Dear Canadian College Students,
Over the past year, our universities have dismissed your concerns and refused to answer your questions. They have made you unsure of your beliefs, afraid to ask questions, hesitant to speak up.
You adhered to your obligations — getting double vaccinated, wearing masks, distancing, trying to stay home and adjust to online learning. You follow the university’s instructions in good faith, believe that they genuinely have your best interests in mind, and that what you are doing is necessary to your education and essential to the protection of others. I believed that
Either way, COVID has spread across campus, and all the while creating a deep culture of silence, censorship, and division, eroding confidence in our right to choose for ourselves.
Until now, the position of the university has been “Trust us.”keep the community safeThere may have been some reason for the position last year, but the details were unclear. But now it has data.
We hear that this is about science. But informed consent is not about making the “right” decisions from an objective point of view. It’s about the right to not have to choose between education and physical independence, and to make decisions that reflect who you are and the risks you’re willing to take in your life. Punishing someone for not making a particular choice is coercion, not consent.
No one knows that you care about you the way you do. And no one else is primarily responsible for the consequences of the choices you make. Science no longer supports obligations, which is a fact, but focusing solely on that fact misses a more important point: your personality belongs to you, not to college. For better or worse, your health is your concern. Full stop.
Sometimes I don’t know if it’s better to keep quiet or speak up. Other times, we keep quiet because we don’t want to risk losing what is most important to us. But being silent often leads to the very things we want to avoid. In this case, without open and frank discussion, there is no chance of going to college and getting a rich, rich and free culture. As Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Our lives begin the day we were silent about the important things.”
What can you do as an individual against a multi-million dollar institution full of important people with PhDs? What if it gets cancelled? What happens when you lose everything you’ve worked for? These are important considerations. But remember that 21st century universities are commercial enterprises and you are their customer. they don’t exist without you.
You have been sidelined, ignored and suppressed, but you are not the one who is silent. When students unite and resist, you have immense power and influence to create change. Your little voice matters. Only one thing matters.
Making the choices you want to make now may not feel like a win and it may not keep you in school. It shows who you are, what you are made of, and what you can resist and create. And it gives you immeasurable confidence and courage for the future.
Standing up for college, making the choices you want to make, and sticking to them is a far better education than what you learn in college classrooms and textbooks.
Finally, a word of encouragement. This will continue as long as you remain silent. It stops as soon as you say “no”.
Respectful and best support,
Dr. Julie Ponesse
Ethicist, Foundation for Democracy
Views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The Epoch Times.