“It is cool to be Conservative”: Undergraduate Senate Fellow vows to protect free speech on campus

In the same interview, Francis Tamer said he would urge the University to develop a "no tolerance policy" on violent protests

Newly elected undergraduate Senate Fellow, Francis Tamer, has finally revealed that his main policy platform is to advocate for the protection of free speech on campus.

Tamer appeared on The Bolt Report on Thursday night, stating “free speech needs to be protected at the highest levels of the University” and that he would urge the Senate to accept a “no tolerance policy” on violent protesting. Tamer differentiates violent protests from the right to free speech, giving the example that last year’s protests against the Vote No stall left many Catholic campaigners “upset and shaken by how they were treated”.

This is Tamer’s second appearance on conservative media since election to the Senate, following his interview with Catholic Weekly a week prior. He made it clear to both outlets that he plans to be a “conservative voice” on Senate. Tamer had previously refused to speak to Honi Soit during coverage of the election, stating to Catholic Weekly “anyone who doesn’t align with [Honi Soit’s] political views, they’re pretty much going to crucify publically”.

Tamer expressed disappointment with the University’s treatment of misconduct complaints. He cited unresolved complaints made by controversial speaker Betina Arndt, and pro-life society LifeChoices, as evidence that the University protected protestors of each event. The current practice is that the results or progress of investigations into student misconduct is not revealed to the persons who made the initial complaints. Tamer said this represents the protection of left-wing students, whom he called “a protected species”.

Tamer received approximately 1, 800 votes in the Senate election, 1, 000 more than the second-placed candidate.

The Senate is the University’s highest governing body, responsible for approving the annual budget, business plans, strategic policies, and administration. As undergraduate Senate Fellow, Tamer is able to participate in the discussion around these matters and is responsible for representing the University’s undergraduate community. He has not, however, revealed his position on any other matters relating to the University.  

Tamer did not respond to Honi’s request for comment.

A previous version of this article was titled ‘”It is hard to be a Conservative’: Undergraduate Senate Fellow vows to protect free speech on campus”. That has now been corrected. 

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