Students facing censorship
Someone should lend the University of Calgary a copy of The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms — we’ve heard it’s tough finding one there.
In an ongoing legal battle, the U of C recently argued universities should not be subjected to the charter as they are non-governmental organizations.
Take the Pridgen brothers.
Steven and Tyler Pridgen were punted from the U of C in November 2007 for slagging one of their instructors on a Facebook page. The page, titled “I no longer fear Hell, I took a course with Aruna Mitra,” landed the brothers on probation for non-academic misconduct.
The Pridgens posted such minorly offensive statements as “Somehow I think she just got lazy and gave everybody a 65. That’s what I got,” and “Remember when she told us she was a long-term professor? Well actually she was only sessional and picked up our class at the last moment because another prof wasn’t able to do it… Lucky us.”
Pretty terrible, eh?
The case went to the Alberta Court of Appeal earlier this month, although a decision has not been handed down.
One of the more interesting revelations came from the Pridgen’s lawyer Colin Feasby who said universities are, in fact, covered under the Charter as the document isn’t designed to oppress students.
The Pridgen case is just one of several violations happening on Canadian university campuses.
Last issue, The Reflector reported on an expert panel’s opinion that freedom of expression is being challenged at universities. The panel discussed the Pridgen case as well as several other examples where students’ rights had been violated.
The free speech fight may well be our doorstep.
Former barista Marcus Arseneault says he was fired from his job with Sodexo at Mount Royal University because of his involvement with Occupy Calgary.
Though Arseneault’s story is shaky at best, his allegations have yet to be disproven.
We’re waiting with baited breath to see how it plays out.
Marcus’s story does, however, remind us how easily censorship can occur and how important it is to stay aware of what’s happening on campus.
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