Left-wing University of Michigan Medical Students chose to walk out of their White Coat Ceremony in protest of the keynote speaker, Dr. Kristin Collier, simply because she is pro-life. Dr. Collier had absolutely no intention of addressing the topic of abortion, however, the medical students had no interest in hearing from a highly-regarded medical professional who holds a different personal opinion than they do.
Although over 300 students, alumni, and physicians at the ultra-liberal university petitioned to remove Dr. Collier as the keynote speaker, she proceeded to take the stage at Sunday’s ceremony.
But the woke medical students didn’t give up. Some walked out in protest as she walked up for her speech, and others draped a banner inside the auditorium that said, “Bans Off Our Bodies. Abortion Rights Now.”
Incoming medical students walk out at University of Michigan’s white coat ceremony as the keynote speaker is openly anti-abortion pic.twitter.com/Is7KmVV811
— Scorpiio (@PEScorpiio) July 24, 2022
Despite Collier being a highly respected professor who has published articles in some of the most prestigious medical journals, many medical students still rejected the opportunity to learn from her simple because her personal views on abortion differed from their own.
Collier has been an esteemed faculty member at the University of Michigan Medical School since 2005, and considered herself a “pro-choice atheist” until just four years ago when open debate caused her to change her mind entirely on the issue.
It’s frightening that our future medical professionals have been conditioned to reject anyone whose beliefs do not directly mimic their own.
However, in a move that’s uncharacteristic of today’s university administrators, Dean Marschall Runge defended the decision to keep Dr. Collier as the keynote speaker despite protests, saying that the school “would not revoke a speaker because they have different personal ideas than others.”
“The White Coat Ceremony is not a platform for discussion of controversial issues, and Dr. Collier never planned to address a divisive topic as part of her remarks,” said Runge. “Our values speak about honoring the critical importance of diversity of personal thought and ideas, which is foundational to academic freedom and excellence.”
Another professor at the medical school, Dr. William Chavey, spoke out in defense of Dr. Collier. Chavey criticized the students who protested at the ceremony, saying “I suspect that the people who signed it don’t know Dr. Collier. She’s obviously been valued for her clinical skills, her educational skills, and her scholarship. To criticize or demean her for her opinion is narrow-minded and inappropriate.”
Chavey also wrote a letter to the dean in response to the petition that was sent out to the entire student body by the Medical Students for Choice (MSFC). Dr. Chavey wrote,
“Dr. Collier’s views, described by the MSFC as fringe, are shared by roughly half of the population. Current and entering medical students will encounter many patients and have numerous colleagues with whom they may disagree over this topic. They cannot all be canceled.”
As universities across America become increasingly more intolerant of opposing viewpoints, it is particularly refreshing – and increasingly rare – to see university administrators defending the right to express one’s personal opinion without being “canceled” by the woke left.
It is the diversity of background and the diversity of thought that fuels ingenuity and keeps our country moving forward. As universities claim to prioritize the differences within their student body, they simultaneously squash any thoughts that diverge from the Left-wing agenda, effectively extinguishing independent thinking and expression.
Hopefully, other university administrators – like Runge and Chavey – take notice of their students becoming intolerant, and realize the dangers of teaching our future leaders to be close-minded and afraid of opposition.