A UNIVERSITY is the last place that should restrict free thinking, which is why the attempts by some students to ban speech or behaviour they consider offensive has been so extraordinary. Universities should be doing everything they can to defend the right to challenge orthodoxies and vigorously explore complicated issues, and that inevitably runs the risk that some people or groups might be offended.
So have a group of pro-life students at Strathclyde University become the latest victims of the attempts to shut down “offensive” views? They certainly believe so and have asked the ruling court to intervene after their attempts to access funding were rejected.
The students of the Catholic Society had wanted funding from the University Students’ Association as a recognised club. But the Student Parliament rejected the move and the pro-life group says it has been denied a basic right.
The student association sees things differently and says the Catholic Society has the right to take the issue to a referendum on whether to change the official support for a women’s right to choose. That may be so, but the point is that one view on abortion is effectively restricted because it does not accord with the officially accepted position.