Waterloo president responds to actions by protestors

Friday, March 15, 2013

As the president of a university that treasures the principles of free speech, I am extremely disappointed that a guest invited to speak at a University of Waterloo Federation of Students-sanctioned club event on Wednesday, March 13, was interrupted by vociferous protest by a group of nearly two-dozen Waterloo and non-Waterloo students.

Although instances such as this are fortunately rare at Waterloo, I consider the events of March 13 to be an attack on our presence as a place where issues are explored, discussed and debated. The freedom to speak and to learn is fundamental to the values of this institution. 

The University of Waterloo is committed to creating an environment where ideas are peacefully and safely explored for the betterment of all. The silencing of anyone who proffers an opinion is unacceptable.

We are examining ways in which we can ensure all invited speakers, whatever the topic, are able to speak in a safe and productive environment. We are also exploring ways in which we can partner with student groups to provide appropriate support for their events on campus. A review into this incident is underway.

Feridun Hamdullahpur
President & Vice-Chancellor
University of Waterloo

Media contact:

Nick Manning

Associate Director of Media Relations

519-888-4451

nmanning@uwaterloo.ca

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