The Varsity has obtained a copy of the letter that the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) sent to U of T’s Governing Council regarding their concerns about the university-mandated leave of absence policy. According to the letter, the OHRC had previously contacted the university about the policy in December 2017, but decided to intervene now because their concerns had not been addressed.
The letter, sent January 29, titled “University-Mandated Leave of Absence Policy raises human rights concerns,” was written by Chief Commissioner Renu Mandhane and explains that the OHRC intervened because “the Policy falls short of meeting the duty to accommodate.”
“The Policy appears to allow the University to immediately put the student on leave and withdraw essential services (housing, health, and counselling services) at a time when the student is in crisis and most in need of support,” the memo reads.
The letter was sent to Claire Kennedy, Chair of the Governing Council. After the letter was received, Vice-President and Provost Cheryl Regehr announced that the university would be withdrawing their proposal of the policy at this time.
Read the full letter below: