Human Rights Online
All members of the Toronto Metropolitan University community have a shared responsibility to create and maintain learning, working and living environments that are free of discrimination and harassment. This is equally true for university activities that take place on campus and online. TMU’s Discrimination and Harassment Prevention Policy and Sexual Violence Policy operate to ensure equal rights and opportunities for all students, faculty and staff. Visit the Human Rights Policies page to learn more.
Human rights responsibilities apply to university activity online
TMU's Discrimination and Harassment Prevention Policy and Sexual Violence Policy apply on campus, as well as online when engaging in university-related activities. This includes:
Online classes and communications
on official university platforms including but not limited to Zoom, D2L Learning Brightspace, Google Shared Drives and Ryerson email.
Engagement between faculty and students online, including synchronous video lectures, tutorials and meetings; as well as asynchronous program- and course-related online discussion forums and study groups.
Interactions between faculty and staff online, including work-related video meetings and email communication.
Social media use that is directly affiliated with the university and/or its activities, such as Ryerson’s official Instagram and Twitter accounts, and other official departmental or program accounts.
More on social media
The policies may apply to social media use even if it is not officially affiliated with the university. For example, it may apply to:
- Instagram accounts used by professors to share course-related information.
- Facebook groups or Discord servers created by students from a particular program for sharing course-related information and networking with peers.
Personal social media accounts
The policies will not typically apply if social media use is not connected to university-related activities, such as students, faculty or staff posting personal content on their individual social media accounts.
What makes an environment free of discrimination and harassment?
An environment that is free of discrimination and harassment is where all university community members enjoy equal rights and opportunities and are treated with respect and dignity. Learn more about discrimination and harassment.
Key human rights responsibilities of students
Regardless of whether learning occurs in person or online, Ryerson students are required to:
- Maintain an environment that is free of discrimination, harassment and sexual violence.
- Treat all individuals with respect and dignity.
Key human rights responsibilities of faculty and supervisors
Ryerson community members should adopt a human rights-centered approach to remote/online learning and working environments. Faculty and supervisors are obligated to ensure compliance with human rights policies and respect for the dignity of all students, faculty and staff.
Members of equity-deserving groups may face additional barriers and disadvantages as a result of the pandemic and the subsequent shift to remote/online learning and work environments. As such, faculty and supervisors should:
- Remove barriers that hinder the full participation of all students, faculty and staff in the university’s online environments.
- Allow flexibility in course delivery formats and/or work-from-home arrangements in recognition of individuals’ unique needs and circumstances.
Members of equity-deserving groups may be more likely to be targeted by online discrimination, harassment or sexual violence. As such, faculty and supervisors should:
- Set clear expectations about respectful online communication and remind people about applicable policies.
- Monitor online communication platforms for discrimination, harassment and/or sexual violence, including microaggressions.
- Establish boundaries between professional and personal online activities, including email and social media accounts.
Whether and how the policies may apply online will depend on the circumstances of each situation. If a question arises about whether or how the policies apply to online activities, please contact Human Rights Services for advice and consultation.