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Message from the President re: International Conflict

As a university with connections to the wider international community, Trent University is not immune to the conflict that is currently unfolding in Iraq and the Middle East.

Anxiety levels have been heightened as a result of the beginning of military action last night. Given the international composition of our University community it is certain that our students, faculty and staff are being impacted by the events abroad.

To support our international students at Trent, and our exchange students studying abroad, the University has implemented its contingency contact plan. Through the Trent International Program (TIP) office, staff have provided a detailed message of support to students who may experience anxieties during this difficult time. We cannot ignore the fact that these students have particular needs and we must endeavor to be responsive and supportive. The TIP office will continue to be in contact with these students during the duration of the conflict and will share information with them to keep them as informed as possible.

Trent University is known for its diversity of viewpoints and for its commitment to the support the individual student. To that end, it is imperative that the safety and security of all students remain a priority.

During this time of heightened tensions it is natural that the complex issues related to the military action will generate debate. It is also important to recognize that individuals in the University community have relatives not only in the Middle East but also in the United States.

I encourage all students, faculty and staff to provide mutual assistance to each other, as we have done in the past. Helpful guidelines on how students can obtain assistance are included in the update sent to international students at Trent and exchange students studying abroad ( Various support services are primed to provide assistance if needed. Any student experiencing discrimination or harassment is strongly encouraged to share those concerns and to seek assistance from the University.

As we await a speedy end to this conflict, let us demonstrate the best virtues that define Trent University as a caring, responsible and supportive community.

Bonnie M. Patterson
President and Vice-Chancellor

Posted March 20, 2003

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