UOIT Faculty Association Statement on the right to freedom of expression and peaceful protest on campus

The UOIT Faculty Association defends the right to free expression and assembly and academic freedom on our campus at Ontario Tech and we call on all members of our Ontario Tech community to work to ensure that all students, faculty, and staff on our campus—regardless of their position on current or any other world conflicts—are free to research, teach, and express their beliefs. We express grave concern about any act that would escalate the situation and create further tension.

We believe that references to peaceful assemblies such as the encampment as illegal can fail in keeping the students’ and community members’ sense of safety and the right to freedom of expression, which can lead to real and perceived censorship of expressive and academic freedoms.

We echo the statement made by our national affiliate, the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) that the forcible removal of peaceful student protesters who pose no demonstrable threat to campus safety is inimical to the mission of post-secondary institutions and contrary to the democratic rights expressed in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Using police or private security to clear the encampment risks the use of violence against students and could jeopardise the safety of the University community. 

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