SAR’s Academic Freedom Monitoring Project investigates and reports attacks on higher education with the aim of raising awareness, generating advocacy, and increasing protection for scholars, students, and academic communities. Learn more.

Date of Incident: June 28, 2023

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

Institution(s):University of Waterloo

Region & Country:Americas | Canada

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On June 28, 2023, a philosophy professor and two of her students were stabbed as they attempted to conduct a Gender Issues class at the University of Waterloo.  

Professor Katy Fulfer was reportedly teaching the class when a student who had recently graduated entered the classroom and asked the subject of the class. Upon hearing that it was a Gender Issues class, the student attacked Fulfer and others with two large knives. The three stabbing victims were hospitalized for serious but not life-threatening injuries. The attacker was identified and arrested on the scene—he has subsequently been charged with aggravated assault, assault with a weapon, possession of a weapon for dangerous purpose, and mischief. Local police have alleged that the attack was a planned and targeted hate crime.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about violence on campus targeting particular ideas, gender expressions, or student populations. In addition to the harm to the immediate victims, such acts chill academic freedom and harm democratic society generally.