To get good insightful answers, how the question is framed matters. I missed an opportunity on Thursday
The York Federation of Students moved forward its campaign to censor the abortion debate on campus this week.
Last week, the York Federation of Students moved a motion calling on locals of the Canadian Federation of Students to ban anti-abortion groups from holding student group status on their campus and to create pro-choice organizing kits. The motion passed.
This weekend, the YFS plans to pass a motion which will ban all anti-abortion groups from holding club status at York University. To its credit, the university is standing up to this attack on free speech by promising to grant replacement resources to pro-life groups to enable a free and fair debate on the campus of York University.
I’ll never truly understand the York Federation of Students. Why they are granting their opponents coveted “victim status” is beyond me. The anti-abortion side is not winning the campus debate and only represents a small minority of students. They are often ignored by students and are not a threat to the pro-choice side.
By silencing them, the YFS is making them stronger. I never write about the abortion debate in the context of the debate. I only write about it in the context of free speech. The anti-abortion side is benefiting from the attention they are receiving as free speech “martyrs.”
I will cover the first debate they hold in the fall, not because I’m particularly interested in the topic. I will be there to see if the debate is silenced. If it’s not, then I will write a story about the discussion. If they are silenced, then that’s my story. Either way, the anti-abortion side is getting media attention they normally would not receive. I would never write about this debate otherwise.
The YFS may think they are doing society a favour by silencing their opponents, but all their doing is showing is how intolerant they are and how out of place the students union is on a campus of enlightened ideas.