University Of Michigan Medical Students Walk Out Of Their White Coat Ceremony In Protest Against Pro-Life Keynote Speaker
Medical students at the University of Michigan walked out of their White Coat Ceremony in protest against the keynote speaker who is pro-life.
When Kristin Collier was first announced as the keynote speaker for the White Coat Ceremony for UofMichigan, many of the medical students objected to the assistant professor due to her views on abortion. Collier has often spoken out against abortion and Roe V. Wade, even calling abortion “oppression”.
They tried to pressure the administration to replace her with a petition signed by over 340 students and 72 community leaders, claiming that she wasn’t the right speaker due to her differing and controversial beliefs.
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“While we support the rights of freedom of speech and religion, an anti-choice speaker as a representative of the University of Michigan undermines the University’s position on abortion and supports the non-universal, theology-rooted platform to restrict abortion access, an essential part of medical care,” the petition reads.
“We demand that [the university] stands in solidarity with us and selects a speaker whose values align with institutional policies, students, and the broader medical community. This speaker should inspire the next generation of healthcare providers to be courageous advocates for patient autonomy and our communities.”
This petition didn’t move Dean Dr. Marschall Runge because he refused to cancel Collier’s speech, claiming that he couldn’t revoke someone simply because the students didn’t agree with her political views.
“We have received both positive and negative feedback on the choice of our keynote speaker,” Runge said in a statement. “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. We would not revoke a speaker because they have different personal ideas than others.”
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