Similar to several other venues on campus, the Theatre of the Arts can be rented by any member of the public. On April 30, this venue is booked by an unofficial Laurier club for an event about "multiculturalism, borders, and identity in Canada," featuring two speakers known to espouse anti-immigration views.
FAUW believes the messages of these speakers are insulting and harmful to our diverse campus community. We will not engage in a non-debate nor provide an assist to stir-up a manufactured ‘free speech crisis’ on our campus where there is none. We agree with the University administration that attempts to forcefully silence distasteful discussions like this end up increasing their volume, and so we understand why the event is being permitted to proceed on our campus.
However, as FAUW president, I’m choosing not to engage directly in this event and will not attend in any way, shape, or form. More importantly, I am choosing to show my support for all Waterloo community members by fundraising for organizations that support marginalized groups on campus. My Board of Directors approves of this approach and we hope you will join us.
—Bryan Tolson, FAUW president