By Patrick B. Craine
THUNDER BAY, Ontario, November 9, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Lakehead University Life Support (LULS), the Canadian campus pro-life club that recently lost its hard-won club status, is facing harsh opposition from board members of the Student Union (LUSU) – one of whom has compared the group to the murderer of late-term abortionist George Tiller – as the club seeks to regain its status.
The student union voted 7-6 on October 29th in favor of denying the pro-life group club status. The club had only won its status in February after fighting for two years to gain it.
On November 6th, LUSU Vice President of Finance Josh Kolic released a statement in which he called the effort to overturn the union's decision an attempt to 'hijack' the democratic process. He went on, further, to claim that the pro-life club “represents … the same mentality of those who gunned down Dr. George Tiller.”
Kolic issued this statement one day after Katrina Scheibler-Smith, a LUSU board member, made a motion to rescind the October 29th decision. She based her motion on the fact that LUSU is meant to represent all students and that by banning the club they were going against their constitution.
The status denial, says the club, actually violated LUSU's own policies, because the members who voted to take away their status were motivated by a complaint made against them in September. The complainant alleged that one of the club members had called her a 'baby killer.'
The club maintains, however, that the incident never happened, and that the complaint was not properly handled. The policies require that any complaint about a club be reported to the Chief Justice of the student union. But rather than handling the complaint through the appropriate channels, the club says that LUSU and Kolic presumed them to be guilty as accused, without affording them a presumption of innocence or an opportunity to defend themselves.
Scheibler-Smith's motion to overturn LUSU's decision has been tabled and the club has been told that they must prove to the Judicial Review Committee that they are not guilty of this September accusation before LUSU will re-vote.
In Kolic's statement, he claimed that denying the pro-life group club status was a “great victory for human rights.” In his view, “the neutral stance is simply one that allows the individual woman herself to choose,” and, as such, he says this is the position that LUSU itself should take.
He went on to ask the student body for “help [to] restore democracy and the spirit of human rights to the Lakehead University Student Union” by attending their next meeting or emailing “a deputation to the board as to why a woman's right to choose is important to you.”
In response, the pro-life club's president, Maggie Ten Hoeve, commented, “It is a sad day when a student representative uses his ignorance of the pro-life position to discriminate against a group of students on his campus in the name of human rights.”
National Campus Life Network, with which the club is affiliated, is calling on pro-life and free-speech proponents to contact the LUSU board members who are opposing the club.
See LifeSiteNews' guidelines for effective communications.
Communications can also be copied to [email protected].
David Grad, President
Phone: (807) 343-8550
E-mail: [email protected]
Trevor Cava, Vice President Student Issues
Phone: (807) 343-8602
E-mail: [email protected]lusu.ca
Josh Kolic, Vice President Finance
E-mail: [email protected]
See related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
Lakehead University Pro-Life Group's Club Status Revoked