No venue for my Sydney University talk

Last month La Trobe University tried to ban me from talking about the fake rape crisis to students at their university. That event is now going ahead this week, on Thurs Sept 6 despite strenuous efforts from feminist activists to stop it from happening, with protest banners appearing on campus and even a demonstration against it.

It now seems Sydney University is heading in the same direction. It’s now over 10 days since the Liberal Club students applied for a venue for me to speak at an event planned for September 11, and still the University claims to be processing the request. This is clearly a stalling tactic, hoping the whole problem will just disappear if they refuse to provide somewhere for the event.

Here’s an extract from a letter I have written to Dr Michael Spence, Vice-Chancellor at the University. Please help me circulate this letter and apply pressure on the university to make sure the event takes place:

Dear Dr Spence,

I am writing to you in regard to a speech I am scheduled to give about the “rape crisis” to students of your university on September 11, in an event sponsored by the Sydney University Liberal Club.

You may not be aware that your administration has failed to provide a venue for the event. It is now ten days since Jack O’Brien, President of the Liberal Club, applied for a venue. The students tell me that normally the administration provides a venue within a few days. Your staff has been telling the students when they check in each day that the application for the venue is pending but this is becoming absurd. We can only conclude your staff has taken it upon themselves to block the event, as happened last month at La Trobe University.

You may be aware of the hostile media coverage regarding the La Trobe decision. The La Trobe administration received widespread condemnation for cancelling my talk following protests from a tiny group of activists, claiming that for me to discuss the evidence for the rape crisis on campuses didn’t ‘align with the values of the university.” I will include some of the relevant media articles in this email, below.

I am hopeful that under your leadership Sydney University would not take a similar action, although the current delay in supplying a venue suggests someone is doing their best to ensure the event does not take place.

I was delighted to read in The Australian your words about the importance of free speech on your campus:

“The university is a theatre for the exercise of the independence of the mind: a place where ideas are challenged and tested, but where evidence is called for.”

I can only assume you weren’t aware that your administration is failing to cooperate with the Liberal Students to ensure the event takes place. You will understand this is now a matter of urgency because the students wish to advertise the event and ensure appropriate arrangements are made regarding security and so on.”

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