Incoming RSU exec says he may have funded pro-life club

By Colleen Marasigan and Nitish Bissonauth

An incoming student union executive says he may have funded a pro-life student group that was rejected by the RSU.

Students for Life, a pro-life group, was unanimously voted down by the committee that reviews student group applications on Feb. 23. But Cormac McGee, the incoming vice-president education for the Ryerson Students’ Union, says certain conditions might have made the group viable.

Carter Grant, left, the vice-president of Students for Life at Ryerson says the group advocates human rights of all levels of life. In the middle is the group's president, Nicole Bryck, and on the right is the group's secretary/treasurer Teresa Mervar.

Carter Grant, left, the vice-president of Students for Life at Ryerson says the group advocates human rights of all levels
of life. In the middle is the group’s president, Nicole Bryck, and on the right is the group’s secretary/treasurer Teresa Mervar.

“What they say they would do in the meeting was hold events for people who are pregnant and don’t know whether to have an abortion or not and start a dialogue. Something like that is OK, but we’d have to closely monitor,” he says.

Students for Life’s website says it was told that the RSU is against groups, meetings, or events that “promote misogynist views towards woman (sic) and ideologies that promote genderinequity, challenges women’s right to bodily autonomy.”

Carter Grant, the group’s vice-president, said they didn’t receive much more information.

According to RSU president Rajean Hoilett, reasons have been communicated to the group, specifically that the RSU is a pro-choice organization.

“It has at no point been stated that students for life or the executives of the groups are misogynist, but the ideas were found to do things like limit a woman’s bodily autonomy,” Hoilett said.

When asked about the recent barring, the university’s president, Sheldon Levy, pointed out that the RSU is an independent organization.

“This does not limit (Students for Life) from organizing on campus, it just means as a students’ union … we’ve chosen not to provide recognition for this group specifically,” he said.

“I think anytime someone limits the freedom of speech of an individual it’s a problem,” he said.

“It doesn’t mean you have to make people comfortable, in fact the strength of freedom of speech is, ‘I’m gonna make you uncomfortable.’ I think regardless of if the RSU bans them or not, they can come to the university and ask for the opportunity to have a room or book a room as long as they follow our policies and are respectful.”

According to McGee the RSU board discussed Students for Life’s application for more than an hour at the appeal meeting on Feb. 23. The group was originally rejected on Oct. 30, 2014.

Students for Life argues it isn’t a group that aims to hate or judge.

Cormac McGee, the incoming vice-president education for the Ryerson Students’ Union, says certain conditions might have made the group viable. (Courtesy of Cormac McGee)

Cormac McGee, the incoming vice-president education for the Ryerson Students’ Union, says certain conditions might have made the group viable. (Courtesy of Cormac McGee)

“We’re just there to provide that support system and provide an alternative perspective,” said Grant.

Nicole Bryck, the president of Students for Life, said when she was 19 and pregnant, she found no support for wanting to keep the baby, except in a students’ group at Queen’s University. She wanted to provide the same opportunity to students at Ryerson.

But McGee says that the RSU pointed out the campus Centre for Women and Trans People does just that.

Students for Life planned to hold events including screenings of movies about the injustice of gendercide in Third World countries, discussions about bioethical issues and a fundraiser for a pregnancy crisis centre for women in need.

“We aren’t here to force our ideas or opinions down anyone’s throat or hand out graphic images,” said Grant.

While the group was rejected official campus status, Hoilett says there is nothing to stop them from spreading their message.

“This does not limit (Students for Life) from organizing on campus, it just means as a students’ union … we’ve chosen not to provide recognition for this group specifically,” he said.

But Grant says without RSU’s funding or recognition, it will be difficult to book rooms or speakers, and organize events.

“Although they might not be barring us from campus to do pro-life work, it is very difficult … to even just network with each other when we don’t even have a space to meet that could be our own.”

Comments are closed.

Read previous post:
The Dal ‘gentlemen’ aren’t the victims

*This article contains mentions of rape and violent imagery. Bang until stress is relieved or (girl is) unconscious. Someone punish...

Close