Academic Council Statement on McGill Daily
November 28, 2016
As members of the Academic Council of Open Hillel, we are committed to a spirit of free expression, pluralism and inclusion on campuses across North America. While we have spent much time criticizing Hillel International for shutting out certain perspectives (namely non-Zionist or anti-Zionist ones via Hillel International’s “Standards of Partnership”) from Hillel’s campus spaces, we hereby wish to register our concern with the McGill Daily’s policy of barring Zionist voices from the newspaper.
As faculty members, we are committed to upholding academic freedom and critical inquiry in our classrooms. We are also aware of the important role that campus newspapers play in facilitating the marketplace of ideas and in encouraging critical inquiry among students.
While it is not uncommon for editorial boards to commit to certain political or philosophical positions, positions that are expressed in editorials, the op-ed pages (what used to be known as the “right-hand” side of the paper in the days of broadsheets) are intended to provide a broad forum for debate. Such an open forum helps students become critical consumers of politics, philosophies and social ideas more broadly.
Whatever views the Daily’s editorial board holds of Zionism or any other political ideology — and across our own Academic Council our views vary widely — as the newspaper of the McGill community, the Daily has an obligation to allow the expression of views held by members of the community. Further, as a university institution it bears an enhanced duty to offer open debate and contribute to critical thinking.