UBC Philosophy Statement on Waterloo Attack

The UBC Philosophy Department stands in solidarity with the academic community of the University of Waterloo, including the victims of a violent knife attack during a Philosophy of Gender course meeting earlier this week. Waterloo police describe the incident as a hate-motivated attack relating to gender expression and gender identity.

Backlash against the increased visibility and salience of diverse gender identities is growing worldwide, and this week’s incident is a sobering reminder that Canadian academia will not escape it. Our own department, as well as other units at UBC, offers courses very similar to that which appears to have prompted yesterday’s violence in Waterloo. Such violence threatens the central mission of a university: it undermines the safety that is necessary for all members of the academic community to teach, learn, and research effectively.

We are committed to a culture of safe intellectual engagement and respect for human rights. We stand in solidarity with the many teachers, students, staff and scholars at Waterloo, at UBC, and around the world whose work exposes them to violence and hate. We must create and protect a safe environment where that work is possible.

Some further information and resources: