Queen's launching new harassment and discrimination policy

Queen's launching new harassment and discrimination policy

New policies, training, and tools to boost safety and inclusivity on campus.

By Dave Rideout

August 4, 2021


Queen’s Board of Trustees has approved a Harassment and Discrimination Prevention and Response Policy (H&D Policy), as well as amendments to align the Student Code of Conduct with the new H&D Policy. Developed over a three-year period and with extensive consultation with the campus community, the new H&D Policy is set to further support the university’s ongoing commitment to promoting a respectful and inclusive living, learning, and working environment.

The new H&D Policy is set to take effect September 1, 2021 and will improve reporting mechanisms for individual and systemic instances of harassment and discrimination across all university-related spaces and activities.

“I want to express my gratitude to all of those who participated in this important consultation process,” says Principal Patrick Deane. “The resulting policy will provide a framework on which we can continue to strengthen our campus community as one in which everyone can feel welcome and safe.”

A working group, comprised of representatives from across campus—including students, faculty, and staff—developed the new policy which simplifies the intake process for initiating complaints and reports of harassment or discrimination through the University Secretariat Office.

“The updated policy simplifies the processes through which campus community members can express concerns about harassment and discrimination,” says Lon Knox, University Secretary and Corporate Counsel, and chair of the Harassment and Discrimination Policy and Procedure Consultation Working Group that led the project. “It also serves to illuminate how the university will address those concerns in clear and consistent ways. We look forward to working with units across the university to raise awareness of these refined mechanisms with students, staff, and faculty over the coming months.”

Individuals who do not wish to make formal reports or complaints about harassment or discrimination may still receive supports and advice through the Office of Human Rights, the Ombudsperson, and various offices across the University. They may also seek alternative resolutions facilitated by the Human Rights Office or the Office of Indigenous Initiatives.

H&D Policy training for faculty, staff, and students

To ensure that all groups are aware of the new H&D Policy and amended code of conduct, training and awareness sessions are being organized by the university to run during the fall term and beyond.

Training is set to begin in late September with sessions for the entire campus community starting in early October. Detailed information on training sessions will be announced soon.

Anonymous reporting with IN-SIGHT

In addition to the new H&D Policy, code, and training, Queen’s students, staff, and faculty, will also be able to utilize IN-SIGHT—an online, anonymous platform that allows campus community members to disclose acts of harassment, discrimination, hate, and violence targeting personal characteristics protected under the Ontario Human Rights Code that have been experienced or witnessed.

The platform will not be a formal reporting and complaint mechanism—all official complaints must be made under the new H&D Policy—but it will allow for information to be aggregated and used to identify systemic trends within the campus community.

Learn more about the new H&D Policy, as well as upcoming training and other resources, on the University Secretariat’s website.