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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Canada's version of academic freedom: Queen's University cancels free speech

On the night of April 2, 2013 Queen's University administration and student union officials ordered the removal of a free speech display at the university. However, they did not only remove the canvas upon which students expressed their opinions. Campus security took the canvas and refused to return it to its owners, members of the Queen's Students for Liberty. This video shows the sequence of events.

Queen's Students for Liberty had booked a space in the John Deutsch University Centre for its "wall" - a blank space upon which students were encouraged to express themselves. 
Some of the roughly 50 entries on the canvas, however, were deemed offensive by the school's Alma Mater Society, according to the student group, and school security removed the exhibit Tuesday evening.
University officials are expected to comment on the details later this afternoon, but have so far not said what on the wall was found to be offensive.

The Students for Liberty argued that nothing there violated Canadian law, and that the act of dismantling the exhibit is the worse crime.

"I am dismayed with the gross violation of free speech that we saw committed by Queen's last night" Jeffrey Waligun, president of the group, said in a release Wednesday. "It is one thing for a lone hooligan to vandalize a display ... It is far more disturbing when the university itself becomes the hooligan."

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