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Making a formal complaint of sexual violence

The formal university disciplinary process.

Seek help Report Make a complaint
The pages above are condensed versions of the full Procedures Related to the Sexual Assault Prevention Policy

When the accused person is a USask student

Complaints of sexual violence may be initiated:

  • By the Reporting Person; or
  • By any other individual including a university official, on behalf of the Reporting Person

When we talk about the formal student misconduct complaint process, we are referring to the student disciplinary process at the University of Saskatchewan. It is the university Standard of Student Conduct which contains a set of principles and expectations that are intended to govern student conduct. This process is completely separate from a criminal process that may result after reporting to or laying information with the local police.

The Office of the University Secretary has oversight of the disciplinary policy and the administration of the complaint process.  Complaints against a student are submitted to the Office of University Secretary and are pursued through the Standard for Student Conduct in Non-Academic Matters and Regulations and Procedures for Resolution of Complaints and Appeals.

While the accused person must be a student or a student at the time of the incident, you do not need to be a student or Usask employee to submit a complaint

If the University Secretary determines there is enough information to proceed with the complaint and a formal hearing is determined to be the best process to advance the matter, a senate hearing board is empanelled by the Office of the University Secretary to hear the formal complaint. It is this panel who determines if the accused person has breached the Standard which includes a violation of various Usask policies including the Sexual Assault Policy and the Discrimination and Harassment Prevention Policy. If the accused person has found to be in breach of the Standard, the Senate hearing board is also responsible for imposing sanctions. 

Normally, complaints must be made within one year of the incident, although this time limit may be extended depending on the circumstances of the complaint and the reason for the delay although there may be exceptional circumstances.

If you want further information about the Standard and the complaint processes you can contact the Student Affairs and Outreach team or the Office of the University Secretary.

When the accused person is an USask employee

Complaints of sexual assault and misconduct may be initiated:

  • By the Reporting Person; or
  • By any other individual including a university official, on behalf of the Reporting Person

Complaints against employees are pursued through the Discrimination and Harassment Prevention Services office and follow the procedures for addressing formal complaints under the Discrimination and Harassment Prevention Policy, the process described in any applicable collective bargaining agreements, the Violence Prevention Policy, and/or the Sexual Assault Prevention policy.

In the event that the Accused Person is found to have breached the Sexual Assault Prevention Policy, disciplinary action will be taken in accordance with the respective collective agreement (for those employees in scope of a bargaining unit) and applicable employment legislation.  Where the Accused Person is an employee who is not in-scope of a bargaining unit and, thus, not part of a collective agreement, disciplinary action will be pursued following applicable employment legislation.

Normally, complaints must be made within one year of the incident, although this time limit may be extended depending on the circumstances of the complaint and the reason for the delay although there may be exceptional circumstances.

Right to withdraw a complaint

A student or an employee who pursues a formal complaint through a university process has the right to withdraw a complaint at any stage of the university’s complaint process. However, the university may continue to act on the issue identified in the complaint in order to comply with its obligation under the Policy on Sexual Assault Prevention and/or the university’s legal obligations. 

Protection from reprisals, retaliation, threats, and intentionally false complaints

The Sexual Assault Prevention Policy prohibits any acts of retaliation including threats, intimidation, reprisals, or hostile education or employment action, against a person who has filed a formal complaint, reported or disclosed an incident, or has participated in any manner in the investigation or resolution of a report of sexual violence.

Intentionally false accusations of sexual assault or sexual misconduct (e.g., reports and/or complaints that are filed in bad faith) are also prohibited under the Sexual Assault Prevention Policy. These complaints occur when a person purposefully misrepresents the facts or makes accusations maliciously, without regard for the truth. Intentionally false accusations do not include reports made in good faith, even if the facts alleged in the report or formal complaint cannot be substantiated by an investigation.

Allegations that a complaint has been made in bad faith or that retaliation has occurred may be investigated using the same procedure that is used to investigate complaints under the Sexual Assault Prevention Policy. Individuals who are found to have engaged in retaliation or made intentionally false accusations may be subject to sanctions and/or disciplinary action.

Complaining about an accused person who is not a USask student or employee

When an Accused Person is neither a student nor an employee at the University of Saskatchewan, the university can assist the Reporting Person in a series of steps, including but not limited to:

  • Assist the Reporting Person to make a report to Saskatoon Police Service as described above under Reporting options.
  • Assist the Reporting Person to make a report to another institution, in those cases where the Accused Person is a student at another institution.
  • Make a report to another employer, in those cases where the Accused Person is an employee at another institution whose employment has required that they provide service on a University of Saskatchewan campus.
  • Take steps to legally prohibit an individual from coming onto a University of Saskatchewan campus. 

Seek help

After any incident, you may disclose your experience with a university staff member.

Report an incident

You can choose to report the incident to initiate immediate investigation.

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