Purpose/Rationale:

Upper Madison College Advanced Language Learning and Skilled Development herby referred to as UMC are committed to the elimination of sexual harassment and sexual violence to all members of the diverse learning community. In particular, UMC is committed to supporting those affected by sexual harassment and sexual violence.

All members of the College community have a right to study in an environment that is free from any form of sexual assault and sexual violence. This policy and related procedures set out the manner in which the College addresses sexual harassment and sexual violence. The College has a process of investigation that protects the rights of both the complainant and the respondent/s.

Policy:

All forms of sexual violence are unacceptable and will not be tolerated at UMC. UMC is committed to challenging and preventing sexual assault and sexual violence. The College is committed to creating a safe learning environment for everyone in the College community. This policy aims to encourage individuals who have been affected by or witnessed incidents of sexual assault and sexual violence to make a report to the College. All reported incidents of sexual assault and sexual violence will be investigated in a manner that ensures due process.

UMC recognizes that sexual harassment and sexual violence can occur between individuals regardless of sex, sexual orientation, gender, and gender identity or relationship status as defined in the Ontario Human Rights Code (Code)[1] and the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA). The College also recognizes that individuals who are affected by sexual assault and sexual violence may experience emotional, academic, employment and/or other difficulties.

Scope:

This Policy applies to all members of the Upper Madison College community including: all students

Whereas, anyone can be the target or perpetrator of sexual harassment and sexual violence, Upper Madison College recognizes that: Women and girls, including Trans women and girls, indigenous women, racialized women, women with disabilities, young and senior women are much more likely to be the targets and survivors of sexual harassment and sexual violence; The impact of sexual harassment and sexual violence is experienced differently by different survivors based on their identities and lived experiences; and males are also targets and survivors of sexual violence.

Definitions:

Sexual violence: Sexual violence means any sexual act or act targeting a person’s sexuality, gender identity or gender expression, whether the act is physical or psychological in nature, that is committed, threatened or attempted against a person without the person’s consent, and includes sexual assault, sexual harassment, stalking, indecent exposure, voyeurism and sexual exploitation. Sexual violence is about power and control, not about sexual desire.

Sexual harassment: Sexual Harassment is a form of sexual violence prohibited by the Ontario Human Rights Code (Code). Sexual harassment is defined as a course of vexatious comment or conduct based on an individual’s sex and/or gender that is known or ought to be known as unwelcome. Under Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), workplace harassment has been expanded to include sexual harassment:

Upper Madison College is committed to:

1.1 assisting those who have been affected by sexual harassment and sexual violence by providing choices, including detailed information and support, such as provision of and/or referral to counselling and medical care, information about legal options, and appropriate academic and other accommodation;

1.2 ensuring those who disclose that they have been sexually assaulted are treated with dignity and respect and are supported throughout the process of disclosure, investigation and institutional response;

1.3 addressing harmful attitudes and behaviors that blame the person who has experienced and/or is affected by sexual harassment and sexual violence;

1.4 treating individuals who disclose sexual harassment and sexual violence with compassion, recognizing that their sense of control over their physical and sexual integrity is compromised through no fault of their own;

1.5 ensuring that on-campus internal investigation procedures are available in the case of sexual harassment and sexual violence;

1.6 engaging in appropriate procedures for investigation and adjudication of a complaint that are in accordance with College policies, standards and applicable collective agreements to ensure fairness and due process;

1.7 ensuring coordination and confidential communication among the various departments who are most likely to be involved in the response to sexual harassment and sexual violence on campus;

1.8 engaging in education and prevention activities in the College community including on how to respond to the disclosure of sexual harassment and sexual violence;

1.9 providing information to the College community about UMC’s sexual harassment and sexual violence policies and protocol;

1.10 enabling the creation of a campus environment in which sexual harassment and sexual violence is not tolerated

1.11 monitoring and updating our policies and protocols to ensure that they remain effective and in line with other existing policies.

 

Disclosures and Incident Reporting of Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence

2.1 Responses to disclosures of sexual harassment and sexual violence will be non-judgmental, supportive, empathetic and with unconditional regard and respect.

2.2 Individuals who have experienced or have been affected by sexual harassment and sexual violence are encouraged to come forward to report as soon as they are able to do so and to the avenue that they feel most comfortable to report. Students can report incidents of sexual harassment and sexual violence to the Office of Student Services at 416-546-7250 extension 230 and Regional Specific Counselor at 416-546-7250.

2.3 Members of the College community who are faculty, employees and contractors have a duty to immediately report all incidents and suspected incidents of sexual harassment and sexual violence.

2.4 Students are strongly encouraged to report incidents of sexual harassment and sexual violence, but do not need to report such incidents to obtain supports, services or accommodation from the College. The College takes seriously the failure to report and/or to take action when it affects the safety of people.

Complaint Process and Investigations

 

3.1 Complaint Investigation

A complaint of sexual harassment and sexual violence can be filed under this Policy by any member of the College. The College has established procedures related to investigating and making decisions about formal complaints. For further information regarding responsibilities for intake, investigation and decision making regarding the student’s sexual harassment and sexual violence procedures refer to the applicable procedures:

Student Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence Procedure

Where a complaint of sexual assault or sexual violence has been reported to the College, the College will exercise care to protect and respect the rights of both the complainant and the respondent. Except as otherwise stated in this Policy or the relevant Procedure, the College provides those whose rights, privileges or interests may be affected by a decision with notice of the decision to be made, disclosure of facts relevant to the decision and an opportunity to be heard. The College may decide how it meets these obligations in different circumstances, and will do so with a view to providing a fair process, making a sound decision and preserving the dignity of survivors. The College has the right to withhold disclosure early on in its process to obtain a person’s independent recollection of events.

A report of sexual harassment and sexual violence may also be referred to the police, or to other community resources at the complainant’s request, where the persons involved are not members of the College community or otherwise where appropriate.

3.2 Right to Withdraw a Complaint

A complainant has the right to withdraw a complaint at any stage of the process. The College understands that individuals who have experienced or been affected by sexual harassment and sexual violence may wish to control if and how their experience will be dealt with by the police and/or the College. In most circumstances, the person will retain this control. A person who has experienced sexual harassment and sexual violence may choose not to request an investigation and has the right not to participate in any investigation that may occur. In certain circumstances however, if the College believes that the safety of other members of the College community is at risk, the College may be required to initiate or continue an internal investigation and/or inform the police of the need for a criminal investigation, even when the survivor has exercised their right to withdraw a complaint. The confidentiality and anonymity of the person(s) affected will be prioritized in these circumstances.

3.3 Protection from Reprisals, Retaliation or Threats

It is contrary to this Policy for anyone to retaliate, engage in reprisals or threaten to retaliate against a complainant or other individual(s) for:

  • having pursued rights under this Policy, the Ontario Human Rights Code; the Occupational Health and Safety Act; and/or under the Criminal Code of Canada;
  • having participated or co-operated in an investigation under this Policy or the Ontario Human Rights Code; and/or the Occupational Health and Safety Act; and/or
  • having been associated with someone who has pursued rights under this Policy; the Ontario Human Rights Code; and/or the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Confidentiality

Confidentiality is important to those who have disclosed sexual harassment and sexual violence. The confidentiality of all persons involved in a report of sexual harassment and sexual violence will be strictly observed, and the College will restrict routine access to information to individuals with a need for such access and will respect the confidentiality of all persons, including the complainant, respondent, and witnesses.

Outcomes

The College will determine, based on its investigation and hearing as appropriate, what happened and whether it constitutes sexual harassment and sexual violence. If the College finds there has been misconduct, it will determine the appropriate penalty. Students may face discipline, up to and including expulsion. The College will inform the complainant and respondent of the results of its investigation as per the applicable procedure.

Appeals

Appeals of student violations may be pursued based on limited grounds as set out in the Code of Student Conduct Policy.