York Athletics Review

Introduction and Purpose

Key Terms

Questions About the Survey

Additional Resources

General Information


Accessibility and Technical Support

If you have any accommodation requests or technical questions in relation to completing the survey, please contact us at share@yorkathleticsreview.com for assistance. Please note this email address is reviewed periodically during business hours. We will endeavour to respond to your email within 48 hours.

Filing a Complaint, Resource and Support

Note that no identifying information from this survey will be provided to York University.  Please review the following contact information if you wish to file a formal complaint or access York or external resources and support. 


Introduction and Purpose


In response to concerns raised regarding the culture of York Athletics and Recreation Varsity teams, York has retained a third party Review Panel to explore the culture within York's athletic programs through the lens of student Varsity athletes’ experiences, and review York Athletics & Recreation's policies.


York University has asked the Review Panel to report on five outcomes:

1. To listen to student Varsity athletes’ experiences of anti-Black racism, discrimination, harassment, sexual violence, and hazing, at the individual and systemic levels, to identify broader themes.


2. To examine how culture contributes to anti-Black racism, discrimination, harassment, sexual violence, and hazing within the student Varsity athlete teams and programs.

3. To identify any gaps that exist in programs, processes, supports and organizational structures that contribute to anti-Black racism, discrimination, harassment, sexual violence, and hazing, within the student Varsity athlete teams and programs.


4. To recommend areas for improvement in programs, processes, supports and organizational structures to foster a culture of safety, equity, and inclusion for student Varsity athletes, including where students can thrive as students and as athletes. 


5. To identify whether there are any additional safety, equity and inclusion issues that exist within the student Varsity athlete community that impact the experience of students within the broader York community.


The Review will consider experiences related to York Varsity Athletes between 2012 and 2020. 

You can find more information about the Review here, http://vp.students.yorku.ca/ 


Key Terms


Following are some key terms used throughout the survey.


Anti-Black Racism

Includes policies and practices rooted in Canadian institutions such as, education, health care, and justice that mirror and reinforce beliefs, attitudes, prejudice, stereotyping and/or discrimination towards people of Black-African descent. The phenomenon of anti-Black racism seeks to highlight the unique nature of systemic racism on Black-Canadians and the history as well as experiences of slavery and colonization of people of Black-African descent in Canada.  


Black Health Alliance https://blackhealthalliance.ca/home/antiblack-racism


Includes unfair or differential treatment or harassment that results in harm because of a personal characteristic or perceived characteristic covered by the Ontario Human Rights Code (Code). The grounds under the Code include race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, citizenship, ethnic origin, creed, receipt of social assistance (housing only), sexual orientation, marital status, family status, record of offences (employment only, must have been pardoned), age, sex, gender identity, gender expression, disability and association with a person protected under the Code.


Includes a course of vexatious comment or conduct that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome based on Code grounds. A single, serious incident can also be considered harassment. 

Sexual Violence

Includes any sexual act or act targeting a person’s sexuality, gender identity or gender expression, whether the act is physical or psychological in nature, that is committed, threatened or attempted against a person without the person’s consent and includes sexual assault, sexual harassment, stalking, indecent exposure, voyeurism and sexual exploitation.


York University, Policy on Sexual Violence, https://secretariat-policies.info.yorku.ca/policies/sexual-violence-policy-on/


Includes any action taken or situation created as part of initiation to or continued membership on a team, which produces or could be expected to produce mental or physical discomfort, harm, stress, embarrassment, harassment, or ridicule; or which violates York University policy, The Code of Student Rights & Responsibilities, the Student Athlete Code of Conduct or law. This applies to behaviour on or off York University premises. Participation will be deemed to include passive participation or failure to act to end such behaviour by others where one reasonably knew or ought to have known it was taking place.


York University, Code of Conduct https://yorkulions.ca/sports/2013/3/19/GEN_0319132013.aspx

Student Athlete

York University Varsity athletes from 2012 to 2020.

Coaching Staff

Includes head coach, assistant coach, associate coach, goaltending coach, student video coach, strength and conditioning coach, team manager, football coaching staff - offensive coordinator, defensive coordinator, special teams, scout, etc., from 2012 to 2020.

Support Staff

Includes athletic therapist, facilities scheduling representative, study hall coordinator, video coordinator, sports medicine practitioner, researcher, facility operations, head strength and conditioning coach, sport medicine and sport injury clinic management, etc., from 2012 to 2020.

Administrative Staff

Includes Executive Director, Director, Administrative Coordinator, finance officer, manager of varsity athletics, coordinator of athlete services, coordinator of sport information, equipment services, etc., from 2012 to 2020.


Questions About the Survey


Following are some questions and responses regarding the survey.

Is this a formal complaint to York?

No. If you want to talk to York about a complaint(s), please contact The Centre for Sexual Violence Response, Support & Education https://thecentre.yorku.ca/ or the Centre for Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion https://rights.info.yorku.ca/

What am I being asked to do?

You are being asked to voluntarily complete the online survey. It involves questions about the five (5) outcomes above and should take about 10 to 20 minutes to complete. In order for all of your answers to be collected, you must go to the end of the survey and click the ‘Submit’ button. This will demonstrate your consent to participate. 


What is the purpose of the survey?

The survey is one way in which we are gathering information. The Review Panel will also hold focus groups and interviews to provide additional opportunities to hear about experiences. More information about these opportunities is found at the end of this survey.



Will York see my survey response?




Will my identity be anonymous?

Yes. The survey is anonymous and as such we will not be collecting information that will easily identify you, such as your name or other unique identifiers. Although your Internet Protocol (IP) address can be tracked through the survey platform, the Review Panel, will not be collecting this information. Your IP address may be observed only to ensure that one individual is not completing the survey multiple times.



How will the Review Panel use the responses in my survey?

The survey responses will be used by the Review Panel for the purpose of the Review only.


The Final Report will identify themes and recommendations. The final report will not provide any identifying information, unless you provide your explicit consent to do so at the end of the survey.



What are the potential risks to me in completing the survey?

The survey will ask you how you identify and questions about whether you have experienced anti-Black racism, discrimination, harassment, sexual violence, and/or hazing. We will also ask questions about support, reporting and resources, gaps, and recommendations.


Some of the survey questions may make you uncomfortable or upset, or you may simply wish not to answer some questions. You are free to decline to answer any questions you do not wish to answer, or to stop participating at any time by closing your browser. If you close your browser before getting to the end of the survey, and do not confirm your consent to participate at the end of the survey by clicking the ‘Submit’ button, your information collected up to that point will not be captured.



What support services does York have for people who are impacted by the survey?

Please see the Additional Resources section on this page.



How is my information protected and stored? 
The survey uses Google Forms platform, which is an American (USA) company. Consequently, US authorities under the provisions of the USA Freedom Act (formerly known as the Patriot Act) may access the survey data. 


To further protect your information, data stored by the Review Panel will be password protected and/or encrypted. Only the Review Panel and their agents in this study will have access to the data collected. The Report will include collective information (i.e., themes and recommendations). Any individual responses which could reveal identifying information will not be shared with anyone outside of the Review Panel and agents, without your express consent. 


At the time the Review Panel provides its final report to York University, the data will be destroyed and deleted from all systems and servers.


What happens when I complete the survey by hard copy?

If you would rather participate through an email or paper-based survey, please contact the Review Panel. Please note: email or paper-based surveys may allow your identity to be known to the Review Panel, but if you select this option your information will be kept confidential.

What are my rights as a participant?

Participation in the survey is completely voluntary and you can withdraw your consent at any point up to clicking the ‘Submit’ button at the end of the survey. Because the survey is anonymous, once you click the ‘Submit’ button at the end of the survey, we will not be able to determine which survey answers belong to you, and so we cannot withdraw your information from our Review once you click on the ‘Submit’ button.


Please note by clicking the ‘Submit’ button at the end of the survey you are providing your consent for participation.


Additional York Resources

Respondents may be interested in the following additional resources and supports:



External Resources

  • The Gerstein Centre 24/7 Distress Line (416-929-5200) https://gersteincentre.org/: a free, confidential support line for anyone experiencing an emotional crisis and needing immediate assistance.

  • Good 2 Talk (1-866-925-5454) https://good2talk.ca/ontario/: a free, confidential counselling support line for post-secondary school students.