Volume 92, Issue 37

Tuesday, November 10, 1998

upholding integrity


Watch your mouth

Re: Censorship in the classroom

To the Editor:
Censorship is alive and well on campus. I don't mean the kind of censorship which limits obvious bad taste, sexism or racism. No. I'm talking about the kind of censorship that arises when one challenges the status quo.

Recently, I was asked by a faculty member to speak with him regarding an "issue" that was on his mind. I obliged. It was about me "keeping quiet."

Before I continue, allow me to inform you that I have been described as outspoken, with a keen grasp of material covered in the religious studies program. I have won, for two years running, continuing scholarships as well as two years on the dean's honour list. Suffice it to say I am a serious, interested and well-read student.

Nevertheless, I was told, "Some students are complaining that you are taking up too much class time expressing your point-of-view." Granted, I participate and offer my insight as a senior student in class, but I am also non-orthodox in my theological/philosophical views.

Although the faculty member assured me that this is "a matter of time," it seems to me that what underlies the issue is that my views which are rationally defendable are not wanted by those who do not wish to be challenged by innovation.

In other words, I am being asked politely to keep my mouth shut and not to bring up concerns which challenge current theological views which I believe are important to discussions. Those individuals should have spoken directly with me regarding their concerns – I would have been glad to explain my position of which they may have concern.

Instead, they've decided to take the easier route (the route in which they don't have to actually speak with me and engage in a conversational relationship) and have me gagged all in the name of "time." So much for intelligent discussion.

Alex Chartrand
Religious Studies IV

To Contact The Opinions Department: gazette.opinions@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1998