The nomination of Milo Yiannopoulos and Professor Jordan Peterson for the position of Glasgow University Rector has sparked outrage among students.
On 3 March the 12 candidates for University Rector were announced, including the former senior editor of Breitbart News. Within hours of the announcement a petition entitled “Remove Milo Yiannopoulos and Prof Jordan Peterson from GU Rector Candidacy” was launched online by Glasgow University student Holly Hallam. In three hours the petition gained over 500 signatures and as of publication stands at 1,972.
The announcement has prompted several prominent university societies to release statements condemning the nominations of the two men, with the Glasgow University Feminist Society calling for a boycott of the vote until Yiannopoulos and Peterson are removed from the ballot stating:
“FemSoc are absolutely disgusted to see Milo Yiannopolous on the Rector nomination list. Someone who not only advocates child abuse, but is also racist, misogynistic and xenophobic and holds a plethora of bigoted views. We are sickened beyond belief at the allowing of this person on the Rector nomination list. Shame on those who nominated, and who allowed this.
In addition to this, having the transphobe Jordan Peterson on the nominative list is an absolute shame to our University. Boycott the election whilst these candidates stand.”
Following suit, the Isabella Elder Feminist Society decried it was “disappointing and worrying to see these individuals being put forward to represent the student body when their views are so degrading and detrimental to the values and rights of so many students here”.
Similarly, the Glasgow University LGBTQ+ society released the following statement:
“Electing individuals with such views and beliefs as Rector of the University sends a clear message to both current and prospective LGBTQ+ students that this University is not a place in which they will be accepted for who they are, and undermines all the steps we have taken as a community over the past few years towards ensuring all students are welcome.”
“That these people were nominated by students at this university is distressing, and proof of the importance of GULGBTQ+’s presence on campus and the amount of work still left to do.”
Yiannopolous has frequently caused controversy over his outspoken views on feminism, homosexuality, race, and Islam. In February Yiannopolous was dropped by Breitbart following the release of interview clips by Reagan Battalion in which he stated that sexual relationships between 13-year-old boys and adult men can be “consensual”, “coming of age relationships”, and can be “hugely positive experiences.”
Professor Jordan Peterson, a clinical psychologist and tenured professor at the University of Toronto, spoke out against political correctness in a lecture video series released in September 2016, and against Bill C-16 in Canada. Bill C-16 seeks to add gender identity and expression to the list of prohibited grounds for discrimination according to the Canadian Human Rights Act. Peterson has also publicly stated that he will not be compelled to use non-binary pronouns, such as “ze”, “zhe” or “zir”.