As a Ryerson student, you have the right to complain without fear of reprisal. In other words, your grades should not suffer simply because you decided to bring forward a concern. If you feel you are being penalized for complaining, you can contact us for advice on how to handle your situation. You should consider the various options for bringing forward a complaint by familiarizing yourself with the university's policies and procedures, including the Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities.
If you want advice about how or whether to proceed with a complaint you can consult with your Chair or Program Director, the Ryerson Student Union Advocate, the CESAR Student Rights Coordinator, Discrimination and Harassment Prevention Services or our office.Remember to keep a record of who you contacted, when, and what you talked about. It is also important to keep copies of any documents which you have provided to the University and to confirm any resolutions in writing.
Be aware that complaints that are false and/or malicious may constitute a violation of the Student Code of Non-Academic Conduct and Ryerson's Discrimination and Harassment Policy.
How do I make a complaint about a course or professor?
It is important that you deal with situations which affect your academic performance as soon as possible. Unresolved problems generally get worse. Specific information concerning complaints may be found in your Department or Program Handbook. Relevant information about the structures, processes, objectives, and requirements that pertain to Ryerson course can also be found in the Course Management Policy. In general though, we suggest you consider the following steps:
STEP 1: We would recommend that whenever possible you first try to resolve the issue at its source. In other words, start by speaking to your instructor about your concerns.
STEP 2: If the issue is not resolved after you speak to your instructor, or you are reluctant to deal directly with your instructor because of the nature of your complaint, you can speak to the Chair/Program Director of the Department the course is in. For complaints of a more general nature, you may also want to speak with your Departmental Chair/Program Director. In general, you can ask the Chair to discuss an issue confidentially (i.e. the Chair would not take any action without your permission) or you can request that the Chair formally investigate your concern.
STEP 3: In some situations it may be appropriate to follow up on your concern with the Dean of the Faculty the Department is in, the Provost or VP Academic or the President.
How do I make a non-academic complaint (e.g. about a staff member or an administrative process)?
Step 1: Raise your concern with the individual staff member involved
STEP 2: If the issue is not resolved after you speak to the staff member, or you are reluctant to deal directly with the staff member because of the nature of your complaint, you can contact the Supervisor/Manager of the unit they work in. Ask for their contact information.
STEP 3: In some situations, it may be appropriate to follow up on your concern with the Director of Student Services, the Vice-Provost -Students, the Vice-Provost Faculty Affairs, or the President.
What can I do to make my complaint more effective?
The Ombudsperson office at the University of British Columbia has an excellent guide on how to make an effective complaint.
How do I notify the University that I have been sexually harassed or discriminated against?
If you have experienced a sexual or other assault, you can contact the Ryerson Crisis Team, Ryerson Security or the Toronto Police (In an emergency, dial 911).
You could also contact Discrimination and Harassment Prevention Services to discuss your situation and counselling is available on campus at the Centre for Student Development and Counselling..