Money, not free speech, at issue in Carleton pro-life dispute

Carleton students shouldn’t be forced to pay for a group they don’t support


 

Critics of the Carleton University Students’ Association’s threat to strip an anti-abortion group’s club status are missing the point.

“Carleton student association bans anti-abortion club,” screams the headline on the National Post’s religion blog. According to a press release from the Campaign Life Coalition: “Carleton University, that bastion of free-thought, has ordered some of its students to accept its pro-abortion policy or leave the University.”

The problem is that this just simply isn’t true.

What’s actually happening at Carleton is that the students’ association–not the university–has decided to suspend a group’s club status. What does this actually mean? It means the group won’t get student money and can’t use student space for their activities. That’s it.

This has nothing to do with freedom of speech and everything to do with a group of self-righteous whiners who feel that they’re entitled to funding from all students and are upset that the gravy train has been stopped.

This group hasn’t been “silenced” or any such nonsense, they’re just being forced to pay their own way.

Students shouldn’t be forced to financially support groups that they disagree with. As Thomas Jefferson said, “to compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.”

Yes, I am aware that students across the country are forced to pay for on-campus groups they may or may not support. I don’t think they should be.

Moreover, Carleton Lifeline’s views are particularly extreme. The group’s most recent protest involved the hosting of something called the “Genocide Awareness Project” a vile campaign which makes a mockery of the suffering of Holocaust victims.

The CUSA is a private corporation run by elected pseudo-politicians, they’re allowed to take stances on issues. One might even say that’s what they’re supposed to do.

If individual Carleton students want to pay for this group they can, and should, do it out of their own pockets.

Related: Carleton student union to enact discriminatory ban


 

Money, not free speech, at issue in Carleton pro-life dispute

  1. Does Carleton’s student government still only allow fund raising for diseases that are equal opportunity diseases? Or do they still ban fund raising for diseases that primarily (in their ill informed opinion) affect white males?

  2. Really? That is a pretty weak argument. Then I think any student should be forced to pay for the Communist club or anything else they don’t agree with. That would be just fine with me.

  3. I can think of many self-righteous whiner groups I don’t agree with, starting with the Campus NDP. Luckily, I don’t think they yet represent the majority. Would I try to take away there funding? Absolutely not and in fact, I would stand with them to defend there right as a student group even if they supported certain things I found abhorrent like euthanasia. However, to deny them equal standing because I don’t like what they have to says would be anti-intellectual and hypocritical.
    It is simple, the Student’s Union is trying to impose it’s view on campus and has no toleration for dissent. That is sad, because dissent is fundamental in a campus that is suppose to allow for a free exchange of ideas. All students should be encouraged to participate in the club system and not only those who toe the SU’s left-wing party line.

  4. “Yes, I am aware that students across the country are forced to pay for on-campus groups they may or may not support. I don’t think they should be.”

    I think therein lies the point. Either students should have to subsidize clubs or they shouldn’t. If they shouldn’t thats pretty straight forward and Campus Lifeline has nothing to complain about. If they should (and must) then some sort of level playing field needs to exist in terms of funding a variety of political viewpoints. You can’t simply delegitimize and defund a group because you merely disagree with them. Yes there will be some very extreme cases (like a KKK club) that funding could be withheld from, but redefinining “discrimination” and “harassment” to cover an anti-abortion club is asinine. What is next? Will CUSA cut off the campus conservatives because food, shelter, education, you name it is a “human right” and thus the conservatives oppose human rights?

  5. The real issue is that those who support abortion cannot successfully defend their opinion. Instead they choose to shut down discussion.

  6. Pingback: Carleton mulls change of policy on campus clubs – CTV.ca | newzbuff.com

  7. By that standard, a pro-life student should not have to pay fees to CUSA, which officially endorses views that a pro-life student rejects. By that standard, only clubs unanimously supported by all students should receive funding from CUSA. Better to allow the normal plurality of views to be represented by a plurality of clubs.

    Also, this issue is not just, or even principally, about money. CUSA is also barring this group from using campus facilities and organizing campus events.

  8. About money? No, actually it is about a fear of ideas.
    The banned pro-life club was not threatening anyone in any physical way; what seemed threatening to some was the expression of their ideas.
    How can Carleton U consider itself a university of any standing if they shut down groups that obviously reflect the interests and concerns of some members of its student body? Isn’t the presentation of alternative ideas what university is all about?
    MacLean’s magazine needs a ranking for intolerance — Carleton U would finally place first!

  9. I’m a little surprised that Carleton is going ahead with this. It might have been advisable to look west as see what has come about from UVic’s similar issues with the pro-life YPY group. More support and publicity for the group they’re trying to ban? Check. Public uproar? Check. Lawsuit? Check. Humiliating retreat from their previous position? Check. CUSA will probably do no better.

    I could list a lot of groups that I don’t support that get funded through my student fees. But withholding funding from those groups on those grounds is not equitable. Just because I don’t agree with them doesn’t mean they’re wrong. It also doesn’t mean that their opinions don’t have the right to equal treatment. If the CUSA wants to take this position, they should be prepared to remove funding and club space from all clubs and let them figure out how to raise funds themselves. Otherwise, they’re just hypocrits.

  10. I almost thought this article was a comedy piece when I saw the title. The whole point with student unions is that they FORCE all students to fund them – they have no choice. That means when I was a student at Carleton, student union was taking my money to produce materials that attacked me while discriminating against me as a pro-life student!

    If you admit that student union money is student money, then how can pro-life students be “forcing” anyone to fund their clubs? All they are asking for is the money they already pay into the union.

  11. “Moreover, Carleton Lifeline’s views are particularly extreme. The group’s most recent protest involved the hosting of something called the “Genocide Awareness Project” a vile campaign which makes a mockery of the suffering of Holocaust victims.”

    I have seen/heard a lot about this “campaign”, & basically they’re accusing women who avail themselves of a medical procedure of engaging in “genocide” against fetus’ which is akin to the holocaust, in their demented eyes. Trivializing the holocaust? You betcha. Engendering hate against women who choose to terminate a pregnancy? Ah yup.

    This is a hate based group, & can indeed be likened to a KKK Club. To KC, it is no “redefining “discrimination” and “harassment”…”, as the anti choice in general & this group specifically, exists solely to REMOVE the legal rights of women, forcing us to choose between being used an incubator against our will or behaving like a Nazi. Some choice.

    Using horrifically violent images & comparisons that most people, regardless of their stance on the issue, find completely abhorrent, is their undoing. They have no interest in “discussion”. Well, this is not America, & women here will not be bullied out of our right to make personal health decisions.

    Would it be acceptable for a student group whose sole aim is to reinstate slavery be funded in the name of “free speech”?? This is a no brainer, & kudos to the union for refusing to fund their asshattery!

  12. LAMB,

    Your article is so deeply offensive to me that I consider it hate speech. By comparing pro-lifers to the KKK, you are endangering our lives and threatening our LEGAL right to speak out against abortion.

    Therefore student unions and this magazine should be allowed to censor you and delete your comments…

    If your argument can be used so easily against you because you can’t even live by those standards, perhaps it’s not such a good argument.

    BTW, every Canadian Supreme Court Decision on abortion or fetal rights have always admitted that Parliament has a right to limit legal abortion. By writing what you did, you’ve proven that you haven’t even read the Morgentaler Decision that legalized abortion in the first place!

  13. “Yes, I am aware that students across the country are forced to pay for on-campus groups they may or may not support. I don’t think they should be.”

    Well then, they should defund ALL the groups with an idealogy behind them, including women’s movements and the like. Why the double standard?

  14. What a farce. This article makes no sense what so ever. I, and many others find the Pro-Abotion stance abhorrent, so any Pro-abortion clubs should not receive funding. I also do not agree with the NDP, communist, or Liberal thinking, so they should not receive funding. And while you’re at it, I also do not really care for the chess or Domino clubs, so ban their funding as well! When you come right down to it, I think its the CUSA that’s the offensive one, so how about we just eliminate them!?!

  15. “The group’s most recent protest involved the hosting of something called the “Genocide Awareness Project” a vile campaign which makes a mockery of the suffering of Holocaust victims.”
    The GAP campaign is just exposing the truth of what is happening in countless abortion clinics. The truth of the matter is that living beings are being ripped limb from limb in the name of woman’s rights. Whether you agree that the fetus is a human or not, there is no disputing that it is a living being. It has life, it has organs, it has senses. At 2.5 weeks from conception the heart begins to beat; at 3 weeks it is pumping its own blood. At week 10 brain development is very rapid, as the brain is forming 250,000 neurons per minute. By 12 weeks a fetus can feel touch(read: pain) from its head to its feet. It is a living, functioning being.
    A dog is not a human being, yet if someone ripped off its legs and head that would be considered an enormous act of cruelty. This is exactly what happens during an abortion.
    The debate about a fetus being human or not cannot be used as a defense. It is still a living being that is being cruelly, and very literally, ripped apart.
    And THAT is what is vile, not the people exposing it.
    What pro-abortion defense could ever stand up against these truths?
    The only hope the pro-choice side has is to keep everyone ignorant about the truth or abortion, which is why they want to shut down GAP; not because GAP is vile, but because they don’t want people to see just how vile abortion really is.

  16. This comment in the article was very hateful;

    “The group’s most recent protest involved the hosting of something called the “Genocide Awareness Project” a vile campaign which makes a mockery of the suffering of Holocaust victims.”

    Comparing aborted fetuses to Holocaust victims is only disrespectful if fetuses are not moral beings. The moral status of the fetus is exactly the question Carleton Lifeline is posing to their fellow students during the Genocide awareness project. This writer clearly did not actually look into what this project is and says. To hatefully say Carleton Lifeline are, “self-righteous whiners”, goes to show this writer has a personal problem with Carleton Lifeline, and therefore uses personal unjustified attacks when speaking about them instead of arguments worthy of academics.