TORONTO, Jan. 14, 2014 /CNW/ - The York University Graduate Students Association (YUGSA) executive is deeply concerned with the administration's handling of a recent student accommodation request and urges the university to unequivocally uphold the principle of gender equality.
The request in question came to Professor J. Paul Grayson earlier this year from a student who, citing religious grounds, asked to be exempted from group work with female students. We are extremely troubled to learn that LA&PS Dean, Martin Singer, and Director of the Centre for Human Rights, Noël Badiou, responded by instructing Prof. Grayson to grant the student's request.
This decision casts serious doubt on York's commitment to upholding gender equality within our university community, despite the administration's stated promise of inclusivity and plurality. It also raises questions about the university's procedures for handling such cases as they may have arisen in the past, and sets a dangerous precedent for future accommodation requests of this nature.
We stand in agreement with Prof. Grayson in opposing this discriminatory move by the administration and strongly object to any forms of accommodation and exceptionalism that infringe upon the rights of other students to equitable treatment. Meanwhile, we also strongly condemn those responses to the administration's decision that are rooted in xenophobic and racist attitudes towards religious minorities.
The YUGSA executive urges the administration to take a clear and principled stance against sexism and to immediately rescind its earlier directive.
The York University Graduate Students' Association is the fully autonomous student body that represents the more than 6,100 full and part-time graduate students registered at York.
SOURCE: YORK UNIVERSITY GRADUATE STUDENTS' ASSOCIATION
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