An update on the encampment: May 8

Dear McMaster Community; 

It’s been four days since an encampment was set up on McMaster’s campus.
While we are glad that the protest has been orderly, and activities are going on as usual on campus, there have been impacts on members of our community.  

Freedom of expression is supported at McMaster. But this freedom comes with responsibilities. McMaster is a shared space where the learning, research and business activities of the university need to continue.  

Everyone is expected to be respectful, and there is no room for intimidation, hate speech or harassment. We have heard concerns from members of our community, and these are being managed through our university processes. 

This morning, we heard from the Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights (SPHR) group demanding an immediate meeting with us. It is important that our community is aware that our discussions with students have been ongoing since October. 

This has included meeting with the President, Vice-Presidents, Deans group and a presentation to Senate. Also, there have been 10 meetings with our Dean of Students where in-depth discussions were had on the concerns that students raised.  

While we acknowledge the importance of the issues they have raised, the tenor of today’s SPHR letter was confrontational. When we do meet, we need any discussion to be respectful and collegial as conversations have been in the past. 


Susan Tighe
Provost and Vice-President (Academic)