Making a Formal Complaint

Students may choose to make a formal complanint to request an investigation into their complaint. Students may request an investigation by contacting the staff at Student Conduct and Academic Integrity either in person (Room T204), on the phone (604.323.5867), or by email.

In order to make a formal complaint to the college and have an incident investigated, the respondent needs to be a member of the college community. If the respondent is not a member of the college community, or you unsure of the respondent’s status, you may reach out to the Office of Student Conduct and Academic Integrity to discuss your options.

The definitions we use in the policy can be complex and can mean different things to different people. This is why we have developed a definitions list below. These definitions are what we will use here at Langara. They are listed alphabetically, not in order of importance.

Academic or employment considerations – an informal change made to a person’s participation in a course or employment situation that does not change the basic requirements of a course or job duties.

Alternate resolution – any method of resolving a matter with the help of someone who is not directly involved before an investigation is started or completed.

Balance of probabilities – a way of deciding a case where something is more likely than not to have occurred.

College community – employees, students, volunteers, contractors, and other individuals who work, study, or engage in business or services at the College.

College response – any action or consequences imposed on an individual for breaching this policy.

Complainant – 1) a person alleging that they have experienced sexual violence or misconduct. 2) a person who has witnessed or knows about an incident of sexual violence or misconduct.

Confidentiality – the protection of private information from being disclosed to anyone who is not authorized to receive the information. Confidentiality is not the same as anonymity.

Consent – active, direct, enthusiastic, ongoing, informed, and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual or sexualized activity.

Disclosure – telling someone at the College about an experience or a concern around sexualized violence or misconduct to obtain support, guidance, information, and/or referral. A disclosure does not initiate an investigation unless a formal complaint is made.

Employee – in this policy, any individual who is or was employed at the College at the time the alleged sexualized violence or misconduct occurred.

Formal complaint – a written statement made by any member of the College community about an incident of sexualized violence or misconduct. The purpose of making a formal complaint is to have the incident investigated.

Interim measures – temporary actions taken by the College on a case-by-case basis to preserve the health and safety of individuals involved in an investigation or other members of the College community, and/or to maintain a safe and productive learning and working environment.

Investigation – a process of collecting and assessing information to determine the nature and circumstances of an alleged incident of sexualized violence or misconduct, and whether it is more probable than not that this policy has been breached.

Respondent – a person against whom an allegation of sexualized violence or misconduct has been made.

Sexual violence or misconduct - any unwanted action carried out through sexual means. See Appendix A for full definitions.

Student – an individual who has applied for admission to the College, has been granted admission to the College, is enrolled in, auditing, or participating in any College course or program, or when not enrolled or registered for a particular semester, is eligible to enroll in future terms without seeking readmission. Individuals between academic terms; on a leave of absence; awaiting a degree or credential; on suspension; or having withdrawn from the College while a disciplinary matter is pending are considered students under this policy.

Support services – emotional, physical, advisory, or referral services available either on campus or in the community; does not include legal services.

Trauma-informed approach – a way of working with people who have experienced trauma that focuses on their physical and emotional safety, choice and empowerment, and healing. It recognizes that trauma is pervasive and that many people have experienced traumatic events in their lives. It emphasizes the importance of building trusting and culturally sensitive relationships, respecting boundaries, and providing non-judgmental support and validation.

If you have been affected by another member of the Langara College community, you have the right to make a formal complaint to the College. You may submit a complaint in writing (submitted by email or in-person) or may request an in-person meeting to submit a complaint.

Where you make your complaint depends on who the respondent is:

Where to Report

Student Conduct & Academic Integrity 
T204, Mon-Fri: 9am-4pm

People and Culture 

If students are unsure about submitting a formal report, or if they have any questions about the process, they can contact Student Conduct & Academic Integrity to request additional information

If you decide to make a formal complaint, you can expect a timely, transparent and fair process. You will be advised of your rights and responsibilities, will be kept informed about the investigation and outcome, and will receive updates including estimated timeframes and any delays.

You also have the right to a support person throughout the process. The Ombudsperson at the Langara Student’s Union can provide this support or you may choose to identify an alternate person to accompany you to meetings.

The College recognizes that privacy and maintaining dignity and control of personal information is particularly important to those who have experienced sexual violence or misconduct.

The College will make every reasonable effort to maintain the confidentiality of all persons involved in any process under this policy. The College may share a limited amount of information only where it is required by law or to ensure all procedures are conducted fairly. For instance, the College cannot ensure confidentiality in the following circumstances:

  • When a person is at imminent risk of self-harm.
  • When a person is at imminent risk of harming another.
  • When it is reasonable to believe that others in the College or wider community may be at risk of harm.
  • Where there is a legal duty to report or disclose.

It is also important to note that confidentiality is not the same as anonymity.

The Director, Student Conduct and Academic Integrity or delegate may arrange or implement interim measures if it is deemed appropriate to the circumstances. For example, interim measures may be placed in order to ensure complainant safety and/or to avoid possible escalation. Interim measures may include, but are not limited to:

  • Alteration of the academic schedule of any student involved in a complaint of sexual violence or misconduct;
  • Make arrangements so students don’t have to study together, if feasible; 
  • Arrange a no-contact rule between the parties;
  • Temporary, non-disciplinary leave of absence for the respondent student; or
  • Any other interim restrictions deemed appropriate by the College.

A formal complant will lead to an investigation if:

  • The allegations fall within the policy scope
  • The complainant requests an investigation
  • The complainant and/or respondent declines alternate resolution
  • The circumstances are not suited to alternate resolution

To initiate an investigation, a formal complanint must include the following information:

  • Complainant name(s) and contact information
  • Respondent name(s) and contact information if known
  • Description of the incident(s) including dates and time frames
  • Witnesses name(s) and contact information if known
  • Date and signature

When a formal complaint is received that identifies another student as the respondent, the procedures outlined in the Standards of Student Conduct procedures will apply. The Director, Student Conduct and Academic Integrity or delegate will arrange a Student Meeting as appropriate. A student who is alleged to have violated the Sexual Violence or Misconduct Policy must attend the Student Meeting.

A student may be accompanied to a Student Meeting by a support person who is a member of the College community. Support persons do not participate in the Student meeting. Attendance at a Student Meeting by a person other than a member of the College community will be at the discretion of the meeting coordinator.

The Student Meeting will conform to reasonable standards of procedural fairness and due process and will:

a)      Provide the student with an opportunity to receive information about the allegations.

b)      Provide the student with an opportunity to respond to the allegations and any other information available at the time of the meeting.


The information arising from the formal complant and the Student Meeting will be assessed to determine if:

  • The situation can be addressed under the Standards of Student Conduct procedures.
  • The situation is appropriate for alternate resolution.
  • The situation warrants further investigation.
  • The situation would be better addressed under another college policy.
  • The situation does not require further action.

The outcome of the Student Meeting may be discussed with the complainant to determine next steps.

Alternate resolution is a voluntary and collaborative process used to resolve an issue without resorting to a formal investigation or as an alternative to completing an investigation. The goal of an alternate resolution is to promote reconciliation, settlement, or understanding among those involved. An alternate resolution process will only be used if all parties agree to participate in good faith.

A complainant may make a request for an alternate resolution by speaking with a staff member in the Office of Student Conduct and Academic Integrity. When a request for an alternate resolution is received, the request and related information will be reviewed to determine if an alternate resolution is suitable and appropriate in the situation.

An alternate resolution may include coordination or facilitation of one or more of the following:

  • Separate meeting(s) with the individuals involved to review the concern;
  • Joint meeting with the individuals involved to facilitate a conversation aimed at understanding and resolving the concern;
  • A review of policy and expectations with individuals involved to clarify and reinforce expectations of appropriate conduct;
  • Training and/or coaching to enhance understanding of appropriate conduct;
  • Negotiating agreement between the individuals involved regarding future conduct;
  • Follow-up with individuals involved after the alternate resolution process to ensure any agreements that made, are upheld