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A message from the President regarding the encampment at the St. George Campus 

Dear U of T community, 

Today, I asked a team of administrative leaders to present the University’s offer for resolution to the students representing those in the encampment on King’s College Circle. This step follows many hours of in-person meetings and multiple email exchanges between the students and University administrators. From day one, our goal has been to achieve a peaceful and sustainable resolution to the unauthorized encampment.  

For the past three weeks, we have demonstrated tremendous patience while a shared-use space on our campus has been taken over by the encampment to the exclusion of others. The fundamental principle of inclusion – one that extends to physical spaces on our campuses – has been violated. Discrimination and harassment have been experienced on campus by members of our community since the encampment began, with incidents being reported to Toronto Police Service in some cases, and the University addressing concerns directly with student organizers in others.

Our measured approach has been guided by our shared values, which include the right to protest and freedom of expression within the limits of University policies and the law.

The University’s offer 

Our priority until now has been to focus on direct conversation with student representatives of the encampment, with the aim of reaching an agreement. Given the duration of the encampment and the growing strain on our community, we now believe it is appropriate to share a summary of our offer, which has been submitted to representatives of the encampment for consideration within the next 24 hours. The offer is outlined below: 

Presidential statement: 

  • I will issue a public statement reaffirming the University’s commitment to academic freedom, human rights, and international cooperation. 


  • Student representatives will be invited to the Business Board of Governing Council on June 19th to present their demands.   
  • Upon receipt of the necessary brief and petition, the University will engage in – and expedite, where possible – a review of the divestment request under the terms and process of the University’s Policy on Social and Political Issues with Respect to University Divestment
    • The University will provide resources to support the process, including preparation of the brief and petition.   
    • The President will establish an Advisory Committee to review the brief, in line with the Policy
      • It will be chaired by a senior University officer
      • It will be composed of faculty, staff, students and alumni with relevant expertise, whose selection minimizes conflicts of interest with respect to the issues relevant to the divestment request
    • Student representatives of the encampment group may suggest qualified individuals to be considered for membership on the Advisory Committee that will conduct the review, though the final decision regarding membership will rest with the Executive Committee of Governing Council, on the recommendation of the President.  
    • The student representatives will have the opportunity to make submissions to the Advisory Committee, which will also consult with experts and other members of the University community. 
    • The Advisory Committee will be instructed to work expeditiously, with the goal of issuing its report and recommendations by no later than the end of October.    
    • The President will consider the Advisory Committee’s report and make a decision on next steps in a timely manner.   

Disclosure of investments:  

  • The University will strike an expert working group to consider options for disclosure and increased transparency related to the University’s investments, with recommendations to the President.  
    • Student representatives of the encampment group may put forward names of qualified individuals for membership in the working group, with the President ultimately determining its membership.
    • Student representatives may make submissions to the working group, which will also consult with relevant stakeholders, experts, and other members of the University community. 
  • The working group will be instructed to make best efforts to deliver its recommendations by mid-July, and the President will respond to the recommendations within three weeks.   

Academic ties:  

  • The University will not terminate any partnerships with Israeli universities or attempt to curtail scholars’ academic freedom in any way. The University rejects calls for cutting ties with international partner institutions or engaging in academic boycotts because these actions would be at odds with our commitment to academic freedom, the unfettered global circulation of people and ideas, and advancing understanding by fostering collaboration and dialogue.   
  • The University’s approach is to build bridges and expand partnerships. We continue active discussions to increase opportunities for Palestinian scholars and faculty and to enrich Palestinian studies at the University. This work commenced well before the beginning of the encampment and will continue regardless of whether the students accept the terms of our offer. These initiatives mirror our existing collaborations with Israeli scholars on topics that include, among other subjects, the study of antisemitism and hate speech.  

The offer above is conditional on the encampment clearing and not resuming at any campus of the University. All participants in the encampment must also refrain from disrupting Convocation activities, which so many graduands and families are preparing to celebrate at this special time of year. 

The encampment must end. Our approach remains guided by our effort to balance our shared values, people’s foundational rights and freedoms, and a desire for a peaceful resolution. We hope that the representatives will accept our offer. Should an agreement not be reached, the University will take further action. 

I understand how concerning these last few weeks have been for members of our community, many of whom have expressed their views to us directly. I thank everyone for their patience under these difficult circumstances. I will update the community further on Monday.


Meric S. Gertler