On Monday, July 29th , CIJA and Hillel Ontario hosted “Going Somewhere? A virtual panel with university leadership” featuring Dr. Rhonda Lenton, President of York University, Dr. Patrick Deane, Principal of Queen’s University, Dr. Mohamed Lachemi, President of Ryerson University, and Hillel Ontario CEO, Marc Newburgh.
More than 200 Jewish community members from across Ontario signed up to understand how campus life will be different in September due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Presidents discussed their plans to ensure high-quality academic instruction and the prudent re-opening of campus facilities. They also discussed programs they will be piloting – like first year orientation – as student life moves online.
Ryerson, York, and Queen’s re-opening plans are driven by local public health authorities. The geographic location and student demographics of each university will be important factors for their plans.
Our panelists also took a moment to address the Hillel student leaders on the call. They asked Hillel students to find ways to connect with their peers, especially those why may be struggling.
All three university leaders did not shy away from speaking about the importance of fostering a campus culture that is fully inclusive of Jewish students and other diverse student groups. This included York University’s new policies that aim to ensure students can fully participate in campus life without harassment, intimidation, or violence.
CIJA and Hillel Ontario continue to work together to build meaningful relationships with campus administrators across the province.
We are proud to have partnered with President Lenton, Principal Deane, and President Lachemi to host this timely and important event.