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Harassment and Discrimination

Mount Saint Vincent University is committed to providing and maintaining an environment that promotes the dignity of human beings.  The Harassment and Discrimination Policy prohibits harassment and discrimination and affirms that all members of the Mount Community have the right to participate in activities at the Mount without fear of discrimination or harassment.

The Mount's Harassment and Discrimination Policy outlines the Mount's commitments and procedures for handling complaints as follows:

  1. To identify the characteristics of discrimination and harassment;
  2. To increase awareness of and sensitivity to the impact discrimination and harassment have on members of the University community;
  3. To prevent discrimination and harassment through education and information;
  4. To provide fair procedures for handling complaints of discrimination and harassment when they do occur.

All employees of the Mount are responsible for reading and understanding the Harassment and Discrimination Policy.  The Harassment and Discrimination Policy Committee monitors the effectiveness of the Policy and makes recommendations for change and awareness programs among all University constituencies.

Harassment and Discrimination Defined

Under the Mount's Harassment and Discrimination Policy, Article 2 of the policy defines Discrimination, Harassment and Sexual Harassment.  In brief:

Discrimination is intentional or unintentional differential treatment for which there is no bona fide or reasonable justification.

Harassment is defined as an incident or series of incidents of vexatious or disrespectful comments, displays or behaviours designed to demean, belittle, humiliate, embarrass, degrade or attempt to exclude, which adversely affects the employment or academic status of an individual.  Personal harassment is behavior directed towards a specific person or persons that would be considered, by a reasonable person, as creating an intimidating, humiliating, or hostile work or learning environment.

Sexual harassment is unwanted sexual attention which adversely affects the working or learning environment.

The Role of the Harassment and Discrimination Advisor

The Harassment and Discrimination Advisor reports directly to the President.  In accordance with the policy, the Advisor carries out the duties of the office in a confidential, fair and impartial manner, consistent with the principles of natural justice and due process.  The Advisor investigates and works to resolve informal complaints of harassment and discrimination, and when required, refers formal complaints to an external investigator for investigation.  She also acts as a resource to the Harassment and Discrimination Policy Committee.

The Role of Human Resources/Others

Any faculty or staff who believes they are being harassed or discriminated against are encouraged to discuss the incident with either their Supervisor, their department head/Director/Dean, Human Resources or the Harassment and Discrimination Advisor; and - if unionized - seek support from their Union.  Parties are entitled to have a support person of their choice attend any meetings regarding a complaint.

Students seeking further information about this process should contact Counseling Services