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Sunday, April 10, 2016

Examining left-wing privilege at the University of Toronto

From The Varsity:
Privilege is understood as an advantage, benefit, or comfort enjoyed exclusively by a particular individual or group. It is normally enjoyed by the most powerful and influential members of a given community, who first create an infrastructure for privilege, then use that framework to serve their own initiatives and interests.

In our campus community, who are the most powerful, influential, and privileged among us? At U of T, it is clear that left-wing students and instructors enjoy advantages, benefits, and comforts that are rarely, if ever, afforded to those who hold different political views.

If you consider yourself a liberal, progressive, or socialist, you can expect that on just about any social or political issue, you will find support from nearly all the major forces on campus, including faculty, the administration, the University of Toronto Students’ Union (UTSU), college and faculty governments, student groups, and student publications, in addition to a majority of the student body. At a selective, internationally competitive university whose mission is ostensibly boundless intellectual inquiry, why is it so hard to find viewpoints that diverge from the left-wing orthodoxy?

The answer begins in academia. According to recent research, 60 per cent of instructors at American universities identify as liberal or far-left. At U of T, over 125 faculty felt the need to join the Graduate Students Union in endorsing the anti-Israeli Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement. What’s more, in addition to the employment of hundreds of left-leaning professors and TAs in notionally politically neutral departments such as history, English, and political science, there exist three programs at U of T whose mandates explicitly affirm left-wing assumptions about the world, namely equity studies, sexual diversity studies, and women and gender studies...

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