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Gender studies class targeted in stabbing attack will continue this week: University of Waterloo


Six days after three people were stabbed during a University of Waterloo gender studies class, the university says the course will continue this week. 

In a statement released on Twitter Tuesday, University President Vivek Goel said while some may choose not to continue with the course “it is essential that it remain in place.”

“We cannot go on as if nothing has changed following that horrific hate-filled attack,” Goel said in part.

“A professor and two students were brutally stabbed, and an entire class was terrorized, simply because of the subject that was being taught.”

He goes on to say the course will go ahead this week and staff will support students as they return to class.

Luc Cousineau, a contract instructor at the University of Waterloo who teaches courses on gender, was in a different building on campus on the day of the attack.

“It’s scary, it’s a thing that makes you consider your own safety and more importantly the safety of my students,” Cousineau said.

He says it’s important for the university to continue the course and to stand behind gender studies.

“If we change what we’re doing, if the class goes away or we stop offering this kind of course or stop discussing these kinds of things on campus, we really give so much power to the violence, which we shouldn’t and can’t do.”

While it’s essential universities remain safe, Cousineau says it can be done without ramping up security.

“I think that there’s a real push sometimes, especially right after acts of violence to really jack up our armed or quasi-armed response to this in the name of security and I don’t think that is usually a very good answer,” Cousineau said.

“We have very overt examples of what happens with always elevating militarism in our neighbours to the south, in the United States, where increased armament, increased security seems to have only increased the risks to people on campus and otherwise.”

The university says it will consider appropriate security on campus, while trying to keep the classroom open to teach.

"I hope everyone in the class is feeling okay about being back on campus," one University of Waterloo student said. "It might not be an ideal situation being back so soon after something like that has happened, but I hope the class has a smooth transition back to campus."

The bail hearing for the man accused in the stabbing attack has been rescheduled to July 11. Top Stories

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