York University’s shameful decision (Editor's notes)

University's decision to accommodate request very troubling
By Todd Humber
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 01/28/2014

Gutless. That’s the only word that comes to mind when one thinks of how York University handled an accommodation request earlier this month from a sociology student who wanted to be excused from group work with women, citing religious grounds.

The Toronto-based university’s human rights centre gave a thumbs-up to the request, which stunned Paul Grayson, the sociology professor who wanted to deny the request but went through appropriate channels first. It also offended pretty much every Canadian in the process.

Grayson, to his tremendous credit, dug in his heels and ignored the university. He denied the request, at which point the student completed the group work with the female students. It’s not often you’ll be applauded for insubordination, but hats off to Grayson — who probably won’t (and shouldn’t) face any official sanction for his action.