Lindsay Shepherd Penn Book on Freedom of Speech Controversy at Laurier University

The story of Lindsay Shepherd being pulled before an informal court at Wilfred Laurier University and accused of violating the university’s sexual and sexual violence policies became a national topic in 2017. It was.

Graduate students and teaching assistants at the time secretly recorded the disciplinary meeting and published it in the media, and President Laurier apologized.

But shepherd, then 22 years old, had more to say about the story and what she experienced than media reports showed, such as how she dealt with “going from empty to viral.” Say there is something.

“There’s really more than that,” she told The Epoch Times in a recent release of her book about her experience.Diversity and exclusion: Confront the crisis of freedom of speech on campus. “

“For example, how I was gradually alienated from my peers and professors wasn’t reflected in the news story. Now it’s all actually documented in one place, one book. It has been.”

Shepherd says he hopes his book will be useful to students who may be facing similar situations.

“I talk about open research, freedom of speech on college campuses, but because it’s a first-person story,” post-modernism has permeated the university, or political correctness has permeated the university. ” It’s not just about the concept. I actually explain from my first-hand experience how these issues affect higher education institutions, “she says.

It’s all a five-minute video clip of Shepherd discussing UofT’s sexual diversity research program instructor, Nicholas Matte, aired on TVOntario’s current affairs program, The Agenda, by Jordan Peterson, a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto. It started when I showed it.

Peterson, a frank opponent of the Liberal Government’s Gender Identity Act, Bill C-16, opposes the use of gender-neutral pronouns while Matt supports it.

In the book, Shepherd describes the issues that Peterson and Matt discussed as “promoting open and unjudgmental discussions” in the class.

The following week, Shepherd received an email from professor Nathan Rambuccana asking her to meet her to “discuss her concerns.”

During a meeting attended by another professor, Herbert Pimlot, Rambuccana, and then Adria Joel, then manager of gender-based violence and sexual assault prevention in Laurier, Shepard said, “Toxic climate”, “Trans It was accused of causing the “spread of Transphobia”. It targets “transphobia” and violates Laurier’s gender and sexual violence policies.

She was also said to have “one or more complaints” filed against her, but to date she has said how many people have complained or what the alleged complainant has said. I don’t know.

President Laurier and Deputy Prime Minister Deborah McClutch apologized to Shepherd after the recording of the conversation was reported by the media.

Rambuccana, who said he was showing the video to Shepherd without blaming Peterson’s position on gender issues, also apologized for appearing to be “playing Hitler’s speech neutrally.”

Epoch Times Photo
Jordan Peterson will speak at the 2018 Student Action Summit hosted by TurningPoint USA on December 20, 2018 at the Palm Beach County Convention Center in West Palm Beach, Florida. (GageSkidmore / flickr)


Shepherd says the book provides a “behind-the-scenes look” of what happened in Laurier, recording her transformation as she becomes more and more disillusioned with “really respected” institutions. say.

“Six months as a student of art, I filter them through anti-capitalism, feminism, critical racial theory, post-modernism, post-structuralism, or queer lenses for my ideas to be valid. A theory that internalized the notion of need, “she wrote in the book.

“I now fully understand the harmful effects of the phrase” diversity, fairness and inclusiveness. ” “

After deciding to write a book, she met resistance from mainstream publishers when she pitched her proposal.

“They all said no,” she said. “I don’t know their reason. I can guess they were too scared. This book is definitely politically wrong.”

Shepherd had a chance after she joined True North Canada as a Fellow in 2019 and managed to get a book. Published as a project with Organizations that include the True North Center for Public Policy, True North Initiative, and the True North Center, a conservative media outlet.

β€œI didn’t have to censor anything,” she says.

This book gives some examples of freedom of expression and suppression of open inquiry in college.

β€œIn the book, I talk about censorship, restraint of free thought, and even self-censorship, which seems to be the standard for Canadian universities today,” says Shepherd.

“There are so many students in this situation that they don’t necessarily want to go to the media because they don’t want their name to appear in the news, they don’t want to be slandered, and they don’t want their reputation. , I’m just quiet. “

One way to improve the situation, she says, is to close the diversity and inclusion offices because “they are the ones advocating censorship.”

“What they see to be inclusive and to claim equality-in fact, they’re just trying to get everyone to think the same thing,” she says.

Another way is for students to relax a bit from the “culture of aversion to adaptation and controversy” that is deeply rooted in them, she says in the book.

In addition, universities must abandon the approach of “meeting the demands of all students in order to attract and retain more tuition payers.”

“When our higher education institutions stop this commercialized approach, raise academic standards and close diversity offices, they are in a position to foster an open society again,” she writes.