University Of Toronto Student Newspaper Publishes Lengthy Editorial Defending Anti-Israel Hate Mob & Demanding Administration Surrender To Them

June 24, 2024

In a ponderous 1,600 word editorial published on June 18, the editorial board of The Varsity, a student newspaper at the University of Toronto, painstakingly unraveled the bureaucratic obstacles faced by the illegal encampment protestors at the University of Toronto as they try to make their mark on university policy.

The editorial entitled: “Encampment Protestors are not the Issue: U of T’s Policies and Protocols are,” outlined the steps the protestors must take in order for the university administration to consider their demands. The Varsity editorial board made their position very clear: “A slow, bureaucratic process may have its time and place, but not during a genocide.”

No matter how often the claims of genocide are bandied about, they remain as untrue as they are egregious. Hamas, the Islamic terrorist group in control of Gaza, declares its desire for genocide and carries out attacks with this stated intent at every opportunity. Conversely, Israel defends itself with restraint while providing vast quantities of humanitarian aid to the Gazan population.

In the current iteration of campus outrage, the occupiers paint themselves as a brave group of revolutionaries fighting against all odds. The reality is closer to a tempest in a teapot. The Varsity editorial board noted that “Since May 2, U of T Occupy for Palestine’s (O4P) encampment had been growing in size and support day by day.” In mid-May, the Globe and Mail estimated the size of the encampment to be about 120 people.

Even at double or triple that size, which is not supported by current eye witness accounts, the protests barely register in comparison to the 100,000-strong student body at the university, especially considering that most protestors are not thought to be students. Even assuming that all the participants are members of the university community, a claim also not supported by eye witness accounts, they are an insignificant drop in the bucket. Sympathetic media outlets continue to dedicate countless words and articles to this cause, but that is not a reason for the administration to take them seriously.

The critical point that The Varsity editorial board seems to miss is that the university administration does not owe anything to this odious group.

As the editorial outlined in great detail, the university provides for its community a process to follow should an individual or a group desire to effect change. While The Varsity editorial board describes it “as a stiflingly bureaucratic process if they wish to raise issues about the university’s investments,” what other kind of process could it be?

An institution with holdings as significant as a large university cannot just modify those holdings according to the whims of whichever student group is making the most noise. The demands from the illegal protestors, even if they had merit, must be communicated and documented through appropriate channels.

The Varsity editorial board specifies that a group hoping to make such a change must “prepare “a convincing brief establishing the case” and then present evidence of “general concern,” which includes securing 300 endorsing signatories.”

It remains unclear in this editorial which of these requirements proved problematic for the protestors: preparing a coherent argument in favour of their position, or obtaining those 300 signatures.

A successful submission of the above would not guarantee success, of course, for the protesting group. The university president would then convene a committee to adjudicate the issue. On this point, The Varsity editorial board again takes exception writing: “With the President essentially having full control over who can sit on the committee, we see these review committees as nothing but puppet voices of the administration.”

To suggest that a group of just 300 university community members should be able to appoint its own adjudicators on matters concerning the investments and holdings of the institution is ludicrous. To suggest, as the Varsity editorial board did, that the matter at hand being protested is of such great concern that it should bypass all these processes entirely beggars belief.

The editorial closed by claiming that U of T president, Meric Gertler: “… must stop pulling the wool over our eyes by hiding behind carefully crafted policies that smother student voices.” Student groups acting in good faith who truly want to effect change will have no problem availing themselves of these mechanisms. Fringe protestors acting outside of the law should not expect policies to cater to their every whim.

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