Editors note: reserving judgement

The debate on campus surrounding TA Lindsey Shepherd has been difficult to navigate based on a lack of information as well as a multitude of other existing factors.

Being a part of student media at a time like this is a constant struggle between knowing when to speak up and use this platform accordingly and when to just let the coverage of these events speak for itself.

Before writing this, I drafted several articles detailing the possible problems that incidents like this might pose to trans students on campus, but I have found that, even then, I am letting my emotions do the talking at a time when facts still need to be disseminated to the public and to the student body.

Referring to the incident in questions specifically, I understand and do appreciate the value of neutrally presenting facts in favour of allowing people to come to their own conclusions.

But this incident has also taken place during a time where trans and non-binary people are in need of community support and understanding, and this outcome will no doubt have a negative effect to that end.

But for the time being, I think it is imperative to let the news reporters and editors at The Cord construct an accurate, unbiased narrative, before speaking on behalf of myself or the editorial board at large.

It goes without saying that trans people don’t exist as a vehicle to drive discussions on the topic of free speech, and yet now every trans student has to either engage with this controversy that trivializes their identity, or remain silent amongst a group of people who are most likely ignorant of their experiences.

While I think it’s critically important to address the group of people who are likely going to feel the repercussions of this situation first-hand, I think it is equally important to let the story develop on its own, naturally, without weaving my own narrative throughout.

In situations such as this, I think it is important for us to respect our duties and responsibilities as members of the media and to report on things as they are happening, reflecting on them accordingly, when the time is right.

To that end, this story is one that is still continuously unfolding; crucial updates have been coming in on a consistent basis, and the narrative is subject to change at a moments notice.

With that being said, given the time to reflect, I am positively certain that my opinions aren’t subject to change.

But for the time being, I think it is imperative to let the news reporters and editors at The Cord construct an accurate, unbiased narrative, before speaking on behalf of myself or the editorial board at large.

5 Comments

  1. Withheld for the sake of anonymity says:

    As an employee at Laurier, I feel relieved that the public is beginning to know the horror of working in what has come to feel like an indoctrination camp run by Thought Police. As far as I am aware, everyone at this university has been forced to attend a workshop, led by two young women, who introduced us to the Newspeak: gender neutral pronouns. We were told that those who reject this approach to pronoun use are transphobic. In other words, the old pronouns are an “unapproved thought.” Continued use of the old, gender-specific pronouns was not open to discussion. That, apparently, would be a subversive line of thinking. Note that some of us have years of acquaintance with the English language and advanced degrees in linguistics; note that many of us know how fickle language can be. Nevertheless, in the interest of holding on to our jobs, we suppressed this Thoughtcrime.

    Everyone in attendance at this workshop was also forced to select a pronoun of introduction and announce to all present how we wished to be addressed. Some of these pronouns implied a transgender identity. That this might be considered a forced “outing” for some didn’t seem to cross the minds of the workshop organizers. Another idea that hadn’t occurred was that some of us might feel it was invasive to be forced into a workshop to discuss our gender. Like all good tyrants, Wilfrid Laurier believes that it knows what is best for its minions. It believes it should have control of all aspects of our lives. Thank you, Big Brother.
    As an intellectual, and as someone acquainted with the history of the Chinese cultural revolution, this workshop – or should I say brainwashing session — sickened me. I suppose that my lack of enthusiasm showed, because afterward, my program manager took me aside to make sure that I was “on the same page” as the university. For fear of losing my employment, I smiled and made some noises about an upset stomach. I’ve learned through bitter experience that it’s better not to rock the boat with critical thinking here at Wilfrid Laurier.

    I came to learn this lesson not long ago. I’d made the rash decision of allowing some of my co-workers to “friend” me on Facebook. One of my so-called “friends” on Facebook reported me to her supervisor, and also to Human Resources. Apparently, my private support for a particular political movement made her feel “unsafe.” I found myself called into a meeting in Human Resources, where I was told that my Facebook post had caused a complaint (although they refused to tell me the identity of the complainant). Moreover, they told me that even though my Facebook account is private and was directed toward no one, my Facebook post amounted to Harassment. I was presented with the university’s Workplace Harassment policy, and was advised that I was guilty of workplace violence. Only through consultation with a lawyer (at my own expense) did I discover that this was untrue and that it amounted to bullying.

    Altogether, Wilfrid Laurier University has become the handmaiden of political correctness, vitriolic social justice warriors, greedy special interest groups, and reactionary anti-intellectuals. We have become public flagellants, not intellectuals; we have become witch hunters, and screed writers. By my estimation, it’s only a matter of time before the book burning begins.

  2. “With that being said, given the time to reflect, I am positively certain that my opinions aren’t subject to change.”

    How can you be positively certain that your opinions won’t change when by your own admission the story is still unfolding and you don’t have all the facts?

  3. Universities are where adults come to get educated. It’s not a day-care centre, a giant therapy session for the emotionally traumatized, nor a political indoctrination camp.

    So why are you infantilizing transgenders? Are they so delicate that they’ll melt into a puddle because a few students listened to a debate over transgender pronouns?

    Let’s show some respect. In particular, let’s assume that everyone on campus is an adult who can handle contentious views. And for those who can’t, might I suggest they came to the wrong place.

  4. ‘Withheld for the sake of anonymity’ says above, “By my estimation, it’s only a matter of time before the book burning begins.”

    And as noted on the homepage, issues of The Cord were torn up all around campus. So it looks like the future book burners are off to a good start.

  5. If your “opinions aren’t subject to change,” then what are you doing at a university?

    Can we learn more from those we agree with, or those we disagree with?

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