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St. John’s campus encampment

Statement from President Neil Bose

Campus and Community

By Dr. Neil Bose

Earlier today, Tuesday, May 21, tents were erected on the St. John’s campus by a student group expressing their solidarity with Palestine.

Memorial fully supports freedom of expression and the right of members of our community to express themselves through peaceful protest.

Our focus is on maintaining a safe environment for all members of the university community: those who are protesting, those who disagree with the protest and those who remain neutral.

This means that discrimination, hate speech, harassment or destruction of property are not tolerated.

The university expects protests held on Memorial campuses to be conducted within the boundaries of Memorial’s policies, codes of conduct and the law, as protests held over the last two weeks have been.

Following the initial protest in early May, Memorial was in contact with the protest organizers. A meeting with university leaders has been scheduled, and we look forward to maintaining a constructive, mutually respectful dialogue.

Memorial acknowledges the tragedy, strife and hardship experienced by individuals affected by the ongoing conflict between Israelis and Palestinians and supports a peaceful resolution for citizens in the impacted region.

We recognize that many people in our university community have connections to the areas and affected communities.

Some members of our community have expressed concerns about their safety in light of protest activities. While we have no reason to believe that there is a risk to safety on our campus at this time, if you have particular concerns, please contact the Office of the Chief Risk Officer.

As a reminder, supports are available from the university.

Online and phone-based community mental health and wellness supports for students on all campuses can be accessed through the Student Wellness and Counselling Centre website.

Additional support services for students at Grenfell can be found at Counselling and Psychological Services.

International students who have questions and need support may also contact international@mun.ca, while graduate students can also reach out to sgs@mun.ca.

The Employee Assistance Program is a free, confidential service available to faculty and staff 24 hours a day. Information about how to access services is available online.

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