Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What should I do if I feel I have been harassed by someone who is not a Memorial University student, staff or faculty member?
A. The Sexual Harassment Policy and Procedures covers activities and events which may involve people who are not members of the University community. Sexual harassment can occur whether you are on or off campus. For example, during road trips, conferences and study or work related social functions. Even where the person who is harassing you has no affiliation with the University, you should speak with the Advisor as there are many on and off campus resources and support services available to help.
Q. If I pursue a Formal Complaint through the Sexual Harassment Office can I still report a sexual assault to the police or file a Human Rights complaint?
A. Yes. You may decide to commence the process of filing a sexual harassment complaint under the Sexual Harassment Policy and Procedures as well as report the incident to the police for investigation. If the matter falls under the Human Rights Act, 2010 you may wish to file a complaint with the Commission as well.
Q. Can I file a Formal Complaint at any time?
A. No. Under the Sexual Harassment Policy and Procedures a Formal Complaint must be filed within twelve (12) months of the incident. Incidents that occurred prior to the twelve (12) months may be referenced if the incidents are relevant and part of a series of incidents that form part of the pattern of harassment.
Q. I have heard some very derogatory comments about other students and have been places where the actions towards others is humiliating and sexist. I find this very disturbing and it makes me feel uncomfortable. Could I speak to the Advisor about this?
A. Yes. You do not have to be the target of the harassing comments or conduct to feel the effects of sexual harassment. Witnessing inappropriate sexual conduct or overhearing harassing and offensive comments - even where they are meant to be a 'joke' - can cause people to feel uncomfortable. Repeated actions or comments of this type can make a study, work or living environment feel 'hostile'. You should bring this to the attention of the Advisor.
Q. I was at a social event organized by my co-workers whole on a work term and feel that I was sexually harassed by a colleague. To whom should I repost this?
A. You should report this to the Sexual Harassment Advisor who can provide you with information, support and advice. Your employer may have policies relating to a Respectful Workplace and Harassment Prevention which may deal with the situation. By talking with the Advisor, you can discuss how best to proceed either under the University Policy and Procedures or under the policies and procedures of your workplace. You may also choose to report the incident to the Human Rights Commission.
Q. Who will find out about it if I decide to speak to the Sexual Harassment Advisor?
A. Confidentiality is extremely important in matters involving sexual harassment. Information is shared on a 'need to know' basis only. If you raise an informal concern with the Advisor, it would be held in strict confidence unless the matter involves a situation where the health or safety of a member of the University is a concern. If a Formal Complaint is filed, the person who has to respond to the formal complaint, the investigator and the person who makes decisions under the Procedures will need to know. Otherwise, the information you share is kept strictly confidential by the Advisor.