Ontario Premier Doug Ford ordered universities to post a free speech policy by Jan. 1, reported the Toronto Sun. The two big points here are that the policies must ban obstruction or interference “with the freedom of others to express their views” and contain a provision stipulating that “speech that violates the law is not allowed.”
Ford is requiring that universities in Ontario submit an annual report each September and there’s this other little note saying that if univers–ities don’t meet government requirements on free speech or don’t follow the policies they put in place, “the ministry may respond with reductions to their operating grant funding, proportional to the severity of non-compliance.”
Because you have to remember, who funds these public institutions? The government. And where does the government get its money? That’s right, tax-paying citizens. And if those citizens are held to a certain standard, why should it be any different for the ivory towers they fund?
Anyways, as you might expect, some Canadian professors flocked to Twitter with their woke takes on the policy. Acadia University lecturer Jeffrey Sachs screen shotted a passage from a Toronto Sun op-ed, which claims that students report self-censoring and that high security fees dissuade controversial speakers from coming and then goes on to slam colleges for allowing “hate to take root on campus” via the anti-Israel Boycott, Divest, Sanction movement. Jeffrey, who probably thinks himself very clever, tweeted “We must defend free speech and inquiry on campus, and also by the way we must prevent students from supporting controversial policies.”
University of New Brunswick professor Matthew Sears chimed in with “The lack of self-awareness is staggering, if not surprising.”
Now, of course, students should be allowed criticize Israel. But unlike pro-Israel students, anti-Israel students are often found physically preventing opponents from holding an event by drowning them out or occupying the stage.
Prof Argues Dodgeball Is ‘Legalized Bullying’
The Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences is happening in Vancouver this week and lucky attendees got to hear from University of British Columbia professor Joy Butler, who told CTV News that school dodgeball “is tantamount to legalized bullying.”
Joy’s study argues that “the hidden curriculum of dodgeball reinforces the five faces of oppression defined by [another scholar] as marginalization, powerlessness, and helplessness of those perceived as weaker individuals through the exercise of violence and dominance by those who are considered more powerful.”
Hmmm…I don’t know if you can call dodgeball violent, I don’t think many kiddos play with baseballs or anything too damaging. As for the dominance part, yeah, it IS an exercise in dominance. And it’s important we teach our kids that many things in life — dodgeball, getting a job, buying a house, etc. — does involve competition, does involve hierarchy, things despised by cultural Marxists or blokes like Joy’s co-author and fellow professor David Burns, who probably didn’t do too well on the court, if I had to speculate.
It’s likely the case with a lot of social justice “scholarship” that you have “academics” who are projecting their personal struggles out onto society at large.
‘Critical Becky Studies’ Conference Comes To Toronto
You might be surprised to learn that “Becky,” an insult used to describe a basic white woman, has trickled into academia. Earlier this month, the Metro Toronto Convention Center held a symposium called “Critical Becky Studies: Critical Explorations of Gender, Race, and the Pedagogies of Whiteness,” reported Campus Reform.
What’s next? Critical cracker studies? Holistic honky analysis? Would this be acceptable for any other race? It also kind of poisons the well just a bit. Imagine purporting to give an objective presentation on Trump’s White House and the title is “Inside America’s Fascist Regime.”
Anyways, the description for “Critical Becky Studies” says “In the tradition of speculative fiction, parable, and counterstorytelling” — don’t think that’s a word — “within critical race theory, this session aims to problematize the characterization of ‘Becky,’ a term specific to white women who engage whiteness, often in gendered ways.”
If this Becky conference were about Starbucks or putting quotes from The Office in dating profiles, I’d be like OK, maybe there’s something to this. But it’s just more “intersectional” bollocks with a slightly more menacing angle. You see, progressives use their language very purposefully. If they’re talking about trans people, they make sure to get the pronouns right. Illegals? It’s undocumented immigrant or even just immigrant. Whatever’s the most respectful, normalizing term possible. But no such courtesy, in fact, just the opposite, for white women — who used to be the vanguard of feminism, by the way. Who will these rabid ideologues turn on next?
Canadian Student Journos NOT HAPPY With Doug Ford
One of the biggest problems we have here on American campuses is that students often have to chip in to support groups about which they couldn’t care less. What usually happens then is the university or student government gets a pot worth six or even seven figures and they distribute those funds to various student groups. But that money often goes overwhelmingly to funding left-wing organizations, probably partly due to most student activists being left-wing and partly due to a biased student government or college administration.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s new policy looked to fix that by only requiring students to pay fees for stuff pertaining to academics, health, counseling, recreation, and athletics, with individual colleges — so not the government — individual colleges getting to decide if students cover the other fees. But the Canadian University Press, a nonprofit owned by dozens of Canadian student newspapers, was less than thrilled, saying:
“Most of our member papers rely on student fees to fund their work. Without access to this funding, Ontario student publications will not be able to operate. The jobs they provide to students will be gone.”
The jobs they provide students…I don’t know about you, but at my school, the University of Virginia, we didn’t get paid to do student journalism. Working for the student paper was just like any other extracurricular activity.
Anyway, the Canadian University Press continues, saying student journalists’ “important role of holding governing bodies, whether student unions or university administrations, to account will go unfulfilled.” The group also calls Ford’s policy a direct assault on freedom of the press and free speech.
OK so first of all, how can students expect you to provide truthful coverage of student government or administrators when it’s the student government that decides how much funding you get and the administrators that sometimes have to give their stamp of approval? Seems like a conflict of interest to me. You can still publish stuff if you’re not getting paid, so this isn’t an infringement on your free speech, and freedom of the press also doesn’t entitle you to other students’ money, sorry.