Members of the University Community, including every student and employee, are entitled to a respectful work and learning environment that is:

  1. Free from Discrimination and provides for Reasonable Accommodation;
  2. Free from Harassment and Sexual Assault; and
  3. Collegial and conducive to early resolution of conflict between members of the University Community.

The University recognizes that we live in a richly diverse society in Manitoba, as well as beyond, and that we have a duty to act in a manner consistent with existing legislation regarding human rights and workplace health and safety. We have a commitment to academic freedom and freedom of thought, inquiry, and expression among its members which may result in respectful disagreements regarding beliefs or principles.

Each individual has the right to participate, learn, and work in an environment that promotes equal opportunities and prohibits harassment and discriminatory practices.

The University of Manitoba does not condone behaviour that is likely to undermine the dignity, self-esteem or productivity of any of its members and prohibits any form of discrimination or harassment whether it occurs on University property or in conjunction with University-related activities. Therefore, the University of Manitoba is committed to an inclusive and respectful work and learning environment. The following policies and procedures establish the University’s approach to maintaining a climate of respect and safety within this community and to address any situations in which respect is lacking or safety is compromised.

Info sheets

These information sheets are intended to provide general information to members of the University community. The University is not advising or recommending any particular options through this sheet, but rather aims to ensure that all available options are communicated to community members.

Accommodations and Supports

Disclaimer: The purpose of this information sheet is to provide general information to members of the University community. The University is not advising or recommending any particular options through this sheet, but rather aims to ensure that all available options are communicated to community members. For additional information please contact the Office of Human Rights and Conflict Management.

Accommodations and supports are available for University community members who have experienced Discrimination, Harassment, or Sexual Violence.

A community member does not need to make a Formal Complaint in order to access accommodations or supports.

What is the Difference between Accommodations and Supports?

“Accommodations” refers to changes made to a person’s usual work or academic responsibilities. If someone has experienced Discrimination, Harassment, or Sexual Violence, their ability to work or study may be affected. To help deal with these challenges, their regular work or academic obligations may need to be adapted through accommodations in order to allow them to continue in their classes or workplace.

Accommodations assist a community member by modifying school or work loads, such as by providing leaves or authorized withdrawals, until they are ready to get back to their usual routine. Accommodations are generally short term in nature, only involve the community member affected, and are put in place at the community member’s request.

“Supports” refers to services available to a person who has experienced Discrimination, Harassment, or Sexual Violence. These supports may be put in place on a long or short-term basis and can help with a person’s mental, emotional, or physical well-being. They may be provided at the same time as accommodations, or on their own.

Supports can be requested long after an incident has occurred and even if accommodations have ended.

Types of Accommodations can include:

For Students

Academic accommodations, such as:

  • Deferred examinations;
  • Extensions on coursework deadlines;
  • Leaves of absence;
  • Authorized withdrawals;
  • Changes to research space;
  • Changes to advisory committees;
  • A change in classes or class sections; and/or
  • A modified co-op schedule.

Residence accommodations, such as:

  • Changing residence buildings; and/or
  • Changing a person’s room or floor in the residence.
For Faculty and Staff

Workplace accommodations, which can include adapting:

  • Area of work;
  • Work schedule; and/or
  • Reporting structure.

*Please note that these lists are non-exhaustive.

Requesting accommodations

When seeking an accommodation, a community member should first speak with the person who is immediately impacted by the request. 

    A student requesting an extension for an assignment should speak with their professor or instructor directly;

  • A student seeking residence accommodations should speak to their Resident Advisor;
  • A faculty member should speak with their Department Head (or their Dean if there is no Department Head);
  • A graduate student should speak with their advisor/advisory committee (or their graduate chair or department head);
  • A staff member should speak with their immediate supervisor.

In all cases, if someone needs help with accommodation requests they can contact the Office of Human Rights and Conflict Management, the Sexual Violence Resource Centre, Student Advocacy and Case Management, and/or student unions and employee unions.

A community member does not have to disclose the details of the incident they experienced in order to request an accommodation.

Depending on the nature of the request, the person initially contacted (such as a professor or instructor, a supervisor, or a Department Head) may need to consult with the person to whom they report (such as their Department Head, the director of their Unit, or their Dean).

All accommodation requests are taken seriously, with consideration given to the reasonableness of the request. If a community member presents a pattern of requests or experiences chronic issues, they may be asked to provide additional information in order for their needs to be more effectively addressed.

Example of an accommodation request

Mirai is a student who has experienced Sexual Harassment while on campus. They have always been an attentive student who takes pride in their work, but are no longer able to concentrate after the harassment. Mirai has an assignment due in a few days but cannot stop thinking about the incident and cannot focus on the assignment. Mirai knows there is help available to them and decides to approach the professor who issued the assignment. They choose not to disclose details about the incident, but let their professor know they have experienced a difficult incident and would like to receive accommodations regarding their coursework. The professor listens to Mirai’s concerns, and together they decide that it would be best to grant an extension for finishing the assignment. The professor also explains that they need approval from the Department Head, and copies Mirai on the email. The Department Head replies, giving Mirai an extension for the assignment.

Types of Supports can include:

  • Spiritual supports such as Spiritual Care, Elders, and various types of Chaplaincy;
  • Mental Health supports, such as counselling, peer support, and self-help resources;
  • Medical supports, such as doctors visits;
  • Safety supports, such as safety plans and crisis care; and
  • Financial supports; such as emergency loans and access to food banks.

*Please note that this list of examples is non-exhaustive.

These supports are available to students, faculty, and staff, although they may be accessed through different service providers. A list of supports can be found at the end of this information sheet.

Requesting supports

A community member can request supports in a variety of ways. Most supports can be accessed by community members themselves and do not require approval or referral. However, a community member can ask another community member for advice or assistance in seeking supports.

Some supports require a more formal process or a referral, such as emergency loans or specialized medical or psychological treatment. If these supports are needed, a community member may need to prove financial need or provide documentation confirming health needs.

All requests for support are taken seriously, with the goal of improving the affected community member’s wellbeing.

Example of a support request

Dara is a staff member who has been personally harassed at work. As a result of this harassment, they are experiencing significant anxiety and stress, including panic attacks. Dara discusses some of what they are going through with a colleague, who encourages them to discuss the situation with their doctor. After doing so, Dara is able to connect with a counsellor, and receive some medical supports.

 

For more information, refer to the following relevant policies:

Confidentiality

Disclaimer: The purpose of this information sheet is to provide general information to members of the University community. The University is not advising or recommending any particular options through this sheet, but rather aims to ensure that all available options are communicated to community members. For additional information please contact the Office of Human Rights and Conflict Management.

Autonomy, Anonymity, and Confidentiality  

At the University of Manitoba, we understand that the desire to keep information confidential and stay in control of the process can be a large factor in whether a person chooses to disclose an incident of Discrimination, Harassment, or Sexual Violence. 

Everyone should expect to be treated with respect and understanding when making a disclosure at the University of Manitoba. Supports and resources are available regardless of whether or not someone chooses to formally report an incident of Discrimination, Harassment, or Sexual Violence. There is no obligation to formally report an experience in order to receive support.  

Definitions 

  • “Autonomy” refers to the ability of someone experiencing Discrimination, Harassment, or Sexual Violence to make their own decisions about whether a complaint is filed or an incident is reported. 
  • “Anonymity” refers to keeping the identity of someone from being known by others.  
  • “Confidentiality” refers to keeping information revealed by someone private (not telling anyone else).  

Limits to Confidentiality 

Everyone should expect to be treated with respect and understanding when making a disclosure, but there are limits to autonomy, anonymity and confidentiality. Although the University will make every effort to respect anonymity and confidentiality and seek consent from the discloser before acting on any information, there are times when complete anonymity and confidentiality cannot be assured. Those times include:  

  • When the person involved is a danger to themselves or to others; 
  • When the person involved is a minor (under 18 years old) or is a vulnerable person (i.e. a person who needs assistance meeting their basic needs with regard to personal care or management of their affairs); 
  • When there is a reason to believe that the safety of the University community is at risk; and/or 
  • When disclosing the information is otherwise required by law. 

If one of these situations occurs, the University must alert the appropriate authorities. This may mean limiting anonymity and/or confidentiality by disclosing information to facilitate an Investigation, offering coordinated support, ensuring safety planning or taking corrective action. The University will do its best to protect anonymity and confidentiality by ensuring that the minimum amount of information necessary is shared. 

University Instituted Investigations  

The University of Manitoba can initiate an Investigation (called a University Instituted Investigation, or UII) and/or report the incident of Sexual Violence to local police services, even without the consent of the survivor, if it believes that the safety of the University community is at risk or if reporting is required by law.  

If this becomes necessary, reasonable efforts will be made to preserve the anonymity of the person who disclosed. If the University decides to take any action, they will notify the person who disclosed and work with them to take any additional safety precautions that may be necessary.  

For more information on UIIs, please see the ‘Investigations and University Initiated Investigations information sheet. 

Confidentiality When Receiving a Disclosure 

Community members who receive a disclosure of Sexual Violence are encouraged to consult with the Sexual Violence Resource Centre (SVRC) or the Office of Human Rights and Conflict Management (OHRCM) if they have questions about whether information can remain confidential. There is no need to reveal identifying information in order to consult. This can simply mean contacting the SVRC or the OHRCM, providing an overview of the situation with no details to identify the parties, and then asking if this is a situation where there is an obligation to report. 

A person who discloses their experiences to anyone at the University of Manitoba can expect to be treated with respect at all times. Services and supports are always available.  

Confidentiality Regarding Formal Complaints & Investigations  

Should a community member choose to make a Formal Complaint regarding an incident of Discrimination, Harassment, or Sexual Violence, the confidentiality of the Complainant and Respondent will be respected as much as possible.  

Respondents have the right to know who has submitted a complaint against them, meaning that Complainants cannot submit a complaint without their identity and the nature of the complaint being shared with the Respondent. If there are concerns about this information being shared, such as the risk of reprisal or retaliation for filing a complaint, accommodations and/or interim measures may be pursued to ensure safety. (for more information, see the ‘Accommodations and Supports’ and ‘Interim Measures’ information sheets). A reprisal or retaliation is when someone takes negative action towards a person who makes a complaint against them. At no time is a reprisal or retaliation tolerated at the University of Manitoba, and discipline will be applied in cases of reprisal or retaliation.  

The requirement of needing to identify the Complainant in the instance of a Formal Complaint also means that the University cannot accept anonymous submissions as Formal Complaints. Third-party and anonymous disclosures and reports can be made, but without the consent of the Complainant, these reports usually cannot result in a formal process or Investigation. For more information on Disclosures and Formal Complaints, refer to the ‘Disclosures, Formal Complaints, and Informal Resolutions’ information sheet. 

Confidentiality Before and During Investigations  

Prior to and during an Investigation, the Complainant, Respondent, and witnesses involved must keep the following things confidential: 

  • That there is an Investigation happening;  
  • What the Investigation is about; and  
  • Any information or documentation they receive as a result of the Investigation.  

Keeping this information confidential helps maintain the integrity of the Investigation, reduces the risk of bias, and protects the privacy of the individuals involved. They are not meant to stop a Complainant or Respondent from seeking advice from an advocate or representative, seeking help from support people, and/or using information obtained outside of the Investigation. 

Confidentiality obligations continue until an Investigation has been completed and a summary of the Investigator’s findings has been provided to the Complainant and the Respondent. (See below for confidentiality obligations after an investigation). 

The following are examples of situations that may or may not violate confidentiality obligations before or during an Investigation:  

  1. Jamie is the Complainant in an Investigation regarding an incident of Sexual Harassment. Jamie is in need of support, and throughout the process regularly meets with a counsellor and a Student Advocate. They have also discussed the Investigation with their best friend, who is providing them with peer support. Jamie and their best friend understand that there are confidentiality obligations in place, and have not spoken about the Investigation with anyone else (except to Jamie’s counsellor and Student Advocate). Jamie is not violating any confidentiality obligations. 
  1. Sam is the Respondent in an Investigation regarding an incident of Discrimination. Sam does not think that they should be subject to a Complaint, and proceeds to tell all of the employees in their office about it, and how Sam has done nothing wrong. By spreading information about the details of and existence of the Investigation, Sam has impacted the ability for the Investigator to complete the Investigation in an un-biased manner. Sam has violated the confidentiality obligations put in place. Sam may be subject to disciplinary action, which is decided on by a case-by-case basis. Discipline could range from a warning, to a letter of reprimand, to a dismissal or expulsion, depending on the seriousness of the violation. 

Confidentiality after Investigations 

In addition to the Complainant and Respondent, the findings of an Investigation will only be shared with those who need to know the outcome.  

Once an Investigation has concluded, the Complainant, Respondent, and witnesses do not have any specific confidentiality obligations as directed by the University, however they are still subject to confidentiality obligations required by The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA), the Personal Health Information Act (PHIA) and the University’s Access and Privacy Policy and ProceduresIf an individual breaches provincial legislation, they could be sued in civil court or face other consequences.  

The University of Manitoba also has confidentiality obligations regarding what information they can and cannot share about allegations of Discrimination, Harassment, or Sexual Violence, and the results of any Investigations. These obligations include: 

  • Not sharing the name of Complainants, Respondents, or witnesses unless it is required by law, necessary for an Investigation, or needed to address health and/or safety risks; 
  • Not sharing information about an alleged Breach unless it is required by law, necessary for an Investigation, or needed to address health and/or safety risks; 
  • Not sharing information about the findings of an Investigation unless it is needed to address health and/or safety risks, to prevent further breaches, to obtain confidential advice, to report or respond to legal authorities or proceedings, or to comply with legal requirements. 

Investigators of Formal Complaints also have confidentiality obligations. They must always comply with provincial privacy legislation and the University’s Access and Privacy Policy and Procedures. 

The following is an example of a situation that would violate confidentiality obligations following an Investigation:  

Ezra files a Formal Complaint against Morgan for Personal Harassment which moves forward to Investigation.  While being interviewed by the investigator, Morgan discloses that they are an alcoholic and therefore do not remember certain details.  Through the investigation process Ezra finds out about Morgan’s addiction and shares this information with their colleagues. By sharing this information with persons outside of the investigation, Ezra has violated their confidentiality obligations.  

For more information, refer to the following relevant policies: 

Consent

Disclaimer: The purpose of this information sheet is to provide general information to members of the University community. The University is not advising or recommending any particular options through this sheet, but rather aims to ensure that all available options are communicated to community members. For additional information please contact the Office of Human Rights and Conflict Management.

Accommodations and supports are available for University community members who have experienced Discrimination, Harassment, or Sexual Violence.

A community member does not need to make a Formal Complaint in order to access accommodations or supports.

What is Consent?

Consent means giving permission for something to happen. When we talk about sexual activity, consent means freely and willingly agreeing to engage in the sexual activity in question. Consent is essential in all sexual activity. If no consent is given, the sexual activity is sexual violence. 

Sex should be fun and enjoyable. It can be a way to express yourself and connect with others, as long as people are aware of and look after their sexual health.  

Consent is: 

  • Clearly communicated; 
  • Given every time, for every act and can be withdrawn at any time; 
  • Freely given; 
  • A demonstrated willingness to participate in the activity; 
  • Given and received by every person involved in the activity; and 
  • Involved when nobody is incapacitated and everyone is able to properly make decisions and understand consequences. 

Consent can look and sound different. The following are some examples of how someone might ask for consent, or how someone might respond:  

  • “Are you okay with this?” “Yes, I am.” 
  • “Do you want to do this with me?” “Yes, I do.” 
  • “Can I do this?” “Yes.” 

Sometimes people can be unsure about whether consent has been given. Remember: if you are not sure, ask!  
 
Reasons Why Consent May NOT Be Present 

There are many different reasons why consent may not be present. Here are some examples: 

Use of Force 

  • If a person gives in to sexual activity or does not resist sexual activity because another person is using force, consent is NOT present.  
  • Example: Jordan does not want to have sex with Taylor, but Taylor is holding Jordan’s arms down painfully tight without Jordan’s consent. Jordan is afraid that they will get hurt, and does not resist. Jordan did NOT consent to having sex with Taylor. 

Use of Threats 

  • If a person gives in to sexual activity or does not resist sexual activity because they or someone else are being threatened, or because they are afraid that force will be used on them or on someone else, consent is NOT present. 

Example: Ren has threatened Ali and said that if Ali does not have sex with them, Ren will hit Ali’s child. Because of this threat, Ali participates in sexual activity with Ren. Ali did NOT consent to have sex with Ren. 

Fraud and/or Blackmail 

  • If a person gives in to sexual activity or does not resist sexual activity because they have been blackmailed or threatened with blackmail, or because a fraud has been perpetrated against them, consent is NOT present. Fraud can include deception about someone’s identity or the sexual activity in question. 

Example 1Amal is dating Parker.  Sheridan is Parker’s roommate. One night Sheridon borrows Parker’s phone and receives an intimate image from Amal.  Sheridon responds to the image pretending to be Parker and continues an intimate conversation with Amal. Later, Amal learns that it was actually Sheridan they were sexting. Sheridan committed fraud by not telling Amal their real identity, and instead letting them think they were Parker. Amal did not consent to sexting with Sheridan.   

Example 2Sandeep used to be in a relationship with Kiran. Sandeep shared private photos with Kiran during their relationship. Kiran has threatened Sandeep that if they do not have sex with them, then Kiran will share Sandeep’s photos on social media. Sandeep has sex with Kiran so that their photos will not be shared. Kiran has blackmailed Sandeep, so Sandeep did not consent to having sex with Kiran. 

Abuse of Power/Authority 

  • If a person gives in to sexual activity or does not resist sexual activity because the other person has power or authority over them, then consent is NOT present.  

ExampleSloan is Rei’s professor, and Rei has asked Sloan to provide them with a reference for their Master’s program application. Sloan starts to touch Rei whenever Rei stops by Sloan’s office. Rei is relying on the reference that Sloan is providing them, and is worried that if they tell Sloan to stop, Sloan will not write the reference. For this reason, Rei does not resist when Sloan touches them. Because Sloan is using their position of authority over Rei, Rei did not consent to the touching.  

Indirect Consent 

  • The only people who can consent to a sexual activity are the people who are directly participating. A person cannot consent to a sexual activity on someone else’s behalf. 

ExampleHarper is dating Armani, and Harper is best friends with Malak. Malak tells Armani that Harper likes to role play non-consensual sex. The next time they are alone, Armani begins to have sex with Harper and does not stop even when Harper says no. Regardless of what Malak has said to Armani, the only person who can consent to the sexual activity between Harper and Armani are Harper and Armani themselves. Malak cannot give consent for Harper. Harper did not consent to the activity.  

Advanced Consent 

  • Consent must be given and received at the time that the sexual activity is taking place. If agreement to engage in sexual activity is given prior to that activity taking place, this does NOT mean that consent is present. 

Example: Imani told Addison that they wanted to have sex with Addison when they got home after seeing a movie. When they arrive home later, Imani feels very tired and is not in the mood for sex. Addison begins to touch Imani sexually because of what Imani said earlier. Addison is mad that Imani does not want to have sex anymore and says that Imani should have sex with them because Imani agreed to it earlier. Because consent has not been given at the time that the activity is taking place, consent is not present, regardless of previous conversations.  

Inability to Consent 

  • If a person is asleep, under the age of consent, or incapacitated due to drugs, alcohol, or any other reason, they are not able to give consent. This is because they are unable to make an informed decision.  
  • The age of consent to sexual activity is 16 years. In some cases the age of consent is higher, for example when there is a relationship of trust, authority or dependency. There are close-in-age exceptions: 
  • A 14 or 15 year old can consent to sexual activity as long as their partner is less than 5 years older and there is no relationship of trust, authority or dependency; 
  • A 12 or 13 year old can consent to sexual activity as long as their partner is less than 2 years older and there is no relationship of trust, authority or dependency. 

Examples: 

  • Asleep/Unconscious: Campbell and Paris are partners and have had sex before. When Campbell comes home from work they want to have sex with Paris, but Paris is already sleeping. Because Paris is asleep, they cannot consent and Campbell cannot have sex with Paris. 
  • Intoxicated 1: Tracy wants to have sex with Alex, who has had two beers. Alex is functioning normally and is showing no signs of impairment. Alex might still be able to consent, and Tracy should ask them!  
  • Intoxicated 2Dillon has had several drinks and is stumbling and slurring their speech. Dillon tells Emery that they want to have sex with them. Emery can tell that Dillon is impaired because of how much alcohol they consumed and the way they are behaving. Dillon cannot consent to sexual activity and Emery should not have sex with Dillon.  
  • Underage 1: Ade is 15 years old, and is in a relationship with Jun, who is 22 years old.  Ade tells Jun they are ready to move to the next step together and want to have sex.  Even though Ade has told Jun they would like to have sex, Ade cannot consent to sexual activity because Ade is under the legal age of consent and Jun is over 5 years older than Ade. Jun should not have sex with Ade. 
  • Underage 2: Nasim is 16 years old, and wants to have sex with Zohar, their baseball coach, who is 45 years old. Even though Nasim asked for and consented to sexual activity and is at the legal age of consent, Zohar should not have sex with Nasim. This is because there is a relationship of trust and authority between Nasim and Zohar.  
  • Incapacitated: Kerry has just returned home from the hospital, where they underwent surgery. In order to treat the pain, Kerry has been prescribed a strong medication which makes them drowsy, easily confused, and unable to think clearly. Kerry’s partner Cris comes over and asks Kerry if they want to have sex. Kerry does not give a clear answer. Because Kerry is on medication which impairs their thinking, Kerry is incapacitated and Cris should not have sex with them regardless of how Kerry responds.  

Misunderstandings regarding Consent 

There are many situations in which someone may assume that consent is present, simply because no one said “no”. Alternatively, a person might verbally say “no”, but does not physically resist a sexual activity or protest further.  

It is important to remember that the absence of “no” does not mean yes. Consent must be clearly communicated, freely given, and show a demonstrated willingness to participate. Non-verbal and verbal reactions must be taken seriously.  

Examples of Misunderstandings 

  1. Misunderstanding: “They said ‘no’ but then didn’t push me away or resist, so they must be playing hard to get.”  
    Reality: Everybody reacts to situations differently. If someone says “no” to sexual activity, no other response is needed. Consent is not present if someone says “no.”  
  1. Misunderstanding: “They didn’t say anything when I made a move, so they must be okay with it.”  
    RealityThere are many reasons why someone may not say no. If someone is afraid, if there is a power imbalance involved, or if they have been threatened, they may not protest to sexual activity. This does not mean that consent is present. If there is no communication, no identifiable agreement to participate, and no willingness to participate, it is likely that there is no consent. 
  2. Misunderstanding: “Saying ‘yes’ to one sexual act means that consent is given for all sexual acts.”  
    RealityConsent needs to be given for every act, every time. Someone may consent to kissing, but not to other physical touching. Someone may consent to oral sex, but not to penetrative sex. Someone may change their mind and decide that they do not want to continue with sexual activity after that activity has already begun. Saying “yes” to one act only provides consent for that act at that time, and can be withdrawn at any time. 

Remember - without consent, sexual activity is sexual violence. Always ask for consent, for every act, every time! 

Disclosures Formal Complaints and Informal Resolutions

Disclaimer: The purpose of this information sheet is to provide general information to members of the University community. The University is not advising or recommending any particular options through this sheet, but rather aims to ensure that all available options are communicated to community members. For additional information please contact the Office of Human Rights and Conflict Management.

Accommodations and supports are available for University community members who have experienced Discrimination, Harassment, or Sexual Violence.

A community member does not need to make a Formal Complaint in order to access accommodations or supports.

Definitions 

A “Disclosure” is the sharing of information between one person and another about an incident that has occurred. A Disclosure is a casual conversation that usually takes place because of a desire for support. No formal action needs to be taken because of a Disclosure. 

A “Formal Complaint” is a complaint about Discrimination, Harassment, or Sexual Violence, submitted in writing to the Office of Human Rights and Conflict Management (OHRCM), with the intention of initiating an investigation into an incident. 

An “Informal Resolution” is an attempt to resolve a situation without going through the Formal Complaint process. It can take many forms including mediation, conflict coaching or conciliation. An Informal Resolution process is not mandatory and relies on the consent of all involved in order to take place. 
 
Disclosures 

A Disclosure happens when a person who has experienced Discrimination, Harassment, or Sexual Violence chooses to tell someone else about what has happened to them. Individuals often disclose their experiences to someone they know and trust. Disclosing an experience does not mean that there is an obligation to make a Formal Complaint or pursue legal action, nor is a formal process needed in order to access accommodations and supports.  

Disclosing can be as casual as having a conversation with a friend, and it may help an individual access accommodations and supports that may otherwise be unknown. 

When a Disclosure of Discrimination, Harassment, or Sexual Violence is shared with a University staff member, the University will take every step available to support the person who has made the Disclosure. This includes providing information about accommodations and supports, Formal Complaints and Informal Resolutions, as well as other resolution options.  

Accommodations and supports are available both on and off campus. Additional information can be found on the U of M’s Sexual Violence Support and Education website, or in the ‘Accommodations and Supports’ information sheet. 

Information on how to respond to a Disclosure of Discrimination, Harassment, or Sexual Violence can be found on the U of M’s Sexual Violence Support and Education website.  
 
Formal Complaints 

A Formal Complaint happens when a complaint about Discrimination, Harassment, or Sexual Violence, is submitted in writing to Office of Human Rights and Conflict Management (OHRCM), with the intention of initiating an investigation into the incident. 

A Formal Complaint is a process that occurs within the University. Should an individual wish to pursue other external reporting processes, such as to police or to the Manitoba Human Rights Commission, they should refer to the ‘External Reporting Options’ information sheet for more information. Submitting a Formal Complaint to the OHRCM does not restrict someone from also making a complaint to external bodies.  

A Formal Complaint must be submitted to the OHRCM in writing, and should contain at least the following information: 

  1. The name and contact information of the Complainant; 
  1. A description of the incident(s) of Discrimination, Harassment, or Sexual Violence that the Complainant experienced (referred to in the Disclosures and Complaints Procedure as an “alleged Breach”; 
  1. The approximate date of the incident(s) the Complainant experienced; 
  1. The name of the Respondent; 
  1. Contact information for the Respondent, if known; and 
  1. An expression that the Complainant wants an investigation to take place. 

There is no limitation period for making a Formal Complaint. Early disclosure can help the University provide Complainants with supports, preserve evidence, better ensure the integrity of an Investigation, and address community safety issues in a timely manner.  Where the amount of time that has passed between the incident and the filing of the Complaint would create issues regarding prejudice or fairness, it is possible that a Complaint may not proceed to Investigation. 

Once a Formal Complaint is submitted, a preliminary assessment will be made to decide whether the complaint should move forward to an investigation. For more information about the investigation process, please refer to the ‘Investigations and University Instituted Investigations’ information sheet. 

Additional information about making a Formal Complaint can be found on the OHRCM’s website.  
 
Informal Resolutions 

A person who experiences Discrimination, Harassment, or Sexual Violence may request an Informal Resolution rather than make a Formal Complaint.  

An Informal Resolution is an attempt to resolve a situation without going through the Formal Complaint process. An Informal Resolution may be pursued following the making of a Disclosure to the OHRCM, or after a Formal Complaint is filed (in which case the Formal Complaint process would be halted). Alternatively, if an Informal Resolution is not successful, the Complainant still has the right to file a Formal Complaint.  

There is no time limit for community members to pursue an Informal Resolution to resolve a situation or incident.  

In order for an Informal Resolution to take place, all of the parties involved must agree to participate. There is no obligation to participate, and no investigation occurs.  The University cannot require anyone to participate in Informal Resolution. The OHRCM staff do not take sides in the process. Their role is to support all participants in finding a resolution that works for their situation.  

Informal Resolutions may be appealing to community members as they provide an alternative to filing a Formal Complaint and can also be used to resolve interpersonal or group conflicts.  

There are many different types of Informal Resolutions, all of which fall under the umbrella of Conflict Management services, including: 

  • One-on-one coaching is an option for community members who are looking for help addressing a conflict or concern on their own. The OHRCM will meet with individuals and help them to think through resolution options, reflect on their own communication and conflict styles, plan for a conversation with the other party, and/or work on how they want to respond to the issue. 
  • Mediation is an option for those who want to address the issue directly with the other party. The OHRCM will meet with parties separately to help them prepare for the discussion, then bring them together to talk about their concerns in a structured and respectful way. The mediator does not take sides, but guides the conversation, and supports the parties in developing a resolution that meets their needs. 
     
  • Conciliation is an option for those who do not wish to meet directly with the other party. The OHRCM can act as a go-between for sharing information and ideas for the resolution of the conflict, and help develop a plan for both parties to move forward in a positive way. 
     
  • Facilitated Group Dialogue is an option for situations involving more than two participants. The OHRCM offers a personalized process to enable all parties to share their concerns, develop a greater understanding of the impact of the situation, and work towards a resolution. Depending on the number of participants, and the level of complexity, this may involve multiple meetings. 
     
  • Additional options and processes may be available upon request, including culturally sensitive processes such as sharing circles or a variety of forms of Restorative Justice.  

It is important to note that Informal Resolutions are not always the most suitable option, particularly when it comes to instances of violence, including Sexual Violence. Community members who have experienced Sexual Violence may not want to be in communication with the other party, and outcomes may not be satisfactory to both parties. 

If an Informal Resolution is not successful, the Complainant may still have the right to file a Formal Complaint. This also works in reverse, meaning that if a Complainant files a Formal Complaint but then decides they would rather resolve the issue through informal means, a Formal Complaint can be put on pause or discontinued. 

Discrimination and Harassment

Disclaimer: The purpose of this information sheet is to provide general information to members of the University community. The University is not advising or recommending any particular options through this sheet, but rather aims to ensure that all available options are communicated to community members. For additional information please contact the Office of Human Rights and Conflict Management.

Accommodations and supports are available for University community members who have experienced Discrimination, Harassment, or Sexual Violence.

A community member does not need to make a Formal Complaint in order to access accommodations or supports.

At the University of Manitoba, all community members have the right to a safe working and learning environment, free from all forms of Discrimination and Harassment. The Respectful Work and Learning Environment (RWLE) Policy and the Disclosures and Complaints Procedure define these terms and set out the process in place to deal with issues of Discrimination or Harassment. The following are more in-depth explanations and examples of behaviour that is prohibited at the University of Manitoba. 

Discrimination 

Discrimination is the differential treatment, whether intended or not, of an individual or group of individuals, on the basis of the protected characteristics set out in the Human Rights Code (Manitoba) and RWLE Policy.  

Example of Protected Characteristics include: 

  • Ancestry, including perceived race or colour; 
  • Nationality or national origin; 
  • Ethnic background or origin;  
  • Religion, religious belief, religious association or religious activity; 
  • Age;  
  • Sex, including sex-determined characteristics or circumstances (i.e. pregnancy, circumstances related to pregnancy);  
  • Gender identity or gender expression;  
  • Sexual orientation;  
  • Marital or family status;  
  • Source of income; 
  • Political beliefs, political association or political activity; 
  • Physical or mental disability or related characteristics or circumstances (including reliance on a service animal, wheelchair, or other remedial appliance or device);  
  • Social disadvantage.  

It is important to note that not all differential treatment is discriminatory, and may be justified by, for example, valid academic or occupational requirements. An example of beneficial differential treatment is the creation of a scholarship restricted for a particular ethnic or cultural group, because members of that group have faced barriers in their admission to or success in university.  

The following are examples of Discrimination: 

  1. Ling is an international graduate student working in a lab with three other students who are Canadian citizens. The lab supervisor does not provide Ling with a key to the lab or access to some of the equipment independently, and Ling must rely on asking for access to the lab and equipment from the other students who have keys and regular access. The lab supervisor says there is a policy that only Canadian citizens can have keys to the lab. Ling feels that they are being treated differently due to their nationality, as there is no reason they should not have the same access to the lab or equipment as the other students. 
  2. A supervisor decides not to assign a high-profile project to a member of staff who has small children, because the supervisor feels the staff member will not have the time or energy to devote to the project due to their parental responsibilities. 

If you have experienced a situation and you are unsure whether it was discriminatory, please consult with Office of Human Rights and Conflict Management (OHRCM). 

Human Rights Based Harassment Human Rights Based Harassment is behaviour connected to a Protected Characteristic set out above. Examples of Human Rights Based Harassment include: 

  • Objectionable and unwelcome comments or behaviour directed at a person or group that results in an intimidating, humiliating, hostile or offensive work or learning environment;  
  • Verbal or written abuse or threats or intimidation; and  
  • Objectionable and unwelcome comments or behaviour that objectively affects the mental or physical health of a person.

These are only a few examples – there are many others. If you have experienced a situation and you are unsure whether it was Human Rights Based Harassment, please consult with OHRCM.

Personal Harassment 

Personal Harassment is defined as intimidating, hostile, or humiliating behaviour not connected to one of the Protected Characteristics set out above. Personal Harassment includes objectionable and unwelcome comments or actions directed toward a specific person or group of people, which serve no legitimate purpose, and instead create an unhealthy work or learning environment.  

Personal Harassment may include, but is not limited to:  

  • Continuous or repeated name calling; 
  • Continuous or repeated threats to fire someone for reasons unrelated to their performance; and 
  • Continuous or repeated threats to withdraw funding or scholarships for reasons unrelated to their academic performance. 

The following is an example of Personal Harassment:  

  1. Dana goes to see their professor during the professor’s office hours to talk about the grade received on a recently returned essay. When Dana begins to explain some concerns about not receiving full marks on some areas, the professor begins to yell at Dana and says, “How dare you question my ability to mark your paper! Do you have any idea how long I have been teaching here?” The professor then emails the entire class about grade appeals, saying that Dana is “the dumbest student he’s ever had”.  

Personal harassment can be difficult to quantify, as it often involves multiple incidents of problematic behaviour. Behaviour can be rude or disrespectful, without meeting the threshold of personal harassment. Some behaviours, which do not qualify as personal harassment, are:

  • A supervisor assigning work or requesting that work be done; 
  • A supervisor giving work-related feedback (even if it is negative); and 
  • Interpersonal conflict. 

If you have experienced a situation and you are unsure whether it was personal harassment, please consult with OHRCM. 

Dealing with Issues of Harassment and Discrimination

If someone has experienced an incident of Discrimination or Harassment, they can contact the Office of Human Rights and Conflict Management (OHRCM) to learn more about what options are available.  

An individual may choose to pursue an Informal Resolution, submit a Formal Complaint, or not pursue the situation further. They might also choose not to pursue a resolution process. No matter what a person decides, they can access accommodations and supports, and their choice will not affect their ability to complain to the Manitoba Human Rights Commission.  

For more information on these options, please refer to the Disclosures, Formal Complaints and Informal Resolutions’ and the ‘External Reporting Options’ information sheets. 

Relevant Policies 

For more information, refer to the following relevant policies: 

External Reporting Options

Disclaimer: The purpose of this information sheet is to provide general information to members of the University community. The University is not advising or recommending any particular options through this sheet, but rather aims to ensure that all available options are communicated to community members. For additional information please contact the Office of Human Rights and Conflict Management.

Accommodations and supports are available for University community members who have experienced Discrimination, Harassment, or Sexual Violence.

A community member does not need to make a Formal Complaint in order to access accommodations or supports.

Aside from a Formal Complaint process by the University, there are options external to the University that can take place before, at the same time as, after, or instead of a University investigation. These external processes may take longer to complete, and different remedies are available through each.  

 Complaints to Police or Other Law Enforcement Agencies 

Individuals have the option of reporting crimes to the Winnipeg Police Service (WPS) or the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), who may pursue charges under the Criminal Code of Canada. Crimes that can be reported to the police include: 

  • Sexual Assault; 
  • Hate crimes; and  
  • Criminal Harassment.  

If charges are laid, a criminal prosecutor (not the Complainant) will control the case, and the Complainant will become a witness. If an accused is found guilty in court, they may be subject to a range of penalties. 

Participating in the criminal justice system can include testifying as a witness at a trial and undergoing cross-examination by the accused or their lawyer. Criminal investigations and court proceedings can take multiple years before completion. 

 Human Rights Complaints 

The Manitoba Human Rights Commission hears complaints based on violations to the Human Rights Code, such as Discrimination and Harassment. These complaints are not usually made against people, but against organizations that employ people or provide services, such as employment, housing, or contracts. 

The Human Rights Commission can order payment for financial losses such as lost wages or opportunities, lost tuition, or costs of therapy. The Commission can also award financial compensation for the emotional impact of a human rights violation. Participating in a human rights complaint can include providing evidence to an investigator, and testifying in a hearing that will involve cross-examination. Human rights complaints can take multiple years before completion. 

 Civil Lawsuits 

An individual can file a civil lawsuit if they have suffered a loss resulting from Discrimination, Harassment, or Sexual Violence. Financial losses such as lost wages or opportunities, lost tuition, or costs of therapy or counselling may be sought in a civil suit. The Complainant would have to pay for the legal costs of proceeding with a civil claim, which can be very expensive.  

 Professional Regulatory Bodies 

In some cases, a complaint can be filed with a professional governing body such as the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba or the Manitoba College of Social Workers. These regulatory bodies will then examine the behaviour of its member according to their own rules and procedures.  

Findings of Breach and No Breach

Disclaimer: The purpose of this information sheet is to provide general information to members of the University community. The University is not advising or recommending any particular options through this sheet, but rather aims to ensure that all available options are communicated to community members. For additional information please contact the Office of Human Rights and Conflict Management.

Accommodations and supports are available for University community members who have experienced Discrimination, Harassment, or Sexual Violence.

A community member does not need to make a Formal Complaint in order to access accommodations or supports.

Findings of an Investigation 

An Investigation determines if there was a Breach of the Respectful Work and Learning Environment or Sexual Violence policies. A Breach means that one of the rules or conditions in the policy has been broken. If an Investigator finds that a Breach did not occur, no further action is taken and no record of the Complaint is made in either party’s file. Restorative measures may be taken to help both parties move forward. 

If an Investigator finds that a Breach did happen, the University may: 

  • Take steps to mitigate what has happened;  
  • Undertake remedial measures;  
  • Take disciplinary action; and/or 
  • Take preventative, educational, and/or restorative action to ensure something similar does not happen again in the future.   

Regardless of whether a Breach was found to have occurred, the University may take measures to educate the University community about the policies involved, and how they affect each member’s conduct on and off campus. The University may also recommend restorative measures in order to help all involved parties move forward following the investigation. 
 
What Disciplinary Actions Can be Taken? 

For Students 

There is a wide range of Disciplinary Actions that can be taken against a Student for breaching the Respectful Work and Learning Environment or Sexual Violence policies. Disciplinary actions vary in their seriousness and range from issuing a reprimand to suspension or expulsion, with many other possible options in between. All disciplinary decisions will consider the severity of the breach and the specific facts of the case to ensure that students are treated fairly and reasonably. 

Some of the possible disciplinary actions that can be taken include:  

  • Having a conversation about the Breach; 
  • Issuing a reprimand on a person’s academic transcript; 
  • Assigning disciplinary tasks such as community service or participating in educational activities to prevent future Breaches; 
  • Requiring a written apology; 
  • Levying a fine; 
  • Restricting or banning access to University property; 
  • Suspending or expelling the student from a particular course; 
  • Suspending the student from attending some or all courses in a particular department; 
  • Suspending or expelling the student from a University residence; and 
  • Suspending or expelling the student from the University.  

This is not a complete list, and more information on possible disciplinary actions that can be taken against a Student can be found in Table 3 of the University’s Student Discipline By-law

The following are examples of behaviour that can result in disciplinary action being taken against a student. 

Example 1  

After a University-Instituted Investigation, Drew is found to have violated the University’s Respectful Work and Learning Environment Policy by harassing one of their classmates, Ainsley. The Vice-President (Administration) of the University or their delegate (such as the Vice-Provost Students, Dean of the student’s faculty, or other person in a position of authority) considers the range of possible Disciplinary Actions that can be taken against Drew, and ultimately decides to suspend Drew from attending further classes in the course Drew shares with Ainsley. 

Example 2 

After an Investigation resulting from a Formal Complaint filed by Skye’s classmate Arlo, Skye is found to have breached the University’s Respectful Work and Learning Environment Policy by making racist comments towards Arlo. The Vice-President (Administration) of the University or their delegate considers the range of possible disciplinary actions that can be taken against Skye, and ultimately decides to require Skye to write a formal letter of apology to Arlo and take Cultural Awareness Training. 

Example 3 

After an Investigation resulting from a Formal Complaint filed by Billie’s classmate Carson, Billie is found to have breached the University’s Sexual Violence Policy by sexually harassing Carson, creating an uncomfortable and intimidating learning environment. The Vice-President (Administration) or their delegate considers the range of possible disciplinary actions that can be taken against Billie, and ultimately decides to suspend Billie from the course they are currently taking with Carson, put in place a no-contact order preventing Billie from communicating with Carson, and requires Billie to meet with the Office of Human Rights and Conflict Management to discuss their behaviour. 

For Staff  

Discipline for University employees will be made in accordance with applicable legislation, collective agreements, and University policies, procedures or bylaws. 

There are two potential methods of Staff discipline: 

  1. Progressive discipline involves several steps, and is encouraged by the University whenever possible. This normally begins with an investigation, whose findings are discussed with the employee in a meeting. If there is no progress, or other job performance issues arise, the University might take further and more serious action. From there, suspension without pay, and ultimately, a dismissal can occur if there if there is no progress or other job performance issues arise. Some of the possible disciplinary actions that can be taken include:  
     
  • Having a conversation about the action; 
  • Issuing a warning; 
  • Assigning disciplinary tasks, such as completing sensitivity or rehabilitative training; 
  • Requiring a written apology; 
  • Levying a fine; 
  • Removing privileges; 
  • Adjusting work hours or locations; 
  • Restricting or banning access to University property. 
     
  1. Suspension or dismissal for just cause can occur without prior warning. These actions are taken for serious Breaches of University policy or other unacceptable behaviours that could lead to dismissal on the first offence. 

The following are examples of behaviour that could result in disciplinary action being taken against a staff member, and what disciplinary action could be assigned. 

Example 1 

Tan has filed a formal Complaint about Neo. The ensuing Investigation found that Neo had breached the University’s Respectful Work and Learning Environment Policy by bullying Tan, making Tan feel uncomfortable at work. Neo is called into a meeting with their supervisor to discuss the situation, where Neo agrees to apologize and stop the behaviour. A week later, Neo’s behaviour has not changed. The department head places Neo on unpaid leave for the rest of the month, while they re-arrange office space and schedules to minimize Neo’s contact with Tan. Neo no longer sees Tan at work, and ceases to harass them. 

Example 2 

Anh dislikes their colleague Kai due to their mannerisms and habit of bringing unsightly souvenirs from their vacations to the office. An Investigation reveals that Anh violated the University’s Respectful Work and Learning Environment Policy by making racial comments about Kai, damaging or defacing the souvenirs they had left in the office, and by writing threatening messages on Kai’s vehicle. The University does not feel that Anh can be safely reintegrated into the workplace, and terminates Anh. 

In order to impose suspension without pay or termination on a member of the University of Manitoba Faculty Association, the President must recommend disciplinary action to the Board of Governors, and the Board must vote to approve the discipline. This means that in the case of a finding of Breach against a member of UMFA that warrants suspension without pay or termination, a meeting of the Board of Governors will have to take place before discipline can be imposed. 
 
Relevant Policies 

For more information, refer to the following relevant policies: 

Interim Measurements

Disclaimer: The purpose of this information sheet is to provide general information to members of the University community. The University is not advising or recommending any particular options through this sheet, but rather aims to ensure that all available options are communicated to community members. For additional information please contact the Office of Human Rights and Conflict Management.

Accommodations and supports are available for University community members who have experienced Discrimination, Harassment, or Sexual Violence.

A community member does not need to make a Formal Complaint in order to access accommodations or supports.

What are Interim Measures? 

When a Formal Complaint has been filed, sometimes Interim Measures will be put into place. Interim Measures are temporary changes to a University community member’s living, working, and/or learning environment. 

Interim Measures are not the same as Accommodations or Supports. Interim Measures are imposed by the University, while Accommodations or Supports are put in place at the request of an individual involved. For more information on Accommodations and Supports, please refer to the ‘Accommodations and Supports’ information sheet. 

 Purpose of Interim Measures 

The purpose of Interim Measures is to protect the health and safety of the University community. The University puts them into place before and/or during an Investigation. Interim Measures are mandatory, and community members might not always agree to them. The University does not need a community member’s agreement to set Interim Measures, but will often consult those who would be affected by them. 

An Interim Measure can involve the Complainant, the Respondent, or witnesses involved in an Investigation. Although it may have a large impact on a community member, these measures are not a form of punishment, but rather an immediate response focused solely on community safety. Interim Measures are temporary, and will last until a determination about a Formal Complaint has been made. 

Types of Interim Measures 

There are many kinds of Interim Measures that might be imposed, depending on individual circumstances. These include: 
 

  • Academic measures such as: 
    • A change in classes or class section; and/or 
    • A modified co-op schedule. 
  • Residence measures such as: 
    • A change in residence buildings; and/or 
    • A change in a person’s room or floor in the residence. 
  • Workplace measures such as: 
    • A new work assignment;  
    • A modified work schedule; and/or 
    • A reassignment to a different work area. 
  • Safety measures such as: 
    • A ban from being in certain parts of campus, or the campus as a whole; and/or 
    • A ban against contacting or interacting with certain people.  

These are only a few examples – there are many others. 

Examples of Interim Measures 

Example 1 

Maxime and Linh live in residence on the same floor, and after an incident takes place between them, Linh files a Formal Complaint. Before the Investigation is concluded, the University determines there may be safety issues in this case, and decides to impose Interim Measures. After examining the information available and speaking to both Maxime and Linh, it is determined that Linh will move to a different residence building, and Maxime will be moved to a different section in a class they took together until the Investigation has concluded. 

Example 2 

Jaylen and Chimwemwe work together in the same office. An incident took place between them, resulting in Chimwemwe filing a Formal Complaint. Before the Investigation is concluded, the University determines there may be safety issues in this case, and decides to impose Interim Measures. After examining the information available and speaking to both Jaylen and Chimwemwe, it is determined that Chimwemwe will not be allowed to attend the Fort Garry University campus pending the conclusion of the Investigation. Later, the Investigation Report makes a finding of No Breach of University Policy, and Chimwemwe is reintegrated into campus life. 

Relevant Policies 

For more information, refer to the following relevant policies: 

 

Investigations and Uiis

Disclaimer: The purpose of this information sheet is to provide general information to members of the University community. The University is not advising or recommending any particular options through this sheet, but rather aims to ensure that all available options are communicated to community members. For additional information please contact the Office of Human Rights and Conflict Management.

Accommodations and supports are available for University community members who have experienced Discrimination, Harassment, or Sexual Violence.

A community member does not need to make a Formal Complaint in order to access accommodations or supports.

What is the difference between a regular Investigation and a University Instituted Investigation (UII)? 

In most cases, an Investigation may take place following a community member’s filing of a Formal Complaint with the Office of Human Rights and Conflict Management (OHRCM) regarding an incident of Discrimination, Harassment, or Sexual Violence. Most Investigations are therefore initiated by a University community member’s desire for an incident to be investigated.  

However, an Investigation may be initiated by the University when information has come to light that raises concerns about community safety. This is called a University Instituted Investigation (UII) and it follows the same process as an Investigation prompted by a Formal Complaint.  

In some UIIs, community members who are involved in the incident may want the matter to be investigated. In other cases, those who are involved may not want the matter to be investigated. It is important to know that a UII does not need the consent of those involved in order to move forward. Should a UII occur against the wishes of a Complainant or another person involved, the University will make every effort to keep the individual informed throughout the process, and respect the individual’s right to privacy and autonomy. Accommodations and supports will be made available at all points throughout the process (for more information, please see the Accommodations and Support’ information sheet). 
 
Before an Investigation 

Before an Investigation takes place, an individual must contact the OHRCM. Individuals can choose how they wish to proceed when dealing with an incident of Discrimination, Harassment, or Sexual Violence. If they are seeking a resolution through the University, they can choose to pursue an Informal Resolution or make a Formal Complaint. For more information on these options, please see the ‘Disclosures, Formal Complaints, and Informal Resolutions’ information sheet. 
 
Preliminary assessments 

Once a Formal Complaint has been received, the OHRCM will conduct a Preliminary Assessment to decide whether an Investigation should happen. They will normally make their decision within 30 working days.  

The following are some reasons why a Formal Complaint might not move to the Investigation stage: 

  • The Formal Complaint deals with behaviour that does not fall under either the Respectful Work and Learning Environment Policy or the Sexual Violence Policy; 
  • The Formal Complaint is not credible or appears to have made in bad faith (e.g. an attempt at Reprisal) 
  • The issues disclosed in the Formal Complaint are currently being, or would be better investigated under a different policy or process; 
  • The Formal Complaint submitted does not completely follow the requirements set out in section 2.1(k) of the Disclosures and Complaints Procedure.  
  • Where the time that has passed between the incident and the filing of the Complaint would create issues regarding prejudice or fairness. 

If the OHRCM decides not to proceed with an Investigation, the Complainant has 10 working days after the decision to appeal. Appeals must be made in writing. The Human Rights Advisory Committee will review the OHRCM decision, and will either compel the HRCMO to appoint an Investigator, or agree with the decision of the OHRCM to not proceed. 

If a Formal Complaint does not move to an Investigation, no more action will be taken by the OHRCM or the University. Complainants still have the right to pursue external processes.  
 
During an Investigation 

If a Formal Complaint proceeds to an Investigation, the OHRCM will appoint an Investigator. The Investigator must: 

  • Have skills and/or experience with the incident being investigated, (i.e. trauma-informed Investigation training, diversity training, etc.); 
  • Be able to conduct the Investigation in an unbiased and fair manner; and 
  • Not be placed in a conflict of interest by conducting the Investigation. 

The Investigator can conduct the Investigation as they see fit, and will ensure a fair process for all involved. Complainants and Respondents must cooperate fully with the Investigator and provide any information that is reasonably required. Investigations may include things such as interviewing witnesses, Complainants, Respondents, and reviewing documents and records, both paper and electronic (such as text messages and emails). A full breakdown of what may take place during an investigation can be found in the Disclosures and Complaints Procedure. 

Please note that the University has protections in place to prevent face-to-face encounters during an Investigation. Complainants and Respondents are not interviewed together and are not subject to cross-examination. Both the Complainant and Respondent are also allowed to have a support person present at all meetings. If someone does not cooperate with the Investigation, the Investigator will reach their decision with the information that they have available. Typically an Investigation must finish within 90 working days, although an extension may be granted.  

During an Investigation, Interim Measures may be put in place. For more information on these, please see the ‘Interim Measures’ information sheet. Confidentiality requirements are also in place during an Investigation. For more information on confidentiality requirements before, during, and after Investigations, please see the Confidentiality information sheet. 
 
After an Investigation 

Once an Investigation has concluded, the Investigator will make a Report to the Designated Officer. This Report will include a summary of the Formal Complaint and alleged Breach, as well as the evidence found, and give an answer as to whether or not a Breach occurred. For more information on the findings of Investigations, as well as potential discipline, please see the Findings of Breach or No Breach’ information sheet. 
 
Appealing a Finding of Breach 

If a Breach has been found to have occurred, the Respondent has the ability to appeal or grieve to a higher decision making body to have them change the decision that was made against them. There are several ways to appeal a decision that has been reached in a University Investigation.  

For students 

If you are a student and are found to be in Breach of either the RWLE or SV policies, you can appeal as per the Student Discipline Bylaw and Student Discipline Appeal Procedure. Students are encouraged to seek advice and support from a Student Advocate, or other representative such as the University of Manitoba Students’ Union (UMSU) or the University of Manitoba Graduate Students’ Association (UMGSA), as they pursue an appeal.  

For staff 

If disciplinary action is taken against a staff member after a Breach has been found to have occurred, there are multiple levels of appeal that are available to them. If a Respondent is in a collective bargaining unit, they can file a grievance which may lead to arbitration.  

Respondents can also appeal to the Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench.  

Regardless of what decision is made in an Investigation, if a case goes to arbitration then the case would be restarted from the beginning. All of the evidence would be presented anew, and testimony could be made publicly in open court and could include cross-examination. The arbitrator would make a decision. Their decision might confirm the University’s decision, undo the University’s decision, or impose new consequences. An arbitrator might even reinstate someone who was fired. 

Information on the bargaining units in place at the University can be found here.  
 
Reprisals 

At no point in the Investigatory process are Reprisals tolerated by the University of Manitoba. A Reprisal (or a retaliation) is when someone tries to punish a Complainant or any other person because they sought advice about the University’s Respectful Work and Learning Environment Policy or Sexual Violence Policy, brought forward an allegation of a Breach, filed a Formal Complaint, cooperated with an Investigation, or rejected a sexual solicitation or advance.  

Anyone who is a target of a Reprisal, including Complainants and Respondents, can receive protection. Reprisals can be reported to the Investigator or the OHRCM.

Limits of the Policies

Disclaimer: The purpose of this information sheet is to provide general information to members of the University community. The University is not advising or recommending any particular options through this sheet, but rather aims to ensure that all available options are communicated to community members. For additional information please contact the Office of Human Rights and Conflict Management.

Accommodations and supports are available for University community members who have experienced Discrimination, Harassment, or Sexual Violence.

A community member does not need to make a Formal Complaint in order to access accommodations or supports.

The University of Manitoba has limitations in: 

  • How and to whom the Respectful Work and Learning Environment (RWLE) and Sexual Violence (SV) policies can be applied; 
  • What types of outcomes may result from Investigations; and 
  • What information can be shared and with whom. 

General Information Surrounding Formal Complaints 

The U of M can apply its policies to members of the University Community. A Formal Complaint cannot be filed against someone who is not a member of the U of M community. For example, if a member of the public is visiting the U of M campus and makes offensive comments to a student, corrective action could be taken against them, such as being asked to leave campus, but a Formal Complaint made against them under University policies would be unlikely to move forward through the formal process. For more information, please see the University Matters’ information sheet. 

When a Formal Complaint is filed under either the RWLE or the SV policies, the U of M has to follow the Disclosures and Complaints Procedure, which may lead to an Investigation, and provide the person against whom the Complaint has been made an opportunity to respond to the Complaint. The allegation itself is not sufficient for the University to make a finding of fault and impose discipline.  

The U of M accepts anonymous and third party Complaints, but is limited in what action can be taken. An Investigation typically cannot take place without participation of a Complainant.  

The University is also limited in the kind of discipline that can be imposed if a community member has been found to have breached either the RWLE or SV policies. For example, if the person who has committed the Breach is a student, any disciplinary action would follow the options available through the Student Discipline Bylaw. If the person who has committed the Breach is a member of a union, the Collective Bargaining Agreement will dictate what types of discipline they may receive. Members of collective bargaining units also have the right to grieve the discipline that has been imposed. Please see the Findings of Breach and No Breach’ info sheet for more information. 

Sharing of Information 

There are limits to what information can be shared with Complainants, Respondents, witnesses, and the general public, both during and after an Investigation has taken place. The U of M is bound by the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA), and cannot share details with the Complainant about the discipline imposed on someone who has committed a Breach. While the University recognizes that this can be frustrating for the Complainant, the legislation is clear, and the University has to abide by it.  

The Complainant is entitled to know if there are measures (either interim or disciplinary) being applied that relate to them directly, such as the Respondent being banned from having contact with them in the future. Further, the University is not allowed to share specific information with the public about Investigations or their findings, as this is considered private information under FIPPA.   

Termination and Departures 

Where an employee is found to have committed an act of Discrimination, Harassment, or Sexual Violence, it may lead to termination or other disciplinary action. However, as discussed in the Investigations and UIIs information sheet, unionized employees may have a right to grieve discipline, and an arbitrator could reinstate them into their former position—which would return them to the U of M community. In such circumstances, though some community members may object to this, the University will sometimes negotiate a departure for an employee in order to protect the U of M community by eliminating the risk of that employee being reinstated.  

A negotiated departure (if appropriate) can look different in each case, and might include a financial settlement to ensure that there is no appeal and no further relationship with the University. This is typically only done in cases where this is the best way to protect the U of M community. 

Resignations and Retirements during Investigations 

Some U of M community members wonder why the University would allow someone to resign, retire, or transfer while there are allegations that have been made against them. The reason for this is that the University cannot force someone to continue their studies or employment.  

If an employee wants to end their work relationship with the University then the University cannot stop them, even if a Formal Complaint involving them has been made. Similarly, retirement is a guaranteed right. If a University employee decides to retire, the University cannot legally stop them from doing that. The University’s ability to impose corrective disciplinary action, educative measures, mitigation steps, and/or restoration, rehabilitation, or remedial measures has ended, because the former employee no longer has a relationship with the University.

In the case of a student, should a student decide to leave the U of M, the University cannot force them to remain in their studies. Although the U of M can withhold a transcript pending the outcome of a Formal Complaint, if a student drops out of the U of M or is admitted to another Institution, the University cannot stop them from doing so.  

An Investigation may continue even once someone is gone, but once an individual is no longer a member of the U of M community, the University’s power to act is limited.  

Letters of Reference 

When prospective employers contact the U of M about former employees, the University can only legally provide their start date and end date. To provide more information, whether positive or negative, would be a violation of the former employee’s rights under FIPPAIn cases where former employees consent to more information being shared, the University can provide a letter of recommendation. Without that consent, the University must follow the law. 

 

Scope and Application

Disclaimer: The purpose of this information sheet is to provide general information to members of the University community. The University is not advising or recommending any particular options through this sheet, but rather aims to ensure that all available options are communicated to community members. For additional information please contact the Office of Human Rights and Conflict Management.

Accommodations and supports are available for University community members who have experienced Discrimination, Harassment, or Sexual Violence.

A community member does not need to make a Formal Complaint in order to access accommodations or supports.

Where Do the Policies Apply 

A respectful work and learning environment at the University of Manitoba is not limited to activities or events on one of the U of M campuses. The policies and procedures apply to any activity, event, or undertaking in which a member of the University community participates, which has a substantial connection to the University.  

University matters can include:  

  • Events or activities taking place on University operated or leased spaces, such as on-campus events, or student residences; 
  • Job or study related activities (on or off campus), student placements and clinical trainings, University research activities including fieldwork, University tours, activities, field trips, networking events, travel study courses, or student/employee exchanges; 
  • Activities or events involving U of M community members, where their actions may reflect upon or affect the U of M, such as any aspects of employment, participation on committees or boards, or any sort of media in which members of the U of M community are a significant focus; 
  • Events, activities, or conduct related to or involving members of the University of Manitoba Students’ Union (UMSU) or the University of Manitoba Graduate Students’ Association (UMGSA); and 
  • Matters that occur off-campus that have an effect on the proper functioning of the U of M or the rights of a member of the U of M community. This may include online or social media activity. 

To Whom Do the Policies and Procedures Apply 

The RWLE and SV policies apply to all University of Manitoba community members. All community members have the right to use these policies and file Formal Complaints. 

The University community is made up of anyone with a connection to or appointment at the University of Manitoba. Members of the U of M community normally include:  

  • Members of the Board of Governors; 
  • Members of Senate; 
  • All employees of the U of M; 
  • All students;  
  • All volunteers of the U of M; and
  • All persons located on any U of M campus location. 

Although this is a very large group of people, everyone must play a part in creating a safe and respectful work and learning environment.  

Being a member of the U of M community means that there are expectations about people’s responsibilities and conduct. These responsibilities include promoting a safe work and learning environment, practising consent and respect, and educating themselves about expectations and requirements under the RWLE and SV policies.  

Sometimes a person who is not a U of M community member may create an unsafe or disrespectful environment. In these cases, the University may be limited in what it can do to find a resolution. The Formal Complaint process may not be possible. However, these incidents can still be reported so that corrective action may be taken, as non-community members may still face consequences such as not being allowed on the U of M properties.

Sexual Violence

Disclaimer: The purpose of this information sheet is to provide general information to members of the University community. The University is not advising or recommending any particular options through this sheet, but rather aims to ensure that all available options are communicated to community members. For additional information please contact the Office of Human Rights and Conflict Management.

Accommodations and supports are available for University community members who have experienced Discrimination, Harassment, or Sexual Violence.

A community member does not need to make a Formal Complaint in order to access accommodations or supports.

What is Sexual Violence? 

Sexual Violence is an umbrella term that refers to any kind of sexual activity without consent.  Sexual Violence can be either physical or psychological and targets someone’s sexuality, gender, gender identity, or gender expression. Even if the activity does not happen, threatening or attempting it is Sexual Violence.  

It is important to recognize that Sexual Violence is a significant and systemic social issue that can affect anyone at the University of Manitoba. Anyone can experience Sexual Violence, regardless of a person’s social position or position within the University structures, hierarchies, and power relations.  

It is also important to ensure that every effort to address Sexual Violence is grounded in intersectionality, which is the understanding that a person’s social and political characteristics (e.g. race, sexuality, gender etc.) combine to create unique experiences of discrimination and privilege throughout their lived experience. Some individuals or groups experience Sexual Violence at higher rates and in different ways because of how their different identities interact with each other. An example is that Indigenous women are more likely to experience sexual violence than non-indigenous women and indigenous men. 

Types of Sexual Violence  

Sexual Violence includes a range of activities, including but not limited to: 

  1. Sexual Assault is the intentional sexual touching of another person with an object or a body part without consent. There are several different types of actions that can be considered Sexual Assault, such as stealthing, unwanted or forced kissing, fondling, or sexual touching, penetrative sexual activity without consent, and sexual contact with a minor.  
  • Stealthing is the act of removing a condom during sex without the consent of the partner. It is a form of Sexual Assault because no consent was given for the action, and fraud was used.  
     
  • Unwanted or forced kissing, fondling, or sexual touching are all forms of Sexual Assault because no consent was given for the activity. 
     
  • Forcing someone to perform sexual acts is Sexual Assault because there is no consent present and no willingness or choice to participate in the activity. 
     
  • Penetrative sexual activity without consent is the most commonly referred to form of Sexual Assault, and is often referred to as “rape”. This is Sexual Assault because no consent is present. 
     
  • Sexual contact with someone under the legal age of consent is Sexual Assault.  

Sexual Harassment refers to objectionable and unwelcome sexual conduct or comments directed at a person. Sexual Harassment includes, but is not limited to: 

  • Unwanted sexual attention, including repeatedly asking someone for a date, when the person knows or should know that this attention is not wanted or welcome; 
  • Gender-based behaviour or comments that would create an intimidating, humiliating, hostile or offensive work or learning environment;   
  • Sexist jokes or remarks, including comments about a person’s clothing or appearance;  
  • Leering, ogling, or similar behaviour; 
  • Asking questions about a person’s sexual history, sexuality, sexual orientation, or sexual identity, when the person knows or should know that these questions are not wanted or welcome; 
  • Offensive physical contact or gestures when the person knows or should know that the contact or gesture is not wanted or welcome; 
  • A sexual invitation or a series of invitations made by a person who can grant or deny a benefit, when the person knows or should know that the invitation is not wanted or welcome;  
  • Sexualized pranks; 
  • Luring someone into a relationship by means of a fictional online persona (catfishing); and 
  • Retaliation or getting back at someone (also referred to as a ‘reprisal’) for rejecting a sexual invitation or advance. 

Examples of Sexual Harassment 

  1. Evan and Robin are co-workers and often arrive at their parking lot at the same time each day. For the last couple of weeks, whenever Evan and Robin arrive at work at the same time, Robin will whistle at Evan as they walk towards their building, and will sometimes make sexual comments about Evan’s outfits. Evan feels embarrassed and uncomfortable by the behaviour, and does not feel comfortable around Robin. Robin is sexually harassing Evan.  
  2. Spencer and Hayden are classmates and are working on a group presentation together. Each time they have met up to work on the project, Spencer asks Hayden about their sexual history and whether or not Hayden has done certain sexual acts. Regardless of how Hayden responds, Spencer suggests that they meet up sometime in a private location to try some of the acts out. Hayden has rejected Spencer’s advances, and is very uncomfortable and upset by Spencer’s comments and requests. Hayden is being sexually harassed by Spencer. 
  3. Voyeurism is the practice of gaining sexual pleasure by watching others when they are naked or engaged in sexual activity. If this is done without the consent of the person(s) being watched, then this is a form of Sexual Violence. A voyeur is often called a ‘peeping Tom.’ 

Example of Voyeurism 

Morgan and Niki are having sex in Morgan’s living room. Morgan’s roommate, Pat, comes home at this time and sees Morgan and Niki having sex. Morgan and Niki do not notice Pat, and Pat does not announce that they are home. Instead, Pat watches Morgan and Niki for more than ten minutes. Pat is watching Morgan and Niki engage in sexual activity without their consent, and so Pat is committing an act of Sexual Violence. 

  1. Stalking is when a person who has no legal reason to contact you, continues to bother you when you have said you do not want contact with them.  Stalking involves contact that is repeated and unwanted, and often makes the target feel unsafe. The use of technology to stalk, sometimes called “cyberstalking,” involves using the Internet, email, text messages, or other electronic communications to stalk someone. 

Example of Stalking 

Kim broke up with their partner, Frankie, a few weeks ago. Since that time, Frankie has sent Kim text messages that show Frankie is somehow keeping track of how Kim is spending their time. Frankie has also commented on every single one of Kim’s social media posts, often with somewhat cryptic messages or emojis. Kim has asked Frankie to stop messaging them but Frankie has not. Kim even blocked Frankie’s phone number and blocked Frankie on social media, but now Kim is getting calls from unknown numbers, and no one answers when Kim says hello. Kim has even seen Frankie standing outside Kim’s apartment window more than once. Kim feels unsafe with Frankie’s behaviour.  Frankie is stalking Kim. 

  1. Cyber-Sexual Violence includes several sexually violent acts that take place online. 
  • Non-Consensual distribution of sexual videos or images is when someone shares intimate images or videos without the consent of the person(s) in the images/videos. This is often done after a breakup or during cyberbullying, and in these cases is often referred to as “revenge porn.” This is a crime.  
  • Distributing sexual photos or videos can also be considered a form of sexual exploitation. If you share intimate images or videos of someone who is younger than 18 years old, even if they have sent you those images themselves or those images are of you, this is child pornography. This is a crime.  

Example of Revenge Porn  

Cameron and Sacha are partners. During their relationship they have sent each other nude photos over text. They have also sent each other sexual photos and videos of themselves privately over an app, which are set to expire a little while after they are viewed, though Cameron took screenshots of some of those. After a big fight, Cameron posts some of those nude and sexual photos and screen caps of Sacha publicly on to social media, without Sacha’s consent. Sharing those sexual images is revenge porn, a crime, and it is a form of Sexual Violence. 

Example of Non-Consensual distribution of sexual images 

Ari and Leigh are in contact over a hookup app, and have sent each other nude photos of themselves. Ari has shown some of their friends the nude photos that Leigh sent, without asking for Leigh’s permission to do that. Ari does not think it is a big deal because they did not send the photos to anyone, only showed them the photos on their phone’s screen. The fact that Ari showed nude pictures of Leigh without Leigh’s consent is a form of Sexual Violence. 

  1. Indecent Exposure is when someone exposes their genitals, breasts, or buttocks to another person in public without their consent. Indecent exposure is a type of exhibitionism that is against the law in Canada. There are different names for different types of Indecent Exposure, such as flashing, mooning, and streaking.  

Example of Indecent Exposure 

Eli and Brooklyn are at a party at their friend’s house. Eli thinks that it would be funny if they stripped off their clothes and ran through the party naked. Brooklyn does not want to run through entirely naked, but agrees to flash their genitals while Eli runs through the house. Both of these actions are considered Indecent Exposure, as they were both done with the intention of being shocking or surprising, and as none of the party-goers consented to Eli and Brooklyn showing them their genitals. 

  1. Sexual Exploitation is when a person over the age of 18 is in a position of trust or authority over a young person (16 or 17 years old) and has sexual contact with the young person, or invites or encourages sexual contact with the young person.  
     

Example of Sexual Exploitation 

Adrian graduated early from high school and started university at the age of 16. Adrian lives in residence, and their residence advisor is Nima, who is 21 years old. Nima catches Adrian with alcohol in their room, but tells them not to worry about it and that they will not report Adrian. Nima then begins to stroke Adrian’s leg and touch them sexually. Adrian is not comfortable but knows that Nima is in a position of authority and does not stop what is happening. Because Adrian is a young person and Nima has authority over Adrian, Nima is sexually exploiting Adrian. 

What are some factors that cannot be defences to Sexual Assault? 

Some behaviours are not defences to committing Sexual Violence.  

  1. Choosing to intentionally ignore or not ask someone about consent because you don’t want them to say no is not a defence to Sexual Violence.  

Example: Toni and Devon are making out. Devon puts their hands on Toni’s body, and Toni pushes their hands away. Instead of backing off, Devon keeps touching Toni and tells themself that their hands were probably cold and that is why Toni pushed them off. Devon does not check in with Toni to see if they want to stop or continue the activity, or if it there are certain parts of their body Toni does not want them to touch. Devon is being reckless by choosing to ignore Toni’s actions and by not asking Toni what they want or do not want. 

  1. Choosing to intentionally ignore or not ask someone about their age because you don’t want them to be too young to consent is not a defence to Sexual Violence.  

Example: Angel meets someone named Vick, and thinks Vick looks very young. Angel thinks Vick might be under-age, but Angel decides not to ask before having sex with them. This is being willfully blind. Alternatively, if Angel does ask how old Vick is and Vick says they are 16 years old, Angel should still not have sex with Vick if they do not know for sure that they are not underage. 

  1. Impairment is not a defence to Sexual Violence. Impairment can happen when someone is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. It does not matter how drunk or high someone is, this will not excuse them if they commit Sexual Violence. Even if someone voluntarily becomes so drunk that they cannot control their actions or are not aware of what they are doing, this will not be a defence. 

Example: Jody is at a party and has been drinking all night. They have had a lot to drink. Later that night, Jody commits an act of Sexual Violence against someone else at the party. Jody was so drunk that they say they could not control their actions that night. But the fact that Jody voluntarily became so drunk that they could not control their actions is not a defence to what Jody did that night. 

Note: The University policies/procedures and this information sheet provide a number of common examples of Sexual Violence. However, there may be others. The University policies are meant to cover all types of Sexual Violence, whether listed or not. 

Social Media and Online Behaviour

Disclaimer: The purpose of this information sheet is to provide general information to members of the University community. The University is not advising or recommending any particular options through this sheet, but rather aims to ensure that all available options are communicated to community members. For additional information please contact the Office of Human Rights and Conflict Management.

Accommodations and supports are available for University community members who have experienced Discrimination, Harassment, or Sexual Violence.

A community member does not need to make a Formal Complaint in order to access accommodations or supports.

All members of the University Community are responsible for conducting themselves in a respectful and appropriate manner at all times, particularly when interacting with other community members. This applies to both in-person interactions, as well as interactions that occur online. The Respectful Work and Learning Environment (RWLE) and Sexual Violence (SV) policies apply to both in-person and online behaviours. 

Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Violence can happen through, for example, email; social media including Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook; on dating and/or hook-up apps; and/or online in other places. 

How can the University help in cases of inappropriate online behaviour? 

If an individual experiences Discrimination, Harassment, or Sexual Violence through any of these media, the University may be able to help if you tell someone, such as the Sexual Violence Resource Centre or the Office of Human Rights and Conflict Management. The University may also be able to take action against the person responsible if they are a member of the University of Manitoba community.  

Inappropriate online behaviour can also be committed by an anonymous person or someone with no connection to the University. In such cases, the University may be limited in what it can do. Even in cases where it may be difficult for the University to act because the person responsible is not a community member or is anonymous, some corrective steps may still be taken and accommodations and supports are still available. For more information on these, please refer to the ‘Accommodations and Supports’ information sheet. 

What are some examples of inappropriate online behaviour? 

Inappropriate online behaviour can take many different forms. Examples of this behaviour include cyber-bullying/cyber-harassment, blackmail/extortion, and inappropriate communication methods. For more information about other forms of Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Violence, please refer to the ‘Discrimination and Harassment’ and ‘Sexual Violence’ information sheets.  

Cyber-Bullying/Cyber Harassment 

Harassment can include bullying and cyber-bullying. Bullying is when an individual or group of people repeatedly and intentionally intimidate or harm an individual or group. Cyber-bullying is any bullying that takes place using technology, such as computers or phones, and which might use one or more of the online platforms listed above. Cyber-bullying can include: sending hurtful or threatening emails or messages, posting embarrassing photos of someone online, creating a website to make fun of others, pretending to be someone by using their name, tricking someone into revealing personal or embarrassing information and sending it to others. 

Examples of Cyber-Bullying/Cyber-Harassment 

  1. Riley learns that there is a private social media group run by their co-worker Payton that talks about Riley and one of their co-workers in a disparaging way, including gossiping about their sex lives. This would be defined as Sexual Harassment under the University’s policy and could be addressed with the Office of Human Rights and Conflict Management because Payton is a staff member. 

  1. For the past few weeks Haris has been receiving rude texts and social media comments from Skylar, who is a student at another university. Skylar has made rude comments about Haris’ appearance, made fun of their posts on their social media accounts and claimed that no one likes Haris. Haris is being harassed and cyber-bullied. The University’s policy does not apply in this case, because Skylar is not a member of the University Community. Haris can still access supports on campus such as the Student Counselling Centre. 

Blackmail/Extortion 

When someone uses threats or force to try to get someone else to do something, it is called blackmail or extortion.  In an online setting, blackmail/extortion can be a threat to share someone’s private or personal information in order to get something in return.  

Examples of Blackmail/Extortion 

  1. Noor and Faris are classmates who have been in the same cohort of an honours program for the last 3 years. Both are aspiring to the graduate program. Noor tells Faris they are interested in working with a particular supervisor for their graduate program. Noor later finds out that Faris had also approached that faculty member to be their supervisor. Noor messages Faris through social media and tells them to go back to that faculty member to say they are no longer interested in working with them, or Noor will tell them about Faris’ previous involvement in academic misconduct in one of their previous courses. Noor is attempting to blackmail/extort Faris. 

  2. Folami and Shiloh used to go to high school together, and they now work together in the same department. Both Folami and Shiloh are up for the same promotion, and only one of them can get it. Folami finds an explicit photo of Shiloh from a party they both attended back in high school. The next day Folami shows the photo to Shiloh, and tells them that if they do not withdraw from consideration for the promotion, Folami will send the photo to all of their co-workers from an anonymous email account. Folami is using blackmail/extortion to get the promotion over Shiloh. 

Inappropriate Communication Methods 

There are many types of inappropriate communication methods that may be grounds for a Formal Complaint under either the RWLE or SV policy. Spamming classmates or co-workers with messages or mass emails, communicating with classmates or co-workers using inappropriate or vulgar language, and sending classmates or co-workers inappropriate images or videos are all types of inappropriate communication.   

Examples of Inappropriate Communication 

  1. René and Zuri are classmates. Zuri missed a class and emailed René asking if they could send Zuri their notes from the missed class. The next day, René has not yet answered Zuri’s email, prompting Zuri to email René again. This continues for the next three days multiple times a day, and when René logs into their email three days later, they have 15 emails from Zuri. In the last few emails, Zuri uses vulgar and inappropriate language, and calls René rude names for not replying to their emails. Zuri is communicating inappropriately by sending an excessive amount of emails to René and by using inappropriate language. 

  1. Efe and Kyrie work together. Efe is interested in Kyrie romantically, and has asked Kyrie to go on a date with them a couple times now. Kyrie has declined each time and has told Efe that they are not interested in dating a co-worker. Efe thinks that Kyrie may change their mind if Efe sends Kyrie a picture of them without any clothing on. Efe texts this image to Kyrie, who is upset by the image and feels uncomfortable. This is inappropriate communication by Efe, and Kyrie decides to file a Formal Complaint against Efe.