Volume 90, Issue 61

Tuesday, January 14, 1997



Mr. Hannon was not justified

Re: Gerald Hannon's talk at Western

To the Editor:

At a recent Students' Council meeting in November, I made known my objections to the presentation by Mr. Gerald Hannon. This letter is to urge that the Arts Students' Council should be formally reprimanded by a resolution of the Students' Council, or its board, for inviting Mr. Hannon to speak at Western. I would be most grateful for the opportunity to meet with the USC about this matter and would appreciate a reply to this letter.

Mr. Hannon's talk was reported in The Gazette on Nov. 13, 1996 and in The London Free Press the same day. The event was also advertised, in a somewhat euphemistic article, in Pravda, the USC's own official bulletin, where Mr. Hannon's beliefs about sex with children were described as views on "inter-generational sex."

An editorial in The Gazette accused me of calling for censorship on this campus. In fact, I did nothing of the sort. Mr. Hannon is free to expound his beliefs anywhere he pleases, including at Western. The issue is whether this institution, the Students' Council and its affiliate, the Arts Students' Council, should collaborate with Mr. Hannon in his efforts by inviting him to speak. Mr. Hannon is free to advocate whatever he wants, but this institution is also free to decide whether it will assist Mr. Hannon in doing so. I am not asking for the censorship of ideas. I am asking that student government be more responsible when using its freedom.

Inviting Mr. Hannon to speak here was an affront to the child victims of sexual exploitation and a disgrace to this university as a whole. Students understand the money they pay in fees will be used for many purposes with which they disagree, but I doubt they ever imagined such funds would go towards hiring a prostitute to assert on campus his right to have sex with 10-year-old boys.

Therefore, I suggest it would be appropriate for the board to bring a motion before the Council, reprimanding the Arts Students' Council for the way in which it used its authority and students' money to invite and pay Mr. Hannon to come to this campus.

Edward Kiernan
President, Western Life Club

To Contact The Letters Department: gazoped@julian.uwo.ca