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Student Complaints

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Questions, concerns, and issues should first be managed at the local, divisional, faculty, and college level as appropriate to the situation.

Deans of Students, Registrars, and Professors are the starting point for most general complaints. Below, you will find information pertaining to issues and complaints that involve the Office of the Vice-Provost, Students.

Complaints about Prohibited Discrimination

The University of Toronto’s Statement on Prohibited Discrimination and Discriminatory Harassment states “The University aspires to achieve an environment free of prohibited discrimination and harassment and to ensure respect for the core values of freedom of speech, academic freedom and freedom of research”. This Statement also outlines the responsibilities of the University community members and the process for complaints.

How to proceed with a concern or complaint as a student at the University of Toronto under the
Governing Council Statement on Prohibited Discrimination and Discriminatory Harassment

If you believe an act of discrimination has taken place, these steps will assist you in reporting your concerns and finding a resolution.

Equity offices on campus can assist you to prepare your concerns/complaints and support you through the process.

The step-by-step process is outlined below, and is also available to download in PDF format:

Prohibited Discrimination Flow Chart (PDF)

 

  • Raise your concern or complaint with the individual(s) who you believe engaged in discrimination/harassment (if possible).

    An informal resolution may be achieved here.

    If not, proceed to Step 2.

  • If a resolution is not achieved, discuss your concern with administrative officers responsible for the department or division. (e.g. Chair/Dean of Faculty/Department, Dean of Students)

    An informal resolution may be achieved here.

    If not, proceed to Step 3.

  • If the issue remains unresolved, you have the option to file a formal complaint. Set your complaint in writing and deliver it to an equity office.

    An equity officer will speak with you about available options and resources that may best be suited to your concerns.

    If an investigation is determined to be warranted, you will proceed to Step 4.

  • An equity officer, in consultation with senior administration, will decide whether to conduct an investigation, and in the case that an investigation proceeds, the scope of the investigation will be set out.

    The decision will be advised by the
    Governing Council Statement on Prohibited Discrimination and Discriminatory Harassment

  • The investigation will commence. The complainant will be advised if the concern/complaint is found to be substantiated. If it is found to be unsubstantiated, it will be dismissed. If a concern/complaint is found to be substantiated, steps will be taken to address the conduct that has occurred and to prevent reoccurrence.

    Resolution: The complaint will be addressed or dismissed.

  • If you are not satisfied with the outcome of a complaint that has been investigated through the process in this flow-chart, you may request a review by writing to the Office of the Vice-Provost, Students within twenty (20) days of being notified of the result.

General Complaints - Student Services

If you have a concern about a service or resource on campus, the first step is to raise it with the Director of the office.

If the matter is not resolved at this point, the second step is to contact the executive/senior director of this service (e.g. the Warden of Hart House; The Dean of Student Affairs and Services at UTM/USTC; the Senior Director of Student Experience/ the Senior Director of Student Success at St. George).

If the matter is still not resolved, the third step should be to contact the Office of the Vice-Provost, Students at vp.students@utoronto.ca.

 

Complaints about Student Groups

Although the University does not monitor or review the activities of recognized campus groups in the normal course of events, it will investigate complaints or charges that an organization has acted in a manner that is inconsistent with its constitution or with the requirements of the Policy on the Recognition of Campus Groups. For more information, please contact the appropriate campus administrator:

St. George Campus Groups Officer: groups.officer@utoronto.ca
UTM Centre for Student Engagement: studentgroups.utm@utoronto.ca
UTSC Department of Student Life: studentlife@utsc.utoronto.ca

Complaints about Student Societies

While student societies range in size, interest, and level of activity, all societies are characterized by three common elements:

  • they both represent, and are accountable to, given constituencies within the University;
  • membership is automatic with registration in academic divisions (or, where applicable, University residence); and
  • all society members are charged a compulsory fee as part of their total payment to the University.

If you have a complaint or concern pertaining to a society’s openness, accessibility, or democratic nature, you must first pursue the society’s own complaints mechanism.

If you have exhausted the society’s complaints mechanism, then the Policy on Open, Accessible and Democratic Autonomous Student Organizations provides for a dispute resolution process in the Complaint and Resolution Council for Student Societies (CRCSS).

For information about the CRCSS, please see the procedures below or visit the dedicated CRCSS page.

    1. The complainant shall outline the nature of the complaint and confirm that the society’s complaint procedure has been exhausted, in writing to the Chair at crcss.chair@utoronto.ca.
    2. The Chair shall confirm that the society’s own internal complaint mechanism has been exhausted before a complaint may be referred to the CRCSS.
    3. Where an agreement between two or more Student Societies contains a mechanism for resolution of disputes among them, such a complaint mechanism must be exhausted before such a complaint may be referred to the CRCSS.
    4. The Chair shall inform the Student Society of the complaint and shall inform both the complainant and the Society against whom the complaint has been made (“the responding society”) of the names of the CRCSS panel members chosen to review the complaint.
    5. The complainant and the responding Society will have an opportunity to write to the Chair to raise an objection of conflict of interest or bias regarding the CRCSS members chosen to review the complaint. The Chair will rule upon the matter of any objection and may, based on the information provided by the Society, select an alternative student member at the Chair’s discretion.
    6. The responding Society will be provided with a copy of the complaint and will have an opportunity to submit a written response to the allegations in the complaint to the CRCSS.
    7. The CRCSS Panel shall review the information provided, request additional information, and/or conduct interviews.
    8. The CRCSS Panel shall determine the outcome based on the information gathered. The deliberations of the CRCSS Panel will be conducted in private and will be confidential.
    9. The complaint shall be considered by the CRCSS Panel in a timely manner.
    10. The CRCSS Panel may consider, but is not bound by, previous decisions.
    11. The CRCSS Panel will make its recommendations in writing with reasons which will be provided to the complainant, the responding society, and to the Vice-President and Provost.
Office of the Ombudsperson

The University of Toronto Office of the Ombudsperson offers confidential advice and assistance to students, faculty, and staff on all three campuses of the University of Toronto.

You may reach out to the office to discuss your concerns/problems at any point to get information about relevant policies and procedures and to help identify options. However, please note that the Ombudsperson cannot start an investigation until all other University avenues have been exhausted.

For more information about their services and how to contact the office visit the U of T Ombudsperson webpage.