Statement Regarding Violent Incidents in Brampton
With mounting concern in the community and a rise in attention on social media concerning violent incidents occurring in plazas in Brampton, Sheridan is speaking out in response to the wrongful and harmful perception that international students are instigating these senseless acts.
Sheridan first spoke out on this issue in December, outlining a shared concern with the community regarding violent incidents. Since then, Sheridan has continued to report incidents occurring in the commercial plaza that is near its campus to Peel Police and has provided assistance with inquiries and investigations. Analysis shows that in the vast majority of these incidents, no Sheridan students were involved.
“It is important that we do not wrongfully jump to conclusions and associate these acts of violence with any students, whether they are international or domestic, post-secondary or otherwise” says Dr. Mary Preece, President and Vice Chancellor of Sheridan. “To do so is extremely damaging for students, for post-secondary institutions and for the perception of immigration in general.”
The erroneous assumption and allegation that international students are instigating these incidents has been perpetuated on social media and in accounts that have been reported, creating upset and concern across the community.
“These accusations are deeply concerning and run directly counter to our values as Canadians. International students contribute a great deal to Sheridan and to our community. They provide opportunities for all our students to develop inter-cultural competencies and learn in ways that prepare them to contribute to the global economy”, adds Preece.
Sheridan prides itself on being a committed and engaged community partner, and sees the benefit in government and community agencies working together to more seamlessly integrate Sheridan in the neighbourhood. For that reason, earlier this year, Sheridan created a “Town and Gown” forum with the City of Brampton and Peel Police to develop meaningful initiatives that will be beneficial to everyone in the community, such as working with the City to address bylaws on student housing.
Sheridan has an extensive program of orientation for domestic and international students. In the case of international students, the process begins before students leave their home country. Sheridan is continuously looking for ways to improve the integration of international students into the community.
Sheridan welcomes the commitment of all levels of government and community partners to provide support to international students to reinforce the Canadian values we all aspire to enact. We also look forward to working with stakeholders in our community and all levels of government to discuss how we can counter the negative and harmful misperception of immigration currently being perpetuated on social media.
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