The Students in Support of Free Speech administration have written an open letter decrying the university’s treatment of Black and transphobic threats.

“The University has been quick to condemn online threats of physical violence against members of the transgender community; it has also been quick to condemn the few racists and transphobic slurs that were, unfortunately, voiced by a small minority at the Free Speech rally […],” read the letter.

“However, we also believe that choosing to draw attention only to those incidents that were perpetrated against the transgender and the Black community is dangerous and wrong.”

Other concerns listed include the university’s inaction in condemning the “white noise machines”, which they claimed were used by the UTSU’s VP university affairs, Cassandra Williams; the group believes that this violated the university’s Free Speech Policy.

According to Williams in a previous interview with The Medium, she was one of those responsible for the noise, but stated that it was “noise-music”, not white noise, which she explained has been a music genre for decades.

The student group also voiced concerns in their letter over slander, claiming that the university has failed to curb slurs directed towards students and supporters of the Free Speech rally.

The group also included video footage supporting their claims, and warned the university that ignoring the footage would be equivalent to “condoning radical activist groups to silence, bully, assault, and threaten those who dare to disagree with their views.”

“The University has failed to protect their students from violence, bullying, racism, sexism and slander. We are speaking up—we need you to listen,” stated the letter.

“What’s happening is fundamentally wrong, and against all values of this institution and of Western, liberal democracy.”

The letter also thanked U of T for agreeing to hold a debate forum with Peterson.

The controversy over free speech began shortly after U of T psychology professor Jordan Peterson refused to recognize genderless pronouns in his YouTube lectures on September 27 and October 3. The comments sparked national media attention including CBC, The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, and others. It also resulted in protests by U of T students and a rally for free speech.

As reported in Toronto Sun on October 19, a letter by dean David Cameron and vice-provost, faculty & academic life Sioban Nelson, was sent to Peterson, calling on him to stop his comments. Peterson expressed his dissatisfaction with the letter in his online lecture on October 24.

Details of the forum remain unclear, as of press time, regarding when it will be held.

“What’s happening is fundamentally wrong, and against all values of this institution and of Western, liberal democracy.”

The letter also thanked U of T for agreeing to hold a debate forum with Peterson.

Peterson expressed his dissatisfaction with the letter in his online lecture.
Peterson expressed his dissatisfaction with the letter in his online lecture.

The controversy over free speech began shortly after U of T psychology professor Jordan Peterson refused to recognize genderless pronouns in his YouTube lectures on September 27 and October 3. The comments sparked national media attention including CBC, The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, and others. It also resulted in protests by U of T students and a rally for free speech.

As reported in the Toronto Sun on October 19, a letter by dean David Cameron and vice-provost, faculty & academic life Sioban Nelson, was sent to Peterson, calling on him to stop his comments. Peterson expressed his dissatisfaction with the letter in his online lecture on October 24.

Details of the forum remain unclear, as of press time, regarding when it will be held.

  • Patriarchy Pete

    It’s a known Progressive tactic to send oneself death threats when all else fails; I wouldn’t put it past the protesters if they in fact did so.

  • sarina singh

    These radicals are hijacking reasonable debate. Univeristy administrations need to stand up to these bullying tactics.