A call for respect

Feb. 13, 2017

Dear members of the McGill community,

The community received a message last week from Provost Christopher Manfredi regarding a disturbing communication on social media that was sent by one of our students. I was shocked to read that Twitter post and want to make it clear that the University condemns all expressions of hatred and attempts to incite violence, including any that have been made in reaction to the post.

The safety and security of our entire community is our primary concern. I have asked Provost Manfredi to continue to ensure a safe environment for everyone working, learning and living on our McGill campuses.

Some members of our community have asked the University administration to intervene directly with the Students’ Society (SSMU) and to comment on its Legislative Council meeting of February 9.  SSMU is an independently incorporated organization, and as such it bears responsibility for properly managing its internal affairs according to its own governance procedures. I note that SSMU has issued a statement to students concerning both the original incident and the subsequent Council meeting, as well as outlining the actions it is taking in response.

In reacting to this incident, I urge all members of the McGill community to respond in a manner consistent with the principles that underlie our academic mission: academic freedom, integrity, responsibility, equity, and inclusiveness.

Achieving a commitment to these principles requires that the McGill community maintain an environment where different views and ideas can be debated with mutual respect.


Suzanne Fortier

Principal and Vice Chancellor

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