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Dear Members of the Crandall University Community,
While it has not been the policy or the tradition of Crandall University to publicly comment on either political or social matters domestically or internationally, the prevailing and persistent challenges brought about by racism are of a different scale, scope, and impact. Clearly, this is a time when every individual and institution is called to step forward, step up, face the challenge, and do what they can to help bring about an end to racial injustices.
Over the past few days, many of us have been stunned by the size and number of anti-racism demonstrations occurring across the United States, Canada, and other parts of the world. These protests erupted because of the tragic killing of George Perry Floyd Jr. by a police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota who clearly appears to have engaged in an excessive use of force. This was a violent and horrible act. It, along with previous deaths that have occurred under somewhat similar circumstances, in addition to other racist actions experienced regularly by many black people and other people of colour, serves as a reminder that we must all continue to resist racism that is still present in Canadian society and, sadly, right here in New Brunswick.
This week we have seen an uprising that is profound in its scale. These protests serve as a reminder to us all that the status quo in Canada needs to be challenged. Even Atlantic Canada – a place many of us who were raised here believe to be friendly and kind – still needs a deep cleansing to help bring about an end to racism. We all, locally-born and newcomers alike, need to take time to ponder our own experiences, backgrounds, and biases. We need to learn to understand and share the pain of those around us who have been impacted by racism.
To our students, faculty, staff, Board members, supporters, and friends who are visible minorities, we acknowledge that at Crandall University we still have important work to do along these lines.
We have been delighted this year to welcome students of colour not only from Canada but also more than 25 countries around the world. As we have grown to know each other, I think we’d all agree that we have been enriched by each other’s lives and stories. We want you to know that we are glad that you are here and are delighted to have you as part of our community. To our international students in particular, we are grieved that not only has your arrival in Canada been upset by the scourge of the COVID-19 pandemic, but now you’ve also had a visual reminder that all is not right in this country where you’ve chosen to study.
The Bible reminds us that we are created by God. Specifically, Genesis 1:27 says that “God created humans in his own image.” Because of this high view of humanity found in the Bible, we want Crandall to be a safe and caring place for you to study.
As always, remember that in spite of the current limits on physical distancing, your professors at Crandall, as well as our staff, are happy to have phone or video conversations with you to discuss any concerns you might have or challenges that you face. Additionally, I want to remind you as well that our 24-hour counselling program keep.meSAFE is also designed to help you should you wish to access it.
Lastly, I want you to know that I am always open to hearing student concerns surrounding issues of racism should you wish to contact me directly.
Bruce Fawcett, Ph.D.
President and Vice-Chancellor