Independent Review — York University

A message from the independent reviewer, The Honourable Thomas Cromwell C.C.

I am grateful for the opportunity to serve the York University community provided by my engagement as an independent reviewer of the University’s policies, procedures and practices in light of the events of November 20, 2019 at Vari Hall. The full terms of reference for my review may be found here.

The terms of reference specify that my process is not to be adversarial in nature, is not to involve formal public hearings and that I may conduct consultations and interviews as I see fit. I am to submit my written report as soon as possible, ideally no later than February 28, 2020 but in any event no later than March 30, 2020.

As part of my consultations, I will welcome written submissions from the University community and interested parties to assist me in carrying out my review.

I do not think it appropriate to prescribe a particular form or length for submissions. Most helpful to me will be submissions that address and are organized around the following matters specified in the terms of reference:

  1. The University’s role in relation to the planning for the event on November 20, 2019;
  2. The preparations and security arrangements for the event;
  3. The University’s policies, procedures and practices governing provision of University space for student events;
  4. The University’s policies governing freedom of speech on campus; and
  5. The University’s policies, procedures and practices relevant to the safety of all those who attend student events on campus.

Given the demands of the review and the limited time within which I must conduct it, I cannot undertake that I or counsel assisting me will be able to meet personally with everyone who might wish to do so. That said, persons or groups submitting written submissions should feel free to indicate if they would like to have a personal interview and, if so, to set out in their submissions how a personal interview is likely to provide additional assistance.

All submissions will be “on the record” and “for attribution” so that in my report, I will be free to refer to and quote from submissions and to identify the author. If persons or groups wish to make submissions to me on some other basis, they should contact me through the dedicated email below to ensure that there is clarity in advance of making submissions about the basis on which they will be made.

Submissions should be submitted as soon as possible and no later than February 28, 2020. They should be sent to

I will not be making statements or giving intereviews to the media during the course of my review. Media inquiries may be made to: 
Yanni Dagonas
Acting Chief Spokesperson
416 736 2100 ext. 33988

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