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Home » President’s Initiative on Open & Respectful Dialogue

President’s Initiative on Open & Respectful Dialogue


York University is committed to free speech and to ensuring a safe and respectful environment where community members are able to gather and express diverse ideas.

On November 20, 2019, an event and protest took place on the York University Keele campus that resulted in verbal and physical confrontations. As a University that deeply values diversity and inclusion, these incidents are of great concern to us.

To ensure that York continues to be a community where everyone feels safe to express their views, and that all appropriate policies and processes are in place to support this, two reviews have now been completed, with recommendations and action items. The President has confirmed the University will accept and implement all of the recommendations beginning immediately.


The University has clear and strong principles that all groups and individual members of the York community are expected to follow:

Safety is our priority: Every member of the York community must be and feel safe on our campuses. Students,  faculty including  contract faculty, and staff have the right to fully participate in all facets of university life without harassment, intimidation, threats, disruption or acts of violence.

We have no tolerance for discrimination: Targeting any member of the York community based on their race, religion, national origin, or any other identified characteristic is unacceptable and will never be tolerated.

We respect the right to free speech and the free exchange of ideas: York is committed to the fundamental values of free expression, free inquiry and respect for genuine diversity of thought and opinion. It is the right of all community members and invited guests to express their views within the law and without fear of intimidation or harassment.

We are all responsible:  Every group and individual member of the York community must uphold these principles. There is a collective and individual responsibility to protect the rights of every member of the York community to a safe environment in which ideas can be freely exchanged.

Latest Communications

Independent External Review

Internal Working Group

Our Vice President of Equity, People and Culture and Vice-Provost Students will take a leadership role in a working group to review the events surrounding November 20 and to make recommendations on best practices for ensuring future events are consistent with York University’s principles, policies and procedures.

Other Resources

Please see FAQ's for non-academics here.