Sept. 22, 2021 The Division of Human Resources & Equity is now called the Division of People Strategy, Equity & Culture.

Statement on Lunar New Year Incident at Graduate House

Racism and discrimination cause harm in many areas of society, including in higher education. Anti-Asian racism is a pervasive issue that profoundly affects many members of our community. At the University of Toronto, we are proud that so many Asian students and students of Asian heritage call our campuses home.

Recently, an incident occurred at Graduate House, one of our residences, that caused deep distress to many. The University of Toronto sincerely apologizes to everyone affected by this occurrence.

We treat incidents of racism with great seriousness, and we have investigated this matter fully. We have concluded that the error was not intentional or malicious. We deeply regret that this mistake occurred during a time that was meant to be joyful and celebratory.

We reaffirm the University’s commitment to the principles of equity, diversity and inclusion. This event has shone further light on our obligation to do more in order to understand and appreciate the depth, diversity and traditions of our community of many cultures. It has also shown us that even as we strive to create a welcoming and inclusive environment, many among us are subject to both overt and subtle racism that must be recognized, acknowledged, challenged and addressed through actions. This is an essential part of our collective responsibility to foster inclusive environments across our three campuses.

In response to the matter at Graduate House, we are providing education sessions to staff in order to build capacity and deepen learning about the cultural context of the impact of this incident. Additionally, U of T’s Anti-Racism and Cultural Diversity Office will expand its offerings of educational programming and supports focused on the unique experiences of Asian communities, and to address anti-Asian racism in its many forms.

Once again, Graduate House and the University express our deepest regret to the U of T and wider community, including students, employees, alumni, stakeholders and partners. We have heard your anger and disappointment, and we are committed to strengthening our efforts to foster an environment of inclusivity and belonging.

Tri-campus Supports available:

For all students, staff and faculty:

For students:

For staff and faculty: