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UM response to encampment leadership

June 11, 2024

Dear UM Community,

Recently, UM leadership had our second meeting with student representatives of the encampment. We responded to their concerns and outlined our commitments to the student body and the broader community. 

That response has been provided in writing to the encampment’s student representatives and is shared in full below. It reiterates UM’s commitments to anti-racism, to responsible investments, to academic freedom and collegial governance, to supports for all students, and to ultimately lead this university in a way that fosters a more respectful campus. 

At this meeting, we also encouraged students to dismantle the encampment and continue their advocacy in other ways. There are many meaningful ways to contribute to campus dialogue and effect change that do not disrupt the functioning of the university.

As we continue to live together in a world that remains fraught with ongoing conflict, UM asks everyone to consider each of our roles in creating a welcoming and respectful campus environment for all community members. 


Diane Hiebert-Murphy, Provost and Vice-President (Academic)

Angie Bruce, Vice-President (Indigenous)

UM agrees that harassment and discrimination have no place on our campuses as supported by our Office of Human Rights and Conflict Management and Respectful Work and Learning Environment (RWLE) policy. The RWLE policy addresses discrimination and harassment based on protected characteristics as outlined in the Manitoba Human Rights Code, including race, colour, national origin, ancestry or religion and other related characteristics. UM’s Security Services support comprehensive safety measures to help ensure all students are safe on campus.

UM reaffirms the right to freedom of expression and to peaceful advocacy in line with previously released statements. Peaceful, lawful activities that adhere to university policies will not result in academic or legal consequences.

UM values international academic partnerships for their diversity and for the ways in which cross-collaborations between academics and students can enhance learning, spur innovation, and solve problems. As such, UM does not interfere in academics’ right to engage in international partnerships, nor do we maintain a “Restricted Foreign Universities” list or blanket policies surrounding a single nation. The only international partnership restrictions UM upholds are those imposed by the federal government.

UM is committed to making meaningful and prudent investments that advance positive social and environmental changes. UM has a Responsible Investment Policy and selects investment managers who fully integrate environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors in their investment decisions. The investment managers are all signatories to the UN Principles of Responsible Investing, and all commit to these principles.

Consistent with UM’s collegial academic governance structure, courses are developed and recommended by faculties and schools and subsequently approved by Senate. University departments offer courses in alignment with program needs and staffing. These include a number of courses that integrate aspects of Palestinian identity.

Building on the EDI Task Force Report and Recommendations, the ongoing work of the Vice-Provost (Equity), and our institutional commitment to transparency, UM commits to:

1. Expand opportunities for education and dialogue:

a. UM will extend the work of the Listening, Learning and Leading series to provide a venue for listening to diverse perspectives without calling for resolution or agreement.

b. UM will make student leadership training available to a broad range of student leaders, including those elected to student unions, in areas including governance, inclusive community development, EDIA and anti-racism.

c. UM will continue to make anti-racism training available to students, faculty and staff.

2. Support for academics impacted by war:

a. UM will continue to participate in the Scholars At Risk program. Scholars At Risk works to protect threatened scholars and promote academic freedom around the world.

3. Investment policy transparency:

a. UM will explore opportunities for community members to provide input and feedback on its Responsible Investment Policy.

b. UM commits to public disclosure of its investment holdings by Fall 2024.

c. UM commits to publish its first report under the UN Principles of Responsible Investment by Fall 2024.

UM encourages students to dismantle the encampment and continue dialogue and advocacy through the many avenues that are in place for meaningful student engagement. UM is committed to freedom of expression and to productive conversations with the diverse student community. We support students in sharing their perspectives in ways that do not disrupt the functioning of the university, and that maintain a welcoming and respectful campus and supportive learning environment for all community members.

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