Interim Dean's Message about Ensuring a Peaceful Campus

Published: 11 March 2024
(This message was sent by email on March 11th at 8:28 a.m. to the Faculty's list of students, course instructors, and admin/support staff.)

Dear Education Community,

I am writing as a follow-up to the message sent by President Saini on Friday.

Our Faculty is well aware that there is a sense of unrest on campus for a variety of reasons, whether they be related to provincial politics, world events, employment relations, or other societal concerns. At the Faculty of Education, we are the thinkers who typically motivate social change, challenging the status quo and encouraging dialogue in order to grow. In line with this, it is important to reiterate what President Saini said in Friday’s letter on peaceful assembly, “Fundamental to the mission of this University is the ability to carry out academic activities in spaces that are welcoming and respectful of the pursuit and advancement of knowledge.”

I write to you today to remind those in our community who choose to take part in protests and political expression on campus to do so peacefully, without aggression, and with respect for countervailing views. While our freedoms in this regard are broad, they do not permit unlawful speech, damage to property, or disruption of classes, work, or regular activities within our Education Community. To identify rights and responsibilities in connection with campus demonstrations at McGill please refer to McGill’s  Operating Procedures Regarding Demonstrations, Protest and Occupations.

I kindly ask for your cooperation in the event of future disruptions to our academic mission or operations in the Faculty.  University leadership has specified to the Faculties that instructors are not to cancel classes or move them to virtual platforms due to the threat of protests as doing so could interfere with the rights of our students.   This extends to situations where there has been a blocking, or an effort to block access to any building or other site at McGill. Should the Office of the Dean decide to alter class logistics, instructors will be notified by email by me or by central administration with instructions on how to proceed to prioritize the safety of all; please do not act in the absence of such notification.

It is vital that McGill University be a safe space for teaching, learning, research, and related administrative work. This is not only the expectation of every student and employee—it is their right. I further echo the words of President Saini that our campus belongs to all members of the McGill community, and I hope that we can continue to learn and work together through shared values instead of letting opposing views create divisiveness.

I deeply appreciate your collaboration as we navigate this challenging time.  If you have questions, please contact me at [at] and I will work together with others in the Dean’s Office to address them the best we can. 


Dr. Victoria Talwar

Interim Dean, McGill Faculty of Education

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