York University statement from President Mamdouh Shoukri


April 8, 2011

Message to the community:

I was deeply disturbed and upset to learn that a member of our community reported being verbally and physically assaulted this week at Winters Absinthe pub. This reported assault is distressing to all of us. York University Security Services responded quickly to the incident and offered counselling and medical treatment to the community member. In addition, our security services are cooperating with Toronto Police Service in their investigation.

This incident serves as a reminder that we must work together, each of us, to find ways to ensure this never happens again. I can assure you that we will not tolerate any actions or forms of speech that advocate violence or hatred.

As one of Canada’s largest universities, nowhere is inclusion and tolerance more important than here at York. With such an incredibly diverse community, it is essential to recognize and respect the different beliefs that exist within our University. Together, our responsibility is to embrace our shared differences – be it sexual orientation, race, faith, age or gender – and to condemn those who deny our members their fundamental rights.

York University is committed to ensuring a productive, safe and peaceful learning environment for everyone. These principles are the basis of University policies and regulations, and individuals have a responsibility to uphold them for the sake of the entire York community. York is implementing the recommendations of the METRAC report. We will continue to work with the Toronto Police Service, our Centre for Human Rights, our student groups, University committees, and the broader community to minimize the possibility of future incidents. Students, families, University employees, and community members deserve and expect a safe environment, and we must all work together to create one. 

Mamdouh Shoukri
President and Vice-Chancellor

Wallace Pidgeon, Media Relations, York University, 416 736 2100 x22091 wpidgeon@yorku.ca