Queen's Gazette | Queen's University

Search form

Learn how Queen's is planning for our safe return to campus.

Remembering the victims of Dec. 6

The Queen’s engineering community is hosting commemorative events and unveiling a new permanent memorial on Dec. 3.

Photograph of new permanent memorial installation in Beamish-Munro Hall
The new permanent memorial installation in Beamish-Munro Hall, designed by Haley Adams, features a white rose petal for each of the 14 victims of the Dec. 6 massacre.

Each year on Dec. 6, Canadians pause to reflect on the murder of 14 women that occurred at l’École Polytechnique in Montreal in 1989. It is day to remember the victims and think about the effects that gender-based violence has had – and continues to have – on our society.

As the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women approaches, the Queen’s community is preparing to recognize the day at two physically-distanced events hosted within the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science (FEAS) on Thursday, Dec. 3, as Dec. 6 falls on Sunday this year. The first event will be a panel discussion on women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), and the second will be a memorial event hosted by the Engineering Society of Queen’s.

“We need to remember the terrible events of December 6 at l’École Polytechnique. Most of the victims were women engineering students and they were targeted because they were women. It is important for the engineering community to reflect on that loss, and to strengthen our resolve to welcome more women into the profession. As a society we have much work to do in the areas of equity, diversity and inclusion, so this is a meaningful day for everyone at Queen’s. I hope that people from across the university join us in reflecting on this day’s significance,” says Dean Kevin Deluzio.

The panel discussion on women in STEM will feature female alumni from FEAS in conversation with current members of Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE), a student-run organization. While the conversation will not focus exclusively on the events of Dec. 6, the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women is prompting the discussion. The virtual panel begins at noon on Dec. 3.

Later in the day, the Engineering Society will hold a memorial event over Zoom to commemorate the victims. During the event, 14 current FEAS students will speak about the 14 women who were killed and express their views on why it is important to remember them. Dean Deluzio and Associate Professor Heidi Ploeg will provide opening remarks for the commemoration.

The event will also feature the unveiling of the new permanent memorial installation in the Integrated Learning Centre in Beamish-Munro Hall. In 2019, Dean Deluzio and the Engineering Society announced that they would be creating a permanent installation and sent out a call for designs to the Queen’s community.

The Memorial Design Committee ultimately selected the design submitted by Haley Adams, a civil engineering student, and Dean Deluzio announced the choice on the 30th anniversary of the massacre. A video introduction to the new installation will be shared with the community during the memorial event, which starts at 2 p.m. on Dec. 3

“The centerpiece of the memorial is the white rose, which is surrounded by a petal for each of the women who lost their lives that day. The petals drift along the wall, representing the idea that although we move forward, their memories are with us,” says Adams. “It is my hope that this memorial can act as a gentle reminder to this generation of engineers that diversity in the profession is our strength. Only when the engineering community reflects the society we serve can we best design for the needs of our communities.”

Learn more about the events and find out how to attend on the FEAS website.