January 30, 2019
Dear members of the McGill community,
In December, upon receiving the final report of the Working Group on Principles of Commemoration and Renaming, McGill’s Provost, Professor Christopher Manfredi, committed to communicating next steps with regard to the question of renaming our men’s varsity teams.
Since then, I have received a high volume of messages from people, both within and beyond the McGill community, expressing their opinions about the Redmen name. These messages are in addition to the emails, comments shared via the Provost’s website, open letters, and petition received during the Fall semester. While different and indeed opposite views are expressed in these communications, they do have one important thing in common, which is their thoughtfulness and respectful tone.
Everyone in our community is understandably eager for a decision regarding the Redmen name. I believe, though, that it is important for me to read, understand and reflect upon all the comments and points of view that have been expressed, and give them the level of consideration and respect with which they were shared. Over the coming weeks, I will do so and consider as well the opinions expressed in the months leading up to the release of the Working Group’s report. I will also seek advice from members of our internal community, including students, staff and faculty, as well as key stakeholders, including Indigenous members of the McGill community, student athletes and alumni.
My reflection and decision will be guided by the principles set forth in the Report of the Working Group on Principles of Commemoration and Renaming. It is essential that I, and all of us as a community, give this important question the time and space that it clearly deserves.
By the end of this academic term, I will communicate my decision regarding whether to change the Redmen name.
Thank you to everyone who has shared their thoughtful, respectful and heartfelt comments. If you have yet to add your voice to the conversation, you can do so through the online form. I am grateful for your engagement with the subjects that are important to our community.
Principal and Vice-Chancellor