A non secular team at a Sydney college has arrive beneath fire after asking students to vote ‘droop’ or ‘no’ to the question – “are disabled people a burden on society?”
The question was one of two posed by the Sydney University Catholic Society as part of Lifestyles Week, which aims to engage students “about the important existence issues in our society”.
The two questions – “is it charge enduring suffering?” and “are disabled people a burden on society?” – were printed on sandwich boards alongside a stick and two buckets marked “droop” or “no”.
The team said it had encountered some students who “took offence” and had determined to take away the signal following complaints.
“We understand that right here’s a sensitive topic as many participants of our neighborhood are living with a disability, including participants, chums and relatives of the Sydney University Catholic Society,” the team wrote on Facebook following the event.
“Many of us would be aware of prominent intellectuals who would assert that disabled people are a burden.
“As Catholics, we imagine in the fundamental dignity of each human existence and the invaluable contribution of each member of society, including those living with a disability.”
The question was also criticised by dozens of students online who labelled the train “disgraceful”.
“You want to be absolutely ashamed,” one person wrote, “what kind of deranged scholar society posits the notion that disabled people are someway a burden?”
“Reveal some compassion and think for a second about how your words may well affect people with disabilities,” another commented.
“Did you consider that perhaps someone that’s disabled and going via a tough time won’t want to glimpse themselves being described as a burden,” a third person asked.
And another: “Why would you think it’s okay to present such an easy, public platform for people to dehumanise disabled people?”
The Catholic Society later formally apologised for the question in a statement posted online.
“The intention of this particular question was to invite students to think critically about latest and proposed laws and practices which are repeatedly justified on the basis of avoiding sickness or disabilities, and so demonstrate an ableist attitude towards human existence,” it said.
“We had hoped this question would really helpful students to consider and critique the broad give a increase to these laws and practices receive in executive, academia, the medical profession and the neighborhood more broadly, and remorse that this did no longer occur.”
The University of Sydney Disability Collective said the stunt was “inexcusable”, regardless of the intent.
“Disabled people are no longer burdens and disabled students must detached no longer be confronted with questions fancy this on campus,” the USYD SRC Disabilities Collective and Caregivers Community said in a statement.
“If their intent was to oppose ableist views in academia, or have droop conversations around disability, they have instead perpetuated academic ableism by literally putting the value of disabled lives up for public debate.
“Disabled students make up a significant proportion of the scholar physique. We must detached no longer have to arrive back upon debates on the value of our existence on campus.
‘We are fellow students and neighborhood participants with agency of our absorb.’
The collective continued that disabled people weren’t “objects of pity” or “political volleyballs to be archaic to rating outrage points”.
“We are fellow students and neighborhood participants with agency of our absorb,” it added, describing the Catholic Society’s actions as “callous disrespect for disabled lives”.
“Using disabled people as props and conversation-starters belies how dinky genuine care the Catholic Society has for real disabled people, and how readily they glimpse us as malleable objects free to make utilize of in whatever capacity suits their agenda,” it said.
The collective said it hoped the Catholic Society would “make a dedication to engage more respectfully with disabled students in the future”.