McMaster encampment update

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The encampment is peaceful and university activities are continuing as usual, including classes.

An update for the McMaster community on May 5 at 4:30 p.m. 

On Sunday afternoon, a group of protestors set up tents on the greenspace in the centre of campus.

The encampment is peaceful and university activities are continuing as usual, including classes.

“The university’s role is not to constrain free thought, censor the views and positions some choose to take, or adopt the position of one group over another,” said President David Farrar. The president’s statement regarding the encampment can be read here.

University leaders met with students over the weekend to continue conversations that have been ongoing since October. Those discussions with various student groups allowed more than 30 peaceful protests and events to be held at McMaster.

“We have always had constructive relationships with our student groups which has allowed us to discuss even the most difficult issues,” said Provost Susan Tighe. “Despite our willingness to continue exploring the topics the group has raised, it is disappointing that instead they have chosen to establish the encampment.”

“The safety and security of anyone who participates is very concerning.”

Campus is a shared space and ensuring it remains a safe and welcoming place for everyone is important. McMaster’s campus safety team is closely monitoring the situation and sharing information on the fire and safety risks of encampments and the rights and responsibilities for Freedom of Expression at McMaster.

“Now that the encampment has begun, our attention will need to focus on maintaining the health and safety of those participating and to ensure people at the university can continue with their work, studies and use of the campus in an atmosphere of respect,” said Sean Van Koughnett, dean of students.

The university continues to acknowledge this is an incredibly challenging and divisive time for many in our community and beyond. A range of resources are available to students, faculty and staff to support those in need.

Please continue to monitor the Daily News for any campus updates.