President’s update on the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the Middle East

Updated October 30, 2023

I am reaching out to our UVic community today, to express my growing heartbreak for the suffering and loss of life in the Middle East crisis. I echo the messages from around the globe for an urgent cessation of violence against all civilians. I reiterate that we at UVic condemn all forms of hate, violence and intolerance and any form of intimidation or discrimination.

We are facing massive turbulence and challenge in our world and many of you may be feeling overwhelmed. The severity of a humanitarian crisis of this nature can weigh heavily on all of us and be especially traumatic for those with ties to the region and survivors of armed conflict from other parts of the world. The intense media attention can trigger an increase in incidents of racism and discrimination and contribute to potential conflict between people with differing worldviews.

The safety of all members of our community is our first priority and we are responding to reports that people are witnessing and experiencing acts of racism, antisemitism and Islamophobia — harassment and abuse have no place here. As members of the UVic community, it is imperative that each of us lead by example and demonstrate respect and compassion for one another during this challenging time, and always.

Please look out for one another and seek support if you need it.

Kevin Hall,
President and Vice-Chancellor

Supports for everyone

We have a range of supports and services available for students, staff and faculty.

October 13, 2023 

I write to express, on behalf of our university community, our horror at the terrorist attacks in Israel last week and the shocking violence unfolding in Gaza. We collectively offer our deepest condolences for the victims and innocent civilians caught up in this escalating cycle of violence.

There are members of our university community who have lost family and loved ones, and our hearts go out to them and all who are affected by these tragic events. Acts of violence, hate and terrorism have no place in our shared pursuit of knowledge, understanding and peace.

At UVic we stand firmly committed to fostering an inclusive and supportive environment in which everyone feels a sense of belonging: as connected and respected parts of the university community. We believe that inclusivity enriches our community and that it is through open dialogue and respectful engagement that we can work to build a more peaceful and harmonious world.

We acknowledge the pain and suffering experienced by both Israeli and Palestinian communities during these difficult times. We believe that education, compassion and empathy are the cornerstones of building bridges between different cultures and perspectives. We encourage all members of our community to reflect on this and seek out opportunities for understanding and reconciliation.

To our students, staff and faculty, your presence at UVic is valued and we are here to support you in any way we can. We recognize the long history of this conflict and how challenging this issue is for everyone. We are committed to creating an inclusive, safer campus space for you.

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. To this end, we want to remind all members of our community that there are a range of supports and services available.

We encourage all members of our community to work together to create a university community that promotes understanding and empathy.

In the face of these tragic events unfolding, let us come together united by our shared commitment to education and compassion, and our belief in a brighter and safe future for all. Please take care of one another.

Yours sincerely,
Kevin Hall, President and Vice-Chancellor

Supports for all

Discrimination & harassment
If you feel you have experienced personal harassment or discrimination, please contact the Equity and Human Rights office.

Campus safety & security
Contact Campus Security at 250-721-7599 if you have concerns for your physical safety or the safety of others at UVic.

In addition to in-the-moment security support, they offer a variety of safety programs, including SafeWalk and Campus Alone.

Multifaith Centre
The Multifaith Centre is a space on campus open and available to all students, staff and faculty. Our team includes Anglican, Bahà'í, Baptist, Buddhist, Catholic, Christian Science, Jewish, Lutheran, Muslim, Presbyterian, Unitarian and United representatives.

Students can connect one-on-one with a spiritual care provider. Please call us at 250-721-8338 or to book an appointment. 

Supports for students

SupportConnect - 24/7 mental health resource for students
SupportConnect is a confidential mental health support service available free of cost to UVic students. Through this resource, you can be connected with qualified counsellors, consultants, and life coaches anytime, anywhere.

Student wellness
Student wellness supports are available through the Student Wellness Centre.  

Academic concessions
Find information on seeking an academic concession or speak with your instructor.

Supports for faculty & staff

Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP)
UVic’s Employee and Family Assistance Program offers confidential counselling and referral services.


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Keywords: administrative, student life, president

People: Kevin Hall

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