The Camosun College Faculty Association expresses its heartfelt condolences for and solidarity with the University of Waterloo community for the violent incident in a Philosophy of Gender class that left three students with serious injuries yesterday. Our classrooms and places of learning are precious spaces: students and workers should always feel safe within them.
While the precise details of the attack will become clear in the coming days, it is hard not to read this incident in the context of the growing campaign of misinformed and hateful rhetoric against trans, queer, and Two-Spirit communities—especially given that it occurred during Pride Month. These campaigns that seek to criminalize health care, deny safe access to washrooms, and diminish the vital work of scholars and teachers studying ideologies and histories of gender don’t lead to violence; they are violence.
Our working and learning spaces should be safe not just from physical violence, but also from the violence of homophobia, transphobia, and misogyny. Certainly, this attack will make our LGBTQ+ and Two-Spirit students, staff, and faculty members feel less secure on campus.
The CCFA works every day to ensure our working conditions remain free from hate. Our union executive are either inspired by or directly involved in the ongoing and interrelated struggles of gender equity and trans rights—both here at the College and beyond its borders. We have always admired how these communities respond to crises like these with nothing less than fierce love. Indeed, Pride itself emerged from the struggle against violence—against hate.
We stand in solidarity with our Waterloo colleagues, their students, and anyone in the Camosun community who feels less safe in light of this disturbing news. We urge any affected members to seek clinical support and treatment if they feel vulnerable or shaken. We encourage our members to check in on one another, especially those who teach or work in fields related to equity-deserving groups. And please, more so than ever, attend a Pride event this weekend to show that hate has no place here, not ever. Women matter. Queer lives matter. Trans lives matter.
Your Union Executive
Michael Stewart, your newly-elected Contract Negotiation Chair, wrote the above statement just hours after the attack occurred, asking that the CCFA issue it to all our members. This is just one of the ways that Michael shows his dedication improving worker’s rights and furthering social, economic, and climate justice.
Supports & Resources
- If you are in an emergency situation please access 9-1-1 (in Canada), for emergency services.
- QChat is a BC-wide peer support not-for-profit that helps connect LGBTQ2S+ youth with others like them! They have about 20 BC youth volunteers who provide peer support 6 days per week. They work with youth to explore sexuality, coming out, relationship issues, gender, trans-related topics, referrals, and other great things!
- Visit Women & Gender Equity Canada for government support, education, and resources.
- Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of BC Women & Gender Equity Resource Guide, is due for an update but, contains a wealth of great resources.
- Read last year’s Confluence blog on Pride to learn more about the rich and complex history between the 2SLGBTQIA+ Communities and Union Activists.
Have more resources to share? Send them to ac.ytlucafnusomac@tnediserp for verification and this page will be updated.