The University of Toronto and other universities across Canada observed a moment of silence on Wednesday in honour of Ukrainian International Airlines Flight 752 victims – many of whom belonged to the country’s higher education community.
An estimated 46 students, faculty and researchers from at least 19 Canadian universities were aboard the flight, which was headed for Kyiv when it was shot down by the Iranian military minutes after takeoff.
The names of the members of the U of T community lost when Flight 752 was shot down were displayed on a screen in U of T’s Myhal Centre for Engineering Innovation & Entrepreneurship (photo by Nick Iwanyshyn)
Paul Davidson, president of Universities Canada, which co-ordinated the moment of silence at 1 p.m. (EST), said the gesture “provide[s] those within and outside the community a galvanizing national moment to recognize the unprecedented and far-reaching effects of this tragedy on universities.”
U of T is mourning the loss of eight members of its community, including six students:
- Mojtaba Abbasnezhad
- Mohammad Asadi Lari
- Zeynab Asadi Lari
- Mohammad Amin Beiruti
- Mohammad Amin Jebelli
- Mohammad Salehe
- Zahra Hasani
- Mohammad Mahdi Elyasi
Students at U of T Scarborough observed the 1 p.m. moment of silence in classrooms and elsewhere on campus (photo by Dylan Toombs)
In the days since the tragedy, U of T has lowered its flags to half-mast and held vigils across its three campuses where people have come together in remembrance and mourning.
Nearly 4,000 people, including Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Toronto Mayor John Tory, participated in a memorial event at U of T on Jan. 12 that was organized by Tirgan, the Iranian-Canadian cultural organization. Vigils at U of T Scarborough and the Multi-Faith Centre on the St. George campus took place last week.
Students at U of T’s Myhal Centre for Engineering Innovation & Entrepreneurship take a moment to remember the eight members of the U of T community lost aboard Flight 752 (photo by Nick Iwanyshyn)
U of T Mississauga, where Zeynab Asad Lari was pursuing a bachelor’s degree in science, will host a vigil tomorrow at 5 p.m. in the Maanjiwe nendamowinan building.
On Wednesday, the university announced a new endowed fund, the Iranian Student Memorial Scholarship Fund, in honour of those who died in the crash.
Students can speak to a trained crisis worker at any hour of the day.
- U of T My SSP for students: call 1-844-451-9700 or download the app at the Apple App Store or Google Play. Immediate counselling support is available in 35 languages and ongoing support in 146 languages.
Other 24-7 supports available to students include:
- Good 2 Talk Student Helpline 1-866-925-5454. Professional counselling, information and referrals for mental health, addictions and well-being.
- Gerstein Crisis Centre 416-929-5200
- Distress Centres of Greater Toronto 416-408-HELP (4357)
- The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health at 250 College Street
- Anishnawbe Health Toronto Mental Health Crisis Line 416-360-0486
The following services are available to students on all three campuses:
- St. George campus: Health and Wellness Centre (416-978-8030), located at Koffler Student Services
- U of T Scarborough: Health & Wellness Centre 416-287-7065
- U of T Mississauga: Health & Counselling Centre 905-828-5255
Faculty and staff have access to 24-7 support through:
- The Employee & Family Assistance Program (EFAP), offered through Homewood Health, online and by phone at 1-800-663-1142