Guilt by proximity is unfair

In a letter appearing in the National Post March 26, Richard Fisher, York’s chief communications officer, responded to an earlier opinion piece by Ed Morgan, a University of Toronto law professor and Ontario Chair of the Canadian Jewish Congress. Fisher wrote: "Mr. Morgan’s column describes the terrible wave of anti-Semitic graffiti and desecrations as being north and south of York University. This infers a kind of guilt by proximity which is very unfair to the 55,000 people – or 2.5 per cent of the GTA – of all cultures who study and work at York every day.

"With regard to the week-long suspension of privileges of both SPHR (Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights) and Hillel, a Jewish student group, the issue really is quite simple – both engaged in a noisy, unruly demonstration in an academic building, which is prohibited. All student clubs had been notified and were well aware that no events were permitted to take place in this space where classes are held. As the SPHR demonstrators arrived at Vari Hall, many Hillel students were already waiting in this prohibited area. As a result, rather than dealing with one smaller demonstration of approximately 25 individuals, the University was forced to deal with two groups. These 100 individuals do not have the right to stop the other 55,000 members of the York community from going about their academic business.

"Given current global tensions around events in the Middle East, we call upon community leaders to urge students to accept the sometimes difficult responsibilities of citizenship by engaging in a debate that is truly Canadian in its tone and conduct. York remains an open and vibrant university welcoming to all cultures – and long may it remain so."

Tories’ debt is unprecedented

Robert MacDermid, York University political science professor, was quoted in a CanWest News Service story that appeared in the Ottawa Citizen and National Post March 26. Commenting on the current financial crisis facing Ontario Conservatives, he noted that the size of the Tory party’s debt is unprecedented and will be difficult to pay down in the two to three years left before Conservatives move into election mode. MacDermid, who is an expert on party funding, said the leadership race will eat up contributions that might have gone into party coffers and the federal Conservative leadership race has added to donor fatigue. 

Love, Sex & Eating the Bones finds ‘some new ground’

Former York film student (1989-1991) Sudz Sutherland’s new movie, Love, Sex & Eating the Bones, was mentioned in the National Post March 26. The review described the director as having "some gritty Scarborough air in his lungs and York University’s film program on his brain, [and] clearly aims for realism in this fringey romance between a porn-addicted security guard and a market researcher from Shawinigan. The mix of CanCon, bad pickup lines and modern romance does find some new ground, though it resorts to a predictably A-OK ending."

On Air

  • Allan Hutchinson, Osgoode Hall Law professor, was interviewed by Vancouver’s CKNW-AM March 25 on how the Supreme Court vacancies should be filled.
  • Janet Mosher, Osgoode Hall Law professor, was interviewed by "Omni News" (OMNI.2) March 25 as part of a public education forum on women who are victims of abuse and violence.
  • Barry Elmes, jazz drummer and York contract faculty member, Faculty of Fine Arts, joined JAZZ 91.1 FM host Larry Green, March 25 to talk about 30 years of jazz at York University.
  • York Theatre director Tom Diamond, contract faculty member, Faculty of Fine Arts, joined host Tien Providence to talk about Theatre @ York’s The Comedy of Errors on FM 88.l CKLN March 25.