Transcript: Freedom of Expression on Campus | Nov 30, 2017

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a gray suit, white shirt, and lilac tie.

A caption on screen reads "How free should free expression be? @spaikin, @theagenda."

Steve says THE INCIDENTS AT
WILFRID LAURIER UNIVERSITY HAVE
CERTAINLY PROVOKED A DEBATE
WITHIN ACADEMIA AND BEYOND, ON
FINDING THAT SWEET SPOT BETWEEN
FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION AND
RESPECTING THE DIVERSITY OF THE
STUDENT BODY.
IS IT POSSIBLE TO SATISFY BOTH
OF THOSE LEGITIMATE AIMS?
LET'S FIND OUT.
WE WELCOME, IN ALPHABETICAL
ORDER:
SHANNON DEA, PROFESSOR OF
PHILOSOPHY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF
WATERLOO...

Shannon is in her late thirties, with long blond hair dyed at the tips. She's wearing glasses and a black sweater.

Steve continues EMMETT MACFARLANE, PROFESSOR OF
POLITICAL SCIENCE AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF WATERLOO...

Emmett is in his thirties, with short brown hair and a stubble. He's wearing a gray suit and shirt.

Steve continues THOMAS MERRITT, CANADA RESEARCH
CHAIR IN GENOMICS AND
BIOINFORMATICS AT LAURENTIAN
UNIVERSITY IN SUDBURY...

Thomas is in his early forties, with short, curly gray hair and a trimmed beard. He's wearing a blue gingham shirt.

Steve continues JANICE STEIN, FOUNDING DIRECTOR
OF THE MUNK SCHOOL OF GLOBAL
AFFAIRS AT THE U OF T...

Janice is in her seventies, with short wavy gray hair. She's wearing a red blazer over a pink blouse, and droplet earrings.

Steve continues AND RINALDO WALCOTT, ASSOCIATE
PROFESSOR IN SOCIAL JUSTICE
EDUCATION AT OISE, THE ONTARIO
INSTITUTE FOR STUDIES IN EDUCATION.

Rinaldo is in his late thirties, with black hair in short dreadlocks and a trimmed beard. He's wearing transparent-framed glasses and a gray sweater.

Steve continues IT'S GOOD TO HAVE ALL OF YOU HERE.
THANK YOU FOR FLYING IN FROM
SUDBURY THIS MORNING.
GREAT TO HAVE EVERYBODY.
AND THANK YOU TOO FOR BRAVING
THE TRAFFIC ON THE 401.
AND THANK YOU FOR COMING FOUR
SUBWAY STOPS NORTH.
THAT'S GREAT, RINALDO.
I WANT TO START, JANICE, WITH
YOU, AND I'LL PUT THIS GENTLY,
YOU HAVE THE MOST TEACHING
EXPERIENCE, I SUSPECT, AROUND
THIS TABLE.

Janice says WAY TO PUT IT.

Steve says HOW HAVE YOU SEEN
THIS ISSUE OF RESPECTING THE
NEED FOR FREE EXPRESSION ON
CAMPUS WITH THE NEED TO CREATE
SAFE SPACES, TAKE INTO ACCOUNT
EVERYTHING ABOUT A STUDENT'S
ABILITY TO LEARN OVER YOUR TIME
IN TEACHING?

The caption changes to "Janice Stein. University of Toronto."
Then, it changes again to "The state of speech on campus."

Janice says THERE'S CERTAINLY A CHANGE,
AND IN SOME WAYS IT'S VERY GOOD
CHANGE; AND IN SOME WAYS, IT'S
NOT.

Steve says WHAT'S THE GOOD PART?

Janice says SO THE GOOD PART IS THAT
THERE'S AN EXPLICIT
RECOGNITION... AND HERE'S THE
GOOD PART... CERTAINLY IN THE
UNIVERSITY IN WHICH I WORK, THAT
FREEDOM OF SPEECH IS THE
DEFINING VALUE OF THE
UNIVERSITY.
IT'S WHAT WE'RE ABOUT AND IT'S
CORE.
BUT THAT WE AT THE SAME TIME
NEED TO UNDERSTAND DIVERSE
PERSPECTIVES AND RESPECT DIVERSE
PERSPECTIVES IN THAT DEBATE.

Steve says IS THAT THE BAD
PART?

Janice says THAT'S THE GOOD PART.

Steve says WE'RE STILL IN THE
GOOD PART HERE.

Janice says WE ARE.

Steve says WHAT'S THE BAD PART?

Janice says THE BAD PART IS THAT I
THINK... AND THIS DOESN'T HAVE
TO DO WITH DIVERSITY.
I THINK IT'S AN INDEPENDENT
FACTOR, ACTUALLY.
THE BAD PART IS THAT WE HAVE
GONE TOO FAR IN LIMITING THE
DEBATE, IF THE DEBATE IS
UPSETTING TO PEOPLE.
AND THAT'S WHERE SOME OF THE
EXCESSES IN ALL OF THIS HAVE
HAPPENED.
AND IF SOME FACULTY, AND THE
UNIVERSITY DOES NOT ASK FOR
THIS.
THIS IS PART OF A LARGER SOCIAL
MOVEMENT, IT'S PART OF NO
UNIVERSITY POLICY... I THINK
THAT'S VERY IMPORTANT FOR PEOPLE
TO UNDERSTAND... AT MOST
UNIVERSITIES MOST OF THE TIME
MOST OF THE DAY WE ARE ENGAGED
IN FREE AND OPEN DEBATE ABOUT
ISSUES.
THERE ARE PARTS AT TIMES WHERE A
FACULTY MEMBER WILL SAY, I'M
GOING TO WARN YOU, I'M TEACHING
A BOOK IN WHICH THERE IS VIOLENT
SEXUAL ASSAULT, AND IF THAT
UPSETS YOU, YOU CAN LEAVE THE
CLASSROOM.
THAT'S PROBABLY NOT A GOOD
THING.

Steve says TO LEAVE THE
CLASSROOM?

Janice says RIGHT.

Steve says AND TO GIVE THAT
WARNING?

Janice says EVEN TO GIVE THE WARNING
BECAUSE MOST FACULTY MEMBERS WHO
ARE IN TOUCH WITH THEIR STUDENTS
HAVE A FEEL FOR THE CLASS,
UNDERSTAND THE CONTEXT, AND WHAT
WE'RE REALLY TRYING TO DO IN
UNIVERSITY IS HAVE AN OPEN
DISCUSSION WHICH CREATES MORE
RESILIENT PEOPLE.
SO THEN WHEN THEY HAVE TO ENGAGE
WITH THESE ISSUES BEYOND THE
UNIVERSITY, WHEN THEY LEAVE,
FEEL CONFIDENT AND EQUIPPED TO
DO THAT.

Steve says LOTS TO UNPACK
THERE.
LET'S START DOING THAT.
SHANNON, LET ME GO TO YOU NEXT
AS WE LOOK FOR THIS SWEET SPOT
AS THE PENDULUM SWINGS BETWEEN
ERRING ON MORE FREE SPEECH OR
ERRING IN WHATEVER WORD WE USE
HERE, PROTECTING THE INDIVIDUAL
NEEDS OF STUDENTS MORE?
WHERE ARE YOU?

The caption changes to "Shannon Dea. University of Waterloo."

Shannon says I WANT TO
SHIFT THE DISCUSSION FROM
FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION TO
ACADEMIC FREEDOM.
I THINK THAT A LOT OF THE STRONG
RESPONSES WE'VE SEEN IN THE
MEDIA HAVE BEEN BECAUSE OF THE
CONFLATION OF THOSE TWO TERMS.
I THINK FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION AT
UNIVERSITY CAMPUSES IS
IMPORTANT.
I THINK IT'S ACADEMIC FREEDOM IN
PARTICULAR THAT IS TIED TO THE
MISSION OF THE UNIVERSITY, AND
THAT MISSION IS SCHOLARSHIP,
WHETHER IT TAKES THE FORM OF
RESEARCH, TEACHING, OR SERVICE.
AND SO ACADEMIC FREEDOM IS THE
FREEDOM TO ENGAGE IN RESEARCH,
TEACHING, AND SERVICE AS
SCHOLARS, RIGHT?
AND THE REASON THAT I WANT TO
SHIFT IT TO ACADEMIC FREEDOM IS
BECAUSE THAT MEANS THAT YOU'RE
FOCUSING IN ON PARTICULAR KINDS
OF RESEARCH, TEACHING, AND
LEARNING OUTCOMES.
THERE HAS BEEN FAR TOO LITTLE
DISCUSSION THROUGHOUT THIS
DEBATE ABOUT WHAT THE OUTCOMES
ARE.
I SUSPECT THAT PROFESSOR STEIN
AND I TEACH IN A DIFFERENT WAY.
I TEACH IN PHILOSOPHY AND GENDER
STUDIES AND I TAKE REAL PAINS AT
THE BEGINNING OF THE CLASS AND
THROUGHOUT THE TERM TO TRY TO
CULTIVATE A LEARNING ENVIRONMENT
IN WHICH SOME OF THE PEOPLE HAVE
BEEN HISTORICALLY LESS ABLE TO
PARTICIPATE IN THAT ENVIRONMENT
FEEL WELL-SUPPORTED, RIGHT?

Steve says LET ME UNDERSTAND
WHAT THAT MEANS.
DOES THAT MEAN, USING THE
EXAMPLE SHE JUST DID, THAT YOU
WILL GIVE, QUOTE, UNQUOTE, A
TRIGGER WARNING TO STUDENTS THAT
WE'RE ABOUT TO DEAL WITH
SOMETHING VERY HEAVY HERE.
IF YOU CAN'T HANDLE IT, YOU CAN
LEAVE.

Shannon says I DON'T USE THE WORD TRIGGER
WARNING.

Steve says WHAT'S THE RIGHT
LANGUAGE HERE?

Shannon says I'LL OCCASIONALLY GIVE A
CAUTION.
I'LL GIVE STUDENTS A CAUTION
OCCASIONALLY ABOUT THE CONTENT.

Steve says HAVE YOU EVER HAD
ANYBODY WALK OUT?

Shannon says NO, NO.
ONE OF THE REASONS WE GIVE
STUDENTS A CAUTION ABOUT THE
CONTENT THAT WE'LL BE FACING IS
SO THEY CAN PREPARE THEMSELVES,
SO THEY'RE BETTER ABLE TO
PARTICIPATE, RIGHT?
IF I SUDDENLY SHOCK SOMEBODY
WITH, FOR INSTANCE, TO USE
PROFESSOR STEIN'S EXAMPLE OF
VIOLENT SEXUAL IMAGERY IN THE
CONTENT, THEN THEY WILL HAVE A
CHANCE TO KIND OF STEADY
THEMSELVES AND BE READY TO
PROCESS IT, RIGHT?
SO GIVING THEM THE WARNING MAKES
IT EASIER FOR THEM TO STAY AND
PARTICIPATE AND MAKES IT EASIER
IN PARTICULAR FOR PEOPLE AT THE
INTERSECTION OF VARIOUS KINDS OF
HISTORIC OPPRESSIONS TO STAY AND
PARTICIPATE.
ALL OF THAT IS PART OF MY
ACADEMIC FREEDOM, RIGHT?

Steve says THOMAS, WHERE ARE
YOU COMING FROM ON THIS?

The caption changes to "Thomas Merritt. Laurentian University."

Thomas says FROM A VERY
DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES.
I TEACH GENOMICS.
ONE OF THE POINTS BROUGHT UP IS
HOW DO YOU ENGAGE PEOPLE IN THIS
CONVERSATION?
ONE OF THE THING WE DO AN
ATROCIOUS JOB AT SCIENCE,
TECHNOLOGY, AND MATH IS
DIVERSITY BROADLY.
THE PROBLEM WITH STEM.
I'M A STRAIGHT, ABLE-BODIED
WHITE GUY, AND THERE ARE LOTS OF
US IN SCIENCE.
SO HOW DO WE IMPROVE THAT
DIVERSITY?
PART OF THAT IS HOW DO YOU GET
PEOPLE TO SPEAK UP IN CLASS AND
HAVE A VOICE AND HAVE A
DISCUSSION?
AS A PROFESSOR, HOW DO I PROMOTE
THAT IN A GENETICS CLASS WHICH
IS NOT NECESSARILY TRADITIONALLY
AN AREA FOR DISCUSSION?
I THINK IT'S ONE OF THE THINGS
THAT WE'RE LEARNING HOW TO DO
OVER THE LAST 10 YEARS, 20
YEARS, HOW DO YOU START THESE
CONVERSATIONS, HOW DO YOU ENGAGE
PEOPLE?
AS AN INDIVIDUAL, HOW DO I AS
SOMEBODY WHO DOES NOT EMBODY
DIVERSIFY DO A BETTER JOB OF
BEING AN ALLY AND GROW THAT IN
THE CLASSROOM AND START OF THAT
IS THROUGH THESE CONVERSATIONS.

Steve says CAN I DO A FOLLOW-UP
THAT IS NOT DESIGNED TO
EMBARRASS YOU, BUT I'VE SAT
THROUGH YOUR CLASSES BEFORE SO I
KNOW HOW YOU TEACH.
WHILE YOU DON'T HE OBVIOUSLY IN
THE FIELD OF YOUR STUDY DEAL
WITH ISSUES THAT THESE TWO
WOULD, YOU KNOW, YOUR STUFF IS A
LITTLE MORE TECHNICAL, BUT YOU
DO DROP THE ODD F-BOMB AND YOU
ARE A DRAMATIC PERFORMER IN
CLASS.
HAVE ANY STUDENTS EXPRESSED ANY
DISCOMFORT TO YOU BECAUSE OF THAT?

Thomas says THEY HAVEN'T.
I AM CONSCIOUS OF THE FACT THAT
AT SOME POINT I WILL OFFEND
SOMEBODY.
I THINK AT THAT POINT I WILL
HAVE TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO REALLY
GRACIOUSLY AND APPROPRIATELY
APOLOGIZE.
THAT'S PART OF THE GAME.
IN THE SCIENCES I THINK THERE
ARE WAYS TO ENGAGE STUDENTS AND
GENOMICS IS AN ENGAGING FIELD
AND IT'S EASY TO GET EXCITED
ABOUT THE GENETICS OF YOU AND
THE GENETICS OF US.
BUT IF YOU PRESENT THAT AS AN
EXCITING FIELD, THAT'S DIFFERENT
THAN IF YOU'RE JUST LISTING
THINGS OUT OF A TEXT BOOK.

Janice says ARE YOU
OFFENDING SOMEBODY WITH THE
CONTENT OR THE MATERIAL?

Thomas says THAT'S AN
INTERESTING POINT.

Janice says THAT'S A
REALLY IMPORTANT DISTINCTION AND
THE RISK COMES IF YOU'RE WORRIED
ABOUT OFFENDING SOMEBODY WITH
THE CONTENT OF WHAT YOU'RE
TEACHING...

Steve says AS OPPOSED TO THE
STYLE OF TEACHING.

Janice says AS OPPOSED TO
THE STYLE.
YOU HAVE NO EXCUSE FOR OFFENDING
SOMEBODY IN STYLE.
THAT'S JUST RUDE, FRANKLY.
WE'RE GOING TO TAKE THEM OFF THE
TABLE.
THE CHALLENGING ISSUE IS YOU
OFFEND SOMEBODY BY THE CONTENT.

The caption changes to "Thomas Merritt, @tjsmerritt."

Thomas says I THINK
THAT I COULD POSSIBLY.
ONE OF THE THINGS I WAS THINKING
ABOUT AS WE WERE SORT OF
THINKING ABOUT THIS DISCUSSION,
I TEACH SCIENCE AND I TEACH FROM
MY PERSPECTIVE AS A SCIENTIST
AND I TEACH FROM MY HISTORY OF
WHAT I UNDERSTAND IN SCIENCE.
I TRY TO BE VERY UPFRONT WITH
THE STUDENTS THAT THIS IS A
GUESS, IT'S OUR BEST GUESS, THE
TEXT BOOK IS A GUESS.
WE'RE GOING TO BE FUNDAMENTALLY
WRONG.
WE ARE WRONG.
I TRY TO GIVE EXAMPLES OF HOW WE
HAVE BEEN REALLY WRONG IN
GENETICS OVER THE 150 YEARS OF
GENETICS.
TO OPEN UP THE DOOR FOR US BEING
WRONG.
I SAY TO THE STUDENTS, YOUR JOB
AS NEW GENETICISTS OR SCIENTISTS
IS TO GIVE EXAMPLES OF THINGS
I'M SAYING THAT'S WRONG.
THERE ARE THINGS I SAY THAT
SOMEBODY COULD TAKE OFFENCE TO.
IF YOU COME INTO MY CLASS WITH A
LITERAL RELIGIOUS BACKGROUND IN
ONE FIELD OR ANOTHER AND I SAY
TO YOU, THIS IS NOT A CREATION
STORY, THIS IS HOW WE THINK LIFE
ON THIS PLANET HAS EVOLVED, AT
SOME POINT SOMEBODY WILL BE
OFFENDED BY THAT.

Steve says HAS THAT EVER
HAPPENED IN YOUR CLASS?

Thomas says NOT IN CANADA BUT I WAS A
STUDENT IN SOUTH CAROLINA AND AS
A Ph.D. STUDENT, THERE WERE
MORE ISSUES IN THE SOUTHEAST
U.S. WITH WHAT WE WERE TEACHING
AND WHETHER IT WAS APPROPRIATE.

The caption changes to "Connect with us: @theagenda, TVO.org, Facebook, YouTube, Periscope, Instagram."

Steve says HANG ON, JANICE.
I HAVE TO GET THESE OTHER GUYS
IN YET.
RINALDO, COME ON IN HERE AND
TELL US WHAT YOUR VIEW IS ON HOW
THE PENDULUM, AS JANICE
SUGGESTS, HAS SWUNG TOO FAR TO
PROTECT STUDENTS FROM AS OPPOSED
TO LET FREE SPEECH BLOOM.

The caption changes to "Rinaldo Walcott. University of Toronto."

Rinaldo says A COUPLE
OF THINGS.
ONE IS I TAKE THE LONG VIEW ON
THIS.
WHAT WE'RE ACTUALLY SEEING TODAY
IN 2017 IS A LONG CULTURAL WAR
THAT HAS BEEN WAGED IN THE
UNIVERSITY.
WHEN WOMEN STUDIES AND BLACK
STUDIES BROKE INTO THE NORTH
AMERICAN UNIVERSITY, THERE'S
BEEN A CONSISTENT PUSH AGAINST
THEM FROM THE '60s UNTIL THE
PRESENT.
AND PART OF THIS DEBATE AROUND
FREE SPEECH, AROUND ACADEMIC
FREEDOM, ARE WAYS TO DIMINISH
THE FUNDAMENTAL IMPACT THAT
WOMEN'S STUDIES AND BLACK
STUDIES AND ETHNIC STUDIES HAVE
HAD ON THE UNIVERSITY ALL THE
WAY UP TO HAVING WOMEN AS
PRESIDENTS AND WOMEN AS VICE
PRESIDENTS AND OUR INSTITUTIONS.
I TEACH DIFFICULT MATERIAL ALL
THE TIME.
I DON'T HAVE TO GIVE TRIGGER
WARNINGS OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT.
IT'S NOT ABOUT WHAT'S IN OUR
BOOKS THAT'S AT STAKE, IT'S
ABOUT A REFRAMING OF THE
UNIVERSITY WHERE PEOPLE LIKE
MYSELF, INDIGENOUS PEOPLE, QUEER
PEOPLE, ARE MAKING A DEMAND ON
THE INSTITUTION THAT HAVE
HERETOFORE PREVIOUSLY LOCKED US
OUT AND WE'RE SAYING THAT OUR
VOICES MATTER TOO AND WE'RE
SAYING THAT THE WAYS IN WHICH
THE LANGUAGES OF ACADEMIC
FREEDOM AND FREE SPEECH HAVE
BEEN FRAMED WITHIN THE CONTEXT
OF THE UNIVERSITY HAS OFTEN
PROVIDED PATHWAYS, IN PARTICULAR
FOR STRAIGHT WHITE MEN, TO SAY
REALLY CRUEL, HARMFUL, HURTFUL
THINGS, AND WORDS DO HURT.
AND NOW WE'RE RESPONDING TO THAT
AND WE'RE SAYING, NO, THIS CAN'T
HAPPEN.
THIS CAN'T HAPPEN IN OUR WORK
PLACES WHERE WE COME TO STUDY
AND SO ON.
THIS IS A CULTURAL WAR THAT'S
BEING WAGED WITHIN A PARTICULAR
INSTITUTION, AND WE SHOULD BE
EXTREMELY CLEAR ABOUT THAT.
THIS IS A PUSHBACK IN THE WAYS
IN WHICH ACADEMIC SCHOLARSHIP
HAS ACTUALLY REVEALED ON THE
PINIONS OF THE UNIVERSITY AS A
KIND OF WHITE SUPREMACIST LOGIC.

The caption changes to "Emmett Macfarlane. University of Waterloo."

Emmett says I AGREE
WITH MOST OF WHAT HAS BEEN SAID.
I TEACH COURSES ON THE
INTERSECTION OF RIGHTS AND
POLICY.
WE TALK ABOUT ABORTION,
REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION, WE
TALK ABOUT WHAT GOT THIS T.A. AT
LAURIER IN HOT WATER.
I'VE NEVER HAD A STUDENT
COMPLAIN.
I'VE NEVER HAD TO ENCOURAGE A
STUDENT TO LEAVE THE CLASSROOM.
I THINK WE UNDERESTIMATE OUR
STUDENTS.

Steve says WHAT DIVERSE IS YOUR
CLASS?

Emmett says I OFTEN HAVE CLASSES WHERE
WHITE STUDENTS ARE THE MINORITY.
SO I HAVEN'T EXPERIENCED AN
ISSUE LIKE THAT.
I THINK A LARGE PART OF THE
STORY IS, HOW DO WE IN
UNIVERSITIES RESPOND WHEN
STUDENTS DO COMPLAIN ABOUT BEING
OFFENDED, AND I THINK THERE IS A
TENDENCY TO IGNORE ALMOST
EVERYTHING THAT'S BEEN SAID
ALREADY BY SOME UNIVERSITY
ADMINISTRATORS, AND FLY INTO
P.R. MODE, DAMAGE CONTROL.
A STUDENT IS OFFENDED.
WE HAVE TO ACT.
WE SEE THE TYPE OF OVERREACTION
WE SAW AT LAURIER HAPPEN.
IT'S NOT CONSTRUCTIVE.
IT DOESN'T ADDRESS...

The caption changes to "Rinaldo Walcott, @blacklikewho."

Rinaldo says WHEN ADMINISTRATORS JUMP INTO
P.R. MODE, TO QUELL THE VOICE
LARGELY OF THE RIGHT WING
OUTSIDE THE UNIVERSITY.
I SEE THIS EVERY DAY AT MY
UNIVERSITY, THE UNIVERSITY OF
TORONTO, WITH THE ONGOING JORDAN
PETERSON MATTER, RIGHT?
THE RESPONSE HAS NOT BEEN TO
SAY, WOMEN'S STUDIES, BLACK
STUDIES, AFRICAN STUDIES, THESE
KINDS OF STUDIES HAVE BEEN
TREMENDOUS CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE
UNIVERSITY.
INSTEAD THERE'S BEEN A PROFOUND
SILENCE AS THOUGH THE WORK THAT
FOLKS WHO WORK IN THOSE AREAS DO
DOES NOT MATTER TO INTELLECTUAL
FARE AT THE UNIVERSITY AND THAT
IS THEIR FUNDAMENTAL FLAW, WHERE
I'VE SEEN ADMINISTRATORS BECOME
MANAGERS IN FAVOUR OF THE
DONORS, IN FAVOUR OF A SCARED
RIGHT WING MOB.
YOU NEVER SEE THE SO-CALLED LEFT
ACTUALLY GIVING THAT KIND OF
RESPONSE FROM UNIVERSITY
ADMINISTRATORS.

Janice says I THINK IT'S
MUCH MORE SUBTLE AND MUCH MORE
COMPLEX.
ACTUALLY, THE ROLE OF UNIVERSITY
ADMINISTRATORS IS NOT TO GET
INTO THOSE DEBATES.
WHAT REALLY MATTERS IS THAT ALL
THE PROGRAMS YOU TALKED ABOUT,
WHICH ARE VERY IMPORTANT AND
FROM MY PERSPECTIVE A CORE PART
OF THE UNIVERSITY, THRIVE, AND
FACULTY MEMBERS AND STUDENTS
FEEL FREE TO COME INTO THE
CLASSROOM AND HAVE THESE
DEBATES.
THE ROLE OF UNIVERSITY
ADMINISTRATORS FUNDAMENTALLY
BEYOND EVERYTHING ELSE, AND MANY
OF THEM ARE SCHOLARS IN THEIR
OWN RIGHT, BUT THEIR ROLE IN
THEIR CURRENT JOBS IS TO PROTECT
THOSE RIGHTS.

Rinaldo says THEIR
SILENCE IS AN ABROGATION OF
THOSE RIGHTS.
BY THEIR VERY SILENCE, WHAT
THEY'RE SAYING IS THAT SOME
VOICES MATTER MORE THAN OTHERS
WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF THE
INSTITUTION.

Janice says I DON'T THINK
THAT'S TRUE.

Rinaldo says WE
FUNDAMENTALLY DISAGREE ON THAT.

Janice says LET'S LOOK AT
THE UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO, ONE
CONCRETE EXAMPLE, DID WHEN
JORDAN PETERSON'S WORK BECAME
VERY CONTROVERSIAL.
THEY DID WHAT A UNIVERSITY
SHOULD DO.
THEY ORGANIZED A DEBATE.

Rinaldo says THEY
ORGANIZED A DEBATE THAT WAS
FUNDAMENTALLY FLAWED AND JORDAN
PETERSON... IT WASN'T A QUESTION
OF JORDAN PETERSON'S WORK
BECAUSE HE DOESN'T WORK IN THE
AREAS THAT HE'S CLAIMING TO
CRITICIZE.
HE HAS NO EXPERTISE IN THAT.
IF I AS A BLACK FACULTY AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO ENGAGED IN
THE THINGS THAT JORDAN PETERSON
ENGAGED IN, I'M SURE I WOULD
HAVE BEEN DRUMMED OUT OF THE
UNIVERSITY.

Steve says ARE STUDENTS
ENTITLED NOT TO BE OFFENDED IN
YOUR CLASS?

Shannon says I'M SHOW GLAD YOU ASKED ME
ABOUT THAT.
EVERY TIME I HEAR THE WORD
"OFFENDED" I TWITCH A LITTLE
BIT.
IT WRONGLY IMPLIES THAT'S
SOMETHING SORT OF SUBJECTIVE AND
CAPRICIOUS GOING ON RATHER THAN
SWITCHING THE DISCUSSION INTO
HOW WE DESIGN SPACES SO THAT
LOTS OF FOLKS CAN PARTICIPATE.
AND IF I'VE BEEN THE RECIPIENT
OF A LIFETIME OF ABUSE AND MICRO
INEQUITIES BECAUSE OF MY GENDER
IDENTITY OR SOMETHING, THEN IT'S
HARDER FOR ME TO PARTICIPATE IN
A CLASSROOM THAT CONSTRUCTS THIS
NOTION OF TWO SIDES THAT ARE
EQUALLY...

Steve says I'M NOT ASKING
WHETHER YOUR STUDENTS ARE
ENTITLED TO BE FREE FROM ABUSE.
OF COURSE THEY ARE.
ARE THEY ENTITLED TO BE FREE
FROM OFFENCE?

Shannon says MY WORRY IS
WHEN WE TALK ABOUT OFFENCE
RATHER THAN TALKING ABOUT THE
HARMS THAT SOME STUDENTS CAN
SUFFER IN A CLEARLY DESIGNED
LEARNING ENVIRONMENT, WE MAKE IT
SEEM THAT THE STUDENTS ARE
CAPRICIOUS SNOWFLAKES RATHER
THAN FOCUS ON EDUCATORS
DESIGNING PROGRAMS THAT ARE
INCLUSIVE.

The caption changes to "Emmett Macfarlane, @EmmMacfarlane."

Emmett says I THINK THERE'S AN EXTENT TO
WHICH WE'RE PUTTING VALUES OF
ACADEMIC FREEDOM AND OTHER
VALUES OF PROTECTING STUDENTS
AND PROTECTING PARTICULAR
DISCIPLINES, I THINK THERE ARE
WAYS UNIVERSITIES COULD BE MORE
SUPPORTIVE OF BLACK STUDIES AND
WOMEN'S STUDIES PROGRAMS WITHOUT
IMPAIRING WHAT CAN BE DISCUSSED
IN THE CLASSROOM, AND I THINK
THAT'S PART OF THE... I DO WORRY
ABOUT THE EROSION OF THE VALUE
OF FREE EXPRESSION AND ACADEMIC
FREEDOM.
THE REASON I WROTE ABOUT IT IS
BECAUSE I ACTUALLY THINK, AS
MUCH AS THERE IS A CULTURE WAR
GOING ON AND THERE'S HYPOCRITES
ON BOTH SIDES, THE FAR RIGHT
SPEAKS A LOT ABOUT FREE SPEECH
UNTIL THEY'RE GETTING CRITICIZED
FOR THE CRAP THEY'RE SPEWING,
AND THEY'RE HYPOCRITES.
SO IF WE ALLOW, IF WE ALLOW
THOSE VOICES TO BE SILENCED BY
UNIVERSITY POLICY OR BY LAW, WE
ARE CREATING A CULTURE, A
SYSTEMIC CULTURE, WHERE THE
VALUE IS WEAKENED FOR EVERYONE.
AND THE EXAMPLE OF THAT... THE
EXAMPLE OF THAT IS MACON AT DAL.
THIS IS A STUDENT WHO SPOKE
OUT IN A FACEBOOK POST
EXPRESSING ANTICOLONIAL
SENTIMENT, MADE A COMMENT ABOUT
WHITE FRAGILITY, AND ONE STUDENT
TOOK OFFENCE AND THOUGHT SHE WAS
BEING DISCRIMINATORY AGAINST
WHITE PEOPLE.
DALHOUSIE UNIVERSITY IS
LAUNCHING AN INVESTIGATION INTO
HER COMMENTS.
THERE ARE A NUMBER OF VOICES
THAT SPRUNG UP IN HER DEFENCE.
BUT IT'S NOT PEOPLE WHO SPEAK
OUT IN DEFENCE OF FREE SPEECH
GENERALLY, AND NOTABLY, THE
ALT-RIGHT CHARACTERS... IT WAS
CRICKETS, RIGHT?
NO ONE ELSE WAS COMING TO HER
DEFENCE.
SO WE'RE PLAYING TWO SIDES.
BUT WHAT WE DO WHEN WE DO THAT
IS WE UNDERMINE THE CULTURE
GENERALLY.
I THINK PEOPLE WHO REALLY WANT
TO PUSH FOR PROGRESSIVE POLITICS
NEED TO BE VERY CAREFUL ABOUT
THIS.
BECAUSE IF THEY ALLOW THOSE
VALUES TO BE UNDERMINED FOR SOME
PEOPLE, IT'S EVENTUALLY GOING TO
BE DETERMINED BY WHO IS IN POWER
AND IT WILL AFFECT THEM TOO.

Steve says THOMAS, GO AHEAD.

Thomas says I WANT TO
COME BACK TO THE POINT BETWEEN
THE TWO PANELISTS HERE.
ONE OF THE ISSUES IS HOW DO WE
ENGAGE STUDENTS AND PROMOTE
DISCOURSE ACROSS THAT.
SO ONE OF THE ISSUES WE FACE IN
SCIENCE IS ROLE MODELS AND A
LACK OF ROLE MODELS.
TRY A POLL, SEE IF THIS WORKS.
I'M GUESSING YOU ALL KNOW WHAT
DNA IS.
HAVE YOU ALL HEARD OF WATSON AND
CRICK?
WHAT ABOUT ROSIN AND FRANKLIN.
WATSON AND CRICK ARE GIVEN
CREDIT FOR THE STRUCTURE OF DNA.
THEY WERE ABLE TO DETERMINE THAT
BASED ON FRANKLIN'S DATA WHICH
WAS ESSENTIALLY STOLEN FROM HER
BY HER WHITE SUPERVISOR.
WATSON IS PROBABLY THE HIGHEST
PROFILE SCIENTIST... LUCKILY
IT'S DECLINING BECAUSE HE'S A
RACIST HOMOPHOBE.
I START THE CLASS BY SAYING I
DON'T KNOW IF YOU'RE AWARE OF
THIS SITUATION BUT HERE IS THE
BACK STORY ON WATSON AND
UNFORTUNATELY I DON'T HAVE A
BETTER TEXT BOOK TO USE, BUT
THAT'S THE TEXT BOOK THAT WE'VE
GOT.
AND SO THEN I TELL THEM THE
FRANKLIN STORY WHEN WE GO
THROUGH THE STRUCTURE OF DNA.
THE SCIENTIST THAT WE VALUE, THE
SCIENTIST THAT WE PUT FORWARD
THAT STUDENTS ARE LOOKING AT I
THINK INFLUENCES STUDENTS
FEELING THEY HAVE A VOICE IN THE
CLASSROOM.
IF I SAY THIS STRUCTURE OF DNA
MOLECULE WAS POSSIBLE BECAUSE OF
FRANKLIN'S WORK, I THINK THAT
PUTS A DIFFERENT VOICE IN THE
CLASSROOM THAN IF YOU IGNORE
THAT.

Rinaldo says I THINK
WE'RE SIDE STEPPING THE ISSUE.
THE ISSUE IS REALLY ABOUT THE
ROLE THE UNIVERSITY HAS PLAYED
IN HELPING THE VARIOUS KINDS OF
OPPRESSIONS THAT MANY OF US
TEACH IN RESEARCH RIGHT NOW.
IF WE DON'T GRAPPLE WITH THAT,
WE CAN'T ACTUALLY BEGIN TO
GRAPPLE WITH THE CLAIMS THAT
PEOPLE HAVE BEEN CONSISTENTLY
OPPRESSED AND SHUT OUT NOW ENTER
INTO THE UNIVERSITY ARE MAKING
CLAIMS ON THAT INSTITUTION TO
BETTER RESPOND TO THEM.
THIS IS WHAT THIS IS
FUNDAMENTALLY ABOUT.
I SAY TO YOU, STEVE, THAT WHAT
HAPPENS IS, IT'S NOT FROM
WOMEN'S STUDIES AND BLACK
STUDIES THAT THESE KINDS OF
THINGS EMERGE FROM, IT'S
MUTUALLY FROM WHITE MALE
SCHOLARS MAKING CLAIMS ABOUT
WHICH THEY HAVE NO EXPERTISE IN,
AND THE ENTIRE INSTITUTION COMES
IN TO SUPPORT THEIR RIGHT TO
FREE SPEECH.
IT'S FUNDAMENTALLY A PROBLEM.

Janice says IF THERE ARE
SCHOLARS IN THE UNIVERSITY THAT
HAVE NO EXPERTISE, AS YOU CLAIM,
WHO ARE SPEAKING AND WRITING
ABOUT THINGS WHICH THEY ARE NOT
REALLY QUALIFIED TO SPEAK ABOUT,
IT'S PRECISELY WHEN THERE'S FREE
DEBATE AND ACADEMIC FREEDOM,
THAT THAT KIND OF SHODDY WORK IS
EXPOSED.
AND THAT'S WHERE I WANT TO AGREE
WITH WHAT IT IS.

Rinaldo says IT HAS NOT
CONSISTENTLY WORKED FOR
NON-WHITE PEOPLE.
WE SHOULD BE HONEST ABOUT THAT.

Janice says I THINK,
AGAIN, THERE'S A CONFUSION HERE.
I THINK HAVING... YOU CALL IT
MARKETPLACE AND I DON'T.
I CALL IT AN AGORA, WHICH IS A
DIFFERENT THING.
AN OPEN PUBLIC SQUARE, NOT A
MARKETPLACE, AN OPEN PUBLIC
SQUARE OF FREE DEBATE, NOT ONLY
FOR FACULTY MEMBERS AND ACADEMIC
FREEDOM, BUT FOR STUDENTS.
STUDENTS ALSO HAVE TO FEEL FREE
TO SAY THINGS THAT MAY BE
UNPOPULAR, MAY BE
UNCONVENTIONAL, MAY BE RISKY...

Steve says BUT NOT ILLEGAL.

Janice says NO, OF COURSE
NOT ILLEGAL, RIGHT?

Rinaldo says WE HAD
MARKETPLACE AND AGORA WHERE
PEOPLE DEBATED OTHER PEOPLE'S
HUMANITY AS WELL.
RIGHT NOW WHAT WE DEAL WITH IN
CLASSROOMS, YOU HAVE PEOPLE
DEBATING WHETHER
TRANS IDENTITIES ARE VIABLE
IDENTITIES.

Janice says THAT'S HOW
UNIVERSITIES EVOLVE AND THAT'S
HOW THEY IMPROVE.

Rinaldo says BUT SOME
THINGS ARE INTOLERABLE.
WHAT IS THE FEAR OF SAYING THAT
SOME FORMS OF SPEECH ARE
INTOLERABLE IN A WORLD WHERE WE
ALREADY HAVE LIMITED FREE
SPEECH.

[SPEAKING SIMULTANEOUSLY]

Rinaldo says WE'VE SEEN THE UNIVERSITY IN
MANY SKILLFUL KINDS OF WAYS
LIMIT SPEECH

Steve says LET ME JUMP IN WITH
THIS...

Janice says THEY
SHOULDN'T BE.

Rinaldo says BUT THEY
HAVE.

Steve says MICHAEL KOREN HAS
BEEN ON A JOURNEY IN THE LAST
YEARS OF HIS LIFE.
HE WROTE IN
THE TORONTO STAR
JUST THE OTHER DAY...

A quote appears on screen, under the title "Free speech is far from dead." The quote reads "I wonder how young, vulnerable trans students are feeling right now. I've been sent numerous emails from trans kids and their supporters about the current situation that are heartbreaking, but I've not seen much coverage of this."
Quoted from Michael Coren, Toronto Star. November 26, 2017.

Steve says SHANNON, I WANTED TO
ASK YOU ABOUT SOME OF THE MEDIA
COVERAGE OF THIS BECAUSE I THINK
IT HAS OVERWHELMINGLY BEEN, OH,
MY GOODNESS, LOOK HOW OUR
CAMPUSES HAVE BECOME PARAGONS OF
POLITICAL EXPRESSION AND WE'RE
ALL GOING TO HELL IN A HAND CART.

The caption changes to "Shannon Dea, @ShannonDea1."
Then, it changes again to "Free speech and social justice."

Shannon says I'VE BEEN
REALLY CONCERNED ABOUT THE
GENERAL DISCUSSION ABOUT
TRANS AND NON-BINARY STUDENTS
WITHIN THE MEDIA AND PUBLIC
DISCUSSION ABOUT ALL OF THIS.
THE REASON THAT THE PETERSON
VIDEO WAS CONTENTIOUS AT ALL WAS
BECAUSE OF THE WORRY THAT IT
PUTS ALREADY VULNERABLE STUDENTS
IN A MORE VULNERABLE POSITION,
RIGHT?
NOW WE'RE KIND OF DOUBLING DOWN
BY LEAVING THEM OUT OF THE
DISCUSSION AND TREATING THEM AS
KIND OF FUNGIBLE.
REALLY, IT'S ALL ABOUT SPEECH.
IT DOESN'T MATTER WHO THE
PERSONS ARE INVOLVED.

Steve says LET ME GO BACK TO
JANICE'S ORIGINAL POINT, WHICH
IS TO SAY, ARE YOU DENYING THOSE
STUDENTS AN OPPORTUNITY TO
DEVELOP RESILIENCY SKILLS BY, AS
SOME WOULD SAY, INFANTILIZING
THEM.

Shannon says TRANS STUDENT ARE MORE
RESILIENT.
THIS NOTION THEY NEED TO BE
INTRODUCED TO JORDAN PETERSON'S
VIEWS IN A CLASSROOM SO THEY
KNOW WHAT THE WORLD IS LIKE OUT
THERE IS SO RIDICULOUSLY
NAIVE...

Janice says THAT'S
ACTUALLY NOT THE ARGUMENT.

Shannon says THAT WAS WHAT THE T.A. WAS
SAYING.

Janice says THEY HAVE EXPERIENCE TOO MUCH
WITH THOSE KINDS OF ARGUMENTS
AND HAVE HEARD THEM.
SO THE ARGUMENT IS THAT JORDAN
PETERSON, WHATEVER YOU THINK OF
HIS EXPERTISE, HE IS A FACULTY
MEMBER WHO HAS A RIGHT TO
ACADEMIC FREEDOM AND THAT TRANS
STUDENTS ARE CAPABLE OF DEALING
WITH THAT ARGUMENT IN A
SOPHISTICATED WAY.
SO IT'S ACTUALLY... TO ME,
THAT'S THE CORE OF THE ARGUMENT,
AS YOU JUST SAID.
THEY'RE STRONGER THAN WE THINK,
AND THEREFORE IT IS POSSIBLE TO
HAVE A DEBATE AS LONG AS THEY'RE
IN THE ROOM, THEY HAVE THE
OPPORTUNITY TO SPEAK, AND
EVERYBODY RECOGNIZES THAT...

Steve says YOU COME BACK ON
THIS AND THEN I HAVE TO THROW TO
A CLIP.

Shannon says ONE OF THE THINGS THAT KEEPS
COMING UP IS THIS NOTION OF THE
IMPORTANCE OF DEBATE.
A DEBATE IS JUST ONE MEANS OF
LEARNING.
IT'S JUST ONE MEANS OF
COMMUNICATING IDEAS.
AND IT'S A PRETTY ANTAGONISTIC
APPROACH.
WHEN WE'RE DEALING RELATING TO
PEOPLE'S CURRENT AND LIVED
OPPRESSION, IT SEEMS TO ME THERE
ARE A LOT OF COMMUNICATIVE
MECHANISMS AVAILABLE TO DEFINE
THESE DEBATES THAT DON'T SET UP
A POLARIZATION AND TEND TO
OVERSIMPLY.

Rinaldo says IT'S
MORALLY AND ETHICALLY BANKRUPT
TO PUT THIS IN AS HARSH TERMS AS
I CAN TO DEBATE OTHER PEOPLE'S
HUMANITY.
IF WE CAN'T BEGIN THERE, THEN
THERE'S SOMETHING FUNDAMENTALLY
WRONG WITH THE UNIVERSITY AND
INSTITUTION.

Steve says LET ME JUMP IN HERE
BECAUSE THIS BECAME AN ISSUE ON
THE FLOOR OF THE HOUSE OF
COMMONS NOT TOO LONG AGO.
THE LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
ASKED THE PRIME MINISTER A
QUESTION ABOUT THIS.
HE PUNTED IT TO HIS SCIENCE
MINISTER, AND HERE'S HOW THE
EXCHANGE WENT.
ROLL IT.

A clip plays on screen with the caption "November 22, 2017. Honourable Andrew Scheer. Leader of the Opposition."
In the clip, Scheer rises in the House of Commons and speaks.

He says MR. SPEAKER, WILL THE PRIME
MINISTER JOIN ME IN CONDEMNING
THE EGREGIOUS CRACKDOWN ON FREE
SPEECH AT LAURIER UNIVERSITY?

Interjection: HEAR, HEAR.

[APPLAUSE]

The Speaker says THE HONOURABLE MINISTER OF SCIENCE?

The caption changes to "Honourable Kirsty Duncan. Minister of Science."

Duncan says MR. SPEAKER, OUR GOVERNMENT
IS COMMITTED TO CREATING OPEN
SPACES FOR CANADIANS TO DEBATE
AND EXPRESS THEIR VIEWS.
IN A FREE SOCIETY, WE MAY
DISAGREE WITH THE PERSON'S
VIEWS, BUT WE MUST DEFEND THEIR
RIGHT TO HOLD THEM, UNLESS THOSE
VIEWS PROMOTE HATE.
INTOLERANCE AND HATE HAVE NO
PLACE IN CANADIAN SOCIETY OR IN
OUR POSTSECONDARY INSTITUTIONS.
WE WILL CONTINUE TO FIGHT TO
ENSURE THAT CHARTER RIGHTS OF
CANADIANS ARE UPHELD AND THAT
EVERY CANADIAN CAN FEEL SAFE AND
SECURE IN THEIR COMMUNITY.

The clip ends.

Steve says EMMETT, I'D LIKE TO
KNOW IF YOU KNOW WHAT THE
MINISTER'S POSITION IS ON THIS ISSUE?

The caption changes to "The politicians weigh in."

Emmett says NO IDEA.
I AM CONCERNED TO SEE IT BECOME
A BIT OF A PARTISAN CUDGEOLE.
THERE WERE LIBERAL MEMBERS
RAISING A TOPIC OR DEBATE ABOUT
ABORTION AT A CATHOLIC
UNIVERSITY THAT HAD BEEN SHUT
DOWN, AND IT'S THE SAME
HYPOCRISY I WAS SPEAKING ABOUT
EARLIER, RIGHT?
WE VALUE SPEECH BASED ON THE
CONTENT, NOT BASED UPON THE
PRINCIPLE.
I THINK THAT'S A BIG PROBLEM.
I DO WANT TO GO BACK A LITTLE
BIT TO SOMETHING RINALDO WAS
SAYING EARLIER.
I DON'T THINK IT IS AT ALL
USEFUL, APPROPRIATE... I WOULD
AGREE, IT WOULD BE MORALLY
BANKRUPT TO CONDUCT A DEBATE IN
CLASS ABOUT A PARTICULAR GROUP'S
HUMANITY.
BUT I DON'T THINK THAT'S
NECESSARILY THE SUM TOTAL OF
EVERYTHING THAT EMANATES OUT OF
JORDAN PETERSON AND THE ISSUES
HE RAISES NO MATTER HOW ODIOUS
WE MAY VIEW THEM.
LIKE ANY RIGHTS DEBATE, WE ARE
TALKING ABOUT, WHAT SHOULD THE
ROLE OF THE LAW OR PUBLIC POLICY
BE IN DEFINING LIMITS ABOUT WHAT
PEOPLE CAN SAY ABOUT OTHER
PEOPLE.
WHAT ROLE SHOULD THE STATE HAVE
IN DISCRIMINATION?
WHERE DO WE DRAW THE LINE?
THESE ARE DEBATES THAT APPLY IN
PRETTY MUCH ANY RIGHTS CATEGORY
AND THEY APPLY TO DISCRIMINATION
AGAINST PEOPLE ON THE BASIS OF
THEIR SEXUAL IDENTITY OR THEIR
GENDER IDENTITY.

The caption changes to "tvo.org/theagenda."

Steve says THIS HOWEVER,
THOMAS, SEEMED TO BE ONE OF THE
CONFUSING ASPECTS OF THE
SITUATION AT LAURIER INSOFAR AS
ONE OF THE PROFESSORS WHO WAS
BERATING THE TEACHING ASSISTANT
FOR THE WAY SHE CONDUCTED THE
CLASS DIDN'T SEEM TO UNDERSTAND
WHAT THE CANADIAN HUMAN RIGHTS
CODE PREVENTED OR DIDN'T
PREVENT, COVERED OR DIDN'T
COVER.
DO YOU WONDER WHETHER FACULTY
NEED A BIT OF A REFRESHER ON
WHAT'S LEGAL OR ILLEGAL IN THEIR
CLASSROOMS?

The caption changes to "What the law says."

Thomas says OH, MOST CERTAINLY.
I DON'T KNOW HOW TO TELL YOU HOW
WE COULD DO THAT IN AN EFFECTIVE
WAY.
IF I COULD BACK UP.
A POINT THAT I THINK YOU MADE
WELL IS THIS POINT ABOUT HOW WE
VALUE IDEAS.
IF I CAN GO BACK TO A POINT,
RINALDO, THAT YOU MADE.
FUNDAMENTALLY WE VALUE IDEAS
UNFORTUNATELY BY WHO MAKES THEM
MORE OFTEN THAN WHAT THE CONTENT
OF THE IDEA IS.
AND SO THE CHALLENGE IS, HOW WE
GET A GREATER DIVERSITY OF
PEOPLE ACTUALLY HAVING THEIR
VOICES HEARD.
AND THAT'S THE REAL QUESTION.
THE SPECIFICS OF THIS INCIDENT
OR THIS SERIES OF INCIDENTS
ASIDE, HOW DO WE GET MORE PEOPLE
BEING HEARD AND SO WE HAVE THAT
DIVERSITY THERE?
I DON'T KNOW THE ANSWER TO THAT,
BUT I THINK THAT'S THE
FUNDAMENTAL QUESTION.

Janice says JUST TO WEIGH
IN FOR A SECOND ON THE QUESTION
YOU ASKED EMMETT.
I DON'T KNOW ABOUT THE REST OF
YOU BUT I HAVE GRADUATE
STUDENTS, WHO I'M SURE YOU DO.
I'VE FOUND THAT THE ROLE THE
FACULTY PLAYED IN THAT MEETING
WITH THEIR OWN GRADUATE STUDENT
WAS REALLY SURPRISING.
WE HAVE AN OBLIGATION TO OUR
GRADUATE STUDENTS, ALL OF US, TO
EDUCATE, TO BE SUPPORTIVE, TO
HELP THEM LEARN.
AND THE ADVERSARIAL TONE IN THAT
MEETING, AND WE ONLY KNOW ABOUT
IT BECAUSE THERE WAS A
RECORDING.

Steve says SHE TAPED IT.

Janice says THERE ARE A WHOLE SET OF
ETHICAL ISSUES AROUND THAT.
BUT NEVERTHELESS STUNNING TO ME
AS A FACULTY MEMBER.
THERE WAS THIS GRADUATE STUDENT
AND THERE WAS THIS QUALITY OF
TONE TO A GRADUATE STUDENT WHICH
FRANKLY TALK ABOUT, YOU KNOW...
WAS NOT WHAT ANY OF US WOULD
DESCRIBE AS A SUPPORTIVE
LEARNING ENVIRONMENT.

Shannon says I THINK TWO
PURPOSES GOT CONFLATED IN ONE
MEETING IN A REALLY UNHELPFUL
WAY.
WE TALKED ABOUT THIS IN THE
GREEN ROOM.
RECENTLY ALL UNIVERSITIES HAD TO
HIRE SEXUAL VIOLENCE
COORDINATORS BECAUSE OF ONTARIO
LEGISLATION BILL 132 AND WE WERE
FORCED TO MOVE QUICKLY.
THIS WAS THE KIND OF FIRST REAL
TEST OF THAT QUICKLY WRITTEN
POLICY AND IN A QUICKLY BUILT
OFFICE AT LAURIER.
BUT ACCORDING TO THE LAURIER
POLICY, ONCE A COMPLAINT IS
MADE, THAT OFFICE HAS TO GET
INVOLVED.
BUT ANOTHER THING THAT WAS
HAPPENING IN THE SAME MEETING
WAS ACADEMIC SUPERVISORS OF THE
GRADUATE STUDENT OFFERING
FEEDBACK ON THE STUDENT'S
PEDAGOGY, I HAPPENED TO THINK
THE PEDAGOGY WAS BAD.
I THINK THAT GIVEN THE LEARNING
THAT COMES OUT OF THAT CLASS WAS
BAD PEDAGOGY.
IT MUDDIES THE WATERS TOO MUCH
TO BRING IN A PSEUDO
DISCIPLINARY DISCUSSION ABOUT
SEXUAL VIOLENCE POLICY WITH A
STAFF MEMBER AT THE SAME TIME AS
ACADEMIC SUPERVISORS DISCUSS
PEDAGOGY.

Rinaldo says THE
PROFESSOR FOUND HIMSELF IN A
VERY DIFFICULT SITUATION.
HE'S AN UNTENURED MAN OF COLOUR.
I KNOW THAT AS A YOUNG UNTENURED
BLACK PROFESSOR, AND I HAD WHITE
PAs, THEY OFTEN FELT THEY
COULD DO THE COURSE BETTER THAN
I COULD DO AND THEY OFTEN
OVERSTRETCHED THEIR OWN
RESPONSIBILITY AS TAs.
I AM SURE IN THE CONTEXT OF THIS
ONE PARTICULAR INCIDENT THAT
THERE'S MUCH MORE SURROUNDING
THAT PROFESSOR'S OWN EXPERIENCE
WITH THIS YOUNG WHITE WOMAN.
THE BEST SCHOLARLY WORK IN
WOMEN'S STUDIES AND ALL
DISCIPLINARIES, WE SEE THAT KIND
OF RESPONSE WHEN IT'S A YOUNG
WHITE WOMAN.
WE SEE THAT KIND OF RESPONSE
WHEN IT'S A WHITE WOMAN.
KHAN WAS NOT RAISED IN
PARLIAMENT.
IT'S NOT ABOUT HYPOCRISY, IT'S
ABOUT A LONG EMBEDDED HISTORY OF
WHO MATTERS, WHO COUNTS.
THIS IS ABOUT A CULTURE WAR.
WE HAVE TO YIELD MORE SPACE TO
PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN NORMALLY
SHUT OUT.
AND AS WE COME INTO THESE
INSTITUTIONS AND WE ASK FOR
THEIR TRANSFORMATION, THINGS ARE
BEGINNING TO FRAY.
THE UNIVERSITY AS IT LOOKED IN
THE '60s, IT LOOKS DIFFERENT
NOW, AND 20 YEARS FROM NOW, IT'S
GOING TO LOOK DIFFERENT.

Steve says DIFFERENT AGAIN.

Rinaldo says WE SHOULD
PREPARE FOR IT.

Janice says I THINK THAT
THE STUDENT... THE KHAN CASE IS
AN EXAMPLE WHERE THE SAME
PRINCIPLES APPLY AS THEY DO TO
LINDSAY SHEPHERD.
YOU KNOW, YOU CAN DISAGREE WITH
HER.
YOU CAN SAY THAT HER LANGUAGE
WAS UNCIVIL AS SOME OF THE STUFF
THAT LINDSAY SHEPHERD SHOWED IN
CLASS, AND CIVILITY IS NOT A
LEGAL OBLIGATION BUT IT
CERTAINLY IS AN IMPORTANT WAY
THAT WE ENABLE PEOPLE TO GET
INTO A DEBATE.
BUT FOR ANYBODY NOT TO DEFEND
HER, WHO WOULD DEFEND SHEPHERD
IS, AS YOU SAY, ABSOLUTELY
HYPOCRITICAL.
TO ME THEY ARE...

Shannon says THEY HAVE
DIFFERENT PURPOSES, RIGHT?

Janice says I'M SAYING
THE SAME STANDARDS APPLY AND
THERE...

Shannon says ONE INVOLVES ACADEMIC FREEDOM
AND ONE INVOLVES FREEDOM OF
EXPRESSION.
THEY'RE DIFFERENT.

Janice says THERE SHOULD
NOT HAVE BEEN AN INVESTIGATION
OF A STUDENT WHO MAKES THAT KIND
OF COMMENT.
THERE CAN BE ALL KINDS OF DEBATE
INSIDE A UNIVERSITY AS TO
WHETHER IT'S CIVIL.
BUT THERE SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN
AN OFFICIAL PROCESS LAUNCHED.

Shannon says FOR KHAN?

Janice says RIGHT.
THAT'S WHY I'M NOT
COMFORTABLE...

Rinaldo says
UNIVERSITIES ALLOW FOR THE KINDS
OF POSITIONS THAT A PETERSON OR
A SHEPHERD HOLD TO TAKE
PRECEDENT.

Steve says SHE SAID SHE DIDN'T
HOLD THAT POSITION.

Rinaldo says I'M NOT
TALKING ABOUT HER NECESSARILY
HOLDING THE POSITION THAT HE
HOLDS, BUT PREVIOUS TO THE
EVENT, IT'S VERY CLEAR WHAT
POSITION SHE HOLDS.
WHAT I'M SAYING IS USING THEM AS
EXAMPLES, THE UNIVERSITY ITSELF,
IN ITS NORMATIVE PRACTICES,
ALLOWS THOSE KINDS OF POSITIONS
TO HAVE CREDENCE AND THOSE ARE
THE KINDS OF POSITIONS THAT
OFTEN

Steve says DO YOU THINK ALL OF
WHAT WE'VE BEEN DISCUSSING HERE
IS A GENUINE FEAR THAT MAYBE
YOUR STUDENTS ACTUALLY
EXPERIENCE OR IS THIS SOMETHING
THAT SORT OF IS SUPER IMPOSED
FROM THE OUTSIDE WORLD AND YOU
HAPPEN TO BE THE CAULDRON WHERE
IT'S ALL HAPPENING RIGHT NOW?

The caption changes to "Solutions and answers."

Emmett says I DON'T
WANT TO OVERSTATE IT AS A
PHENOMENON GENERALLY.
I THINK 2017 HAD SOME CASES THAT
CONCERNED ME AND THEY EXTEND
BEYOND THE TWO WE'VE BEEN
TALKING ABOUT, CANCELLED EVENTS
TO ANDREW POTTER BEING
RESIGNED...

[SPEAKING SIMULTANEOUSLY]

Emmett says I ACTUALLY THINK 99.9 percent OF THE
TIME EVERYTHING RUNS REALLY
SMOOTHLY.
I THINK THIS IS AS MUCH A
PROBLEM OF ADMINISTRATION AS IT
IS ANYTHING EMANATING FROM THE
STUDENTS.
THIS IS NOT... IN MY EXPERIENCE,
PROFS ARE FOR MORE WHINY THAN
STUDENTS ARE.
I REALLY DO PUSH BACK AGAINST
THIS KIND OF, WELL, 21ST
CENTURY, UNIVERSITY STUDENTS ARE
SNOWFLAKES KIND OF ATTITUDE.
I REALLY DON'T THINK THAT'S THE
PROBLEM AT ALL.
WHEN THERE ARE COMPLAINTS, TO
ANSWER YOUR QUESTION, I THINK
THEY'RE GENUINE.
I THINK THERE MIGHT BE CASES
SOMETIMES WHERE A STUDENT NEEDS,
RATHER THAN AN INVESTIGATION
LAUNCHED, THE STUDENT NEEDS TO
BE EXPLAINED TO WHAT THE PURPOSE
OF A UNIVERSITY IS AND WHY WHAT
THEY ARE OFFENDED BY IS NOT
NECESSARILY SOMETHING THAT THE
UNIVERSITY IS IN A POSITION TO
TAKE ACTION AGAINST.
BUT WHERE THERE ARE CASES, I
WOULD HOPE THAT FACULTY MEMBERS
RUNNING CLASSES ARE SENSITIVE TO
PRECISELY THE SORT OF ISSUES
WE'RE TALKING ABOUT, AND AS
SOMEONE WHO, AGAIN, DELVES INTO
THESE ISSUES IN LITERALLY EVERY
CLASS I TEACH... I'M NOT AWARE
OF ANY COMPLAINT, EITHER TO ME
OR SOMEONE ABOVE ME REGARDING
SOMETHING THAT'S BEEN SAID IN
ANY OF MY CLASSES.

Steve says SO IT IS RARE.
MICHAEL COREN MADE THE POINT IN
HIS PIECE.
HE'S ON CAMPUS NOW AT U OF T AND
HE SAYS STUDENTS FEEL
COMFORTABLE ENGAGING IN
DIFFERENT DISCUSSIONS.

Janice says HIGH PROFILE AND RARE.

Shannon says SCHEER, ANDREW SCHEER, TALKED
ABOUT A CRACKDOWN ON FREE
SPEECH.
THAT'S AN ANECDOTE.
THAT'S NOT A CRACKDOWN.
THAT'S A MOVE FOR POLITICAL
PURPOSES.

Rinaldo says BUT IT
DEMONSTRATES THE CRISIS IN WHITE
MEN.
THAT'S WHY HE'S DOING IT.
THIS IS A CRISIS OF WHITENESS
TAKING PLACE IN THE CONTEXT OF
THE UNIVERSITY.
WHITE PEOPLE ARE NO LONGER
ALLOWED TO SIMPLY SAY AND BEHAVE
IN WAYS THAT THEY COULD, FOR
INSTANCE, IN THE '50s IN THE
CONTEXT OF THE UNIVERSITY.
WE NOW PUSH BACK ON IT.
WE NOW CALL IT ILLEGITIMATE.
WE NOW CALL IT INTOLERABLE.
WE ASK FOR BETTER BEHAVIOUR,
BETTER PRACTICES, BETTER POLICIES.

Steve says DON'T MOST
UNIVERSITY STUDENTS KNOW THAT NOW?

Rinaldo says WE KEEP TALKING ABOUT
UNIVERSITY STUDENTS AS IF
THEY'RE EMPTY VESSELS.
THEY BRING POLITICS TOO.
THEY BRING THEIR OWN POLITICAL
POSITIONS TOO.
WHEN I'M TEACHING A CLASS, I'M
NOT TEACHING A BUNCH OF EMPTY
VESSELS...

Steve says WE'RE DOWN TO OUR
LAST MINUTE.
I WANT YOU TO FOLLOW UP ON THAT.
I WOULD HAVE ASSUMED ANY
MILLENNIAL IN A UNIVERSITY NOW
KNOWS THE PROPER WAY TO BEHAVE
ON THESE ISSUES.
YOU SAY NO?

Thomas says DO THEY KNOW THE PROPER WAY
TO BEHAVE, YES?
I THINK THE BEST THINGS WE CAN
DO FOR STUDENTS NO MATTER WHO
THE STUDENT IS PUT THE ISSUE OUT
THERE IN THEIR FACE AND MAKE
THEM THINK ABOUT IT AND CONFRONT
THEIR POSITION, LARGELY OF
PRIVILEGE AND POWER...

The caption changes to "No common ground?"

Janice says THE BEST
THING WE CAN DO IS MAKE STUDENTS
UNDERSTAND THAT THIS COUNTRY IS
BUILT ON BALANCING RIGHTS.
IF WE HAVE FREEDOM OF RELIGION
AND WOMEN'S RIGHTS, WE'VE HAD A
LONG DISCUSSION IN THIS COUNTRY
ABOUT WHAT WE DO WITH CERTAIN
RELIGIOUS PRACTICES THAT ARE
SYSTEMATICALLY DISCRIMINATE
AGAINST WOMEN.
WE ARE IN A CONSTANT DISCUSSION
OF BALANCING RIGHTS.
IT'S COMPLEX, IT'S HARD WORK, IT
EVOLVES OVER TIME, AND WE NEED
AN ENVIRONMENT WHICH ALLOWS
PEOPLE TO SAY THINGS THAT
CHALLENGE CONVENTIONAL WISDOM.

Rinaldo says JANICE, WE
ALSO LIVE IN A STATE AND A
COUNTRY THAT CONTINUES TO ENGAGE
IN FORMS OF STATE... FORMS OF
STATE DISCRIMINATION, RIGHT?

Janice says OF COURSE, OF COURSE.

Rinaldo says SO THESE QUESTIONS ARE NOT
SIMPLY QUESTIONS THAT ARE
NEUTRAL, THESE ARE NOT SIMPLY
QUESTIONS OF...

Steve says ONE THING I CAN'T
CHALLENGE IS THE CLOCK.

[SPEAKING SIMULTANEOUSLY]

The caption changes to "Producer: Steve Paikin, @spaikin; Katie O'Connor, @KA_OConnor."

Steve says I CAN'T CHALLENGE
THE CLOCK BECAUSE IT'S RUN OUT.
I WANT TO THANK ALL OF YOU FOR A
SPLENDID DEBATE THAT MAY BE RARE
BUT IS IMPORTANT.

Janice says IMPORTANT TO
OUR SOCIETY.

Steve says INDEED AND KUDOS TO
ALL OF YOU FOR COMING IN TO TVO
TONIGHT AND HAVING THIS
CONVERSATION.
THANK YOU ALL VERY MUCH.

Watch: Freedom of Expression on Campus