Letter from the President & CEO: Conflicting Views and Campus Events

For Immediate Release

To Undergraduate Students of Wilfrid Laurier University,

Laurier LifeLink held a pro-life chalking display on the public sidewalks on University Avenue in Waterloo.

The Students’ Union engaged in proactive conversations with the club and campus partners to ensure the needs of all sides were met and everyone was heard. Subsequently, we put out advanced messaging to inform students of the event and to take alternative routes if they choose to avoid the displays. Links to support services for those seeking resources and support are also available. Students are also welcomed to engage in a counter-conversation in a respectful manner if they so choose.

While the Students’ Union may not agree with Laurier LifeLink’s stance, we support their right to express it.

That being said, we feel this does not give us the grounds to shut down a club or a person if they are engaging in a civil conversation. More so, it sets the precedent that we can shut down other clubs or members who want to have a conversation regarding conflicting views in a courteous manner, if we don’t agree with them.

We appreciate the work all parties put in this process and took proactive steps to ensure this event could take place and hear from different perspectives.

Our Clubs and Associations department supports over 300 clubs across two campuses. It is our role as an Organization to equip students with tools and resources needed to pursue their passions through events and programming they are interested in.

We recognize that we won’t always hold the same views as all of our members and/or clubs which we oversee. The Students’ Union will help facilitate conversations, events and programs for all our members, even if we personally disagree with the content being discussed. We will take proactive action to ensure those who’d like to engage in conversations are welcomed to participate and those who are not interested are not pressured to, while offering support.

The vision of the Students’ Union is to empower our members to achieve and our mission is to provide the best student experience to all members.

With the display taking event on a public sidewalk owned by the City, we wanted to inform the student body of the event taking place ahead of time. We’ve collaborated with campus partners to ensure any student can seek the support they need through this time.

As President and CEO, I was elected to represent all students. It is not my duty to impose my personal views on a subject matter upon anyone. My role is to listen wholeheartedly to needs of students regardless of where they come from and even if I may personally disagree with them. The Students’ Union and Office of the President is open to any and all students who have feedback and wish to engage in a conversation. I assure you I will listen to your concerns without judgement and strive to assist you in any way I can.

That is what I was elected to do.

Sincerely,

Kanwar Brar
President and CEO
Students’ Union

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