Left-wing students at the University of Michigan Medical School attempted to make a woke statement on Sunday in a thankfully failed effort to cancel a pro-life physician who was asked to deliver the keynote address at a ceremony for the school’s medical students.
Ahead of the address Dr. Kristin Collier, an assistant professor of medicine at UMMS, a group of over 300 students, alumni and physicians attempted to get her barred from the White Coat Ceremony, according to The Washington Free Beacon.
The doctor’s speech was not expected to focus on abortion, but the anti-free speech students and faculty wanted to make her appearance impossible, according to Fox News.
The leftist attempt to quash free speech, though, was actually rebuffed by school administrators, and Collier spoke during Sunday’s event, anyway.
After the school’s decision to refuse to cancel Collier for the White Coat Ceremony, dozens of anti-free speech students decided to walk out during her address.
The White Coat Ceremony is a milestone in the academic career of potential medical professionals.
Video of the walkout earned more than 700,000 likes on Twitter.
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 the handwringing by the leftists, Collier did not bring up abortion in her speech, but at one point she did make might be considered an allusion to the incidents of the previous weeks.
“I want to acknowledge the deep wounds our community has suffered over the past several weeks,” Collier said, perhaps in reference to the cancellation attempt, or even the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
She went on to add, “We have a great deal of work to do for healing to occur,” Fox reported. “And I hope that for today, for this time, we can focus on what matters most: Coming together to support our newly accepted students and their families with the goal of welcoming them into one of the greatest vocations that exist on this earth.”
At the ceremony were 168 new medical students, according to Fox.
Many leftists students, though, did not want to hear from Collier. In their petition, they claimed that the Dr. would perpetuate “a pattern of disregarding an[d] actively silencing the voice of students and members of our community,” according to The Washington Free Beacon.
The woke students went on to blame Collier for “the expansion of [the university’s] police force in the 1990s” and the “delayed reporting of a child pornography scandal at UM Hospital under the past and interim President Mary Sue Coleman,” the newspaper reported.
Still, the effort to cancel Collier came as a surprise to some students and alumni. Replying to the petition, which was organized by the group Medical Students for Choice, according to the Free Beacon, faculty member Dr. William Chavey ridiculed its claims.
“Dr. Collier’s views, described by MSFC as fringe, are shared by roughly half of the population,” Chavey wrote in his letter to the dean. “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.”
Ultimately, the leftist students did not get their wish — and uncharacteristically so — when school administrators actually denied their demands. The decision to deny the woke demands was announced by the school’s dean, Dr. Marschall Runge.
Runge actually turned the woke students’ appeal to “diversity” against them in his announcement, saying he feels that true diversity is “critical.”
“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,” Runge wrote in the email to the students, as reported by Princeton professor Robert George. “Our values speak about honoring the critical importance of diversity of personal thought and ideas, which is foundational to academic freedom and excellence.”
This is an uncommon sentiment in academia these days. In most cases, university administrators bow to the demands of woke students. Perhaps that is at last changing?
The boycott seems to have ended as a whimper. Collier’s speech was not disrupted, and from the number of students who walked out on the video, the support for canceling her appearance did not end up gaining anywhere near the support of the over 300 who signed the petition. Indeed, the hall did not seem noticeably empty during Collier’s address.
In the end, this may be a sign that the power of the left-wing cancel culture could be on the verge of waning.