Community update

Statement from the President on the Heinous Act of Hate Speech on Campus

15 Dec 2023

Earlier this week, we heard from our Black Student Community that Mount Allison leadership failed to create an environment in which they felt safe from discrimination, harassment, and harm.

Following a heinous act of hate speech on our campus last Friday, we did not engage our Black community in a discussion on how best to foster an environment free from harm before taking action after this traumatic incident. On behalf of the University’s leadership, I offer my apology to the members of the Black community who were harmed by this approach.

As an academic institution, the tenet of continuous learning is one we hold paramount, and as leaders, we have an obligation to acknowledge when our actions, however well intentioned, fall short of this ideal. We are committed to continuing to learn in public.

On Tuesday, we met with members of the Black student community on campus to hear their concerns and ideas for a productive path forward.

We understand actions speak louder than words. In response to this meeting, the University is committed to:

  • Implementing anti-racism training for students, faculty, and staff focusing on anti-Black racism to build a culture of inclusivity and respect
  • Hiring a Black Initiatives employee to act as a resource to our Black community
  • Continuing to work collaboratively with the Black community on campus to improve University policies and procedures related to anti-racism.

Ensuring our university is safe for the Black community necessitates dealing with the systemic racism they experience. I apologize for the pain this incident has caused. The University’s leadership is determined to learn from it and work together to foster a community where every member feels safe, respected, and free from harm.


Dr. Robert MacKinnon
President and Vice-Chancellor (Interim)

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