March 23, 2022
Dear members of the McGill community:
For more than three weeks, the world has watched the unfolding situation in Ukraine with shock and sorrow. The impact of these tragic events is being felt by populations around the world, including throughout the McGill community, as many of our students, staff and faculty have personal ties to Ukraine and the surrounding region.
We stand behind the Statement of Universities Canada, made on behalf of our country’s universities and colleges, “strongly condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine, a free, independent and democratic nation.” As a member of the U7+ Alliance, McGill endorses its Statement expressing solidarity with Ukraine and that country’s peoples and universities, and the Alliance’s commitment “to defend the fundamental values of peace, truth, democracy, academic freedom, and international cooperation.”
Members of the McGill community are mobilizing to coordinate and communicate local efforts to extend support to Ukrainian communities at home and abroad, and to support all members of the McGill community who might be impacted.
Examples of these initiatives include:
- Students whose financial situation is impacted by the conflict have been encouraged to contact the Scholarships and Student Aid Office to discuss possible solutions, including direct financial aid and fee payment deferrals.
- The Office of the Dean of Students can explore academic accommodations with students whose current situation is having an impact on their coursework.
- Many students from Ukraine are being displaced by the conflict. McGill has capacity to welcome late applications from incoming students as well as transfer students for undergraduate programs in exceptional circumstances such as this one; inquiries Enrolment Services will receive and assess inquiries.
- Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (GPS) is offering accelerated admissions for graduate applicants from Ukraine, and opportunities for graduate research traineeships for displaced students currently enrolled in a Ukrainian university.
- Additional means of funding research assistants who work on McGill projects within Ukraine are being explored.
Meanwhile, many Faculties and units are organizing local initiatives, such as:
- A benefit concert for Ukrainian refugees is being organized on Sunday, April 3 and will provide support for work being done by Médecins Sans Frontières.
- Doctors from the McGill University Health Centre brought together the teams of the Centre for Global Surgery and the Steinberg Simulation Centre to provide virtual training to health workers in Ukraine.
- McGill’s School of Religious Studies is organizing a used book sale, with all proceeds going to humanitarian relief in Ukraine.
- Expert roundtables, panels, and learned talks, which have drawn hundreds of attendees, are raising awareness within and beyond the McGill community about the global implications of the attack on Ukraine.
- McGill’s Office of Religious and Spiritual Life (MORSL) has gathered information about opportunities for volunteering and donations, which will be needed in the weeks and months ahead.
- The possibility of bilateral agreements to support Ukrainian institutions is being explored.
In addition, students who require counselling can access the services offered by the Student Wellness Hub (514-398-6017), as well as Keep.MeSAFE, a service which students can access 24/7, from anywhere in the world, whenever they need to speak with a mental health professional for support. Staff members can access assistance through the Employee and Family Assistance Program.
As we have done in the past, the McGill community is stepping up in the face of a global crisis. We recognize that the pursuit of academic advancement flourishes in a democracy. We thus denounce any attack on democracy and stand in solidarity with those who confront and resist such affronts.
With best regards,
Professor Christopher Manfredi
Provost and Vice-Principal Academic