A male student at York University in Toronto wanted his professor to exempt him on religious grounds from carrying out an assignment which involved him meeting and working with female students. The male student felt that his religion prohibited him from doing so and asked for permission to be exempted. The professor refused and the male student met with the female students and completed the assignment. The University disagreed with the professor’s decision and ordered the professor to rescind it, which he of course did not do.
The University has since said that it stands by its decision to order the professor to accommodate the male students religious beliefs and that the order still stands even though the incident took place last year and is long since over. The decision effectively means that York believes that accommodating its students religious beliefs is more important than affirming and protecting bedrock Canadian values such as gender equality, that York has slapped the faces of its female students and effectively turned them into second class students, second class citizens, that York has clearly and unequivocally violated everything a university is supposed to stand for, free enquiry and freedom of expression included, that the university has diminished the educational experience for all of its students as well the value of a York degree, that it has set a terrible precedent and that it effectively means that York can no longer honestly call itself a secular university.
The University should be ashamed of itself, should cancel the order immediately, should apologize to the professor involved and its female students as well, should state that imposition of religion has absolutely no place on its campus, should enshrine this in principle and practice and should take steps to ensure that it will be respected and upheld by everyone. Unless it does all of these things it will be a secular university in name only and the quality of the education it offers will be questionable at best…until it does all of those things females who are considering attending there should seriously consider going somewhere else and females who are already attending there should seriously consider transferring. Why go somewhere that discriminates against you after all? If I had a daughter or granddaughter I would certainly advise her to stay away from York under the present circumstances.
Actually, I would advise anyone that wants a university experience free from bias, prejudice, intimidation, indocrination and the imposition of religion to stay away from there.
What’s next at York? Muslim students refusing to be taught by Jewish professors or participate in classes with Jewish students, heterosexual students refusing to be taught by gay professors or participate in classes with gay students, gay students doing the same, students of any particular persuasion refusing to be taught by anyone they disagree with or don’t like or refusing to participate in classes with those they disagree with or don’t like, imposition of dress codes and other practices in the name of religion, changing course material in the name of religion, incitement of hatred and violence in the name of religion and so on and so forth. York’s ludicrous order opens the door to all of that and more and it is a door which purveyors of all of that and more will try and stampede through, make no mistake. They will succeed too because the University really has set a terrible precedent by issuing the order in the first place and defending it in the second.
Care about York University, gender equality, academic integrity and keeping secular universities secular?
Then make sure York rescinds the order and institutes the steps outlined in paragraph three.