Wednesday, November 24, 2004
Though Wednesday's demonstrations went without major incident, the AMS executive and the Safety Committee will be issuing a letter to the UBC administration regarding GAP's presence on campus and the safety concerns involved in the displays, said AMS VP Administration Lyle McMahon. (italics mine) (The article in Tuesday's Ubyssey is more detailed, and even more ridiculous. Unfortunately it's not online yet)"Safety" is a ridiculous excuse to stifle free expression on campus. It is up to the university administration to ensure that people are not physically harmed for what they say, write or display on campus. Although this maneuver is an initiative of the student society, and not the university administration itself, it demonstrates that some students have no real sense of what the heck is university supposed to be for in the first place.
Note: I have previously been quite involved with Lifeline, but my participation has declined over the years as a general trend of disengaging from campus clubs-related activities (former ESA execs can attest to that ;D). But this isn't so much about me as about the moronic notion that some people in university should shut up for their own physical well-being.
UPDATE (Nov 25, 12:30 AM): I've read the newer article and it appears that the argument is the exact opposite: the AMS is arguing that GAP is the threat to student safety. I guess I was right when I wrote that it's more ridiculous.
While my involvement with the UBC Israel Advocacy Club (unfortunately also lower this year) has made me a front-line witness to the disapproving views of some on GAP tactics, I am disappointed that the AMS feels that it should perpetrate an already repressive atmosphere against GAP participants. I respect those who view the GAP displays as insensitive (even grossly so), but the displays are not inflammatory.And as for the notion of restricting GAP displays to a "closed space", the proponents can take the idea and shove it.