Debbie Hansen named Executive Director, Community Support & Services

Debbie Hansen
Debbie Hansen

Vice-President Academic and Provost Rhonda Lenton, and Trudy Pound-Curtis, interim vice-president finance and administration, issue the following announcement:

We are pleased to announce that Debbie L. Hansen has been named the Executive Director, Community Support & Services at York University.

Debbie Hansen

Debbie’s new portfolio brings together the Office of Student Community Relations and the Centre for Sexual Violence Response, Support and Education. This step underscores York University’s commitment to creating an environment where all people feel welcome, valued and safe and to providing the services, programs and resources that will ensure our entire community – staff, faculty and students – is supported and empowered.

Debbie brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to this new role, as well as a strong passion for justice, a deep understanding and commitment to the York community and to student success. Debbie has professional training and expertise in mediation, labour relations, collective bargaining and alternate dispute resolution, and extensive experience in violence threat risk assessment, sexual violence prevention and response, and human and financial resources management. Previously, Debbie was the Director of Client Services in the Division of Students and has served in key positions such as Director of Non-Academic Employee Relations, Associate Registrar and Acting Director in the Office of Student Affairs, with service spanning more than 35 years at York.

Office of Student Community Relations
The Office of Student Community Relations (OSCR) supports students impacted by critical incidents, facing personal crises or multiple complex issues. The Office’s mandate is to provide advice, referrals, training, alternate dispute resolution methods, judicial processes (local adjudication, tribunals), critical incident support and student leadership opportunities. Under Debbie’s direction, OSCR implemented a strengthened Code of Student Rights & Responsibilities, guided the formation of the Students of Concern Committee (SoCC), provided critical incident and support services during crisis situations on and off campus, developed a student peer support network, and was integral to the development of the Sexual Violence Response Policy and the Sexual Violence Response Office (SVRO), designated as the first point of contact for those who have experienced sexual violence.

Centre for Sexual Violence, Response, Support, and Education
The Centre for Sexual Violence, Response & Education, now incorporating the SVRO, has been created to coordinate supports and resources for all members of the community who have experienced sexual violence; to receive disclosures and complaints; facilitate safety planning; and, assist survivors through the complaint process. The Centre reaffirms the University’s longstanding commitment to foster a culture where attitudes and behaviours that perpetuate sexual violence are rejected, survivors are supported, and those who are found to have committed sexual violence are held accountable. The Centre will handle all matters relating to care and support, advocacy and navigation, governance and policy, and education and training to address sexual violence and to support the University’s ongoing commitment to be proactive in our initiatives and communications.

Further plans regarding the Centre are forthcoming.

Please join us in congratulating Debbie on her new role.


Rhonda L. Lenton, vice-president academic & provost
Trudy Pound-Curtis, interim vice-president finance & administration