The Medical College of Wisconsin cancelled a forum on the “uses and abuses” of diversity, equity and inclusion efforts in medicine and science after students and faculty members complained that the forum was not based on science, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
The event was to have been sponsored by the Wisconsin Association of Scholars, a branch of the National Association of Scholars, which opposes affirmative action. The speakers were to have been critics of affirmative action: U.S. senator Ron Johnson, a Republican; Representative Dave Murphy, chair of the Wisconsin Committee on Colleges and Universities and a Republican; and John D. Sailer, senior fellow and director of university policy for the National Association of Scholars.
In an email to the campus, the college’s president, John Raymond, said he wasn’t rescinding the use of campus facilities because of the views of the speakers. He was doing so because discussions surrounding the panel had become “unacceptably disruptive” and “distracted us from the responsibilities of our upcoming graduation events.”
Murphy said the president’s statement didn’t make sense. “I was flabbergasted trying to envision a bunch of medical students and their doctor professors marching with pitchforks on our event,” he said.
A petition against the event said, “The presence of this organization on campus directly impacts our students, especially those who are routinely subjected to discrimination and the effects of racism … Discourse that is politically motivated and not rooted in evidence adds nothing to the MCW learning community and makes our learners feel unsafe. As their faculty, we feel that it is our duty to strongly state our opposition to this event.”