Encampment FAQs

Last updated: May 8, 2024

Answers to frequently asked questions about the encampment at the University of Victoria.


What is the encampment about? What are people protesting/what are their demands?

On May 1, an encampment was set up in the Quad at UVic. The group is expressing their solidarity with Palestine and is similar to encampments that have been set up at other universities in Canada and the US. The group has provided five demands to the University.

Who is participating in the encampment?

Participants include UVic students as well as others including those who are not members of the UVic community.

How long will UVic let this go on/when will UVic order the campers to leave?

UVic supports peaceful demonstrations on our campus and the right to freedom of expression.

UVic expects all activities on campus to stay within the parameters of university policies and the law.

In our correspondence with encampment organizers, we have laid out our expectations about conduct, as well as highlighting they are in contravention of UVic’s Buildings and Grounds Usage Policy (BP3105) which outlines that tents or other temporary shelters may not be erected, nor may anyone occupy a tent or shelter overnight on university grounds. These activities are not permitted on the UVic campus.

We are committed to actively working towards a resolution that will see the encampment end.

Who is paying for or providing supplies and resources being used for or in response to the encampment?

The university isn’t providing any resources to the encampment. We will have costs associated with additional security for the campus to help ensure the safety of all community members—both inside and outside of the encampment.

What is UVic’s position on the Middle East conflict?

The institution has released statements that focus on the safety and support for all of our community members and clearly articulate UVic’s condemnation of all forms of hate, violence and intolerance and any form of intimidation or discrimination that impacts members of the UVic community.

What is the university doing to uphold my human rights? What is the role of the Equity and Human Rights Office?

The Office of Equity and Human Rights is responsible for administering the policies and processes that uphold the rights of the campus community.

Please contact EQHR for more information or to discuss any concerns. If you would like to schedule a consultation, contact .

What is UVic's policy on camping?

Camping, tents and other temporary shelters are not permitted on the University of Victoria campus as per our Building and Grounds Usage policy. As such, the university may remove unsanctioned tents or other temporary structures.

We do not have the necessary infrastructure or resources to support safe overnight camping on our properties. The university is committed to supporting the health and well-being of members of the UVic community. 

Safety & security

Why are police and security numbers rising on campus? So far, the encampment is peaceful. Is this necessary?

The safety of our university community remains our highest priority. Saanich Police are working closely with Campus Security to help keep the campus community – including those within the encampment – safe, which includes medical support and other health and safety concerns. Due to the limited number of Campus Security staff, additional support has been brought in from Paladin Security.

Many members of the UVic community have asked for an increased security presence and we are working hard to ensure that our approach to safety and security is balanced.

Some police activity on campus is unrelated to the encampment and coincidental in nature. In one instance, there was a distress call for someone outside of the encampment needing support. In another instance, a special event on campus for emergency personnel from around the region was hosted on campus. This had been scheduled months earlier.

While on campus, Emergency personnel act according to laws, rules, regulations and policies established within their organizations and within the law of jurisdiction.

What should I do if I don’t feel safe on campus or experience discrimination, harassment or racism?

Our top priority is the safety and security of our campus community, including students, staff, faculty, librarians, researchers and visitors. If you have any immediate concerns for your safety or security, you can contact Campus Security at 250-721-7599.

Anyone who has experienced antisemitism, Islamophobia or other forms of discrimination or harassment on campus is strongly encouraged to reach out to our Equity and Human Rights Office, who can provide support and resolution options. You contact to book a confidential consultation.

All members of the UVic community are encouraged to engage with the supports that are available.

Some students, staff and faculty have expressed concerns about the encampment. What is the university doing to support marginalized members of its community, while also supporting free expression and protest on campus?

We understand that events like these can impact members of our community in different ways. We encourage everyone to demonstrate kindness and compassion for one another. We work hard to provide supports for members of the UVic community, recognizing that creating an inclusive environment for all is an ongoing process.

The university supports peaceful demonstrations and the right to freedom of expression. Universities have always been a place for free speech — where students, staff and faculty can debate ideas in a respectful and lawful manner. We encourage thoughtful, reasoned academic discourse on current issues and maintain that these discussions must take place in an environment free from discrimination, harassment and hate speech of any kind. We also expect all activities on campus to stay within the parameters of university policies and the law and not disrupt university operations or interfere with students, staff and faculty.

What should I do if I spot graffiti on campus?

We are aware of recent graffiti and vandalism on our campus. Unfortunately, graffiti and vandalism are common occurrences on university campuses. Acts of graffiti and vandalism are not acceptable behaviours on our campus and are governed by our university policies and are against the law. As has always been the case, those caught vandalising university property may be subject to sanctions according to University policy or charged under the Criminal Code of Canada.

The university works as quickly as possible to remove graffiti when it occurs on our campus. If you spot graffiti, please reach out to Campus Security.

Building access

Why are you locking buildings earlier than usual when many of the encampment participants are members of the campus community?

Access to buildings according to regular university operating hours has resumed. As is normal practice, buildings are locked at night and only accessible via key or card access.

Front entrances only will be open during normal business hours for McPherson Library, Elliot Lab, Bob Wright, Petch and Cunningham buildings. If you have mobility or other accessibility concerns and require assistance to enter a building at an alternate access point, please contact Campus Security at 250-721-7599.

As a reminder to all key holders, the responsibilities outlined in the Key and Access Card Control Policy (BP3125) include the responsibility to maintain safe working and learning environments for all, including the protection of university assets. As a key holder, you have responsibilities that help to ensure our indoor spaces and assets remain secure and safe.


Where can I learn more about the university’s investments?

UVic’s investments help support the academic and research mission of our university. There are two pools of investments that are managed separately. Each are governed by responsible investment policies and details of investments are reported annually.

  • The UVic Foundation manages endowment funds that support scholarships, bursaries, and other university purposes.
  • Working capital investments support the growth of our university. The investment earnings help us undertake vital capital projects to improve sustainability, research and learning throughout UVic.

How does the university approach questions of responsible investing and divestment?

The university works with external managers to execute its investment policy and is legally bound to certain contractual terms with our existing investments. As a result, divestment itself can be quite complex and, in some cases, require long-term planning.

The university is reviewing the Responsible Investment Policy, and including student voices in these discussions is a priority. There have already been productive discussions with students related to the policy and divestment. We have offered to engage with students participating in the Palestine Solidarity Encampment and welcome student representatives to join the divestment conversation here at UVic.

We have invited the students from the Palestine Solidarity Encampment to join this discussion, which at this point they have refused.

Are the details in the divestment demands from the encampment accurate?

We are committed to open and constructive dialogue; however, the university cannot agree to demands or ultimatums from any group.

As part of our goal to “use working capital investments to address the physical and transitional risk and opportunities of climate change” in 2020, the university moved funds into the BlackRock Global Renewable Power Fund III.

This fund was chosen as it was one of the few available at that time that aligned with our impact investment objectives. Our investment is not in BlackRock - it is in a fund that BlackRock manages. This fund invests in solar and wind renewable power generation projects globally. This fund is a closed fund which means once invested, you are locked in until the fund winds up.

Some other items that are being mischaracterized are also worth highlighting.

  • We have been disclosing the investments of the university since 2018.
  • We report annually on our investments using our fiscal year end of March 31. The most recent information posted on the website is from March 31, 2023. The new information current to March 2024 will be posted soon.
  • We no longer own a Scotiabank bond.
  • We are not invested in Thyssenkrupp, they lease space through UVic Properties, an entity established by the university that manages the Vancouver Island Technology Park. The lease is for 5 years.

Student life

Is convocation going ahead this year?

UVic convocation ceremonies are scheduled to take place in early June. This is an important time for UVic students and our institution. Campus life continues at UVic and we expect convocation ceremonies to proceed as scheduled. We look forward to celebrating our graduands in June. The convocation website remains the one-stop shop for any information on your ceremony.


Is it safe to come to events on campus?

There is an encampment taking place on the UVic quad (near the Petch fountain). Campus is open and campus life continues. Our classrooms, labs and studios remain active spaces of learning, teaching, research and creative activity.

The safety of our community is our highest priority. Campus Security is continuing to work with Saanich and Oak Bay police to support a safe and inclusive campus environment.

I am hosting an event. Is it safe to continue as planned?

Rest assured that campus is open and campus life continues at UVic. 

Campus Security has a list of upcoming events on our campus, including all externally-hosted events.

They are actively monitoring safety on campus and will work to ensure your event can proceed. Unless you hear directly from Campus Security, you can assume your event will proceed as planned.

If you are a UVic employee or student and have questions about the safety of your event, we encourage you to connect with your unit head. You can also reach out to Campus Security for support with developing a safety plan.