Laurier Student Exposes University Censorship
It seems like Canadian universities are rapidly shifting from institutions of debate and innovation to diploma factories. They now serve no real purposes other than to coddle students and maintain an ideologically homogenous university environment.
We’ve seen this trend occur nation-wide, but perhaps never as blatantly as this case with Wilfred Laurier.
Recently Lindsay Shepherd, a graduate student at Wilfrid Laurier University, said she ran into massive problems with school authorities. This occurred after she aired a clip in two tutorials of a debate on gender-neutral pronouns featuring polarizing University of Toronto professor Jordan Peterson.
The excerpt from The Agenda shows Peterson, who has famously refused to use gender pronouns other than “he” or “she,” defending his position against a professor who argued it was necessary to use the pronouns that a person prefers to be called.
Lindsay put forward these videos in class arguing that as an institution of higher education students should be challenged with the ideas that they will surely see once they graduate.
What was the university response?
The university engaged in a form of educational censorship the likes that I have never seen before. They attacked her for not directly opposing Peterson’s views, refused to tell her who or how many people had been offended. They also are now forcing her to put forth her lesson plans to her supervisor before her tutorials. Faculty members will also be monitoring her lesson plans going forward. These actions are all done likely to monitor her plans and engage in intellectual censorship.
This move is a disservice to all students who pay to be challenged. It is a disservice to all free speech supporters, and most of all it is a grotesque abuse of power by her superiors.
Worst of all I fear that this is a pattern that is occurring far more than we hear. We know Lindsay’s story because she was smart enough to record the entire disastrous interaction. Had she not done this the university would have silenced her and continued its tradition of academic censorship.
Rising Support: Some University staff have now come to the support of Lindsay.
Other Cases: The Huffington Post has created a wonderful list of other cases like Lindsays on Canadian campuses.