York University and it’s “religious” accommodation kerfuffle – Grayson is well intentioned but wrong

As a card carrying atheist I really do not like any religious interference in how the country is run. I do not like the deluded getting tax exempt status for their little social clubs where they sit around inventing stories about something that in all probability doesn’t exist and never has. BUT, and you knew that was coming, this latest stooshie over a student not wishing to meet with other students on religious grounds has me taking up the cause of the superstitious fool on this occasion.

  1. The student enrolled on an on-line course just to avoid such interaction in the first place. “One of the main reasons that I have chosen internet courses to complete my BA is due to my firm religious beliefs, and part of that is the intermingling between men and women,” he wrote, adding “it will not be possible for me to meet in public with a group of women (the majority of my group) to complete some of these tasks.”
  2. This student was then asked to meet up with fellow class mates for a project despite the course being an on-line course.
  3. Other students who were unable to meet up were allowed to do something else for credit instead of meet up.
  4. This student asked for the same consideration as other students who couldn’t meet up.

All religions of the book and many others are misogynistic by nature, although some cults within them vary on just how anti-women they are. But that isn’t the point here, the point is if you are offering a course on-line:

  • why are you expecting students to meet up anyway?

And if you accept that an inability to attend is grounds for not completing that assignment and the student must do another one instead, then

  • why should any reason for not attending be any different than any other?

Anybody who doesn’t wish to attend in person should be allowed to complete the alternative assignment. Why? Because one exists and not doing so smacks of selective behaviour or something worse. This looks like someone is going out of their way to pick a fight via a very badly constructed on-line course.

HINT: It isn’t an on-line course if all the coursework cannot be completed on-line.

Further HINT: If Peter MacKay thinks you are right, you are so far wrong you should worry.

Disclaimer – I am in the process of studying via a proper on-line course where all the work is conducted on-line including group interaction and group projects. But the folk who constructed this programme did it right.

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About harebell

Live in Alberta Fiscally conservative and socially more "live and let live" though I draw the line at folk who abuse their authority. Never bored
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6 Responses to York University and it’s “religious” accommodation kerfuffle – Grayson is well intentioned but wrong

  1. Personal religious beliefs should be left at the door of any and all public institutions.Religious BELIEFS while not grounded in scientific logic and reason should have to pass the academic institutions own test for EVIDENCE….seems logical doesn’t it?..

    • harebell says:

      Normally I’d be right there with you, but this case is different.
      The student concerned has a right to his religious beliefs as long as he obeys the law of the land when in public and the rules of the college when on their premises.
      He chose to take an on-line course in order to satisfy everyone and an on-line course would have done that. The fact that others who lived remotely didn’t have to attend campus illustrates that attending campus was not required to fulfill course requirements, so why couldn’t this student do as the others did?
      It looks like the prof was trying to bully someone into doing something that they didn’t have to do or want to do in order to satisfy a political point.
      Also it seems as though the prof was acting in a patriarchal manner and fighting women’s battles for them. I don’t see the prof’s attitudes to protecting those poor women as a whole lot different than the student’s views on the place of women in society. Both stem from a need to protect women despite themselves.

      • Can we compare women’s rights to Religious rights? One is founded in research and one is not. What gives someone who has a “belief” a “right” over someone who has much more than a belief?

      • harebell says:

        How would letting the guy write his assignment on line have affected anybody’s rights? Others were allowed to do it for a variety of reasons and it was an on-line course after all. Did allowing them to do the other assignment affect anybody’s rights?

  2. Sarah says:

    I just want to point out that while the student enrolled in an online course, IT CLEARLY stated that there was an in person component to the course and that they would be required to come to campus to complete such course. AND by accepting and enrolling in the course he understood that responsibility. So he should therefore not have been exempted. Simple. Don’t enroll in the course or pay attention to what you’re signing up for.

    • harebell says:

      That does add to the issues but it also raises its own problems too.
      Why was a student who couldn’t attend given the alternative assignment. If attendance were a requirement then the overseas student should not have been able to enroll.
      If exceptions are made to allow one person to evade an assignment then consistency dictates that any student that wishes to do the alternative assignment should be allowed to do so. Without any need to say why.

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