Today we, the Saint Mary’s University Students’ Association (SMUSA), are acknowledging and addressing recent international crises that have been both directly and indirectly affecting students at Saint Mary’s University, particularly international students, over the past few weeks.
The first crisis refers to the current unrest in Bangladesh, where students have been engaging in peaceful demonstrations throughout the country in favour of improved vehicular safety, in the wake of an incident where a bus collided with 2 Bangladeshi students, ultimately resulting in their deaths. These peaceful protests have been continually faced with violence, which have resulted in an additional 2 student deaths and a number of other casualties. We recognize that this may have impacted the wellbeing of many of our Bangladeshi students, as their families, friends and peers back home may have been directly affected by these events.
The second and more recent crisis refers to the evolving political tensions between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Canada, which have resulted in the Saudi Arabian decision to withdraw scholarships for Saudi students studying at Canadian post-secondary institutions. There are over 7,500 Saudi students currently on long term study visas here in Canada; approximately 100 of which are currently studying at Saint Mary’s. We are disheartened to learn that these students have been ordered to cease their studies, and to leave the country by the end of this month.
We recognize that each of these respective situations may place many of our students in difficult positions. Therefore, we remain committed to supporting all our students throughout what may be a particularly difficult time. We encourage anyone who feels affected by these situations to make use of available on-campus supports, such as the following:
|The Service Centre
McNally Main 108902-420-5582
|Faculty Advising Centres and Academic Advisors|
|The International Student Centre
3rd Floor Student Centre
|The Counselling Centre
4th Floor Student Centre
|Saint Mary’s University Students’ Association (SMUSA)
5th Floor Student Centre
If you have any questions, comments and/or concerns regarding any of these situations and their impact on our students, please feel free to contact us.