National Post Editorial Slams Student Councils Denying Status to Campus Pro-Life Groups

Calls Carleton University actions "Orwellian, mean-spirited and more than a little weird"
Fri Dec 8, 2006 - 12:15 pm EST

By Steve Jalsevac

  TORONTO, December 8, 2006 ( – Toronto’s National Post published an uncharacteristic, hard-hitting main editorial today defending the rights of campus pro-life groups and slamming the recent actions by Canadian University student unions to deny club status to those groups.

  Noting the actions taken recently by student associations at Carleton University (CUSA), UBC Okanagan and Capilano College in Vancouver, the Post lamented, “That three campuses would be so infected by the totalitarian impulse is not shocking, but nevertheless appalling.” It continued that University student governments usually do not represent the views of most students but that nevertheless, the action at CUSA, “is Orwellian, mean-spirited and more than a little weird.”

  The blatant hypocrisy of the CUSA action was targeted by the Post. “CUSA’s policy”, the editorial stated, “is aimed at what it calls the ‘anti-choice’ agenda. Their anti-anti-choice solution is to do what they can to penalize students who argue for a different choice. The new policy at least clarifies that CUSA is not ‘pro-choice’ at all, but flat-out pro-abortion. In CUSA’s conception, choice means denying students the choice of forming clubs to reflect their interests. It is straight out of Orwell’s 1984.”

  The socially liberal newspaper, that does however allow more of a diversity of views into its pages than most Canadian news publications, surprisingly admits in the editorial that “the generation on campus today is more inclined to question the extreme abortion license. Canadian data are hard to come by on this question, but the longitudinal surveys of American students show that today’s students are more, not less, pro-life than their parents.” It further adds that “it appears that pro-life students are more confident of taking part in campus life today.”

  The Post even makes the politically incorrect case that allowing campus pro-life groups the right to freely express their opinions is a needed challenge to the rigid orthodoxy of the enforced group think at today’s Universities.

“To the extent that pro-life students want to organize themselves”, the editorial states, “it is a mark of civic engagement, a willingness to question campus orthodoxies, and of no little courage, given the hostile environment on campus. A vibrant campus should welcome such students. To set them aside for special, punitive treatment fails even the basic test of courtesy, to say nothing of fairness.”

  As well, the Post notes the lack of prudence to the Carlton decision. “If the campus is as enthusiastically pro-abortion as CUSA claims, what added advantage is to be gained from this policy, at a serious cost in terms of the university’s reputation as a place of debate and free speech?”

  It is further noted that “On campus it is an open secret that diversity usually means everyone sharing the same opinion. Just yesterday on the Queen’s Web site, for instance, the media office offered five professors available for comment on the issue of same-sex marriage. All five were in favour.”

  See the complete editorial at:

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