University faculty and academic librarians condemn attack at University of Waterloo

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TORONTO, June 29, 2023 — University faculty and academic librarians in Ontario were deeply disturbed to learn of the recent knife attack in a classroom at the University of Waterloo by a former student. The victims were attacked during a philosophy class focused on gender issues. A professor and two students were taken to hospital with serious injuries, and OCUFA extends sympathy and best wishes for a healing recovery for all injured parties.

“OCUFA and its members condemn all forms of campus violence. We are especially concerned that such an attack would take place during a class on issues of gender and that the attacker is believed to have been motivated by hate regarding gender expression and gender identity,” said OCUFA President Sue Wurtele.

Women, transgender, and nonbinary people experience significantly high rates of violence, threats, and hate. Faculty and academic librarians working and teaching in areas of social justice also face threats and harm for their work. The attacker’s hateful motivations, focused specifically on gender expression and gender identity, are deeply troubling.

“All faculty and academic librarians must be able to teach, research, and work without extremist threats to their safety and livelihoods,” said Wurtele. “OCUFA strongly supports this right.”

OCUFA and its members send solidarity and support to Waterloo’s students, faculty, and staff, in the aftermath of this traumatic incident. Faculty and academic librarians are committed to fostering inclusive, diverse, and safe campuses, and ensuring that those who work, live, and study at Ontario’s universities can do so without fear.

Founded in 1964, OCUFA represents 17,000 professors and academic librarians in 30 faculty associations across Ontario. It is committed to enhancing the quality of higher education in Ontario and recognizing the outstanding contributions of its members towards creating a world-class university system. For more information, please visit the OCUFA website at

For more information, contact:
Manisha Aggarwal-Schifellite, Communications Lead, at

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