Over the past three weeks, there have been several incidents at Glendon College where racist threats have been written on the walls, targeting Jewish and Black students. On at least two occasions, York Hall was evacuated due to a bomb threat. Such threats follow from the recent and alarming increase in far-right attacks on Muslim, Jewish, and other marginalized communities. As the union representing graduate student workers, contract faculty, and part-time librarians at York University, including Glendon College, CUPE 3903 stands against all forms of racism and hate and condemns these incidents. We wish to express our solidarity with students, staff, and faculty at the Glendon campus, and especially with the Jewish and Black members of our community that have been the targets of these threats.
We would also like to express disappointment with the response from York’s administration. While these threats have been made over the past three weeks, many of our members at Glendon, as well as the larger Glendon community, were left unaware until the last few days. They also ignored queries from the CUPE 3903 Chair of the Joint Health and Safety Committee. The York administration has an obligation to communicate these hateful incidents with the wider York community in a prompt and open way.
As students, librarians, and teachers at this university, our members can have a role in responding to this racism and generating the solidarity that is urgently needed on our campuses and in our wider community. One concrete way to help, which students at Glendon have requested, is to open the classroom to discussions around these incidents at Glendon and the wider context of racism, anti-Semitism, and Islamophobia. This is also an opportunity to inform students of the resources they have (including student government, organization and clubs, residence teams as well as the Wellness, Counselling and Accessibility Centre) should they wish further action or more support. There are also multiple city-wide organizations should members want to organize against racism and islamophobia in the wider community (see list below). In addition, Glendon is hosting a community meeting this Friday at 2:30 to discuss these incidents (more details to come). We encourage our members at Glendon to attend.
The CUPE 3903 Executive Committee
City-Wide Organizations and Groups*
- Coalition Against White Supremacy and Islamophobia (CAWI)
- Organizing Committee Against Islamophobia (OCAI)
- Black Lives Matter – Toronto
- GTA Overt Bigotry Response
- Toronto Against Fascism
- Independent Jewish Voices
Are there more groups we should know about? Let us know! (firstname.lastname@example.org)