SFU creates a Bullying and Harassment Central Hub

The hub is designed to create a standardized mechanism for filing reports of bullying on campus

over the shoulder view of someone attending a zoom meeting
The new policy on harassment and bullying also covers cyberbullying. PHOTO: Chris Montgomery / Unsplash

By: Karissa Ketter, News Writer

SFU has created the Bullying and Harassment Central Hub where members of the SFU community can access support and resources if they are experiencing bullying. 

All SFU students, staff, and faculty have access to the services provided by the central hub. If any community member is currently experiencing bullying or harassment they can contact case manager Ikjyot Rehal on SFU’s website. There is no option for in-person appointments at this time. 

The central hub aims to support the implementation of SFU’s new Bullying and Harassment Policy. The GP-47 policy was mandated on May 20, 2021 and it establishes mechanisms for responding to harassment in an appropriate manner. 

The central hub was designed off of SFU’s Sexual Violence Support and Prevention Office.

According to Rummana Khan Hemani, vice-provost and associate vice-president, students and international, “one major consideration in our return to campus planning is ensuring that we create respectful workplace and learning environments for our community.”

SFU reports that community input, such as the Diversity Meter opened in November 2019, showed them the need to clarify and strengthen their response against discrimination, bullying, and harrassment. 

Specifically, the need for a centralized and standardized process of handling cases of bullying and providing appropriate support for those experiencing harassment. The Bullying and Harassment Central Hub is designed to carry out these goals.

Additionally, SFU recognized a need for clear definitions on the terms bullying and harassment, and providing greater education to members of the university. SFU has also created a Respectful Working and Learning Environment training module, available on Canvas. This module is designed to familiarize people with the contents of the policy, their role in creating a respectful environment, where to get support, and what happens when a report of bullying is filed. All SFU employees are required to complete this training. 

Previously, SFU did not have a distinct policy on bullying and harassment. They referred to the Human Rights Policy (GP-18). This protected community members from discrimination against personal characteristics such as ethnicity, age, religion, or gender. However, bullying and harassment often “[do] not ‘fit’ within a human rights policy,” according to SFU. The addition of GP-47 gives them the mechanisms to instigate disciplinary measures and investigate cases of bullying. 

More information on the resources available or to book an appointment with the case manager can be found online.