“Whereas cystic fibrosis has been recently revealed to only affect white people and primarily men, be it resolved that: (the Carleton University Student Association) discontinue its support of this campaign.”
What is in the drinking water at Carleton University in Ottawa? More specifically, the reasoning behind the above resolution to cancel an annual fundraising event for cystic fibrosis gives us all a legitimate case to question what is in the water that seems to be feeding the lunacy at the Student Association meetings.
Representatives of the CUSA said the resolution’s claim the disease only affects whites and males is grounded in recent medical research and they knew this because a member of their executive said so. This would be quite a surprise to the tiny children of all races—and both genders—who are born with this horrific disease that constantly fills their lungs with fluid and thick mucous. In fact, one of every 3,600 babies born in Canada has this disease and many don’t survive past their mid-30s.
Frankly, the CUSA has the right to raise funds for what-ever cause they choose. The problem is these supposedly enlightened student leaders made the decision without bothering to check the specious claims of their colleague and without debate; instead, they made the decision on the basis of race and gender. Even more disturbing is the CUSA president, who was quoted as saying the specific reason they cancelled the event was “irrelevant” and the motion itself “doesn’t have to be fact or anything really.”
In other words, the CUSA isn’t keen on allowing those pesky things called facts to interfere with their decisions. As a result, they come off clearly as a group far more concerned about making a political statement than helping charities.
Due to a storm of outrage, the decision has now been reversed. But these decisions seem to be the norm on this campus. Over the past decade, student leaders at Carleton have become rather notorious for their politically correct stupidity and for instituting discriminatory policies that make a mockery of the open sharing of opinions that should be the hallmark of a university. In the 1990s, the CUSA banned the Red Cross from holding blood donor clinics on campus because it had the audacity to ask male donors if they had had sex with men. If so, the individual was prohibited from giving blood. This all took place in the aftermath of the tainted blood scandal of the 1980s, yet the insular student body decided the Red Cross’s scrutiny of our blood supply must stop—even if it risks the public health—just for the sake of making a political statement.
In 2001, they attempted to cancel an abortion debate and investigated the pro-life group for hate crimes because they were bringing in a speaker who dared to oppose abortion. In ‘04, they banned a pro-life display from campus (the same one currently being censored by theUof C) and in ‘06 it passed a motion affirming its pro-abortion stance and banning pro-life groups from campus. It was later overturned, as the CF decision has now been, but the initial decisions are enough to demonstrate the CUSA as demagogues who only believe in free speech if it agrees with their position.
It’s a worrying development when dissent on social issues is not tolerated on university campuses—and it’s a problem that will eventually affect us all. These are supposedly the next generation of Canada’s leaders—if they don’t have the intellectual capacity to consider other opinions at a university, they aren’t going to do any different when it comes to public debate. Conflicting ideas are an intrinsic part of a democratic society, a workplace or even a home, so it’s almost frightening to think of how these kids will respond when they finally grow up and enter the real world that has to be shared with those who hold opposing opinions.
The bedrock principle of free speech is society should not prohibit the expression of ideas which we find offensive or disagreeable. But these kids seem to believe in a modern, liberal notion that an individual has the right to not be offended by anything they see or hear. Thus, to maintain a “non-offensive” climate, unwelcome views are suppressed, not debated.
At best, the CUSA has been taken over by opportunistic individuals who want to push society’s buttons and grab the media limelight. At worst, they’re students whose only interest is in activism and they will go away when student loans run out.