OTTAWA, June 14, 2019 - The following statement has been issued by Jacques Frémont, President and Vice Chancellor of the University of Ottawa following an incident involving campus Protection Services and a student.
On Wednesday I learned of an incident involving one of our students and our campus Protection Services.
There have been subsequent allegations of racism, racial profiling and harassment concerning this incident. These allegations are extremely serious. Racism has no place on our campus.
The University of Ottawa is an open, diverse and welcoming campus. We unequivocally oppose and denounce racism, racial profiling, harassment and discrimination of any kind. It is essential for everyone on our campus, whether they are members of our own community or visitors, to feel safe.
I have taken the following measures to address this situation:
First, I have asked Mr. Noël Badiou, Director of the University’s Human Rights Office, to review the situation and provide recommendations to me about what should be done immediately and over the long term to improve the University’s policies and procedures. That review began immediately on Wednesday and is well underway.
Second, the University will retain the services of an external investigator to look more closely into this incident and to determine whether human rights-related systemic issues exist. If so, the investigator will recommend proper actions. That report will be made public, within the limits prescribed by privacy laws.
I am committed to ensuring that equity and inclusion are an integral part of all areas of our academic, work and campus life. The dignity of all community members must be respected.
Racism, discrimination and harassment cannot be tolerated in our society or at an institution whose mandate is to prepare our future generation of leaders. The uOttawa campus must remain a safe and respectful environment. We must lead by example and make all possible efforts to call out and eliminate systemic patterns of discrimination.