The ban-happy student council at the University of Ottawa issued an edict in December banishing the 2014 Olympic Winter Games from campus to protest Russia’s law against gay propaganda, reports Maclean’s.
So, how is the decree faring?
It’s a miserable failure, according to The Fulcrum, the University of Ottawa’s student rag.
After the student council’s diktat, the school’s administration nevertheless decided to stream the 2014 Winter Games at the delightfully named Jock Turcot University Centre, a central hub for students.
“It is for the university to be an inclusive community,” Myriam Hugron, a Community Life Service staffer, told The Fulcrum. “It was important for us to give students the opportunity to view the Olympics, and for us it’s a question of supporting Canadian athletes by broadcasting them.”
A bartender at a student council-run bar called 1848 flipped the bar’s television to the Olympics as well. He wanted to watch the events, he explained, and nobody told him about the ban.
There was also a “fairly well-attended” ice cream social at one of the school’s residence halls during the opening ceremonies.
Student council members are not happy that everyone on campus has flouted their directive.
Nicole Desnoyers, a vice president of the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO), said she is “disappointed.”
“The SFUO decided not to engage in the Olympics this year because we stand in solidarity with the queer students on this campus,” she told The Fulcrum.
As Maclean’s observes, students and educators across Canada frequently expose their authoritarian tendencies—often with goofy prohibitions.
For example, in 2010 the student council at Ontario’s Ryerson University convinced school officials to ban the sale of bottled water. Now, students either buy bottled water just off campus or just buy bottles of diet soda. Also, outdoor fountains costing $18,000 have broken down in the winter.
At Montreal’s prestigious McGill University, the student council came within a single vote of banning Blurred Lines, a pop song by Robin Thicke, because it offended some students.
At St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia, the student government wants to ban energy drinks.
And all over Canada, there is a movement to outlaw graphic signage from anti-abortion groups showing what abortion looks like.
There’s so much more.
In November, the health and education editor of the The McGill Daily advised the world that Movember — a month-long pledge by men to grow hair above the upper lip to support men’s health awareness — is “sexist, racist, transphobic, and misinformed.” (RELATED: Movember declared ‘sexist, racist, transphobic’ at Canada’s sorry imitation of Harvard)
Last March, protesters including a man dressed as a giant vagina successfully terminated a speech by an anti-abortion member of Canada’s House of Commons at the University of Waterloo. (RELATED: A guy dressed as a giant vagina shouts down Canadian lawmaker over abortion)
And last January, a seventh-year undergraduate student at Carleton University wrecked an on-campus “Free Speech Wall” because, he explained, “inclusive, safe spaces are not places where you can have unregulated free speech.” (RELATED: Canadian student who tore down ‘free speech wall’ defends his actions, views)