Message to the Community about an encampment on York University property

Message to the Community about an encampment on York University property

York University is committed to open and respectful dialogue and to our collective efforts to create inclusive and welcoming campuses.

During the night, a group of individuals came onto York’s Keele Campus and set up tents in the Harry W. Arthurs Common. They were informed by the Community Safety team that any unauthorized use of campus grounds is a violation of university policies and that encampments or occupations are not permitted.

It is important to remember that the majority of York students commute to campus. The Common is an open space, intended to be available for use by the entire York community consisting of some 60,000 plus students, faculty, instructors, staff and those who visit the Common regularly for work, study and leisure. Families who live on the Keele Campus also use the space for activities with their children.

At the same time, we remain steadfast in our commitment to freedom of expression and academic freedom. We support the rights of our community members to advocate for the views they hold. The University will be seeking to establish a dialogue with the individuals in the encampment as well as other affected parties regarding the issues that have been raised.

The health and wellbeing of our community members, and the safety of our campus spaces are our top priorities. All community members should be able to rely on our campuses being respectful and safe for everyone, and we continue to call on all of us to treat each other with empathy and compassion as we navigate these issues together.

Please see the University’s prior statement regarding encampments.