Raising Voices for Dialogue

Two incidents occurred last Saturday night at Vanier Student Residence that appear to be related to the Israeli — Palestinian conflict. The RCMP and Campus Security are in the midst of detailed investigations. We cannot tell at this point whether criminal charges will be laid or student discipline required.

However, allegations of physical violence stem from this incident, and because of that I am compelled to comment.

We live in a university community that values ideas deeply, and that has the privilege of being able to debate those ideas without fear of censure or physical harm. This privilege carries a special obligation, then, to raise our voices against intolerance that breeds, and finds its expression, in violence. When we witness disagreement turn to hatred, we must all speak out.

The values of a university, and this is absolutely true of ours, include respect for strongly differing perspectives, tolerance for unpopular ideas, recognition of our common humanity, and a profound sense that while all problems may not be immediately resolvable, it is our willingness to discuss them that offers our greatest hope.

I urge all members of our community to enter into dialogue across divisions. Above all, we must commit to live together without fear of threat or violence.

Stephen J. Toope
President and Vice-Chancellor

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