Thompson Rivers University President Brett Fairbairn issued the following statement on Fri., June 30, in response to an act of violence in a gender studies class at the University of Waterloo:
It is with profound shock and sadness that we are forced to address the aftermath of deeply troubling events. This past week, a professor and two students at University of Waterloo were seriously injured in what is believed to be a hate-motivated attack during a gender-studies lecture at the institution.
In all communities, universities are places where all should be accepted for who they are, where differences are celebrated, and the open exchange of ideas embraced. Attacks on professors and students, especially when motivated by hate, threaten the fundamental ideals that all universities embrace and embody.
Even though the violence happened far from us, its reverberations are felt close to home.
For some in our community here, especially those who share identities with the victims of this gender-based attack, these events will feel much too close.
For those here at TRU who feel traumatized by Thursday’s events, I urge you to reach out to someone and ask for support and help. We have many services available on campus for students such as KeepMeSafe. No one needs to suffer alone. I also ask all of us to be especially mindful of those around us who might be traumatized by these events, even if they do not express it. It is the mark of real community that we stand with those in need, without needing to be asked. We must always prioritize the well-being of our students, faculty and staff, and work tirelessly to create an environment where we all can thrive and feel safe.
As we recognize the end of Pride month and go into Canada Day, please reflect on what has happened. Across Canada, we must stand united against gender-based violence and all other forms of hatred and bigotry. We must reaffirm our commitment to fostering an inclusive, safe, and welcoming environment for all members of our community.
We are with Waterloo in spirit, unwavering in our condemnation of all forms of hate, discrimination, and violence.
President and Vice-Chancellor