Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Good Laugh At Ryerson

I simply loved Lorrie Goldstein's article out of the Toronto Sun today.

Dear Honorary Doctorate Recipient:

Greetings from the Ryerson University Awards and Ceremonial Committee, 2007 edition.

Thank you for agreeing to accept an honorary doctorate from Ryerson University.

[...]
While other universities do things the old-fashioned way by doing some basic, freshman-level research into the views of those they are thinking of giving an award to BEFORE they offer it to them and they have accepted, we here at Ryerson prefer to research such views only AFTER naming recipients. We have found this makes the whole awards thing so much more exciting. Besides, nobody here knows how to use Google.

As you may recall, last year we gave an honorary doctorate to world-renowned Montreal ethicist Margaret Somerville, which she accepted and which we announced before we learned that -- holy cannoli, who knew?! -- she opposes same-sex marriage on complex ethical grounds having to do with the rights of children and the traditional role of parenting in marriage. Or something like that.

Anyway, once we learned about Prof. Somerville's controversial views on same-sex marriage, which she had cleverly hidden from us by talking about them before Parliament and in the media, we at the Ryerson Awards and Ceremonial Committee, said that had we known about her views in advance, we might not have offered her an honorary doctorate at all.

[...]
In that context, we would kindly ask you to answer the brief questionnaire below in order to determine whether you are worthy of receiving an honorary doctorate from Ryerson.

Don't worry -- there are no wrong answers.

Even if we disagree with your responses, we will still give you an award. We will just say that had we known of your views prior to offering it to you, we probably would not have given it to you, but now we have to for the sake of free speech. Ready?

- Question 1: Are you (a) a supporter of same-sex marriage (b) a really big supporter of same-sex marriage (c) the biggest supporter EVER of same-sex marriage ever or (d) the Imperial Wizard of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan?

- Question 2: Are you (a) politically correct (b) totally politically correct (c) so politically correct it hurts or (d) a fascist?

- Question 3: Academic freedom at Ryerson University means (a) academic freedom (b) is this a trick question? (c) nothing important or (d) what would you like it to mean?

- Question 4: Anyone offered an honorary doctorate from Ryerson University should (a) decline with thanks (b) try not to laugh (c) auction it off for a couple of bucks on eBay or (d) run away screaming.

Thank you for filling out our questionnaire and we look forward to seeing you on June 19. Or maybe not.

Sincerely,

The Ryerson Awards and Ceremonial Committee

Hat Tip: Daimnation

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