Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
May 24, 2010
U of C again harasses pro-life students
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER
CALGARY - The University of Calgary and Campus Pro-Life are at odds again.
The pro-life group filed an appeal against the university that charged the group had violated the Non-Academic Misconduct Policy with its Genocide Awareness Project.
"If that stays un-appealed, and if they set up the display again in the fall, there would be another penalty, said John Carpay, executive director of the Canadian Constitution Foundation.
"Next time they would get a warning, a fine, and ultimately they could be expelled. The next level is an appeal board, then after that, the board of governors. If they affirm the students are guilty, then the students can go to the Court of Queen's Bench."
It wasn't always this way. The GAP project has been displayed on campus since 2006.
But in 2008, the university told Campus Pro-Life to face its display inward, thus making it out of view. The display includes graphic photos of fetuses and compares abortion with the Holocaust and Rwandan genocide.
In 2009, the pro-life students were charged with trespassing, but the Crown prosecutor stayed the charges. The most recent charges were laid when the group put up its display this April.
The pro-life group has 15 to 20 active members with Alanna Campbell as president.
A double major - biology and Spanish - Campbell completed her third year and had plans to enter health care, possibly medicine. "But now I've decided to do pro-life work."
While agreeing that the pro-life agenda can be stressful, Campbell says, "We are driven by the fact that anything they decide to do to us is nothing compared to what is happening to the unborn."
Carpay who acts for the pro-life group "takes no position on abortion but supports free speech."
He wrote a column in The National Post May 11 discussing the university's actions.
"When the U of C tries to use Campus Security as a tool to censor the peaceful expression of one particular opinion on campus, it departs from its mission to be a forum for free thought and frank debate . . . .
"While the students' courage is inspiring and admirable, the U of C should not be putting them into a situation where they need to display this courage," wrote Carpay.
Calls to the U of C's provost office were referred to the university's media relations office. There had been no response by the WCR's deadline.
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