You are now in the main content area

Supporting Students

Graphic of orange hands holding each other with the text "you are not alone" on top.

Our Community, Our Responsibility.

As Ryerson community members we students who have been subjected to sexual violence and other forms gender-based violence. If a student discloses to you or you become aware that they are being harmed please consult with Consent Comes First osvse@ryerson.ca. We will support you and the student. Consent Comes First offers a range of support to faculty, staff and students affected by sexual violence.

Here are some examples of what this support may look like:

  • walking through the reporting options available on and off campus
  • support in navigating systems of investigation i.e. reporting internally to Ryerson, the police or other professional bodies
  • connecting to healthcare professionals such as accompanying the person who has been harmed to get a sexual evidence kit at the hospital
  • referring to counselling, groups, and medical services
  • navigating systems and resources on and off campus
  • setting up workplace accommodations
  • advocating for academic considerations for a student
  • self-care resources
  • court support

Know that you can always reach out to Consent Comes First (osvse@ryerson.ca) for consultation or support. 

One of the areas that we can support students is academic considerations and workplace accommodations.

 


What are Academic Considerations?

Academic Considerations can be put in place when students need extra support because of situations outside of their control. Students who have been affected by sexual or gender-based violence may be able to receive academic considerations such as:

  • Extensions on due dates
  • Exam rewrites
  • Alternative assignments

Please contact Consent Comes First to learn more: osvse@ryerson.ca.

Illustration of two characters holding hands on top of a blue background with the text "you deserve to be heard" on top.
  • The expectation under the SVP is that Faculty and Academic Departments provide reasonable academic considerations to students affected by sexual violence.
  • Ultimately, the decision to grant Academic Considerations and what the specific consideration will be, rests with the course instructor. 
  • Under the Sexual Violence Policy, Consent Comes First can work with students on a case by case basis to determine what your needs are and will advocate with your faculty or department to put those considerations in place. 
  • Considerations are communicated with program coordinators who share them with instructors. 
  • Academic considerations accessed as a result of being affected by sexual violence should be treated in the same manner as considerations based on compassionate or medical grounds. 
  • Academic Considerations  are not the same as Academic Accommodations which need to be approved by a Healthcare Professional, such as a Doctor, and are administered through Academic Accommodations Supports.

The expectation under the Sexual Violence Policy  is that Faculty and Academic Departments provide reasonable academic considerations to students affected by sexual violence Academic considerations accessed as a result of being affected by sexual violence should be treated in the same manner as considerations based on compassionate or medical grounds. 

Consent Comes First works with students to determine their Academic Consideration needs on a case by case basis. If Consent Comes First validates a request for Academic Consideration, the student will submit a form from our office to their Program Coordinator or Administrator through the Senate Office Online Portal. This form will not share any details about the student’s situation, only that our office has deemed their request to be valid under the Sexual Violence Policy. 

Our team will work with students and relevant staff to find a solution that is mindful of the student’s experiences as well as academic integrity.  If you would like to refer a student to our office for Academic Considerations please contact osvse@ryerson.ca


If you are concerned about a student

If you notice a student is not meeting deadlines or is having difficulty participating in class, you may want to check in with them. You can support students who are being subjected to gender-based violence by connecting them with Consent Comes First.  If someone discloses sexual violence or other forms of gender-based violence to you, it’s okay to not have all the answers. You don’t need to be an expert to support them. You just need to remember to Be B.R.A.V.E. https://www.ryerson.ca/sexual-violence/give-support

 

Illustration of a girl looking at her reflection with the text "I believe you" on top.

Always try to check in with warmth, curiosity, compassion, not in a probing manner. It is also important to address a person when they are in a private space such as in person, through a direct message, or via email. Here is some language that you may find useful: 

  • “I am concerned about you. You seem isolated and afraid. Are you ok? How can I help?"
  • “I’ve noticed that you’ve had trouble meeting your deadlines lately. Is there anything happening that is making it hard to manage your workload?”
  • “You seem upset/distracted lately, how are you? Is there any way I can help?”

Sometimes a person’s email/texts/social media might be monitored so be careful what you include in writing. Keep it brief.

  • “How else can I be of support to you?”
  • “How are you doing?”
  • “Get in touch with me when you can. I’m here to listen”
  • Do you want me to reach out to you regularly?”


Responsibility as  Ryerson Employee

Be mindful of when you, as a faculty or staff member, cannot guarantee confidentiality. 

In some situations when a disclosure is being made about incidents or complaints of sexual harassment or sexual violence, some limits or exceptions to confidentiality may have to be put in place during the complaint process. Therefore, it is important to know when confidentiality cannot be maintained: 

  • when an individual is at risk of life-threatening self-harm,
  • when an individual is at risk of harming others,
  • when there is risk to the safety of the university or broader community,
  • when disclosure is required by law, for instance, under the Child and Family Services Act where reporting is legally required if an incident involves a child 16 or under; 
  • if there is a need to comply with the Occupational Health and Safety Act or with human rights legislation,
  • if the evidence of the disclosed incident of sexual violence is available to the public (e.g. video shared publicly on Social Media

When in doubt, or if you have questions, please consult. You can reach out to Consent Comes First, Human Rights Services, or Human Resources with questions about your roles and responsibilities.


Know Your Roles and Responsibilities Under the Sexual Violence Policy

 

As a Ryerson employee you should:

  • Know how to report incidents of workplace harassment to your supervisor or employer.
  • Know how to report incidents of workplace harassment in case the supervisor or the employer is the alleged harasser.
  • Know the employer's process of investigation and dealing with workplace harassment incidents and complaints.
  • Know about google doccampus supports and how to refer to those supports, external link
  • Know the expectations of confidentiality as they relate to reporting an incident of workplace sexual harassment and involvement in the complaint investigation and decision making process. Know that the results of an investigation into a report or incident of workplace harassment, and any corrective action taken will be provided to the community member who experienced the harassment.

If you are a Manager, Chair, Director, Supervisor, Dean or Leader; you need to be aware of your responsibilities and roles

  • you are expected to report when you witness, or receive disclosures of, sexual violence in the workplace. 
  • you have the responsibility to implement Interim Measures that are put in place by Human Rights Services
  • you must provide appropriate information and instruction to workers on the contents of the workplace harassment policy and program, as required by the Occupational Health and Safety Act i.e. ensure all staff attend sexual violence and harassment training.