UTSU Statement RE: Chestnut Residence on 2 November 2020


On the night of November 2nd, the UTSU was made aware that a member of our University of Toronto community, living at Chestnut Residence, had passed away. For the related official statement from the Principal of New College, please visit newcollege.utoronto.ca/news/

On behalf of the UTSU, we would like to offer our deepest condolences to their family, friends, loved ones, and peers. As we mourn the loss of a member of our community, we encourage individuals to grieve and heal in their own ways, and connect with others if needed. 

The circumstances imposed by COVID-19 have affected the mental health of our peers in countless ways. Academic strain, social isolation, and adapting to a new environment are all factors that have an impact on our overall well-being. This tragedy has highlighted a cultural and institutional problem at the University of Toronto that has continued to go unaddressed.

The University of Toronto has an obligation to prioritize the mental health of our students, and to make a concerted effort towards instituting a compassionate, empathy-driven academic culture. The UTSU will continue to invest its resources towards addressing the heightened mental health crisis at the University of Toronto, and we will always push to ensure that students have unrestricted access to the assistance they need.

While many of us are currently dispersed far across the world, we must be there to support our peers during this difficult time. Our community is hurting, and we ask that our fellow students take the time to check in on one another. It’s okay to ask for help.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to us if you need support. We are here to listen.

Yours with a heavy heart, 

Muntaka Ahmed | President | president@utsu.ca
Dermot O’Halloran | VP Operations | vpoperations@utsu.ca
Tyler Riches | VP Public and University Affairs | vppublicanduniversityaffairs@utsu.ca
Alexandra McLean | VP Equity | vpequity@utsu.ca
Neeharika Hemrajani | VP Student Life | vpstudentlife@utsu.ca
Paul Kaita | VP Professional Faculties | vpprofessionalfaculties@utsu.ca