Why does Ryerson have a discrimination and harassment prevention policy?
Ryerson is committed to fostering an environment that is free of discrimination and harassment. Ryerson's Policy and the Ontario Human Rights Code prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, age, record of offences, marital status, family status, or disability. These are referred to as "prohibited grounds" of discrimination.
Ryerson's Policy and related procedures provide all members of the Ryerson community with a means to prevent and correct harassment on campus.
What is discrimination?
Discrimination is when someone treats you differently than other people because of one or more of the "prohibited grounds" outlined in Ryerson's Policy and in the Ontario Human Rights Code (e.g. your race, sex, sexual orientation, disability, etc.).
What is harassment?
Harassment is a form of discrimination. It includes unwanted remarks, behaviours, or communications in any form based on a prohibited ground of discrimination where the person responsible for the remarks, behaviours or communications knows, or ought reasonably to know these are unwelcome. Normally "harassment" is considered to be a "course of conduct" and therefore, one remark or joke would not normally constitute harassment. However, depending on the impact of one comment or one behaviour, one instance may be sufficient to create a "poisoned environment" and, therefore, may contravene Ryerson's Policy.
Whom can I talk to at Ryerson if I'm being harassed or discriminated against?
Talk with the Office of Discrimination and Harassment Prevention Services. The Office, located at POD-254A, will act as a confidential advisor to anyone who needs information or who feels they have been involved in an incident of discrimination or harassment.
Do I have to file a complaint? Can I do something informally?
No, you do not have to file a complaint and yes, you can do something informally. In fact, many of the people who go to the Office of Discrimination and Harassment Prevention Services just want some one to talk to about their experience. Some don't want to file any complaint - formal or informal. They just want to find out what their rights are under the Policy in the event it happens again. The Office will help you come up with a response you are comfortable with, formal or informal. In very rare cases, the University may have to act on information you provide. For example, if the University received information which indicated someone's life was in danger or if it received a report of suspected child abuse, the University would have to act. However, these are the exceptions. In the majority of situations, you determine what course of action you will take.
How do I file a complaint?
If you decide to file a complaint, we recommend that you seek advice from the Office of Discrimination and Harassment Prevention Services. Complaints should be made within six months of the incident or the last occurrence.
Will my complaint be confidential?
The University recognizes the importance of confidentiality to anyone using the Office and will make every reasonable effort to balance confidentiality with the legal responsibility of the University.
If you proceed informally, whether or not you keep it confidential will be up to you and the person you are complaining against. Without your permission, the Office of Discrimination and Harassment Prevention Services cannot normally discuss your complaint with anyone or even acknowledge you have contacted the Office.
Can I appeal the decision of a complaint?
Yes. Whether you are the complainant or the person being complained about, you may appeal the decision. Complete details of the appeals process are available from the Office.