Opinions

Letter: Angry alumnus

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Editor, the Gauntlet,

As a once proud graduate of the University of Calgary, the events on campus have always been of the utmost interest to me. Thus, you can perhaps sympathize with my utter shock in reading a column in the Calgary Herald which reported recent actions by the university administration against their own students. I speak of the university's threats against their own students to charge and accuse them of trespassing simply because the message they bear has drawn complaints. I speak of the university's pro-life club and their attempts to display the so-called "Genocide Awareness Project."

I would like to keep my own thoughts on the abortion issue obscure for the moment, and instead give vent to my deep disappointment in the university that used to be my home for academic and intellectual inquiry. Universities are supposed to bastions of free speech, especially when the issues touch our daily realities. In fact, there were times when universities prided themselves on supporting debate, recognizing that it was only through the crucible of sincere dialogue that we could hope to orientate ourselves towards a horizon of truth.

Perhaps the pro-life club's display is considered somewhat unorthodox and uncalled for. Fine. If that is the case the administration should have confidence that the fires of time will soon burn away their zeal and ability to hold such endeavours. Instead, the actions of the university showed a severe lack of taste and tactic. Does the university really think that thousands of alumni and donors like myself will continue to support an institution that destroys the very foundations upon which it rests? Will major companies continue to donate to a university that will only make them look bad? I hate to bring up the painful subject of the University of Calgary's continued low ratings among Canadian universities, but perhaps it is decisions like this from the administration that constantly stifle student involvement and participation in university life that are the causes of such deficient rankings.

Perhaps I am just old-fashioned in my beliefs that universities should promote debate and discussion, regardless of popular opinion or that tool of censorship that masquerades as benevolent political correctness. If I am old-fashioned, I would like to withdraw all my support of this institution and reallocate it somewhere where my opinions are reciprocated. I also call upon all donors and supporters of the University of Calgary to do the same. Let's build a country worth living in, where freedom of expression is honoured as it should be, especially in those places that form the leaders that will construct the future of the True North, which is looking less strong and free every passing day.

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