Complaint Process - Student Groups

Hands raised, Complaint Process

Complaint Submission – Student Groups

If you would like to bring forward a complaint against a student group, 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.

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 Student Groups. All recognized student groups are required to abide by University of Toronto policies and guidelines, as well as their own group policies as stated in the student group constitution.

 

Overview

 

Step 1 - Bringing Up a Concern

The first step is to bring up the concern or issue directly with the group as outlined in their group constitution. Groups should have an internal process to review and attend to complaints. If you feel safe and comfortable to do so, reach out to the student group president or executive member.

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

 

Step 2 - Formal Complaint

If the issue has not been resolved, submit a formal complaint.

For general student group complaints (including issues around barriers to membership, election issues, or governing issues)

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

  • Your name
  • Your email
  • Name of student group
  • Name(s) of student leaders involved (if known)
  • You relation to the group
  • 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 investigate the matter. Throughout the process, the Coordinator may request a meeting with the complainant to collect more information. As well, the Coordinator may request a meeting with the student group(s) during the investigation process.

The purpose for gathering this particular information is to facilitate and guide our ability to respond to, investigate and follow up on the complaint. It will also help us to properly support and provide accurate and appropriate referrals and follow-ups.

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

If a group is not complying with a university policy, the university may withhold certain services and recognition. In instances where the safety of a student is compromised, the Student Engagement Coordinator may refer the issues to the following departments:

Equity, Diversity & Inclusion OfficeIf 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.

 

Next Steps

The Student Engagement Coordinator, Student Groups & Interfaith will provide recommendations and decisions to the group and to the complainant. The Coordinator may also recommend a formal mediation session to the group(s) and the complainant. In these instances, the consent of all involved is necessary.

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.


 

 

Appeals

Step 1 - Appeal to Manager, Orientation, Transition & Engagement

If the complainant is not satisfied with the recommendations and decisions, they may escalate it to the Manager, Orientation, Transition and Engagement. The email should include the following:

 

  • Your name
  • Your email
  • Name of student group
  • Why should the appeal be considered?
  • Desired outcome (what are some ideal solutions to the problem?)

 

The Manager, Orientation, Transition and Engagement will review the complaint, and provide recommendations to the complainant along with further steps.

 

Step 2 - Appeal to the Office of the Vice President, Students

Appeal to Office of the Vice President, Students

  1. If the complainant is not satisfied with the recommendations and decisions of the Manager, Orientation, Transition and Engagement, the appeal may be escalated to the Office of the Vice-Provost, Students.
  2. To read more about the complaint process, and to contact a member of the Office of the Vice Provost, Students, please visit: https://www.viceprovoststudents.utoronto.ca/students/student-complaints/#ComplaintsStudentGroups

 

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