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Office of the Ombudsperson - Confidential, Impartial and Independent

4. Complaints

As a Ryerson University student you have the right to complain without fear of reprisal. If you feel you are being penalized for having complained, you can contact us for advice on how to handle the situation. It is useful to familiarize yourself with the university’s policies and procedures as well as the Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities when you bring forward a complaint.

If you would like to complain about something, you can consult with your Department Chair or Program Director, the Ryerson Student Union Advocate, the CESAR Student Rights Coordinator, Human Rights 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. A useful tool for preparing your complaint can be viewed here: effective complaint.

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.

Complaining about a course or instructor

It is important that you deal with situations which affect your academic performance as soon as possible. In some situations unresolved problems can get worse. Specific information concerning complaints may be found in your Department or Program Student Handbook. Relevant information about the structures, processes, objectives, and requirements that pertain to Ryerson courses can also be found in the undergraduate and graduate Course Management Policy. In general, though, we suggest you consider the following steps:


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 if it is possible to do so.


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 taught in (e.g. if your concern is about a Geography course you would make arrangements to speak with the Program Director or Chair of the Geography Department even if you are enrolled in the School of Nursing or the Theatre School). For complaints of a more general nature, you may also want to speak with your own Departmental Chair/Program Director, i.e., the program you are enrolled in now. In general, you can ask the Chair to discuss an issue confidentially. Or, you can request that the Chair or Director investigate your concern and identify you to the person you are complaining about.


In some situations it may be appropriate to follow up on your concern with the Dean of the Faculty for the Department or School.

Complaining about a non-academic matter (for example a staff member’s actions or an administrative process)


Raise your concern with the individual staff member involved.


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.


In some situations, it may be appropriate to follow up on your concern with the Director of Student Services or the Vice-Provost –Students.

If you have experienced a sexual or other assault, contact the Ryerson Crisis Team, the Office for Sexual Violence Support and EducationRyerson Security or the Toronto Police (In an emergency, dial 911).

If you are sexually harassed or discriminated against you can contact the Office for Sexual Violence Support and Education or Human Rights Services to discuss your situation. Personal counselling is available on campus at the Centre for Student Development and Counselling.

Remember to check the RU SIGNIFICANT DATES for Appeal, Transfer credit and other deadlines!






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