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Message on recent tragic events

October 11, 2023
By Graham Carr

Dear Concordians,

Events in the Middle East the last few days have been unimaginably difficult for many members of our community. The deadly attacks and kidnappings by Hamas in Israel and the subsequent escalation of violence in Gaza are profoundly troubling to all who believe in peace and cherish human life and dignity. We express our deepest sympathies to the members of our community who have lost family, friends or colleagues in the tragedy of the last several days. 

We are also concerned that the violence and the reporting on it will inevitably intensify emotions in ways that risk becoming even more polarizing than they already are. In the past, demonstrations not authorized by or associated with Concordia have taken place in the vicinity of our downtown campus. In the event that future demonstrations occur, we ask our community to conduct themselves respectfully.

Our community members hold a diversity of views and have the fundamental right to express them. But especially in highly charged moments like this, we remind ourselves and remind each other to be vigilant in ensuring that the expression of those views is civil and respectful. 

Everyone has a right to feel safe at their university. There is no place for violence or hate in any form at Concordia. It cannot be tolerated.   

We have reached out to some students and student groups whose members are most affected by this war to offer our support and reaffirm our commitment to a safe and inclusive campus. In all cases, we have emphasized that the university has resources in place so that we can better support each other in a time of crisis. 

Even if you are not personally affected by the current violence, global events can leave a person feeling at a loss for what they can or should do. If this is your experience, please know that you are not alone. If you need someone to talk to, for any reason, there are people ready and available to listen. Please visit our website for a list of off-campus and on-campus resources.

As we prepare to resume classes and campus activities following our reading week break, I urge you to focus on the paramount importance of respect for each other as we work together to keep constructive dialogue open and ensure our campuses are safe for everyone.

Graham Carr  
President and Vice-Chancellor

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