TORONTO, July 8 /CNW/ - Students at York University were alarmed to learn
yesterday that an office window of Hillel - a York Jewish student association
- was smashed in a deliberate act of vandalism. Today, students are relieved
to receive reports that the police and university have ruled out anti-Semitic
motivations for the property damage.
"This incident followed a report last week that anti-Semitic material was
found in a bathroom of Scott Library, so naturally yesterday's news added to a
chilly climate here at York," said Krisna Saravanamuttu, President of the York
Federation of Students. "Learning today that this incident was not motivated
by hate is of great relief to York students."
A letter issued this afternoon by the York University administration
provided an update on the incident and concluded that: "As a result of the
preliminary investigation reports, we are satisfied that this incident was not
anti-Semitic in nature."
A statement from the City-Wide Chair of Hillel of Greater Toronto
reiterated this conclusion: "After a Police investigation, it was determined
that the incident at the Hillel lounge was not an act of anti-Semitism, nor
was it motivated by hate. We commend the quick response by York Security and
Toronto Police in dealing with this matter, and thank the YFS for their
"As students, we need to work together to challenge all forms of
discrimination and hatred to create inclusive places to learn," said Shelley
Melanson, Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario.
"Yesterday's quick response of solidarity and support from the York community
is almost as comforting as learning that the incident was isolated."
The York Federation of Students represents all 49,000 undergraduate
students at York University. The Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario
unites more than 300,000 college and university students at 38 students'
unions across the province, including all York undergraduate and graduate
For further information: Krisna Saravanamuttu, President, York
Federation of Students: (647) 448-0576 (cell); Shelley Melanson, Chairperson,
CFS-Ontario: (416) 925-3825 or (416) 882-9927 (cell)