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Canadian University Womyn's Centre Trying To Exclude Pro-Life Groups

from funding and space generally available to other student groups. The university student association vice-president for student services agrees; so does a student association vice-president at another Canadian school.

Anti-abortion speech, the theory goes, is "gender-discriminatory," and debate about abortion upsets some women because it "happen[s] in a space that they thought they were safe and protected, and that respected their rights and freedoms." So reports the A student newspaper at Carleton University in Ottawa:

Sparks flew during question period at a Nov. 21 Carleton University Students' Association (CUSA) council meeting after a motion that would prevent pro-life groups from assembling on CUSA space was tabled.

The motion -— moved by Katy McIntyre, CUSA vice-president (student services), on behalf of the Womyn's Centre -— would amend the campus discrimination policy to state that "no CUSA resources, space, recognition or funding be allocated for anti-choice purposes." ...

According to McIntyre, anti-choice groups are gender-discriminatory and violate CUSA's safe space practices.

The motion focuses on anti-choice groups because they aim to abolish freedom of choice by criminalizing abortion. McIntyre said this discriminates against women, and that it violates the Canadian Constitution by removing a woman's right to "life, liberty and security" of person....

McIntyre said she received complaints after Lifeline organized an academic debate on whether or not elective abortion should be made illegal.

"[These women] were upset the debate was happening on campus in a space that they thought they were safe and protected, and that respected their rights and freedoms," said McIntyre....

Julien de Bellefeuille, Student Federation of the University of Ottawa vice-president (university affairs), said that although his student association does not currently have any policies regulating anti-choice groups, he said the motion is a good idea and something that his school should adopt as well.

CUSA's motion will be formally debated at their next council meeting Dec. 5, during which council will vote to pass the motion....

The newspaper also reported that student organization officials at other schools do not share Ms. McIntyre's and Mr. Bellefeuille's views.

Thanks to Rich Poupard for the pointer.

Related Posts (on one page):

  1. Pro-Life Speech Excluded from General Funding Program at Carleton University (Ontario):
  2. Canadian University Womyn's Centre Trying To Exclude Pro-Life Groups
62 Comments
Pro-Life Speech Excluded from General Funding Program at Carleton University (Ontario):

The proposal I discussed here was enacted last night, by a vote of 26 to 6:

The motion affirms a woman's right to choose her options in the case of pregnancy, and would prohibit any group or person seeking to "limit or remove a woman's right to choose" from using CUSA [Carleton University Students Association] resources and space or from receiving recognition and funding.

The motion, as it was originally tabled at a Nov. 21 council meeting, aimed at restricting groups with an "anti-choice" mandate on the basis of discrimination against women.

CUSA defined anti-choice as actively campaigning for the re-criminalization of abortion.

The motion was amended during a meeting of the CUSA constitutional policy board early Dec. 4, but was amended again during the Dec. 5 council meeting to remove the words "anti-choice." ...

During the meeting, the CUSA executives were repeatedly questioned about their right to make a decision of this nature. They responded by saying they are a political organization, and as such, are allowed to take a stand on political issues....

Surely the CUSA is allowed to take a stand on political issues. The question is whether they are allowed to deny student groups that take other stands equal access to space, resources, and funding. CUSA isn't just a student group like some hypothetical Carleton Conservatives or the Carleton Pro-Choice Organization. All students are automatically enrolled in CUSA. It spends fees collected from students (though apparently there is an opt-out option), and administering access to university property that is supposed to be available to all students. Its Clubs & Societies Web page tells us a little about how it operates:

Clubs are a great way to get involved with your Carleton University Student Association. There are over 150 clubs and societies on campus with something for everyone. Check out the clubs listing to see what club and/or society is for you. Can't find one? Then create your own, it only takes you and 9 others to create a club.

The details are easy, simply visit the clubs office on the 3rd floor of University centre or download the Clubs Application package online. Once certified, you will have the opportunity to apply for a maximum of 1000 dollars in funding.

This year the Clubs and Societies budget has been increased by 10 000 dollars to allow more clubs the opportunity to further enrich our community. So whether your club would like to raise funds for AIDS research, unite those who enjoy playing chess, or organize cultural events there is an opportunity for everyone.

Better add a clause at the end: "there is an opportunity for everyone, unless you want to campaign to change the law in a way that we dislike."

Related Posts (on one page):

  1. Pro-Life Speech Excluded from General Funding Program at Carleton University (Ontario):
  2. Canadian University Womyn's Centre Trying To Exclude Pro-Life Groups
33 Comments