Dear U of G students, faculty and staff,

We are aware a group of individuals has started an unauthorized encampment in Branion Plaza, which appears to be similar to others that have been set up at universities across North America and around the world.

The Campus Safety Office is monitoring the unauthorized encampment in accordance with University policies and has been in contact with the individuals to remind them of campus policies. Encampments go against University policies and are not permitted as they entail health and safety risks for individuals in the encampment and for other members of the community.

U of G has a steadfast commitment to the principle of freedom of speech and a responsibility to create and maintain spaces for open dialogue and the free exchange of ideas and diverging opinions. We also have an obligation to foster an environment where everyone can study, work and live without discrimination, harassment or intimidation.

In this spirit, I want to remind you that all individuals and groups are expected to adhere to our Campus Safety Office, Environmental Health and Safety policies and all applicable laws while on campus. Under our Freedom of Expression policy statement, Human Rights policy, and Policy on Non-Academic Misconduct we will take measures as needed to ensure university operations can continue safely and undisrupted.

As you may have seen, many of the encampments at other universities have requests for their institutions to divest. Prior to the unauthorized encampment, U of G had received a divestment submission under its Special Action Policy and it is being reviewed in accordance with University processes and procedures. The individuals who submitted their request to the University were invited to provide additional input and speak about their submission directly to the Finance Committee.

We appreciate your patience and understanding as we seek a peaceful resolution to the unauthorized encampment. We will keep you informed as updates are available. If you require any personal support, I would encourage you to reach out to the resources below.

Students support: 

Faculty and staff support: 

Kind regards,
Charlotte Yates
President and Vice-Chancellor
University of Guelph