We are deeply concerned by last weekend’s attacks on Israel by Hamas, and the developing war in the region. We are horrified by the killing of innocent people and denounce the use of violence against all civilians, Israeli and Palestinian.
Our thoughts are with all those in Israel and Gaza and throughout the world who are suffering unimaginable loss, trauma, and fear and with everyone in our University community deeply affected by these devastating events. We join the international community in the call for a peaceful resolution through dialogue.
We are hearing from our faculty, staff, students and alumni about the pain and fear they are experiencing. We have reached out to student groups and international students with ties to the region to provide support during this difficult time and have also shared information on a broad range of supports and resources available to our entire community. We encourage affected community members to make use of these supports.
We are focused on continuing to foster a safe, inclusive and supportive environment for all. As an institution of higher learning, the University is committed to cultivating an environment where the open and free exchange of ideas and beliefs can flourish in a safe and welcoming community. We remain committed to upholding the principle of freedom of expression. We do not, however, tolerate any forms of hatred.
All members of our community have a right to feel safe, included and accepted. This means promoting respectful and inclusive behaviour, while standing together against anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. We encourage everyone to be mindful of the many diverse perspectives within our community and to carefully consider how actions and words can cause people to feel targeted and unsafe.
It’s crucial, especially during volatile and unsettling times, that we reject discrimination and hatred, and instead come together with a willingness to engage in dialogue with one another.
Dr. Charlotte A. B. Yates
President and Vice-Chancellor
Provost and Vice-President (Academic)
Associate Vice-President, Diversity and Human Rights