Students Hold Protest to Stop Controversial Figure from Speaking on Campus
Updated: Aug 13
Has free speech gone too far? That's the question on many students' lips today as the Student Activism Organization (SAO) descends on the Chickwit Performing Arts Center to protest the appearance of research psychologist, psychiatrist and controversial author Dr. Elliot Crick.
Dr. Crick became well-known and controversial last year after his paper "Gender and Mental Illness: Correlation or Causation?" had him removed from an adjunct position at the Endswell Academy in northeastern Pennsylvania, with the institution citing his "ideological differences that were irreconcilable with the needs of the institution and its student body."
Elliot Crick was scheduled to lecture students on the concepts presented by his bestselling self-help book "Hierarchy and the Science of Self-Improvement," last Friday, but after student outcry, his engagement was rescheduled for a weekend so as to reduce the risk of impact on non-commuter students. When the SAO was informed of this by members of their group working as campus events organizers, a protest was scheduled to coincide with Dr. Crick's arrival on campus.
We spoke to some students about their feelings towards the disgraced professor's appearance on campus and what their thoughts were on the protests.
"This is a violation of Elliot Crick's freedom of speech." said Liam Hallmark, 21. "He has a right to his opinions, and a right to share the facts, and right now he's being denied that. He earned his success fairly, and we can't be letting these pro-censorship leftist kids strongarm him into silence, that's just un-American."
"Look, I support freedom of speech, and I may not agree with your opinion but I'll fight to the death your right to share it. But these students are getting carried away with this protest. They're allowed to share their opinions but things definitely got out of hand. Like, where do we draw the line with free speech?" said Miles Levitt, 19.
"I think Dr. Crick is entitled to share his opinions, and he has a right to freedom of speech, but he's not entitled to speak at this college if we don't want him here." said Jennifer Aylin, 22. "Because nobody wants him here. This is how freedom of speech works.We're using ours, his isn't in question right now."
"I think it's [expletive] up that a few kids made it so the rest of us couldn't hear new ideas. I haven't read any of his work, I might hate him too if I did, but I'm in school to learn and be exposed to knew perspectives. I can think critically for myself after hearing him, but now that's been taken away from me by people who think they speak for everyone just because they speak the loudest," said another student, who chose to remain anonymous because he was 'afraid of how vindictive the SAO gets sometimes.'
"Elliot Crick is a racist, transphobic, homophobic bigot, and the fact that Mary Bell University even considered him as a speaker proves that Nazism is the primary ideology in our nation." said Shaun Gavinaugh, 20. When asked what work of Dr. Crick's he took the most issue with, Shaun refused to comment further.
"Gender is a spectrum, and Elliot Crick needs to go back to school if he thinks men have penises," said Mae Wheeler, 20. "I mean, the vast majority do but that's not the point."
"The man quite literally lies about science in his lectures. I'm not kidding, look up half the stuff he says. It's weird." said a faculty member. "Forget the political stuff. I worked with him on one of the studies he wrote about. He lied about its findings."
Upon arrival to the facility, Dr. Crick was accosted by students wielding signs and intimidated into leaving the campus. We were able to speak to him briefly as he was ducking back into his car. With tears in his eyes, he put the car in reverse, and before hastily pulling out said "I have colon cancer, I'm trying to pay my [expletive] medical bills."
The organizers of the protest were unavailable for comment.