Laurier University Tapes Signal a Much Wider Problem

Last week a troubling story was exposed about a grad student at Wilfrid Laurier University (WLU) facing censure from her own department and an HR official.

Lindsay Shepherd, a Master’s student in Communications studies, was put through the ringer by Nathan Rambukkana, an assistant professor in the department and her supervisor. 

Her offence? Shepherd, in an undergrad tutorial she taught, played a few minutes from the TV Ontario public affairs program The Agenda, featuring an exchange between now famous professor Jordan Peterson and a lesser known instructor Nicholas Matte. 

The topic? The same that brought Peterson international attention: gender neutral pronouns.

That week’s class was on gender issues so, Shepherd reasoned, it only made sense to play a brief exchange featuring two passionate, differing opinions. Not according to the one or more students who, she was later told, made an anonymous complaint. 

Rambukkana told her that playing the exchange in class was equivalent to presenting Adolf Hitler’s theories in a neutral light. Going forward, her lessons would need approval. This left Shepherd – a self-described leftist – in tears, fearing for her future at the school after being victim to such a bullying session.

The story captured international attention. But it was her word against theirs. And Rambukkana didn’t respond to various media requests (and he appears to have closed his Twitter amidst the furor). 

So you could, if you were so…

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