Respectful Campus Policy

Cape Breton University is committed to the human dignity of individuals and groups of individuals. The University is committed to a campus free of:

  • discrimination
  • harassment, and
  • bullying

Cape Breton University is dedicated to the highest standards of human equality and academic freedom. The University actively endorses these standards at every level of the institution and in all aspects of student, faculty and staff life while individuals or groups are acting in a capacity defined by their relationship with the University.

Definition of Discrimination, Harassment and Bullying

The University is committed to providing an environment free of discrimination and harassment for the members of its community.

Discrimination is distinction, whether intentional or not, based on grounds relating to personal characteristics of the individual or group, which has the effect of imposing burdens, obligations or disadvantages on such individuals or groups.

Bullying means behaviour, typically repeated, that is intended to cause fear, intimidation, humiliation, distress or other harm to another person’s body, feelings, self-esteem, reputation or property, and can be direct or indirect.

Harassment is engaging in a course of upsetting comments or conduct that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome. One incident can be significant or substantial enough to constitute harassment.

Prohibited Grounds of Discrimination:

  • Age;
  • Race;
  • Colour;
  • Religion;
  • Creed;
  • Sex;
  • Sexual orientation;
  • Gender identity;
  • Gender expression;
  • Physical disability or mental disability;
  • An irrational fear of contracting an illness or disease;
  • Ethnic, national or aboriginal origin;
  • Family status;
  • Marital status;
  • Source of income;
  • Political belief, affiliation or activity;
  • That individual’s association with another individual or class.

How Do I Resolve an Issue?

The following process describes three stages: personal resolution, informal/mediated resolution and formal resolution. Action taken by a complainant, or that will be discussed with a complainant, will depend on the circumstances of the case. In all but the most serious cases, the University would hope that the matter could be resolved through the personal resolution or informal resolution stages. The aim is to arrive at a constructive and mutually acceptable outcome wherever possible. All complaints must be initiated within six (6) months of the incident occurring. In extenuating circumstances a complaint filed beyond the six month limitation may be considered at the sole discretion of the Human Rights Office.

Personal Resolution

Anyone who believes that she or he has experienced or witnessed discrimination, harassment and/or bullying should inform directly or through their supervisor, to make it clear to the person causing the offence that such behaviour is inappropriate, unacceptable and unwelcome, and should not be repeated.

Informal/Mediated Resolution

Informal resolution will attempt to make peace rather than be adversarial. It is important for both parties to retain their dignity and for practical solutions to be found to enable the parties to continue to work or study together.

Formal Resolution

Failing resolution of the matter through personal or informal resolution, the complainant shall submit a formal complaint in writing, requesting formal resolution, to the Human Rights Office. The complainant may request assistance, on a without prejudice basis, from the Human Rights Office without prejudice in draft the complaint forum.

If You Witness Harassment

If you experience or witness discrimination, harassment and/or bullying keep a personal record that includes:

  • Date and time,
  • Place
  • Name and status of other person involved
  • A specific account of what happened – be as detailed!
  • The effect of the incident,
  • Names of any witnesses
  • Any action taken

Related Faculty

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