Ryerson president Mohamed Lachemi adjourned a senate meeting early last night after several left-wing groups arrived in the chambers to protest the university’s draft statement on freedom of expression. The disruption delayed the senate’s vote on the draft, which if passed, would have been sent to the Board of Governors to form policy.
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The president of an on-campus socialist group, Socialist Fightback at Ryerson, had the microphone whisked away from him when he challenged the university senate at a town hall on Wednesday. Hermes Azam was trying to challenge the university senate during a meeting arranged by the provost’s office to discuss Ryerson’s draft statement on freedom of expression.
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Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s demand for colleges and universities to develop free speech policies, or have their funding cut, will prevent left-wing groups from disrupting far-right events and pro-life displays on campus, according to a coalition of groups.
Ryerson is taking the next step in the creation of its free speech policy, following a week which saw a street protest over what the university is proposing and a call by a prominent civil libertarian to not curtail free speech, even if it offensive.