Concordia University bans two people from campuses following violent incident over Israel-Hamas war

Concordia University issued an update on the violent incident that took place between two groups on last week – related to the Israel-Hamas war.

The altercation led to the arrest of a student and at least three people were injured. That same day the university also reported that swastikas were found on campus and an online threat made.

In a letter sent on Wednesday, Graham Carr, President and Chancellor of Concordia University, says following an investigation two non-students have been banned from Concordia campuses.

“Following our investigations into last week’s events, we’ve banned from our campuses two individuals who are not members of the Concordia community. Investigations into other possible violations of our Code of Rights and Responsibilities by individuals both internal and external to the university community are ongoing,” the letter reads.

Carr called for calm and said a line had been crossed at the university and in our city.

“Universities are privileged spaces for teaching, learning and research, where the respectful and free exchange of ideas is at the core of our mission. However, to be successful in our mission, at a minimum, all members of our community — whether they are Jewish, Palestinian or otherwise part of the rich mosaic of Concordia’s culture — must feel safe: to express their views, to display their identity, to be heard, and — appalling as it is to even have to write this — to be safe from physical violence,” Carr wrote.

“We are less than three weeks from the end of fall classes. For the good of our students, I strongly believe we need a cooling off period to allow them to focus on their academic achievement,” he added.

The letter also explains that the university is taking measures to ease tensions on campus.

“I’m meeting with the heads of several student groups to hear about their experiences at Concordia and listen to their suggestions for how we go forward. Likewise, I will be consulting with union leaders to hear their ideas for de-escalating tensions and improving campus life. I am also gathering a small group of faculty and staff experts on mediation and conflict resolution to provide advice on appropriate next steps,” Carr said in the letter.

He says the university’s Equity Office will also be increasing workshops on anti-racism.

“It will also host drop-in sessions for faculty and teaching assistants to help them navigate current events in the classroom. We’re also training volunteer staff and faculty to be “active listeners,” available to meet with individuals in the Concordia community who wish to voice their thoughts and concerns,” the letter explains.

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