Statement from Dawson about Oct. 31 incident on campus


(MONTREAL – Nov.1, 2022) – Dawson College is currently investigating an incident that occurred on campus on Halloween, Oct. 31.

The facts of the incident are as follows:

  • A Dawson student wore a military uniform and a gas mask to school on Oct. 31
  • The student marched and made gestures associated with totalitarian regimes in the Lower Atrium of the College, provoking a strong reaction from many who were present
  • A video was posted on Instagram by someone who witnessed the costume and military gestures and was shared widely
  • Many who witnessed the event experienced the gestures as an antisemitic act
  • Moments after what is seen on video, a staff member intervened and questioned the student’s actions
  • The student claimed they were representing a different era of history from what had been interpreted and were dressed in a post-World War II East German military uniform
  • The student removed the gas mask as requested by the staff member

The College deeply regrets that this incident occurred and that a staff or bystander intervention did not occur fast enough to prevent it. Dawson recognizes the actions of this student threatened many students’ fundamental sense of safety. Dawson College also strongly condemns antisemitism and discrimination in any form.

Here is what is happening now:

  • Dawson began an investigation into this incident on Oct. 31
  • The investigation is continuing and the student will be interviewed as part of the process
  • Following the investigation, appropriate actions will be taken

Next steps:

  • Leaders and members of the Jewish community, including students and staff, have been in touch with College leadership and we will be working with them to advance a respectful environment and repair the harm done by this incident
  • Dawson has a deep and longstanding dedication to nonviolence and the College remains committed to fostering education for justice and peace, and creating a safe, shared and respectful space for all students and employees
  • The College will issue guidelines for Halloween costumes next fall

More information:

Dawson’s Policy to Stem Violence, Discrimination and Abuse of Power

Dawson’s Code of Conduct Policy

The Dawson College Peace Centre

Last Modified: November 1, 2022