Everything is connected, as they say.
The University of Alberta has been in the news recently for its partnerships with Chinese researchers. A Globe and Mail article in early May suggested that partnerships with China in the areas of nanotechnology, biotechnology, and artificial intelligence might be a national security concern.
Roman Polanski does not deserve to be vilified or cancelled, despite his conviction of sexual assault of a 13-year-old in 1978, and more recent allegations by women who state that he sexually abused them when they were minors.
Students and faculty from a wide array of minority and marginalized communities are challenging universities on many fronts.
Contentious topics include tuition costs, admissions standards, traditions and symbols, culturally responsive curricula, student supports, campus security, accommodations for disability and family status, academic freedom, the right to protest, gender identity recognition, intellectual diversity, and more.
There is a lot of talk (and some action) around safe spaces these days. While not in any way downplaying the needs for sanctuary even in a prosperous country like Canada, and for venues where one can exercise democratic and expressive rights without fear of violence or other forms of intimidation and attempted silencing, I would like to register a caveat about the colloquial tendency to conflate “space” and “place” and use these terms interchangeably in talking about post-secondary education and the harms currently attributed to it.