Skip to main content

Policy

Personal Safety/Security Threats

Policy Statement

It is the policy of Seneca College that everyone has the right to a safe and secure environment that is free from bullying/psychological harassment, violence or threat of violence.  Seneca College is committed to ensuring the safety of everyone in all College facilities, at College functions and in all College sponsored programs.  This policy applies to all members of the College community including, but not limited to: students, employees, volunteers and visitors who have a direct relationship and/or association with Seneca College.

In order to achieve this objective, Seneca College will not tolerate any form of violence, threat of violence, bullying or harassment, or any situation that places  members of the College community in a position that may jeopardize their personal safety on College property or during any College sanctioned activity including academic, employment, service, sports or business activity.

A personal safety/security threat is defined as a situation which may be in the form of harassment, an assault, sexual assault, assault causing bodily harm, threat of assault, uttering threats of death/damage, of an individual, or any other act that constitutes a violent act as defined in the Criminal Code of Canada and/or any action that would constitute workplace violence or harassment as defined by the Occupational Health and Safety Act or bullying/psychological harassment as described in the Collective Agreements for Academic Employees and Support Staff.

It is understood that this Policy shall complement the existing regulations, protocols, reporting, investigating and resolution procedures as defined in the Student Code of Conduct, Occupational Health and Safety Act of Ontario (for employees), the College Policy on Discrimination/Harassment, Collective Agreements for Academic Employees and Support Staff, Information Technology Acceptable Use Policy, Academic Policy and the Criminal Code of Canada.

1. Commitment

"The students, faculty and staff of Seneca College constitute an academic community committed to training and education that will enhance effectiveness in the workplace and quality of life for all."

The Seneca College Health and Safety Policy states in part:

"Seneca College is committed to ensure the health and safety of all students, staff, faculty and visitors in all College facilities, at College functions and in all College sponsored programs. It is the policy of the College that, in these circumstances, every reasonable precaution be taken to ensure that all activities are conducted in a safe manner, and to ensure that all College personnel are aware of established safety procedures."

The Seneca College Policy on Discrimination/Harassment states, in part:

"It is the policy of Seneca College that all employees and students have a right to work and study in an environment that asserts the personal worth and dignity of each individual."

Situations that place any member of the College community in an unsafe environment that occurs on-campus, at College-related social functions off-campus, in the course of work or academic assignments/placements off-campus, during work or academic-related travel, by telephone and/or electronic communication, is included.

This policy shall apply where there exists a threat to the personal safety and/or security to a member of the College community in the work or study environment.

2. Prevention, Education And Enforcement

Seneca College is committed to take whatever action is necessary to prevent any member of the College community from being in a position that causes their personal safety and/or security to be at risk.

The College is responsible for communicating to all employees, students, clients, the public, and/or contractors that violence is prohibited at Seneca College and related College functions. This includes ongoing proactive education/prevention campaigns. The College is also responsible for communicating, monitoring, implementing and enforcing, where necessary, all aspects of the policy and procedures.

3. Responsibility

All employees and students of the College are responsible for maintaining and promoting a safe environment that is free from violence, assault, sexual assault, threat of assault, uttering threats of death/damage, harassment (criminal) or any situation that places an individual in a potentially unsafe situation.

All members of the College community are responsible for promptly reporting any situations that they believe to be acts of violence, assault, sexual assault, threat of assault, uttering threats of death/damage or harassment (criminal).

The College recognizes its responsibility to deal quickly, fairly, and effectively in situations of alleged, perceived or actual acts of violence, assault, sexual assault, threat of assault, uttering threats of death/damage or harassment (criminal) should they arise.

A threatened individual, or any person who becomes aware of a safety/security threat to any other person on College property, should immediately obtain assistance from site Security, Campus Safety Designate(s) and/or the Police, as outlined in the attached procedures.

Every member of the College community is responsible for reporting any acts that place themselves or any other member of the community in an unsafe situation to Security, the Campus Safety Designate(s) or the Police. The incident will be investigated, managed and resolved by the appropriate College Department. Outcomes arising from incidents/situations, where it is substantiated that an employee has been the victim of physical violence and/or threatened with physical harm, will be reported to the Manager of Health and Safety who will notify the Campus Occupational Health and Safety Committee members (for employees) as per the requirements of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA).

This Policy is supplemental to any other legal right or remedy that the College may have in conducting its affairs, whether as an educator, employer, owner of property or pursuant to any contractual relations. This Policy is not intended to be a substitute for the normal exercise of management or operational functions by the College or to deny the rights of individuals to exercise their discretion to involve police and/or other legislative processes. The Policy is designed to identify a personal safety/security threat and to provide a mechanism to deal with situations where the personal safety/security of persons, at the time they are within the College's jurisdiction, are at issue and situations may arise that require College action. It is understood, that the College and all members of the College community may continue to exercise all of their pre-existing legal rights without recourse to this Policy.

4. Definitions

The Policy will include coverage of:

  1. Violence
  2. Assault (Includes Assault Causing Bodily Harm)
  3. Sexual Assault
  4. Threat of Assault
  5. Uttering Threats of Death/Damage
  6. Harassment (Criminal)

A. Violence

Any hostile or violent act, gesture and/or comment that harms or has the intent to harm another individual within the Criminal Code of Canada.

B. Assault (includes assault causing bodily harm)

Any hostile physical act by applying intentional force, such as striking, hitting, pushing or pulling, with or without a weapon by an individual, or individuals, against another person, with the intent to wound, maim or disfigure any person; or to endanger the life of any person; or to cause hurt or injury to a person that interferes with the health, safety or comfort of that person.

Any act or gesture, that implies harm to an individual, causing them to believe, upon reasonable grounds, that the other person has the present ability to effect his/her purpose.

C. Sexual Assault

Sexual Assault is an assault within any one of the assault definitions which is committed in circumstances of a sexual nature such that the sexual integrity of the victim is violated.

D. Threat of Assault

Any hostile gesture with the intent of threatening assault, verbally or with gesture that threatens or endangers the safety, health, life, or freedom of any person.

E. Uttering Threats of Death/Damage

An act committed by a person who knowingly utters, conveys or causes any person to receive a threat; to cause death or bodily harm to any person; to burn, destroy or damage real or personal property; or to kill, poison or injure an animal belonging to that person.

F. Harassment (Criminal)

Any act made by an individual that causes another individual to fear for their safety or the safety of anyone known to them. Conduct, such as following a person from place to place, repeatedly communicating, either directly or indirectly with another person, besetting or watching a person or persons where they work, study, reside or carry on business; and/or engaging in threatening conduct directed at the person.

Coverage

The Policy, within the work/study environment will apply to all members of the College community including, but not limited to: all students, employees, committees, contractors, unions, councils/associations who have a direct relationship and/or association with Seneca College.

Documented and substantiated situations of violence, assault, sexual assault, threat of assault, uttering threats of death/damage, and/or harassment (criminal) that places the personal safety of a member of the College's community at risk, may result in discipline of an employee, up to and including dismissal; and/or academic discipline of a student, up to and including withdrawal from the College; cancellation of contracts; and/or criminal charges, up to and including court proceedings.

Where a person believes that their personal safety may be at risk, the College reserves the right to issue a Notice of Trespass, during and at the conclusion of any investigation and/or resolution to an individuals alleged to have committed an act of violence, assault. sexual assault, threat of assault, uttering threats of death/damage and/or harassment (criminal).

All employees and students of the College community are required to participate in College proceedings related to this Policy as part of their contractual obligation with the College and are encouraged to participate in any criminal investigation/proceeding conducted by the Police and Courts. However, it does not preclude the right of the College or an individual to seek other legal options.

Confidentiality

Where situations/incidents involve personal information about a member of the College community, it is understood that the reporting of information shall not violate a person's confidentiality and that the reporting of information shall ensure an individual's right to privacy. Release of personal information shall be subject to the requirements of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

Review and Reporting Requirements

The Director of College Services, or designate, Director of Safety and Security and Director of Student Conduct shall prepare an Annual Report with respect to this Policy, containing aggregate data, for distribution to the College Executive, Central Occupational Health and Safety Committee and the College Board of Governors. The report will include a brief summary of any changes made to College procedures over the past year plus any significant policy amendments proposed for consideration by the Board.

Procedures

Personal Safety/Security Threats

1. Definition

A personal safety/security threat is defined as a situation which may be in the form of an assault, sexual assault, assault causing bodily harm, threat of assault, uttering threats of' death/damage, harassment (criminal) of an individual or any other act that constitutes a violent act as defined in the Criminal Code of Canada and/or any action that would constitute workplace violence as determined by the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA). NB. Although not specifically defined in the OHSA, workplace violence is actual or threatened physical harm.

2. College Responsibilities

The College will initiate all appropriate action, to the best of its ability, to ensure that all employees and students work and study in a safe and secure environment.

Such actions may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Implementing adequate education, awareness and prevention initiatives for members of the College community
  • Communicating all appropriate College, Campus and/or Department Security Alert Notices
  • Initiating Emergency Response Procedures and College Policy Procedures for dealing with Safety/Security Threats
  • Initiating Trespass Notices
  • Maintaining Security Emergency Communication System
  • Installing and Monitoring Security Alert Buttons
  • Providing Safe House Services
  • Providing Safety/Security Escort Services
  • Maintaining Video Surveillance
  • Providing Counselling and Referral Services
  • Conducting ongoing Workplace Safety Audits
  • Providing advice, counsel and support to victims of violence during internal and external processes.

The College is responsible for advising, through the Director of College Services, all employees, students, clients and residents of potential threats to their personal safety as soon as possible.

At least annually, the College will post in each workplace the names of Campus Safety Designates who will be responsible for ensuring effective communication in the event of a personal safety/security threat. The College will provide appropriate instruction for all Campus Safety Designates on a regular and ongoing basis.

3. Immediate Response

A threatened individual or any person who becomes aware of a safety/security threat to any person on College property should obtain assistance from site Security, the Campus Safety Designate or the Police. When the Police are directly contacted and/or immediate assistance is requested, Security is to be notified as soon as reasonably possible after the occurrence.

4. Determination of Personal Safety/Security Threat

All College employees, students, clients and residents are responsible for notifying their Campus Safety Designate, site and/or College Security of suspicious persons and/or behaviour. An individual who believes that there is a violation of any of the identified grounds as outlined in this Policy, should immediately contact the Director of College Services, or designate, to initiate immediate response procedures.

In consultation with the Campus Safety Designate and the threatened individual, the Director of College Services, or designate, will determine the nature of the threat, that is, whether it is general or person specific.

If the threat is found to be general in nature, the Director of College Services, or designate, will issue an appropriate Security Alert, as quickly as possible.

Where it is determined that the threat is specific to an area, campus or location, a Security Alert shall be initiated only in that area, campus or location.

If the threat is person-specific, the Director of College Services, or designate, will ensure every precaution is taken to protect that individual. In consultation with the threatened individual, Campus Safety Designate and/or the Director of Student Conduct, a trespass notice may be issued.

The Director of College Services, or designate, shall be responsible for ensuring that all information with respect to an alleged threat to personal safety/security is forwarded to the appropriate Department as described in Section 6.

5. Communication/Distribution of Safety/Security Alert

In the event of a general Safety/Security threat, the Director of College Services, or designate, will implement the following procedures:

  1. A Security Alert describing the threat, and an outline of precautionary measures to be taken to diminish possible occurrences of assault, harassment or workplace violence, will be prepared and communicated by phone and fax by the Director of College Services, or designate, to:
    • Campus Safety Designates
    • Director of Student Conduct
    • College Director of Safety and Security
    • Co-Chairs of the Central Health and Safety Committee
    • College Executive
    • Campus Student Council President
  2. Campus Safety Designates will immediately inform and provide copies of the General Security Alert to all administrative employees.
  3. All administrative employees are responsible for immediately informing their employees, by all means possible, of the General Security Alert.
  4. All students (during day or evening classes), clients and/or residents will be informed of the General Security Alert, by the Professor, or in the case of non-teaching operation, by other appropriate College personnel.

6. Reporting and Resolution

All incidents/situations believed to be threats to personal safety/security must be reported to Security.

The Director of College Services, or designate, shall be responsible for:

  1. Forwarding all information about a situation and/or incident that he/she believes to be a violation of the Safety/Security Threats Policy related to the Student Code of Conduct, to the Director of Student Conduct.
  2. Forwarding all information about a situation and/or incident that he/she believes to be a violation of the Safety/Security Threats Policy related to the Discrimination/Harassment Policy and/or the Information Technology Acceptable Use Policy, to the Director of Student Conduct.

The Director of Student Conduct and/or the Director, Employee Relations shall be responsible for:

  1. Receiving. investigating, determining and resolving alleged violations of the Safety/Security Threats Policy.
  2. Providing to the Manager of Health and Safety, upon resolution of an incident of confirmed workplace violence, a confidential report outlining the College's actions with respect to the incident. This report shall detail all aspects of the incident which pertain to occupational health and safety, within the parameters of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

The College Manager of Health and Safety, shall be responsible for:

  1. Communicating with the employee involved, in alleged incidents of workplace violence, to confirm that all aspects of the OHSA were addressed.
  2. Reporting to the appropriate Campus Occupational Health and Safety Committee(s), the outcomes of the above communication and the College's actions with respect to documented incidents. It is understood that such reports shall be held in confidence by members of Campus Safety Committees.

Addendum

Personal Safety/Security Threats

Protocol for Distributing Pictures and/or Description of Persons

Protocol for distributing Pictures and /or Descriptions of Persons known to have violated the Personal Safety/Security Threats

"Seneca College is committed to take whatever action is necessary to prevent any member of the College community from being in a position that causes their personal safety and/or security to be at risk."

(Section 2 - Personal Safety/Security Threats Policy)

"In consultation with the Campus Safety Designate and the threatened individual, the Director of College Services, or designate, will determine the nature of the threat, that is, whether it is general or person-specific.

If the threat is found to be general in nature, the Director of College Services, or designate, will issue an appropriate Security Alert, as quickly as possible.

Where it is determined that the threat is specific to an area, a campus or location, a Security Alert shall be initiated only in that area, campus or location.

If the threat is person-specific, the Director of College Services, or designate, will ensure every precaution is taken to protect that individual. In consultation with the threatened individual, the Campus Safety Designate, the Director of the Resolution, Equity and Diversity Centre, a trespass notice may be issued".

(Section 4 - Personal Safety/Security Threats Procedures)

In addition to the steps identified in the Personal Safety and Security Threats Procedures, Section 4, Determination of Personal Safety/Security Threats and Section5, Communication and Distribution of a Safety Alert, it shall be understood that:

Where it is determined by the Director of College Services, or designate, Police, the Director of Student Conduct, that there is a perceived, substantiated and/or identified safety/security risk to College students or employees, a Safety Alert shall be issued.

Furthermore, when a Security Alert (GENERAL - college-wide or LIMITED - area, campus or location) is required and issued, it shall contain the following information:

  • Identification of the reason for the Alert;
  • Issue and Removal Date of the Alert;
  • Description of incident/event/occurrence;
  • Description of suspect;
  • Photo identification of suspect, where available;**
  • Limits identified by Trespass Notice and/or criminal Restraining Order;
  • A list of Precautionary Steps that members of the campus community should implement (e.g. use of safety escorts, reporting of suspicious persons or knowledge of incident/suspect to Security or Police; personal safety tips, name and telephone number of contact persons at the College and Police services, etc.)

** Photo Identification, where available

ONLY the Director of College Services, Director of Student Conduct or their designate(s) shall be permitted to obtain, copy and/or distribute any photo identification of a suspected violator.

Depending on the severity of the situation and the relationship of the individual to the College, a photograph of a known suspect, where available, shall be included on the General or Limited Security Alert. The Director of College Services, or designate, shall determine the most effective method of communicating a General Security Alert (i.e. public notice boards, classroom doors, electronic mail, etc.) and identify and communicate a Limited Security Alert to the appropriate areas, locations or individuals.

Where an immediate incident causes any member of the College community to be fearful for their personal safety, a General or Limited Security Alert, Notice of Trespass and other security measures shall be implemented during the investigation process, to ensure the safety of the employee or student. Once the investigation, resolution and determination is made by Director of Student Conduct, the Director of College Services, or designate, may be requested to issue a Limited Security Alert including the original or extended Notice of Trespass.

In consultation with the Director of Student Conduct, the Director of College Services, or designate, shall be responsible for the removal and destruction of the photo identification/security alert on its removal date.

"Release and removal of personal information shall be subject to the requirements of the Freedom of Information and Protection Privacy Act."


FOR MORE INFORMATION
PLEASE CONTACT OUR OFFICE AT: 416.491.5050
Extension 22078 at the Newnham Campus (Main Office)
Extension 33088 at the Seneca@York Campus
Extension 55008 at the King Campus
Extension 77470 at the Markham Campus

EMAIL: student.conduct@senecacollege.ca