(June 29, 2023) The Federation of Post-Secondary Educators (FPSE) wishes to express our sadness and solidarity with the University of Waterloo community in light of the violent attack that occurred yesterday in a Philosophy of Gender class. It is now clear that this was a hate motivated attack that targeted a classroom exploring issues of gender politics and the history of transphobia. As educators we are appalled at this attack on all of the pedagogical and social values we hold dear. This targeted attack seems intended to intimidate and silence voices already marginalized. We all have a responsibility to ensure that hate, bigotry, and intimidation never triumph over tolerance, compassion, solidarity, and justice.
We also stand in solidarity with the wider LGBTQ+ and Two-Spirit community as the rise of homophobic and transphobic rhetoric is becoming normalized in many sectors of society. The events this week in Waterloo remind us that progress and equity are never guaranteed and we will continue to work with our member locals to ensure that our campuses remain safe spaces for LBGTQ+ and Two-Spirit staff, students, and faculty to learn and study. And we will continue our commitment as an organization to be effective allies on our campuses and in our communities across British Columbia to ensure misogyny, transphobia, and homophobia find no shelter to fester and grow.
We reiterate our message of healing and solidarity to the entire University of Waterloo community. We wish those injured in yesterday's attack a speedy recovery and we stand ready to support the students, staff, and faculty at the University of Waterloo as they work to recover from this devastating incident. An attack on one in our community is an attack on all.
The Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of BC is the provincial voice for faculty and staff in BC teaching universities, colleges and institutes, and in private sector institutions. FPSE member locals, represented by Presidents' Council and the Executive, represent over 10,000 faculty and staff at 18 public and 12 private sector institutions.