Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada

StFX stands with Black colleagues, students, and community members

February 19th, 2021

To the campus community,

I have been contacted by members of the campus community in relation to a recent letter presented in the Xaverian Weekly on February 8, 2021. To be clear, the Xaverian Weekly is a student-led newspaper that is not edited or managed by the university. The opinions and ideas expressed in the publication are those of its editors and contributors.   

The published letter in question presented ideas that offended readers and made Black students feel unwelcome and unsafe in our community. For those who have been negatively affected by what they have read, please reach out and contact the dedicated university staff members listed below who are available to support you:

-  Warren Kelsey, Black Student Advisor (Bloomfield Rm 433) – 902-867-5445

Megan Fogarty, Manager, Human Rights & Equity (Bloomfield Rm 306A) – 902-867-5306

Recognizing the negative impact that the letter has had on some of our community members, I want to take this opportunity to reaffirm the university’s position that has been previously communicated to campus -- the StFX community stands with our Black colleagues, students, and community members fighting for racial equality. Black Lives Matter is more than just a slogan. StFX aspires to provide an environment of inclusivity for all community members. We do this by applying policies to the fullest extent possible when confronted with issues such this. We provide supports, work actively to remove barriers and to educate the community on issues such as historical injustices, reconciliation and current inequities. We celebrate the richness that cultural diversity brings to our community and the contributions of our diverse community members.  Conversations and actions to support and promote these efforts needs to continue as there remains much work to be done.  It is work that will not be shied away from.

Current discussion over the letter published in the Xaverian Weekly highlights the fact that this University needs to continue to improve its efforts related to diversity and inclusiveness. That such upset has occurred at a time when we, as a community, are celebrating African Heritage Month is a source of great sadness and amplifies the imperative to be better.  We share a determined commitment to doing so.

Andy W. Hakin PhD

President and Vice-Chancellor

St. Francis Xavier University

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