University free speech society told free speech a ‘red risk’, external speakers must be vetted
This story has been all over UK media but I thought someone ought to bring it to Medium to illustrate how far the far — left will go in order to shut down opposing ideas.
Sheffield University’s recently formed Free Speech Society has been warned that free speech is a “red risk” and all external speakers at events it organises will have to be vetted by the University Thought Police squad and the topics they intend to talk about shown to be in line with ideas and opinions the babies who run the Student Union are not frightened by.
The Free Speech Society was informed by the Student Union bosses that it must submit an application to the at least three weeks in advance each time it invites a speaker, and that “full and final approval” of the Union’s executive committee would have to be sure nobody would be upset of offended by the speaker’s views before the talk could go ahead.
Sheffield’s Free Speech Society founder Ewan Somerville, a third year politics and international relations student at Sheffield said he decided to set up a free speech society as a reaction to “creeping censorship” by far left groups that dominate the campus. Last year, Sheffield students were urged not to wear sombreros because to do so is “cultural appropriation,” and also told to ensure Hallowe’en costumes were not “sexist, racist, ableist or transphobic”.
In January 2020, the extent of the decay into politically correct lunacy of a once — respectable university was revealed when it emerged that Sheffield university was to become the first to introduce mandatory training for students on “micro-aggressions” such as asking Japanese students about sushi and confusing a banana with a plantain.
Mr Somerville said: “We have these student union officers and even the university lecturers and managers who are trying to impose their own narrow and extremist world view on to all students and declaring all differing views unacceptable. Most who oppose such moves are too afraid to speak out because the bullying tactics of the far left in silencing opposition are well known.”
He added that he is hoping to attract speakers who are “perfectly legitimate but are currently deemed too offensive and anti ‘woke’” such as contotroversial feminist Julie Bindle whose opposition to the far left orthodoxy nn transgenderism is well known, and the journalist Toby Young whose conservative views are perfectly reasonable but not acceptable to the precious petals of Sheffield University Student Union. Thomas Woollard, a third-year history student and vice-President of the Free Speech Society, said he believed the university is becoming a “hostile environment”.
“The only line that you can say is whatever the student union believe is correct and anything else is considered wrong,” he said, adding “We are taking them to task over the hostility that they are causing to students in Sheffield who feel they are being silenced by their attitudes towards freedom of speech”.
Sheffield is the latest university to set up a free speech society in recent years, following Bristol, Sussex, Buckingham and Aberdeen. Ministers are now considering increasing the powers of the university regulator to ensure it has the authority to censor student bodies which fail to respect the right to free speech of all students and staff.
Jake Verity, president of Sheffield’s student union, said that their ‘risk’ classification for student societies is based on how much staff resource will be required to support them.
“Sheffield Students’ Union has a number of red risk student groups spanning media, sport, cooking, arts, and campaigning,” he said.
“The Free Speech Society stated that their activity would involve regularly hosting events with high profile external speakers.”
Since the students’ union requires all events with an external speaker to be risk assessed, the society will require greater staff resource, he added. What Mr. Verity chose not to mention is that at universities throught Britain, Europe and North America, when far — left student bodies disapprove of a speaker it is they who organise disruptive and violent protests in efforts to shut down the event. More intelligent and mature students who hold more reasonable views tend to simply stay away from leftist events.
A college at Oxford University, one of the oldest highter education establishments in the world last week launched an investigation into how a female historian and another speaker were barred from a feminist event because of fears they might express views the fascist snowflakes of the Student Union did not like.
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