Identifying and Responding to Harassment

 Harassment can happen anywhere... in the classroom, in the lab or at the practice site... anywhere.

The University of Waterloo has a commitment to its students, both on and off-campus, while engaged in university-related activities. When harassment occurs while a student is on rotation, on a co-op placement or during community service learning, the University of Waterloo has a responsibility to ensure that the issue is addressed. 


What is harassment?

“a course of vexatious comments or conduct where a person knows or ought reasonably to have known the behaviour is unwanted” - Ontario Human Rights Code (RSO 1990), Section 10

    What is workplace harassment?

    “a course of vexatious comment or conduct against a worker in a workplace that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome.” - Occupational Health and Safety Act (R.S.O. 1990), Section 1

    If you are being exposed to:

    • disrespectful comments
    • unwanted text messages or images
    • degrading jokes
    • rude gestures
    • unwanted touching, or
    • if you are feeling generally bullied, harassed or discriminated against - seek help!


    Resources for Students – What to do if it happens to you (or someone you know):

    If you or someone that you know is being harassed, it is important that you seek help. University of Waterloo Policy #33: Ethical Behaviour sets out that the university must respond quickly and effectively to situations involving claims of harassment.  However, they cannot respond if you do not make them aware of what is happening.

    Video: Harassment…what to do if it happens to you - University of Waterloo Conflict Management & Human Rights Office

    Guidelines for Supervisors (including Faculty, Staff, and Preceptors):

    When problems related to harassment and discrimination arise, you may be the first person within an official capacity called upon to respond.  You are required under Waterloo’s Ethical Behaviour Policy 33, along with provincial human rights and occupational health safety legislation, to respond in a timely and sensitive manner.

    For tools in responding effectively, the Secretariat & Office of General Counsel has developed Harassment and Discrimination Guidelines for Supervisors

    Resources for Students and Supervisors:

    Whenever possible try to collect and document date(s), time(s), location(s), name of alleged harasser(s), frequency of occurrence, witness(es), what happened and any paper trail

    If you are concerned about unwanted touching, aggressive or threatening behaviour - contact 911 or the University Police at 519-888-4911

    If you are off campus, you can call a campus service and they will help you find local resources to access.

    Health Services at 519-888-4567 ext. 84096

    Counselling Services at 519-888-4567 ext.32655

    Conflict Management and Human Rights Office - Jeremy de Boer - 519-888-4567 ext. 39526, jdeboer@uwaterloo.ca

    Good2Talk Post-Secondary Student Helpline - 1-866-925-5454

    Documenting a complaint of harassment

    Harassment Poster (PDF)