Statement from York University President on the U.S. Travel Ban and the Quebec City Attack

York President and Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri has issued the following statement:

York University, along with our university colleagues across the country, is extremely concerned about the recent travel ban imposing restrictions on individuals from seven countries that has been issued by the president of the United States.

We are working with Universities Canada and other university leaders to monitor the impact of the U.S. travel ban and to voice our collective concern about the implications such a ban has for our academic and research pursuits and partnerships, as well as on the family relationships of our students, faculty and staff.

York University is closely monitoring and reviewing any impacts of the travel ban on members of our own community, and we are working to create a support system and to allocate resources to assist those who may be affected. We will share further information in the coming days, and we encourage community members who have questions or need support to access the resources listed below.

As one of the most diverse universities in the world, York is, in every way, a global university. The strengths we enjoy today were built on our founding principles of openness and inclusion. We are home to more than 60,000 students, faculty and staff who can trace their roots to 157 countries globally. We have campuses in Costa Rica and Hyderabad, India, and our research and teaching are making an impact on distant communities, including through the Borderless Higher Education Project. Collectively, our students are learning in more than twenty languages and studying abroad in places such as Beijing, Paris and Mumbai through hundreds of international academic and student exchange agreements.

Our community reflects, as Prime Minister Trudeau has said, that diversity can be a source of strength. This is why last night’s terrorist attack on the Centre cultural islamique in Quebec City is so shocking and senseless, and why we must continue to condemn any hateful or violent act committed against an individual or group on the basis of their difference.

The foundational principles so central to the University’s being—a commitment to justice and fairness, to freedom of speech and the free exchange of ideas and information—are being threatened by the increasing levels of polarization and extremism that we are seeing around the world.

We must continue to set the highest possible standard through our research, scholarship and teaching to advance knowledge and to promote understanding and awareness.

We must continue to bear out on our campuses the tremendous success of Canada’s multicultural model, showing that it is indeed possible to embrace diversity and different perspectives while at the same time celebrating the shared values that make Canada one of the most socially progressive and welcoming countries in the world.

For members of our community seeking advice and/or support, below are key contact areas within the University:

York International
Immigration specialists Carol Tang and Diana Ning are available to answer questions Monday-Friday 8:30am-4:30pm
(416) 736-5177

For International Faculty and Staff Queries:
Affirmative Action, Immigration & Relocation Officer, Faculty Relations
Claudia McPherson
(416) 736-2100 x. 33434

Community Safety
On Campus –
Urgent matters: (416) 736-5333 or x. 33333
Non-urgent matters: (416) 650-8000 or x. 58000

The Centre for Human Rights, Equity, and Inclusion
(416) 736-5682

Personal Counselling Services