‘Numb to it’: Canadian students are keeping quiet about hate and discrimination they experience on their university and college campuses

Queen’s University student Nati Pressmann poses for a photo near where she lives in Toronto. Lance McMillan / Toronto Star

Discriminatory and hateful incidents are remarkably common at Canadian colleges and universities. But rates of reporting by students are startlingly low because students lack confidence in their schools’ ability or willingness to respond forcefully, an Investigative Journalism Bureau/Toronto Star investigation has found.

“Because you’re seeing incident after incident, many students think reporting doesn’t do anything,” says Nati Pressmann, a Jewish student at Queen’s University who repeatedly encountered violent antisemitic vandalism. The vandalism was horrifying, but she has grown “numb to it.”

You can read other stories in our ongoing series about Canada’s growing hate problem on our Hate Crimes project page.