University of Alberta Graduate Students' Association Demands Investigation and Dialogue Following Campus Incident

The Graduate Students Association (GSA) at the University of Alberta is calling for immediate action and transparency in response to the distressing events that transpired on campus, involving the Edmonton Police Service's (EPS) intervention at a student encampment on May 11, 2024.

The general membership of GSA has identified significant discrepancies between the university's official statements and emerging evidence, including video documentation and firsthand accounts. These contradictions raise serious concerns about trust and the need for a clear, transparent reconciliation of these narratives.

Some of the Key Points of Concerns are:

  1. Video documented evidence forwarded to our executives contradicts the university's claims of no force used, highlighting the need for an immediate and transparent investigation.

  2. Knowing that the university’s administration is working towards safeguarding academic freedom, the actions documented threaten the core values of academic freedom and free expression, protected under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

  3. We appreciate the fact that the university has clarified their stand on no punitive measures against the students for voicing their concerns on the humanitarian crises situation in Raffah. However, a thorough investigation into the decisions made and the conflicting narratives that have emerged is required. This begins with an investigation into participating parties. The focus of the investigation should be on the threats made to students and the statement documented on video regarding the campus ban.

  4. Though the university’s concerns around campus safety are valid, we believe a broader and open line of communication could have resulted in avoiding what happened in the early hours of May 11.

As we move forward, the GSA advocates for constructive dialogue between university administration, EPS, and the campus community to address these issues collaboratively. It is crucial to foster an environment that upholds the foundational values of academic inquiry and freedom.

Representing over 8,000 graduate students, the GSA is dedicated to listening to its members' concerns that they have rightfully put forward and would like to reaffirm our commitment to advocating for the rights and well-being of its members, promoting their academic freedom while fostering a collaborative campus environment between graduate students and university’s stakeholders.