opportunity for the Complainant or the Respondent to repeat the information provided to the review committee or to the Appropriate Authority. The right to an appeal is not automatic and an appeal will only be considered if it meets the following requirements:
a) The appeal is of a final decision of the review committee under paragraph 7.6.3 a) or b) or of the Appropriate Authority or a University governing body under paragraph 7.6.5. There is no appeal of a final decision of the Board of Governors or of the Senate.
b) An appeal must be made by either the Complainant or the Respondent.
c) The appeal must be made in writing and within 10 business days after the date of the final decision that is the subject of the appeal.
d) The appeal must include the reasons for the appeal, the reasons why the appeal should be granted, the arguments in support of the appeal and the outcome sought.
e) The person seeking to appeal must demonstrate that:
i) there has been a fundamental procedural error in the making of the final decision and that such error has caused or will cause actual prejudice to the person seeking the appeal; or
ii) there are new facts relevant to the final decision that were not available and could not have been provided to the review committee, the Appropriate Authority or the University governing body.
f) The following is a list of some examples of situations where an appeal would not meet the requirements of paragraph 7.7.1:
i) The appeal asks for review of a consequence or measure that has not yet been finally decided or approved.
ii) The appeal repeats arguments made at the meeting of the review committee or in written submissions and does not provide any new information relevant to the final decision.
iii) The appeal is based only on a disagreement with a finding of fact, including findings made about the credibility of witnesses.
iv) The appeal raises new arguments that were not made but could have been made at the review committee meeting or in written submissions or to the Appropriate Authority or University governing body.
v) The appeal amounts to a mere speculation or a bald statement of a procedural er
ror causing prejudice and does not provide detailed and convincing information to establish the error and to establish a link between the error and actual prejudice or a reasonable expectation of prejudice to the person seeking the appeal.
7.7.2 The person in authority (the “Appeal Authority”) to issue a decision either dismissing or granting an appeal will depend on the Respondent, who made the original final decision, the final decision at issue and the expected outcome requested. The Director of Human Rights Office will determine the Appeal Authority based on the organizational structure of the University.
7.7.3 The appeal process is conducted in writing. The Complainant or Respondent, as the case may be, does not need to respond to the appeal unless the Appeal Authority sends a letter requesting him or her to do so.
7.7.4 The Appeal Authority reviews the appeal, consults with the Appropriate Authority, if necessary, to determine whether the appeal meets the requirements of paragraph 7.7.1. of this Policy and makes the decision either dismissing or granting the appeal.
7.7.5 If the appeal is granted, the Appeal Authority will then decide what happens next. This will depend on the particular situation. It could include returning the matter to the review committee or to the Appeal Authority or the University governing authority.
8. STANDING COMMITTEE ON THE PREVENTION OF SEXUAL VIOLENCE
The University will establish a committee on the prevention of sexual violence with representation from students, academic staff, employees and senior administrators. This committee will report to the President, who will keep the Administrative Committee informed of its activities. Generally speaking, the purposes of this committee will include the following:
a) encourage student organizations, faculties and administrative units to work together to promote a safe learning and work environment for the members of the University community;
b) receive and consider the annual reports from the Human Rights Office in respect of sexual violence, including the following:
(i) the number of times supports, services and accommodation relating to sexual violence are requested and obtained by students and information about the supports, services and accommodation;
(ii) initiatives and programs established to promote awareness of the supports and services available to students;
(iii) the number of incidents and complaints of sexual violence disclosed by students, and information about the incidents and complaints;
(iv) the implementation and effectiveness of this Policy;
c) make recommendations to the Office of the President on this Policy with regard to sexual violence;
d) make recommendations to the Office of the President on additional resources required or other measures related to addressing sexual violence;
e) make a report of its activities annually to the Office of the President for submission to the Board of Governors;
f) consider and recommend proposals for new training programs brought forward by the Human Rights Office and monitor the coordination, implementation and success of training programs related to sexual violence;
g) monitor the implementation of, and access to academic accommodations and other interim measures reported to it as referred to in paragraph 8 b), to address sexual violence across campus using a survivor-centred approach.
9. POLICY REVIEW, AMENDMENTS AND EXCEPTIONS
a) The Human Rights Office is responsible for the review and implementation of this Policy. This Policy will be reviewed at least once every three years.
b) Revisions to the Policy will be sent for comment to the student associations, unions and employee groups, to the Standing Committee on the Prevention of Sexual Violence referred to in Section 8 of this Policy and any other stakeholder, as determined by the Human Rights Office, to ensure the provision and consideration of input from a diverse selection of students and employees.
a) Amendments made to this Policy, other than those described in paragraph 7.4 of this Policy, require the approval of the Senate and of the Board of Governors.
b) Updates to the following information contained in this Policy do not require approval of the Senate or the Board of Governors:
i) the supports and services referred to in paragraph 5.5 of this Policy;
ii) the identity of officials, offices, and departments at the University that provide information about supports, services and accommodation or that receive reports or formal complaints.
c) A copy of this Policy as approved and amended is posted on the University’s website.
An exception to this Policy will only be considered by the President in rare or in unforeseen circumstances. No exception may be made to this Policy without the written approval of the President.
Revised on October 3, 2019