October 28, 2016
Prince George, B.C. - UNBC President Daniel Weeks issued the following statement following news of the arrest of two UNBC graduate students, Katriona Auerbach and Nicole Schafenacker, who are in North Dakota at the Dakota Access oil pipeline protest:
“As President of the University of Northern British Columbia, the politics of resource extraction projects are out of my area of expertise, but concern for the safety and security of our students is always top of mind.
“I will always defend the rights of our students, including Katriona and Nicole, to take a position, to exercise their rights to free speech, to peacefully assemble, and to develop and foster informed opinions across a wide range of subject areas.
“The University is an incubator for thought leadership, a facilitator of respectful dialogue and conversation, and a place for scholarly achievement. We empower our community to conduct research, to be advocates for their beliefs, and to participate in public discourse.
“I am working with the students’ supervisor, Dr. Sarah de Leeuw, and will support her and continue to monitor the situation as we move forward. Ultimately, my goal is to have our students back on campus.”
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