A professor from the University of British Columbia is facing heat online for a Remembrance Day tweet that some deem to be disrespectful.
Economics professor Marina Adshade sent a tweet directed at UBC president Santa Ono, questioning why members of one of the university’s fraternity houses were laying wreaths as part of the school’s Remembrance Day ceremony. She asked why “more representative groups” weren’t included instead.
@ubcprez wondering why frat boys are laying wreaths at the Remberance Day Ceremony at UBC. Surely there are other more representative groups on campus to play this role?— Dr. Marina Adshade (@MarinaAdshade) November 11, 2019
The tweet didn’t go over well with some students, who felt the timing and intention of it was disrespectful. Others felt she was being flippant towards a certain group of students.
Before you were disrespectfully tweeting during the ceremony, the same gentlemen you are condemning spent hours setting up and running a ceremony which is meant to honour and respect the thousands of brave Canadian who lost their lives; several of whom were fraternity members.— Jordan Black (@Jordanblack2323) November 11, 2019
Hi Marina, next time I think the Veterans, fraternity members, and greater UBC would appreciate if you held off spewing your hateful fraternity rhetoric until after the Remembrance Day ceremony has concluded.— Stefan Borich (@stefanborich) November 11, 2019
3 of my 4 grandparents served for Canada in WW2 but because I’m in a fraternity I am not a fair “representative” of the spirit of Remembrance Day? Trying to isolate who is most worthy of paying their respects is bigotry, the focus should be on remembrance and respect in general— Davis (@davisbaynton) November 11, 2019
An unbelievably bias and out of touch opinion. @ubcprez at what point do you draw the line and stop this hatred towards a group of students existing on your campus? Students should not have put up with faculty criticizing them for attending Remembrance Day ceremonies #fireadshade— Josh Bourke (@JoshBourke) November 12, 2019
I find it very disrespectful that a professor would tweet something like this towards a student to try and question their understanding of the purpose of Remembrance Day - when in fact you were the one tweeting during a ceremony to honour veterans.— Mischa Frances (@mischafrances) November 12, 2019
You are so filled of hatred towards young men, you had to tweet this DURING the actual ceremony.— Toby Levins (@TobesLevins) November 12, 2019
Some pointed out that fraternity members were amongst those who served in World War II, including Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, who wrote the iconic poem "In Flanders Fields".
99 men of UBC’s Beta Theta Pi Chapter served in World War II. Nine of those young men never returned. These are the names of those men. Today, fraternity members lay wreaths at UBC’s ceremony to remember the their brothers and the many veterans that serve this country. pic.twitter.com/4wS6yjpSkR— Aaron A (@aaron604) November 11, 2019
Lt Colonel Dr John McCrae was a part of the Zeta Psi fraternity. And it was him who wrote the poem In Flanders Field if you didn’t know. It’s an honour of being part of the same fraternity as him— Sudarshan Iyer (@008_sud) November 12, 2019
Dr Adshade, 10 Brothers from my Fraternity Chapter at UBC gave their lives in WW2 so that you can present your views to the world. In addition, many more Fraternity Brothers are serving in the Armed Forces today to uphold those freedoms that we take for granted.— John Mio (@JohnMio5) November 12, 2019
Despite the critical feedback, some of which was racist, sexist and derogatory in tone, Adshade hasn’t deleted the tweet.
This exactly my point, you belong to an exclusive and secret society of men. How can you possibly represent all UBC students?— Dr. Marina Adshade (@MarinaAdshade) November 11, 2019
In an e-mail to CTV News, Adshade doubled down on how she felt.
"I stand by what I said. UBC prides itself on being an inclusive and diverse campus. That was not reflected today by the student representation at the ceremony today. This is something that can, and should be addressed, in future years," she said. "The fraternities are antithetical to those ideals and should not be given a place of privileged at any UBC functions. I think that when wreaths laid by student organization they should be student organizations that are open and inclusive.”
Asking for representation is spewing hatred? Are certain you fully understand the purpose of this day?— Dr. Marina Adshade (@MarinaAdshade) November 11, 2019
The university has not commented.