Freedom of Expression protest set to take place at Hazel and University

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Wilfrid Laurier University has made international headlines recently regarding responses to the actions of Laurier graduate teaching assistant, Lindsay Shepherd.

Shepherd was called into a meeting two weeks ago featuring Nathan Rambukkana supervising professor, associate professor in Communication studies Herbert Pimlott and Adria Joel, manager of Gendered Violence Prevention and Support.

The meeting took place after a student or students  the number of complaints could not be confirmed due to confidentiality reasons  confronted staff regarding Shepherds choice to show a video of Jordan Peterson without condemning his actions.

Shepherd has been vocal about her decision to show the video, explaining to several news outlets including The Record and CTV that in a university, all perspectives are valid.

Four professors at Laurier have responded to the university over cases of alleged censorship.

The four professors include William McNally, associate professor of finance, Simon Kiss, assistant professor of Digital Media and Journalism, Andrew Robinson, Associate Professor and Program coordinator of human rights and human diversity, Acting program coordinator, Law and Society and lastly David Millard Haskell, associate professor of Religion and Culture, Digital Media and Journalism.

Stated in the News release, the response to the controversy from the university is to launch a task force. The professors involved with this Freedom of Expression campaign explained why they believe this task force might be problematic:

“In response to this controversy, Wilfrid Laurier’s administration has stated that it will launch a task force to explore the issue of freedom of expression on campus and to make recommendations. Recent past events — specifically, the outcomes of the Freedom of Expression working group at the University of British Columbia earlier this month — give us reason to worry that such a task force will not come out strongly for maximal freedom of expression,” the release read.

These professors have created a petition on change.org to gain support for their cause. So far there is 228 signatures out of the end goal being 500.

A rally the professors refer to in their news release is the Facebook event called “Demonstration for freedom of speech on campus Laurier” in support of freedom of expression.

This event will take place on Friday, Nov. 24 at the corner of Hazel and University Ave. at 1 p.m.

Organizers Cosmin Dzsurdzsa, Alexander Eyre, Erik Danudjaja and Anton Abaev are set to host of the event.

The event will also play host to various guest speakers, according to their Facebook page, including Lindsay Shepherd.

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