Discrimination and harassment

UBC is committed to creating and fostering a learning environment that is free of all forms of discrimination and harassment.

About discrimination and harassment


Discrimination is treatment that burdens or disadvantages someone with no reasonable justification. This involves unfair or different treatment for reasons unrelated to academic or employment performance. 

Examples of discrimination include:

  • Refusing to allow a student to reschedule an exam because the date conflicts with their religious high holy day.

  • Denying appropriate accommodations to persons with a medically certified disability

  • Evaluating students negatively because the instructor disapproves of their political beliefs or cultural perspectives


Harassment is comment or behaviour that is unwelcome or that has a negative impact on the person. Harassment can be either a single, serious incident or a pattern of related, repeated incidents.

Examples of harassment include:

  • Making racist, sexist, or homophobic jokes or remarks

  • Making repeated advances to a person after that person has indicated a lack of interest (verbally, by email, texting or through other forms of social media)

  • Mocking a person's accent, culture or religion

  • Consistently mis-gendering someone (like a student) or intentionally using the wrong pronoun

In Canada, no one has to tolerate any form of unwelcome or uninvited sexual advances.

Dealing with discrimination or harassment

Don’t pretend it isn’t happening.

Harassment is unlikely to go away if you ignore it. In fact, harassing behaviour may increase if the harasser feels that he or she can get away with it.

Seek advice

Talk to people who will listen carefully and offer constructive support. Speak with an advisor in the Equity and Inclusion Office for information and advice. If you believe you or others are in physical danger, contact the Equity and Inclusion Office, Campus Security, or the police.

Take action

The most efficient way to stop harassment is to confront it immediately and directly. If it is safe to do so, clearly and firmly tell the person who is harassing you to stop. Describe the way you expect to be treated. If you find that speaking to the harasser does not stop the behaviour, or if you do not want to communicate directly with the person, approach a friend for help, a staff or faculty member or someone in your department you may know or the Equity and Inclusion Office .

Keep records

Do not rely on your memory. Carefully record the details of the harassment as soon as it occurs. Also record any attempts to tell the person that the behaviour is unwelcome. Keep as evidence all harassing letters, gifts, emails, texts, voice mail messages, etc., that you receive.

UBC Policies

Discrimination and harassment

Policy SC7 Discrimination prohibits discrimination on 13 grounds including age, family status, physical or mental disability, race, religion, sex, or sexual orientation. 

Respectful environment 

The UBC Respectful Environment Statement provides the guiding principles to support an environment in which respect, civility, diversity, opportunity and inclusion are valued.

Conflict of Interest

Policy SC3 Conflict of Interest and Conflict of Commitment. The University is committed to ensuring research, teaching and learning activities are conducted in a manner that maintains the community’s trust and confidence. Faculty, staff and students must act with integrity and adhere to the highest ethical standards at all times.

Advice, assistance and advocacy

The following on-campus services can provide you with advice or assistance in dealing with an incident of discrimination or harassment while at UBC. 

Non-Academic Misconduct Process

Non-Academic Misconduct Process

Web: Website

Law Students' Legal Advice Program

Law Students' Legal Advice Program

Telephone: 604 822 5791

Web: Website