Dear U of G students, faculty and staff, 

I have an important update to share with you in relation to the encampment on our campus. 

For 47 days, encampment participants have occupied an important and shared university space and—in the process—have precluded other members of our University community from making use of the space. The U of G campus is a space for our entire community, and we are committed to maintaining an environment where everyone can study, work and live without discrimination, harassment or intimidation. As we look to the fall and welcoming students back to campus, we cannot permit any one group to have exclusive use of a space and deny access to those who do not share their views. Branion Plaza is meant to be a welcome gathering place for the enjoyment of all community members.  

This afternoon, the University delivered a letter to encampment participants in a final effort to conclude the encampment peacefully.  

The letter requested a peaceful and voluntary dismantling of the encampment similar to recent activity at the University of Toronto, Western University and the University of Waterloo, by 8 p.m. Sunday, July 7, 2024. Should the encampment remain, the University will pursue legal action to end and remove it permanently and restore the university as a welcoming space for everyone. 

The encampment members’ exclusive use of campus space is making it impossible for the University to maintain an inclusive campus and fulfill our commitment to create an environment where everyone can study, work and live without discrimination, harassment or intimidation.   

The University remains committed to the rights to freedom of expression, assembly and peaceful protest. However, these freedoms are not unlimited, and U of G reserves the right to manage the use of its private property should it reasonably believe the use violates laws, creates safety concerns or disrupts the normal functioning of the University.   

That being said, if encampment participants dismantle voluntarily, the University will not pursue disciplinary action against students or employees for participating in it, though if a student or an employee engaged in violence, property damage, building barricades, unauthorized entry into buildings, harassment or discrimination, they will be held accountable.  

I know these past several months have been an incredibly difficult and emotional time for many members of our community. Once again, I thank you for your patience and understanding as we work towards returning our campus to an inclusive campus for all in our community to enjoy. 

Kind regards, 

Dr. Charlotte A. B. Yates 
President and Vice-Chancellor 

Visit the statements page for previous updates on the encampment.