Complaint Process - Academic Societies

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Complaint Submission – Academic Societies

If you would like to bring forward a complaint against an academic society, please follow the steps below. As always, the Student Engagement Coordinator, Student Groups & Interfaith, is available to provide guidance and support.

UTM is a diverse campus with student groups representing members with different interests and beliefs. The information below is to support our students to assist with disputes and resolutions among student groups, academic societies, and student societies. University of Toronto student groups are autonomous organizations and operate independently from the University. However, all student groups, academic societies, and student societies are required to uphold their local constitutions and by-laws, and the university policies and guidelines.

 

Overview

 

Step 1 - Society Internal Process

 

The first step is to bring up the concern or issue directly with the society as outlined in their society constitution. Societies should have an internal process to review and attend to complaints. If you feel safe and comfortable doing so, reach out to the society president or executive member (or, the representative who oversees the complaint process within the respective society).

This process may take several weeks, depending on the dates when executive members are able to meet and discuss the complaints.

 

Step 2 - Submit a Formal Complaint

If the issue has not been resolved, submit a formal complaint to the Student Engagement Coordinator, Student Groups & Interfaith.

Send an email to studentgroups.utm@utoronto.ca with the following information:

  • Your name
  • Your email
  • Name of student society
  • Name(s) of student leaders involved (if known)
  • You relation to the society
  • Nature of the complaint (event, social media/advertisement, democratic process, operation of the club, financial, etc.)
  • Description of the issue
  • Actions you have taken to resolve the issue
  • Desired outcome (what are some ideal solutions to the problem?)
  • Attach any screenshots, or additional documents that may assist us

 

Once submitted, the Student Engagement Coordinator, Student Groups & Interfaith, will consider whether any University of Toronto policies were broken, or if the society’s own constitution and/or by-laws were broken. In many instances, the Coordinator may refer the issue directly to the Academic Societies Affairs Committee. The Coordinator may also request a meeting to collect information and ensure the proper parties are involved in the process.

Please note: the purpose of the meetings is to provide recommendations to the group and to the complainant(s). Student societies are autonomous and self-governed organizations. As such, academic societies are encouraged to follow internal conflict mediation processes, consistent with their constitution and guidelines.

In addition, for academic societies, the Student Engagement Coordinator, Student Groups & Interfaith, can provide recommendations and feedback.

In instances where the safety of a student is compromised, the Student Engagement Coordinator, Student Groups & Interfaith, may refer the issues to the following departments:

 

Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Office – If the complaint is based around an equity and/or around discriminatory behavior

Sexual Violence & Prevention Support Centre – If the complaint is based around sexual violence and/or sexual harassment

Office of the Vice President Students – In cases where the event can have far-reaching impact on the University of Toronto, including staff and/or students, the Office of the Vice President Students may be contacted for further guidance and instruction on best practices.

Campus Safety – If the issue relates to an urgent student safety concern, Campus Safety and/or local authorities may be contacted for further support.

 

While we strive to move quickly to resolve the complaint, we know there are many elements involved in conducting an investigation. The process should be complete within two weeks, but the complainant will be notified if additional time for investigations is required.

 

Step 3 - Complaint to Academic Societies Affairs Council

 

If your group has followed the academic society's own internal process and submitted a formal complaint to the Centre for Student Engagement and a resolution has not been met, a complaint may be sent to the Academic Societies Affairs Committee (ASAC).

Membership in ASAC is comprised of representatives from the University of Toronto Mississauga Students’ Union, the Academic Dean’s Office, and a representative from the Centre for Student Engagement.

The complaint should be sent directly to the Chair of ASAC.

Please include the following in your formal complaint:

  • Your name
  • Your email
  • Name of student society
  • Name(s) of student leaders involved (if known)
  • You relation to the society
  • Nature of the complaint (event, social media/advertisement, democratic process, operation of the club, financial, etc.)
  • Description of the issue
  • Actions you have taken to resolve the issue
  • Desired outcome (what are some ideal solutions to the problem?)
  • Attach any screenshots, or additional documents that may assist us

Members of ASAC may discuss the complaint and conduct an investigation into the matter. The decisions made by ASAC are shared with the appropriate University office(s) for follow-up if required.

 

Step 4 - Complaint to Vice-Provost Students Office

If you have exhausted the UTM process, a formal complaint may be sent to the Office of the Vice-Provost Students for further investigation.

To read more about the process, please click the link here.

 

Policies

All University of Toronto students are encouraged to review the guiding policies and procedures for student groups, specifically the following:

Code of Student Conduct

Policy on the Recognition of Student Groups

Policy on Open, Accessible and Democratic Autonomous Student Organizations

Copyright Considerations for Student Groups

Policy for the Temporary Use of Space