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Queen's University

Help and Support

Email Harassment


STOPIT! is a joint initiative of the Human Rights Office, Campus Security, Information Technology Services, and the Dean of Student Affairs.


Students should be aware that the Criminal Code applies to e-mail, and that violations can be turned over to the local police for investigation.

Is It Harassment?

  • Harrassment is defined as vexatious conduct or comment that is known or ought reasonably to be known as unwelcome.
  • Ask yourself these questions:
    • Did the incident cause stress that affected your ability, or the ability of others, to work or study?
    • Was it unwelcome behavior?
    • Would a reasonable person of your gender/race/religion/sexual orientation subjected to this behavior find it unacceptable?
    • You should be aware that unsolicited advertising is a regular annoyance when using e-mail. It is not normally treated as harassment unless it is persistent and/or obscene. For more information on this problem: "What is spam" policy.

    Here's what to do

    • DO NOT IGNORE IT, and DO NOT ERASE THE E-MAIL MESSAGE(S) from your Inbox - it contains information that may identify the person responsible.
    • Forward the offending e-mail to: (Include the Email Headers)
    • If you feel threatened, call Campus Security at 533-6111.
    • To discuss the harassment or to file a complaint, call the Human Rights Office at 533-6886, Monday to Friday 9am-5pm.
    • For help from Information Technology Services (ITS), call 533-2244 Monday to Friday 8:30am-4:30pm.


    • It is also a violation of the Criminal Code to use someone else's name or computer userid to impersonate them in sending e-mail. If you have received e-mail of this type, preserve a copy of the message as it contains information that may help identify the actual sender.


    Kingston, Ontario, Canada K7L 3N6 613.533.2000