Formed by students and for students, National Campus Life Network (NCLN) is the heart of the Pro-Life Student Movement in Canada. NCLN equips students to build a campus culture that respects and upholds the value and equality of all human life from fertilization to natural death; these students will in turn transform society, as they go […]Read more
University can be an exciting and sometimes overwhelming time. As you start a new chapter of your life, you’re looking for the people, the program, the clubs into which you fit. You’re looking ahead to your future career and future life. But don’t miss out on the present. As a university student, you have an […]Read more
Congratulations Guelph Life Choice and Western Lifeline!
Guelph Life Choice and Western Lifeline, the pro-life clubs at Guelph University and the University of Western Ontario, are the proud recipients of the 2013-2014 Pro-Life Club Grants. These grants, with $750 being awarded to each club, are made possible by The Interim newspaper and Niagara Region Right to Life, and are facilitated by National Campus Life Network.
“Pro-life university students face a lot of challenges as they work to bring the pro-life message to their campuses,” said Rebecca Richmond, NCLN’s Executive Director. “The generosity of The Interim and Niagara Region Right to Life helps support and encourage students and also provides financial support to fund their activities.”
The purpose of the grant is to recognize the work of pro-life clubs and assist them in their efforts on campuses. Club members submit applications outlining the activities they plan to run on campus, with the goal being to effectively reach and impact the campus with the pro-life message.
This year’s winners are thrilled to be the recipients of the grant. Life Choice at Guelph’s plan for the coming semester includes hosting the Silent No More Awareness Campaign. They also hope to initiate a new project of creating care packages with key items for expectant and new moms on campus; these packages will be available through student support services.
“We are so excited to implement our plans in the winter semester,” says club Vice-President Meagan Nijenhuis. “During the fall semester we were able to build a strong foundation for our pro life group, and we are so proud of all our members.”
“We will continue to grow and learn, and together we will do whatever we can to bring awareness to our campus,” continued club President Celine Mammoliti. “This grant will definitely help us with our goal to successfully provide alternative options on a campus that generally fails to give women real choices.”
Western Lifeline, located in London Ontario, is focused on an upcoming debate between Dr. Fraser Fellows, an abortionist, and Maaike Rosendal of the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform.
Carolyn Murray, president of the club, stated, “Western Lifeline is extremely thankful to be awarded the grant. Our hopes to host a professional debate on campus – the largest event of the year – are now possible, as we strive to reach even more university students with the pro-life message.”
As a busy fall semester draws to a close, it is evident that the spring semester has a great deal of exciting activism in store.
NCLN is once again facilitating the Pro-Life Campus Club Grant sponsored by The Interim and Niagara Right to Life to a provide a $1500 grant to a pro-life club on a post-secondary campus!
The grant recognizes the work of pro-life clubs and assists them in their efforts on campuses. The grant will be given to the club whose proposal demonstrates creativity, planning, and leadership, fulfilling their mission as a club and having a substantial impact on the university culture.
Clubs who wish to apply will submit the application (below) to NCLN by November 15th. The successful club will be chosen by the Grant Sponsors, with recommendations from National Campus Life Network’s staff. The grant will be awarded in December and all applicants will be notified. The successful club is expected to update the Grant Sponsors about their club activities, and will have an opportunity to be interviewed by the Interim.
Written by Kathleen Dunn
84 years ago today, on October 18th 1929, Canadian women were recognized as persons under the law. Lord Sankey of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in England reversed the Supreme Court of Canada’s earlier decision and ruled in favour of female personhood. “The exclusion of women from all public offices is a relic of days more barbarous than ours,” he said.
As a woman, I’m thankful that the Famous Five took matters into their own hands when our femininity was used to marginalize and exclude our gender. In the face of injustice, these women had the strength and courage to take matters into their own hands and fight for their personhood.
But as I reflect on the importance of this day, my thoughts are unquestionably drawn towards the preborn: the only group of Canadian human beings without the status of personhood.
Like the preborn, women were not recognized as persons, despite their fundamental human equality. But unlike the preborn, these women had their own voices and could speak up to defend themselves. The preborn, while being denied personhood and human equality, are violently killed before even given the chance to speak for themselves.
The pro-life movement is unique among social justice movements in that the victims of injustice are entirely unable to advance their own cause. Without pro-life voices like your own, the injustice of abortion will continue to silently and brutally snuff out these young lives.
So when you face discouragement in your pro-life activism, feeling as if your voice can do nothing, remember that the preborn have no voice but yours. Their silent screams will only be heard when we let them ring out through our own mouths, as we choose to defend them.
Emily Murphy, one of the Famous Five in the Persons Case, took these words as her motto: “Whenever I don’t know whether to fight or not, I fight.” So, as we celebrate this milestone for women, let us continually, in every moment, make the choice to fight – to be a voice for the preborn – who are entirely voiceless without us.
Check out this new way to engage your peers in the conversation about abortion! It’s simple to organize, virtually FREE to execute, and makes a BIG impact. The Defund Abortion Campus Campaign is a unique way to get your campus talking about abortion by opening the conversation from the standpoint of tax-payer funded abortion. NCLN hooked up with Campaign Life Coalition Youth to bring this awesome initiative to YOU!
It’s so easy to organize, you can try it on your campus next WEEK!
Click for a video of step-by-step instructions to bring this campaign to YOUR campus!
News release: Motion to Ban University of Manitoba Pro-Life Club Defeated But Concerns Regarding Future Censorship Remain
MOTION TO BAN UNIVERSITY OF MANITOBA PRO-LIFE CLUB DEFEATED BUT CONCERNS REGARDING FUTURE CENSORSHIP REMAIN
WINNIPEG, MB (October 9 2013) – On the evening of October 7th, the University of Manitoba Students for a Culture of Life (UMSCL) were glad to witness the defeat of a motion calling for the revocation of their club status. However, they are continuing to express concern about two other motions passed by the University of Manitoba Student Union (UMSU).
“We were encouraged to hear members of the council defend free speech on campus and see the motion to revoke our student group status defeated soundly,” states Cara Ginter, vice-president of UMSCL. “Unfortunately, two other motions were passed that could be used to censor our student group and others in the future.”
The first motion was put forward by two students as a response to a pro-life display hosted by the club September 23-25. This display, called the Genocide Awareness Project (GAP), uses large posters with pictures of aborted fetuses and victims of historical genocides to argue that abortion is a human rights violation. Council members, including Nursing, Law, and Education representatives, spoke against the motion and it was ultimately defeated.
Two other motions were also presented by the council’s Student Group Promotions and Affairs Committee (SGPAC), which express concern over the content of the display and resolving that (1) the council meet with the university administration “to push for a reconsideration of the review and approval process for public displays” and (2) that the policies governing the penalization of clubs and revocation of club status be reviewed and clarified.
“We applaud the student union’s defeat of the first motion and hope they will use that good sense moving forward,” states Anastasia Pearse, Western Campus Coordinator for National Campus Life Network (NCLN), an organization that supports pro-life students in Canada. “UMSU is certainly within its rights to review its own policies and even discuss the display approval process with the administration – as long as they don’t attempt to hinder the club’s right to exist and exercise its freedom of expression on campus.”
“The display was a great opportunity to dialogue with students about the issue of abortion,” says Ginter. “We’re looking forward to continuing this conversation over the course of the year, educating our peers about this important human rights issue.”
For more information please contact:
Cara Ginter, vice-president, University of Manitoba Students for a Culture of Life: firstname.lastname@example.org
Anastasia Pearse, Western Campus Coordinator for National Campus Life Network: email@example.com
John Carpay, JCCF President and lawyer acting for the students: 403-619-8014, firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Rebecca Richmond
I was new on the job and only a recent grad myself on October 4th, 2010. The NCLN Symposium had just finished and we caught a train to Ottawa to help out Carleton Lifeline as they put on the Genocide Awareness Project (GAP). Well, as they tried to anyway.
My job that morning was to take photos just in case. And take photos I did, recording moments that seem more like a dream than a memory: friends being handcuffed and driven away in police vans.
What had I gotten myself into?
Three years later, as I enter my fourth year on staff with NCLN, I often find myself wondering the same thing. As do, I know, too many students who may not have to face handcuffs, but still have to fight long and hard for their rights on campus.
Since joining staff with NCLN I have worked with clubs coast-to-coast as they face discrimination. This fall is no different. Just one month has passed since school has started and already clubs are fighting opposition.
In Winnipeg this coming Monday, the University of Manitoba Student Union will vote on a motion to ban the pro-life club on campus - University of Manitoba Students for a Culture of Life – because the club ran the Genocide Awareness Project (GAP) last week. While the university acknowledged the free speech rights of the students to run the display, the student union members appear to require a bit more education on what freedom of expression entails.
In Victoria the legal representative and former president of the University of Victoria’s pro-life club, Youth Protecting Youth, is suing the university because of the censorship of the club’s “Choice” Chain event last winter and the restrictions placed on the club to prevent them from hosting similar events.
And these are just the recent developments. It would take longer than one article to go through everything students went through last year – or even last semester.
So what have we gotten ourselves into?
We’re in a human rights movement, a culture war, a battle for the soul of a nation. We fight for the very principle that holds – or ought to hold – our society together: that human life is valuable and that all humans, no matter what their abilities or circumstances might be, have a right to life. We are counter-cultural and, as such, we challenge our society. When we speak truth, it unsettles, disturbs and offends those who would rather remain in denial. When we speak up, others may try to shout us down or shut us down. It has always been this way; why should we expect any different? But we must also ask ourselves, what cause was won without sacrifice? What victory was secured without a price?
No, it’s not fair. And we will fight for fair and equal treatment for pro-life students. But we do so, or at least the students and NCLN do so, because of the cause that got us into trouble in the first place. When we fight for our rights, we do so not for ourselves, but for those we fight for: the preborn children who are being slaughtered every day in our country and for their wounded moms and dads.
It would be easy to say that we’ll take up the challenge after our education, when we have a steady job and a few more letters behind our name, when we have more time and aren’t constrained by midterms, papers or our course schedule. But we cannot wait until tomorrow when we are presently in such a critically important environment. Being a university pro-life activist might cost us something but I also believe, like Martin Luther King Jr. did, that it is worth the cost.
“Make a career of humanity,” he said, “Commit yourself to the noble struggle for equal rights. You will make a greater person of yourself, a greater nation of your country, and a finer world to live in.”
But ultimately it is the lives on the line that keeps us going when the opposition mounts. It is the witness of friends, like the students arrested at Carleton in 2010, who inspire us. It is the truth awakened in our own hearts that compels us to end the injustice of abortion and build a Culture of Life – starting with our campuses.
Press Release: FORMER PRO-LIFE CLUB PRESIDENT SUES THE UNIVERSITY OF VICTORIA FOR INFRINGING UPON FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION
This post was written by Youth Protecting Youth. It does not necessarily represent the views of NCLN.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FORMER PRO-LIFE CLUB PRESIDENT SUES THE UNIVERSITY OF VICTORIA FOR INFRINGING UPON FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION
Victoria, BC (October 3 2013) – On September 26th, 2013, Cam Côté, representative and past president of the pro-life club at the University of Victoria (Youth Protecting Youth (YPY)), filed a constitutional lawsuit against the University of Victoria in the BC Supreme Court.
The lawsuit, which seeks to restore YPY’s freedom of speech and expression on its campus, is in response to a number of discriminatory actions the University of Victoria has taken against the club. This includes the university’s cancellation of a previously approved “Choice” Chain event, the suspension of the club’s outdoor booking privileges for a year, and threats to punish club members who participate in similar events in the future.
This “Choice” Chain event, which involves club members peacefully engaging students in dialogue while holding signs of either aborted fetuses or naturally developing pre-born humans, was approved by the University until the day before it was scheduled to occur. The University then reversed their initial decision and cancelled the event, citing the University of Victoria Student Society’s (UVSS) 2012 assertion that this event constituted harassment under their harassment policy.
“We were very disappointed when our university administration upheld the UVSS’s efforts to censor our message. We hope that this petition will ensure YPY’s right to freedom of speech and expression on campus,” says Côté, now graduated and working as an Activism Coordinator for the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform.
“A university cannot censor students when they deem their views to be unpopular and the promotion of these views to be potentially disconcerting to others. Freedom of expression is essential to a university, particularly when the issue at hand – abortion – is a matter of life and death for pre-born Canadians.”
The BC Civil Liberties Association has joined Cam Côté as a co-petitioner, and together they are represented by Craig Jones, Q.C., and Emily Unrau of Branch MacMaster LLP.
For further information contact:
Cam Côté (YPY Representative) 778 678 4275
Youth Protecting Youth
Last, but certainly not least, NCLN would like to introduce you to Maaike Rosendal, yet another one of our incredible speakers lined up for this weekend! Maaike is the new Campus Outreach Director for CCBR. Thus, she will be working with YOU to bring the pro-life message to your campus. We can’t wait to hear her wisdom and give you the chance to connect with this fantastic woman.
So without further adieu, we present to you, Maaike Rosendal!
Whether you’re returning to university for another year, starting university for the first time, or watching kids, grandkids or relatives begin their year, it’s an exciting time. Remember that NCLN is here to support the pro-life message on universities and colleges by supporting the amazing students who are leaders for life on campus.
Here’s a reminder of what we can do for you:
Personalized Support: Interested in starting a club or nervous about taking on a leadership role? Our Campus Coordinators will meet up for you in-person or by phone/Skype to help you go through the process of starting or running a club. We’re available on Skype, Facebook, Twitter, text message, email and smoke signals. (Okay, maybe not the smoke signals…)
Training: Have you booked an NCLN staff member to provide your club with training this fall? We will come to your campus to offer presentations on how to dialogue and defend the pro-life position as well as on effective strategies for on-campus activism.
Our Annual National Symposium: This is THE essential training event for pro-life students in Canada. All clubs should be sending leaders to bring back training, resources, connections and inspiration to their campuses. For more information, check out our website: www.ncln.ca/symposium
Resources designed for campus: Need amazing pro-life resources to distribute to your peers? Take a look at what we offer and let us know what you need.
Guides and Manuals: Wondering how to lead your pro-life club or how to run effective activities? Email your campus coordinator to get a copy of our club manual as well as guides such as:
-Hosting Silent No More Awareness Campaign on campus
-Hosting a Guest Speaker or Debate
-Running Clubs Days/Tabling
Encouragement and Connections: Don’t forget to connect with us on social media so as to stay up to date on events and news and to be connected with the broader Campus Student Movement in Canada and internationally.
Don’t hesitate to contact us!:
Rebecca Richmond, Executive Director - email@example.com - Skype: rebecca.grace.richmond
Sara Hall, Maritime Campus Coordinator - firstname.lastname@example.org - Skype: sara.nhall
Anastasia Pearse, Western Campus Coordinatorwesterncanada@ncln.ca - Skype: anastasia.pearse
Clarissa Luluquisin, Central Campus Coordinator - email@example.com - Skype: clar.lulu
Kathleen Dunn, Director of Digital Media and Promotions - firstname.lastname@example.org - Skype: kathleen_dunn
We are here for YOU!
NCLN is so excited to have Brendan O’Morchoe, National Director of Field Operations with Students for Life of America, as a keynote speaker at the 2013 Symposium. With similar experiences of working with pro-life university students, Brendan can relate to the struggles, joys and downright craziness of being a student activist. We can’t wait to hear the stories he has to share!
Check out our interview with Brendan!: