On Campus

Queen’s president says “boycott us”

This from Karen Hitchcock, the president of Queen’s.

Ryerson president Sheldon Levy also responded, albeit far more cautiously, to the call for a boycott of Israeli academics and academies.

Hitchcock’s letter, released Friday, closes with the following clear statement:

Accordingly, I join with many of my colleagues in stating that, if the British UCU pursues its ill-advised course, we will have no choice but to add Queen’s University and many other universities around the world  to its boycott list. We are proud to align ourselves with those  who deplore the UCU’s unacceptable attack on the values and principles that define us.

Hitchcock’s letter is written in a plain language administrators often eschew: English. Levy’s letter? Not so much. I know what he’s trying to say, and I’m sure his heart’s in the right place. But the more times I read the text below, the more I come to the realization that his particular order, placement and use of words would (okay, who am I kidding? I mean “should”) fail a grade 8 English composition class. It ends as follows:

We do not hinge our belief in academic freedom and freedom of expression on political disagreements or diverging views on government policy.  Current events do not distract us from our core values.

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