at the University of Lethbridge said on monday A speech by a former Professor of Mount Royal will not be given space on campus.
Frances Widowson wrote in an email to CBC News on Monday.
The appearance will be on the same day as the Canadian Association of College Teachers (CAUT). made a statement It criticized the U of L’s decision and wrote that it raised “serious concerns about the University of Lethbridge’s commitment to freedom of expression and academic freedom”.
“Dr. Widowson certainly raises disturbing and provocative issues. Many people are deeply opposed to her, but universities should welcome controversial speakers and lively debates and discourse We should not try to restrict speakers or speakers,” wrote CAUT Executive Director David Robinson.
Widowson’s planned talk at L University titled “How Awakening Threatens Academic Freedom” has been canceled after days of backlash from faculty and students.two petition had More than 2,500 signatures were collected calling for the speech to be cancelled. The university had previously said it disagreed with Widowson’s view, but said it planned to proceed with the lecture, citing its policy on free expression.
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Opinions are divided over remarks
Kristine Alexander, co-director of the U of L’s Institute for Child and Youth Studies, said she was disappointed to learn that one of her colleagues, Paul Viminitz, who works in the university’s philosophy department, invited Widdowson. .
“I quickly learned from students who, like me, believed in evidence-based investigations that we needed to know the truth before a settlement could be reached in Canada,” said Alexander. I got
“Fundamentally, I’d say her claims are well-founded. Perhaps it’s being liberal to call it a misreading of the evidence, a selective misreading of the evidence.”
With that in mind, Alexander invited Dr. Sean Carlton, professor of history and indigenous studies at the University of Manitoba, to provide an alternative lecture to Widowson’s event.
Meanwhile, Zachary Patterson, associate professor at the Concordia Institute of Information Systems Engineering at Concordia University in Montreal, has spent time studying political divisions on college campuses.
“Speech is controlled to some extent. For example, there are hate laws and it is not allowed to encourage people to participate in violence,” he said. “Speech is already legally binding, and that applies to everyone on and off campus.
“The question is whether speech should be more restrained on college campuses. And I think the answer to that is definitely not. open to and responsible for ensuring that it is possible…”
students respond to speech
Alex Harris, a political science student at the University of L, said Widdowson had the right to speak at the school but was not “exempt from the consequences.”
“We’ve come together as a community to show that we don’t acknowledge her rhetoric or past statements,” Harris said. That’s what she’s really doing by coming here.”
Another student studying history, Elijah Crawford, was disappointed to hear that Widowson was due to show up on campus.
“I think our attempts to at least support indigenous students in schools have been very well received by students so far,” he said. “I think the university has done the best it can during this very tragic time in our history.”