British Columbia

Threats postpone Kamloops university art show

B.C.' s Thompson Rivers University has postponed its visual arts students' end of year show while it investigates allegations of threats amongst students, but it is not yet clear what sparked the incident.
Thompson Rivers University's visual arts department is investigating allegations of threats amongst students. (TRU)

B.C.' s Thompson Rivers University has postponed its visual arts students' end of year show while it investigates allegations of threats amongst students, but it is not yet clear what sparked the incident.

Spokesperson Christopher Seguin said the decision to postpone the end of year show was made with students' safety in mind.

"We wish to properly investigate these concerns prior to proceeding with our show," said Seguin.

Seguin was unable to say was sparked the incident, but said he expected it would be resolved by Friday. He said reports that the department was shut down were incorrect, but noted that classes are not normally in session this time of year.

He emphasised the threats were not related to a recent incident when a staff member tore down a Muslim student's photograph on exhibit of another Muslim student holding a bra. The university apologized for that incident and restored the photograph, saying the staff member took the unauthorized action on their own.

Threatening emails and phone calls

Student Cory Hope told CBC News his wife, who is also a student, and other students have received disturbing phone calls and threatening emails from another student at the university.

"I'm extremely concerned about how this person might react. Some of the students they have said they are planning on not attending their own grad show which was supposed to be this Friday but has been postponed. They're afraid for their safety."

Hope said he did not believe the incident was connected to the previous incident involving the photograph, but the tension amongst some fourth-year visual arts students has been escalating over the last few weeks, artwork has been vandalized and some students have had to seek counselling.

"Some of the students are openly terrified...My wife is pregnant right now, so my concern is very high right now."

 

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