The Université de Sudbury’s response to the “Youth Manifesto”
To those who came before,
To those who will follow,
And to generations of youth who are shaping our future,
First, I would like to say a sincere thank you for your touching letter of support for the Université de Sudbury’s renewed social project. The youth you speak of and with whom you have shared a once in a generation opportunity for change are the embodiment of the dynamic story of l’Ontario français, a petite société that, despite its challenges, remains deeply engaged, committed and contributes to a brighter future for all.
I was once of this youth, deeply committed, like you. I continue to be inspired by those who carry forward the aspirations of those who preceded us. This youth is a living tradition that reminds us of our collective strength, our creativity, our openness to the world and our potential for the future.
The Université de Sudbury is a project centered on youth. A project I inherited during the Forum du Nord of the Fédération de la jeunesse franco-ontarienne (FESFO) in the early 2000s, and one I am passing on to my child as he discovers the world around him. Ours is a project that heralds a future that is fundamentally anchored in community, immersed in our cultural ingenuity, and which dares to propel itself beyond the status quo.
As you both point out in your letter, the Université de Sudbury has not only spoken to hundreds of students, it has heard from thousands of its pioneers of its rich 110-year history. Its project? To take action for its community, to be grounded and engaged, and embody our Francophonie’s collective aspirations. Its mission, which stems from this premise, is to provide an environment for students, staff and community that fosters the full development of the person in an inclusive, diversified and forward-looking Franco-Ontarian environment. It is our way of fostering universal values.
A New Deal for students
Your call to action is clear, and we are listening. That’s why I am proposing a New Deal for students. The Université de Sudbury will:
1) Dare to reform student experience here in Sudbury so that leadership, faculty and staff are committed first and foremost to our student-centred mission;
2) Implement mechanisms to ensure that students and the whole university community are heard and engaged in a continuous dialogue;
3) Contribute actively to the social, cultural, economic and intellectual development of Sudbury’s Francophonie, in particular, and the Near-North in general;
4) Collaborate with post-secondary partners here in Sudbury, in Canada and abroad for the benefit of students and our community;
5) Protect and promote its core mission and values, which form the pillars upon which we’re actualizing our social project as a French-language institution with a clear, distinct and differentiated mandate.
This New Deal, this covenant, will allow us to forge ahead for the future together, binding university and students, as well as institution and community.
A project for the future
You, Marie-Pierre and Philippe, who had the courage to speak up, and whose experience is shared by so many, embody the spirit of the Université de Sudbury. You who carry on the legacy of the founders are the builders of what we will pass onto the next generation of students, young and old, from here and abroad, all united by our promise for the future.
Dr. Serge Miville
President and Vice-Chancellor
Université de Sudbury