Thursday, October 15, 2009

Newspapers Weigh In On McGill Disgrace

Yes, the story actually went beyond the blogosphere. At least two major newspapers have commented on the sorry state of freedom of speech on university campuses. Here's a National Post article by Tim Mak:
Choose Life, McGill’s pro-life group, went ahead with the event, titled ‘Echoes of the Holocaust’, despite its tenuous interim club status and a notice of censure from McGill’s student council. Unfortunately, Ruba never had a chance to speak – he spent several hours being shouted and sung down by pro-choicers before the event was ultimately cancelled.

When the administration at McGill refused to block the event, McGill’s student union castigated them for a “calloused disregard of its need to protect its students”. Protect students from what? Dissenting opinions? It is as if the union is under the delusion that the administration had herded lines of students into the lecture hall for some sort of mass indoctrination event.

But these are university campuses nowadays, ruled by an arrogant minority on the left, who despite their paucity, believe they speak for everyone. "I don't think that this type of talk should be allowed to happen at McGill," said Eisenkraft Klein, one of the protestors arrested, in the McGill Tribune. "This is student space. This is not public property."
And we also have the Winnipeg Sun columnist Joseph Quesnel warning Manitobans not to be like McGill on free speech:
At McGill and other universities groups of self-appointed 'philosopher-kings' high on hubris decide what ideas students should be exposed to.

At this recent event, the presenter was never able to present his case, as the mob drowned him out with barnyard tunes and obnoxious questions.

Universities are not the property of noisy students; they are publicly-funded institutions. Witnesses say it took two hours for protesters to leave. Police officers took their time expelling them, which was disrespectful to those attending the event.

It is unfortunate, as in many universities, McGill must endure student unions bent on preventing free speech, as the Students Society of McGill University censured the event beforehand and threatened the group with loss of funding. Clearly, this climate encouraged the mob action that transpired, as did campus newspapers questioning its legitimacy.

Pro-life groups in Manitoba should bring representatives from the Centre for Bioethical Reform to their campuses. Bring the battle for free speech here.

If the same thing happens university alumni and the public should demand public universities take a stand for freedom of expression. Moreover, campus security and police should be readily available and empowered to remove mobs much earlier if this behaviour continues.
Can we hope that university students in Manitoba follow the advice and make a stand for freedom of speech and for fetal rights? Not very likely, considering the kind of folks that control those so called "student unions". But that doesn't mean we should stop trying.

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