The positives of anti-disruption Though divided in opinion, McMaster’s anti-disruption policy is a good idea for these reasons

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

By: Alex Bak

A university is a place of academia and should serve to prioritize the enhancement of knowledge and provide opportunities for character growth.

Last year when University of Toronto psychology professor Jordan Peterson came to lecture on free speech and political correctness at McMaster, he was met with student protestors and was unable to deliver his complete lecture.

Seeing as he had to move the lecture outdoors and would abruptly interrupted, McMaster was met with a poor reputation in protecting free speech.

Freedom to speak one’s mind is an integral aspect to understanding complex issues by developing ideas on different perspectives.

McMaster’s forthcoming anti-disruption policy addresses the global criticisms that the university has had with censorship and the lack of protection for freedom of speech.

With outstanding rankings globally and nationally for academics, the dismissive “D” in protecting free speech that McMaster received needs to be addressed.

Seeing as he had to move the lecture outdoors and would abruptly interrupted, McMaster was met with a poor reputation in protecting free speech.

This policy will work to McMaster guests like Peterson to share their ideas and perspectives without being met with a bullhorn.

Though this may limit speech in one capacity or another, the policy will ultimately allow for a more respectful manner of speech and controlled discussion where one’s views can be shared in a more organized manner. The policy will protect free speech, not limit it.

The anti-disruption policy usually deals with anti-protesters and is often charged with increasing marginalization of minority groups and attenuating their voices.

McMaster’s forthcoming anti-disruption policy addresses the global criticisms that the university has had with censorship and the lack of protection for freedom of speech.

This topic brings out a very important and controversial debate on whether unregulated, resolute freedom to speak one’s mind is necessary for equality or if there needs to be a change to enable equity in speech.

Given the ethical framework that the policy will undergo in the development process, marginalized voices will still be heard just as equally as other voices deserve to be.

The policy will merely prevent students and others from blocking, obstructing, disrupting or interrupting speech at campus events.

According to Patrick Deane, the new policy will be tailored to engage “in developing guidelines around the limits to acceptable protest intended to assist event organizers and participants, as well as those seeking to engage in protest, rather than an anti-disruption policy”.

Although this sounds more like a political response than a forward answer, it sparked a thought that perhaps a policy built around set indices for the topics discussed by guest lecturers and protest governed with set parameters and recommendations may be the solution for the unique McMaster community.

An adoption of a policy that is balanced between assessing acceptable levels of protest and gauging the ethical values of the guest speaker can produce a healthy medium for learning; one in which neither of the groups are overly censored or their voices unheard.

The policy will enable for guests and groups to be respected and allow for diversity of opinion to be heard rather than shut out by the sound of protesting bullhorns.

Comments

Share This Post On