821 Sainte-Croix, Montréal, Québec Canada H4L 3X9 | Tel: 514.744.7500 | Toll-Free: 1.855.744.7500 | Fax: 514.744.7505
Respect Works

Student Guide

Vanier College is committed to providing a respectful, safe and inclusive environment, free from discrimination, harassment and violence.

The College considers any form of harassment or discrimination of any member of the College community to be a serious violation of that individual’s fundamental rights. Violation of an individual’s rights is a serious offence, which may be subject to a range of disciplinary measures, including dismissal or expulsion.

WHAT IS DISCRIMINATION?

Discrimination is defined as treatment which:

  • has no reasonable justification.
  • describes an act, behaviour or practice of treating a person or group unequally on the basis of the prohibited grounds identified by the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms

WHAT IS HARASSMENT?

Harassment is unwelcome conduct that is abusive, unfair or demeaning and has the effect or the purpose of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s or group’s status or performance. Harassing behaviour may create a hostile work or learning environment. The conduct is usually repetitive; however a single serious incident of such behaviour having a lasting or harmful effect may constitute harassment. Examples of harassment:

  • jokes, comments, e-mail or text messages, internet sites which demean or belittle an individual or group and are based on race, ethnic origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability etc.
  • unwarranted exclusions
  • discrediting a person, spreading rumours, ridiculing a person, calling into questions an individual’s convictions or private life.

WHAT IS SEXUAL HARASSMENT?

Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature in the work or learning environment that may lead to adverse job-related or academic consequences. Behaviour that might constitute sexual harassment includes but is not limited to:

  • sexually oriented verbal kidding; telling or posting of unwelcome jokes, cartoons of a sexually suggestive nature.
  • subtle pressure for sexual interaction or activity
  • persistent and unwelcome requests for dates
  • inappropriate touching such as patting, pinching, squeezing or brushing against another’s body.
  • inappropriate comments about a person’s appearance, body, gender, or sexual orientation.
  • leering, or making suggestive sounds
  • suggestions about or offers of rewards for sexual favours.
  • inappropriate questions or sharing of information about a person’s sexuality or sexual orientation.

ACADEMIC FREEDOM

As a Vanier College student you are entitled to study in an environment that is free from discrimination and harassment. Vanier is a place of learning where the free exchange of information, ideas and perspectives are valued and encouraged and therefore you may be exposed to controversial material and ideas. While there is a right to discuss potentially controversial matters in the classroom, this right does not include discussions that are demeaning to an individual or group.

ROMANTIC AND SEXUAL RELATIONSHIPS

There are numerous possibilities for problems to arise from romantic or sexual relationships between faculty or staff and students. Romantic and sexual relationships between faculty or staff members and students are ones in which a power differential may exist. A student may be unintentionally coerced into a relationship by the difference in power between the faculty or staff member and the student, therefore, what appears to be consensual, may not be. A faculty or staff member may favour a student they are involved with and other students may perceive the favouritism and claim sexual harassment based upon an intimidating, hostile learning environment.

The college usually has no interest in the private romantic relationships between individuals. The College however, does have the responsibility to protect the integrity of the learning environment and the evaluation processes and therefore strongly cautions against romantic or sexual relationships between students and faculty or staff.

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF YOU IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE EXPERIENCED DISCRIMINATION OR HARASSMENT?

  • Don’t ignore it – it won’t go away
  • If you feel comfortable, talk to the person directly. Tell the individual that his/her behaviour has offended you and is annoying. Avoid losing your cool, be direct and don’t use abusive language.
  • Keep a record. It is important to document the incidents. Write down what happened, the time, date and location of the incident as well as names of any witnesses.
  • Contact the Respectful Learning and Workplace Environment Office. Advice on how to handle the situation will be given with no obligation for you to file a complaint. If you choose to file a complaint, the Respectful Learning and Workplace Environment Advisor will explain how to pursue the complaint further.
  • No one will be penalized for bringing forward a complaint in good faith, or for co-operating with the College in the resolution or investigation of any complaint. In most cases the situation is resolved informally. Often, the individual responsible for the behaviour is unaware that his/her behaviour is offensive or annoying and will stop and apologize once he/she has been made of aware of it.

CONFIDENTIALITY

In order to protect the reputations of all individuals involved in an allegation of discrimination and/or harassment, confidentiality is assured to all parties.

However, confidentiality is not the same as anonymity

You must be prepared to be identified if you want to file a formal complaint with the Respectful Learning and Workplace Environment Office. The individual(s) accused has the right to know what the allegation is and who made it.