Agnus-Mariae Lucas, president of University of Manitoba Students for a Culture of Life.

Good news, bad news for pro-life group

  • October 17, 2013

As a Manitoba pro-life campus group celebrated the defeat of an attempt to have its club status revoked, it was cautiously awaiting word on further attempts to censor its message.

“We were encouraged to hear members of the (student) council defend free speech on campus and see the motion to revoke our student group status defeated soundly,” said Cara Ginter, vice-president of University of Manitoba Students for a Culture of Life (UMSCL), in a press release. “Unfortunately, two other motions were passed that could be used to censor our student group and others in the future.”

The school’s student council tried to revoke the pro-life group’s club status after it displayed the controversial Genocide Awareness Project on campus. The GAP shows photos of aborted fetuses and likens them to victims of historical genocides.

Now the UMSCL is awaiting, indefinitely, the consequences of motions passed by the University of Manitoba Student Union.

According to a National Campus Life Network press release, the first motion is looking at having the student council and university administration reconsider and review the process to approve public displays on campus. The second motion is meant to review and clarify the policies surrounding penalizing clubs and revoking club status.

“The policies in place right now are very vague to... the reasons why the student group status would be revoked,” said Agnus-Mariae Lucas, UMSCL president. 

“We’re in our fourth year as a student group and throughout those years it’s been very apathetic, (the) attitude towards our events. We’ve been holding low-key events for a while, and so GAP was the first really big event that we’ve had that really stirred things up.

“We’ve met upset people, but there were no violent reactions, no really big, explosive arguments,” said Lucas, who adds that she was surprised to learn of complaints to administration.

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