Sexual Harrassment


Informal Resolution

Formal Procedures


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Informal Resolution

In many instances, problems can be resolved informally. The following steps may be utilized to clarify any misunderstandings, to provide information about appropriate action and behaviour, to suggest various means of dealing with the issue of harassment and to prevent the problem from continuing or becoming more serious.

1. Consultation with the Advisor

During the informal stage or process, the Sexual Harassment Advisor shall discuss the situation with the person approaching him or her. The Advisor shall:

  1. ask for information about the situation,
  2. discuss the nature of the behaviour,
  3. discuss the complainant's needs and preferences regarding the resolution of the problem,
  4. explain the options available for resolution, including informal resolutions and formal complaint, Human Rights complaints, grievances, etc.,
  5. review the possible implications of further action,
  6. suggest that a log of the offending behaviour be kept, and/or
  7. help undertake informal action such as those set out below.

2. Communication with the person named

With the help of the Advisor, the complainant may decide to:

  1. speak directly to the person named in the complaint,
  2. ask the advisor to speak to the person named,
  3. write a letter to the person named in the complaint, and/or
  4. arrange a meeting with one of the Advisors and the person named.

3. Resolution Facilitation Session

The purpose of this session is to provide an opportunity for all people involved to clarify the situation.

  1. The complainant will discuss the complaint with one of the Advisors (in the case that informal procedures have already been undertaken, this shall be the Advisor first approached by the complainant),
  2. This Advisor will contact the other Advisor, informing her or him of the facts of the complaint,
  3. The second Advisor will contact the person named in the complaint. This Advisor will act as a resource person for the person named in the complaint, by i) informing her or him of the nature of the complaint, ii) inviting her or him to discuss the case with the Advisor, and iii) providing information about the options available for resolution.
  4. The four people will meet to discuss the complaint and try to reach a mutually agreeable solution.
  5. If, at any point during the procedure set out above, the person named in the complaint refuses to meet with the complainant or to otherwise comply with the procedures, the Sexual Harassment Advisors shall meet with the complainant at which time a decision will be made whether to proceed with a formal complaint or make recommendations to the President for disciplinary action.

4. Advocacy

In order to deal with problems of a systemic nature or which contribute to a poisoned environment (for instance, material, policies and practices which can reasonably be perceived to be sexually degrading), individuals or groups are encouraged to contact the Advisor. In some cases, it may be appropriate to use the steps set out for informal or formal resolution of complaints. In other cases, in which a particular individual or group is less easily named, the Advisor may encourage the individual or groups to consult with the Education Committee in order to take whatever action may be appropriate, such as consultation with the President, organization of information sessions, communication with particular groups of people, and so on.


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