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Principal Deane issues statement on protests in Iran

​Principal condemns violent attacks including those against students protesting at Tehran’s Sharif University.

Dear Members of the Queen’s Community,

Like so many of you, I have watched with horror the events unfolding in Iran. The latest attacks by Iranian police on students protesting at Tehran’s Sharif University have brought this matter even closer to home. For several weeks, the world has watched as brave citizens have taken to the streets after the senseless death of a young woman at the hands of an oppressive regime. They have used their voices to challenge and criticize sexism, inequity, violence, and abuse.

The role of universities is to encourage critical thought and to create safe spaces for people to debate freely and without encumbrance. The spectacle of that space threatened, even terminated by brute force and intimidation demands a strong and unequivocal response from Queen’s and other universities worldwide. While our primary concern must be the Iranian people, and particularly our colleagues at Sharif University, what is at stake in Iran has serious ramifications for us all. We must condemn in the strongest terms any government that threatens to extinguish what is at the core of any university, free thought. And we must stand up for equity, justice, and an end to intolerance.

I hope you will join me and lend whatever support you can to the Iranian people. For our students and colleagues directly affected by this conflict, the university has supports in place to assist. Please use them.

Patrick Deane
Principal and Vice-Chancellor

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Resources for those affected by the deaths and protests are available:

  • The International Student Advisor at the Queen’s University International Centre (QUIC) can be contacted at isa@queensu.ca for any questions or concerns.
  • For wellbeing and counselling support, students are encouraged to connect with the Student Wellness Services team To book an appointment: 
    - For students in Ontario: Call 613-533-2506 from 8 am-4:30 pm Monday to Friday to schedule an appointment
    - For students outside Ontario and international locations: Empower Me is available 24/7.  
  • Other resources are available on the Student Wellness Services Get Help Now page.