Administration shockingly forward thinking

A strange new force has joined the fray for free speech on the University of Calgary campus, and it’s not who we expected.

Instead of taking the traditional free speech stance of Students’ Unions past and elsewhere, the U of C’s SU acted like confused children and passed the decision to allow the campus pro-life association’s Genocide Awareness Project onto university administration. Administration played the parent and gave the project a go, only requiring warning signs on the paths leading to the snow fenced display and a security detail, rather than having the posters facing inwards as was the SU’s request.

Common sense dictates that if a union of forward thinking students runs away from a display of Holocaust victims, lynched black men, aborted fetuses and mutilated breasts, U of C’s traditonally conservative administration would simply say “no.”

Apparently the folks in administration has come to realize, through legal coercion or otherwise, that the left doesn’t have a monopoly on protest. Throughout the week the Gauntlet has been flooded with furious letters saying that campus pro-life has no right to subject the campus to such images, and there are members of the our editorial board who would rather not cover the event at all. Fortunately for free speech at the U of C, clearer heads prevailed.

The posters were offensive to most, if not all people who saw them, the arguments given in the display were basic at best and wholly incorrect at worst, and the whole project is little more than a shock and awe move to provoke violence and get media attention. However, just because we think a position is callous and offensive doesn’t take away its right to be held.

In a perfect world, the SU could have maintained the illusion that they care about social activism, the pro-choice camp could have not thrown bags of poo on the ground and we could have had a couple days of offensive posters on Mac Hall’s relatively quiet south lawn. Instead, administration got to be the adults and we got a media frenzy in the most heavily trafficked intersection on campus.

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