Category: Archive

Double snub for Bacik and Fordham University

February 17, 2011

By Staff Reporter

Bacik, who was to speak at Fordham’s Irish Institute at the end of September, claimed the cancellation was prompted by the Board’s disapproval of her role as an abortion rights activist.
The cancellation sparked criticism within the faculty and led Irish Times columnist Fintan O’Toole to call off a lecture he was scheduled to give in November as part of the same series. Following an emergency board meeting last week, Institute director Gayle Swiontkowski invited Bacik to give the lecture next spring.
However, Bacik told the Echo it would be “impossible” for her to accept because of a statement released by Fordham spokesperson Elizabeth Schmaltz following the cancellation, which said that: “Fordham has become an innocent pawn in the advancement of Ms. Bacik’s own political agenda.”
“In the circumstances I cannot accept the renewed invitation,” Bacik wrote in a letter replying Swiontkowski’s invitation.
“I have read the extremely rude comments about me attributed to a spokesperson from Fordham…I simply would not wish to be a guest of a university that publicly disparages its guests, and treats visiting academics in such a disrespectful way.”
Neither Schmaltz nor Swiontkowski were available for comment.
However, O’Toole indicated to the college that he would be willing to reschedule his lecture, following their re-invitation to Bacik.
“My concern was that Fordham would rethink its decision and therefore would not be imposing censorship on free speech,” he said in an interview with the Echo.
“I can understand why Ivana would be unhappy at how she’s been treated. For me, the issue is of principle. It wouldn’t be appropriate for me to still refuse to do the lecture given Fordham’s actions.”

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