On Friday, Canadians began receiving word of a horrific bus tragedy along a Saskatchewan highway that claimed the lives of 15 Canadians, most of whom were members of Saskatchewan junior-league (SJHL) hockey team, the Humboldt Broncos. Another 14 people remain seriously injured. On behalf of Athabasca University, I wish to convey my heartfelt condolences to the parents and family members, friends, and teammates of those who lost their lives so very unexpectedly that day.
Some of the Broncos players are Athabasca University students. We are actively reaching out to their families to offer our sincerest condolences and any supports we can. AU has deep ties to hockey and we will begin reaching out shortly to others in the SJHL and the WHL, as well as to our non-hockey students in Humboldt to provide access to counselling, extensions to courses, assignments, and exams, as well as anything else we can do to support learners who have been directly impacted. A vital reminder during this time of tremendous grief: AU offers counseling support; please not hesitate to reach out should you need to.
The flag outside our Athabasca campus will be lowered to half-mast for the next week as an emblem of respect for the memories of the 15 fine Canadians whose lives were cut short, and for their families, their loved ones and for the town of Humboldt. You are in our thoughts and forever in our hearts.
Neil Fassina PhD CPHR ICD.D
1 University Drive