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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 University’s commitments, and provides fair procedures for handling complaints when they do arise.  

Harassment and Discrimination Defined
The Harassment and Discrimination Policy defines “Discrimination”, “Personal Harassment” and “Sexual Harassment”. In brief:

•  Discrimination occurs when there is a distinction (whether intentional or not) which is based on a characteristic protected under the Nova Scotia Human Rights Act, and has the effect of imposing burdens, obligations or disadvantages on an individual or group, or of withholding or limiting access to opportunities, benefits and advantages to other individuals or groups, and for which there is no reasonable justification.

•  Sexual Harassment is unwanted sexual attention which adversely affects the working or learning environment of a member of the Mount community.

•  Personal harassment is behaviour directed toward an individual or group that a reasonable person would consider would create an intimidating, humiliating or hostile work or learning environment. It may include incidents of vexatious or disrespectful comments, displays or behaviours which demean, belittle, humiliate, embarrass, degrade or exclude. 

The Role of the Harassment and Discrimination Advisor
The Mount’s Harassment and Discrimination Advisor (msvu.ca) acts as a confidential, fair and impartial resource to the University community on all aspects of harassment and discrimination. The Advisor offers advice and support to any student, faculty or staff member who has concerns about harassment or discrimination. The Advisor also works to resolve informal complaints of harassment and discrimination and, when required, refers formal complaints to an external investigator for investigation.

The Advisor seeks to increase awareness of discrimination and harassment within the Mount Community. They are available to facilitate education workshops on topics like human rights, harassment, accommodation, and respectful workplaces and communities.

The Harassment and Discrimination Advisor reports directly to the President and acts as a resource to the Mount’s Harassment and Discrimination Committee. 

Roles and Responsibilities within the Mount Community
All members of the Mount Community are responsible for reading and understanding the Harassment and Discrimination Policy.  

Any individual who believes they have experienced or who is aware of an incident of harassment or discrimination is encouraged to communicate their concerns:
 

•  Faculty or staff are encouraged to discuss their concerns with the Harassment and Discrimination Advisor, their Supervisor, their Department Head, Director or Dean, or a representative of Human Resources. Unionized employees may also seek support from their Union.  

•  Students are encouraged to discuss their concerns with the Harassment and Discrimination Advisor, their Dean, a representative of the Office of Student Experience (including Counselling Services), or the Manager of Campus Security.

Parties are entitled to have a support person of their choice attend any meetings regarding a complaint.

Periodic Review of the 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.