uCalgary denies Palestinian rights group space for student forum, citing security concerns

September 10, 2014

The University of Calgary has denied an application by a Palestinian rights student group to host a forum on campus, citing security concerns. Student Union President Jarrett Henry said, “campus security did a risk assessment and deemed that it was too risky to hold the event. The reasons they gave … were that they were worried about non-students showing up and inciting violence. They referenced the July 18 protest in downtown Calgary that had violence erupt.” But Ala Hamdan, the President of Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights, said that the concern is “baseless” and alleges that the university is unjustly blaming the group for “something we didn’t take part in.” She noted, too, that the group has hosted other events on campus without incident. Hamdan says that uCalgary also informed her that security would be otherwise engaged with orientation week events, and that the scheduled time for the forum conflicted with a football game on campus. Henry said that the rejection applied only to this particular event, and that further applications would be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Calgary Herald