Statement on Iran
President Goel comments on the importance of university environments being free, open, and safe
Last week, I wrote to the University community to express my sadness and anger at the murder of Mahsa Amini at the hands of Tehran’s Guidance Patrol. Since Ms. Amini’s death, protesters in Iran, across the world, and right here on our campus have been bravely demanding change. Those protesters have often been students, and a few days ago, they were specifically targeted by Iranian police at several institutions, including Sharif University.
The University of Waterloo unequivocally denounces violence and intimidation within and around universities and calls for the re-establishment of environments that allow for the free, open and safe expression of dissent. Universities are by their very nature, places that promote and facilitate free inquiry and expression. Absent these freedoms, universities cannot fulfill their missions of teaching, learning, creating and disseminating new knowledge to the betterment of humanity.
Today I had the opportunity to hear from a group of Iranian students who shared their very personal accounts of how these events have influenced them, their friends, their families and colleagues. I thank them for sharing their stories with me. To these students and all Iranian members of our community, please know that the University stands in solidarity with you.
There will be a show of support with senior University leaders this evening (October 5) at five o-clock in the central area outside of Dana Porter Library. Our students will hold another event tomorrow (October 6) at 6 pm in M3, room 1006 to come together, share and support each other during this time of upheaval.
As always, if you need support, please reach out. There are resources on campus for you.
Women. Life. Freedom.
The University of Waterloo acknowledges that much of our work takes place on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples. Our main campus is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land granted to the Six Nations that includes six miles on each side of the Grand River. Our active work toward reconciliation takes place across our campuses through research, learning, teaching, and community building, and is centralized within our Office of Indigenous Relations.