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
Written by Rebecca Richmond, Executive Director
“I just wish I could do this full-time.” The thought kept popping into my head as an undergraduate student several years ago. I had become involved in founding and leading – thanks to some peer pressure – the pro-life club at the University of Ottawa. The realization of how important it was to reach out to our peers with the pro-life message had somehow made my paralyzing shyness less paralyzing and was shifting my plans, my priorities, and my future.
And so, upon my graduation in 2010, I was recruited to work with National Campus Life Network as the Executive Director. I was doing campus pro-life outreach full-time. I was no longer reaching one campus but helping students across Canada reach their campuses too. One year on staff turned into two and somehow turned into five.
Five years of working with incredible staff members and board members – past and present. These women and men constantly inspire me with their dedication, their talents, and their passion. They have challenged me, encouraged me, and journeyed with me as we’ve navigated the challenges and opportunities of the Student Pro-Life Movement. I am very excited to see Anastasia Pearse take on the direction of NCLN, bringing her determination and enthusiasm to the organization and the movement in a new way. Although I’ll be leaving staff, I look forward to continued involvement with this wonderful organization.
Five years of working with the most amazing students in the country. Students who make sacrifices on a daily basis with their time, as they balance multiple commitments with their life-saving work. Students who persevere and are bold and courageous even when facing censorship, discrimination or opposition on campus. Students who speak the truth with great love and great compassion, who are becoming – and are already – the nation’s great pro-life leaders. Students who graduate and go on to lead in pro-life organizations, in their fields and in their families.
As a student, I experienced how critical the support of NCLN and its staff was to the success of our pro-life club and my growth as a leader. After five years on staff with NCLN, I believe even more strongly in the importance of pro-life campus outreach and the essential way that National Campus Life Network equips students to be leaders at universities across Canada.
I have seen firsthand the difficulties that the university environment can present. But I have also seen firsthand how much hope there is on campuses, and how student leaders and NCLN are making a real difference in real lives and in the future of our nation. I believe in universities – and I’m going to return to university now. I believe in students – and I’m going to be a student once again. It will be incredibly difficult to leave this staff team, but I am looking forward to returning to university to pursue graduate studies. Universities produce Canada’s next generation of leaders – I intend to be one of them.
I will be stepping down from the Executive Director position on July 31st and officially leaving staff on August 31st. I am very grateful for the encouragement and support of NCLN’s staff and board during this time of transition, and I look forward to my continued involvement in this incredible organization.
Will you help me support NCLN in its incredible work? I am becoming a monthly donor. Would you consider a monthly or one-time donation in order to support us through this time of transition?
National Campus Life Network is pleased to announce that the organization will be welcoming Anastasia Pearse as the incoming Executive Director, effective August 1, 2015.
NCLN’s current Executive Director, Rebecca Richmond, has served the organization since 2010 and will be returning to school for graduate studies this fall. Rebecca will remain on staff throughout the summer to help with the transition. As a recognized speaker, Rebecca has spoken to thousands of Canadians of all ages, training and inspiring them to be pro-life leaders. Under Rebecca’s leadership, NCLN has refined and developed its messaging and strategies for pro-life campus outreach as well as the ways in which the organization mentors and builds young leaders. Along with initiating campaigns such as DefendGirls and Summer Semester, Rebecca has managed NCLN’s events including the Symposium as well as general operations. All of us at NCLN are very grateful for Rebecca’s dedication and service to the organization, the Pro-Life Student Movement in Canada and pro-life cause as a whole; we wish her great success in her studies.
Although Rebecca will be missed, NCLN is excited to welcome Anastasia to the role of Executive Director. In her role as Western Campus Coordinator since 2011, she has gained extensive experience working with students throughout western Canada, directly training and equipping them as leaders on their campus. Anastasia has supported student groups through conflicts with their student unions and administration, and coordinated multi-campus campaigns in British Columbia, including DefendGirls in 2013, the Silent No More Awareness Campaign B.C. Tour in 2014, and You’ll Never Regret Loving This Much in 2015.
Prior to her work with NCLN, Anastasia led the pro-life club at the University of Victoria. During this time, she launched a lawsuit against the student society, which had shut down the club on campus. The lawsuit was eventually settled out of court in favour of Anastasia and the club, resulting in a restoration of the club’s status and funding on campus.
In addition to her campus work, Anastasia serves as part of the planning committee for the March for Life Victoria and is the Youth Representative on the board of LifeCanada. Having recently completed a Masters in Leadership at Trinity Western University in B.C., with a specialization in non-profits, Anastasia is poised to bring her proven skills and leadership expertise to the role of Executive Director.
As NCLN continues to grow and develop, we are accepting applications for Campus Coordinator positions in our Western and Central offices. We are looking forward to welcoming new staff to our team in the coming months, allowing us to continue expanding our capacity equip students to build a campus culture that respects and upholds the value and equality of all human life.
by Anastasia Pearse, NCLN Western Campus Coordinator
She has to wear baggy clothes on campus, she told us. Because, as a pregnant student, she feels the stigma and felt embarrassed by the looks she received whenever her clothes revealed her growing belly.
She had stopped by our event with her boyfriend, intrigued by the images of the campaign that featured a young mom, her baby, and the title You’ll Never Regret Loving This Much. They were immediately interested in the community support for pregnant women that we mentioned; they hadn’t yet heard about the kind of resources that crisis pregnancy centres and organizations like Birthright can offer. That’s when they told us that they were pregnant.
They weren’t the only pregnant students we encountered yesterday at Simon Fraser University. We also met a student whose wife is 6 months pregnant. He was able to speak with a volunteer from a resource centre and will now be able to get the support he needs. Who knows how many other students we reached through our conversations and distribution of resources! Students drawn to the campaign also wanted to contribute, adding donations to a fund that will go towards supporting pregnant women in the community.
This event at SFU with SFU Lifeline is only one part of a campus tour NCLN has coordinated for British Columbia campuses this week. The resources feature information about what support exists in the community and are from LifeCanada’s You’ll Never Regret Loving This Much campaign. Through this partnership with LifeCanada, we are getting this critical information to the demographic that needs it so desperately. The campaign also features young moms sharing their personal stories of choosing life, even under difficult circumstances, in public places on campus.
Day 1 of this campaign revealed, yet again, why pro-life clubs are so essential on our campuses: we need to ensure that students get the information and support that they need – information and contacts we were able to provide to the pregnant students we encountered yesterday (and many more). We can’t wait to see what the rest of the week has in store!
From March 17-19th, four campuses in BC will be promoting Life Canada’s You’ll Never Regret Loving this Much campaign, bringing in young women who will share real life stories that outline the reality of the hardships young pregnant women endure, but also the joy in the decision to choose life for their child. These women will be sharing their stories throughout the day in an open area on campus, being a public witness to the cause; we will also be distributing resources that outline the positive alternatives to abortion and show that there are resources available to support parents. Through this outreach we plan to engage thousands of students, reaching a demographic that needs to hear this message the most.
TUESDAY MARCH 17th
Simon Fraser University – Burnaby
9:00-3:00, Convo Mall
Join the Facebook event here.
WEDNESDAY MARCH 18th
University of the Fraser Valley – Abbotsford
9:00-3:00, on the Green
Click here for the Facebook event.
Columbia Bible College – Abbotsford
6:30pm, Clearwood Room
Click here for the Facebook event
THURSDAY MARCH 19th
Kwantlen Polytechnic University – Surrey
9:00-3:00, Main Courtyard
As part of their LifeWeek events, Trinity Western University will be hosting, “Echoes of the Holocaust” with Stephanie Gray at 7pm in Block Hall on Wednesday, March 18th.
She will be discussing how abortion is a modern day genocide. Come out to be challenged and inspired by her compelling words! Join the Facebook event here.
Support these students by donating to NCLN and by attending these events in your area!
For immediate release.
PRESS RELEASE: Ryerson Student Union Continues to Bar Pro-Life Student Club without Explanation
Toronto, ON (February 24 2015) – On February 23rd, the Ryerson Student Union (RSU) Board of Directors unanimously voted that a group of pro-life students would not be allowed to form a pro-life club.
This vote marked the last step in an appeal process that began in the fall semester after Students for Life at Ryerson was rejected by the Student Groups Committee on the basis that the RSU, “opposes…groups, meetings, or events that promote misogynist views towards woman [sic] and ideologies that promote gender inequity, challenges women’s right [sic] to bodily autonomy, or justifies [sic] sexual assault”.
“Our club stands for human rights for all human beings, including those at the earliest stages of life. We also want to support pregnant students on campus who want alternatives to abortion,” states Carter Grant, a second year business major and Vice President of Students for Life. “If the student union is going to accuse students of serious things like misogyny, they should be prepared to explain the basis for that. We are still waiting for that explanation.”
The union operates a Centre for Women and Trans People that identifies as pro-choice but the Board of Directors were not willing to allow a student group the opportunity to share another side of the issue.
“Ryerson University talks a good game on the right to freedom of expression, but when it comes down to it, its student union prefers to punish those who do not espouse RSU’s particular viewpoints on social issues,” states Carol Crosson, legal counsel for Students for Life. “Ryerson policies affirm the right to freedom of expression, but it seems that RSU has no desire to adhere to University policies.”
“If the student union can advocate their pro-choice position on campus, why can’t pro-life students present theirs?” asks Rebecca Richmond, Executive Director of National Campus Life Network, which supports pro-life students across Canada. “The RSU is marginalizing and bullying students – and not even explaining why.”
For more information, please visit sflryerson.ncln.ca
For additional comment, please contact:
Carter Grant, Vice President of Students for Life at Ryerson, firstname.lastname@example.org, 647 213 4242.
Carol Crosson, Crosson Constitutional Law, email@example.com, 403 796 8110.
Rebecca Richmond, Executive Director of National Campus Life Network, firstname.lastname@example.org, 416 388 0461
Along with the following items from the Students for Life at Ryerson website, we encourage you to write to the students and encourage them. You can reach them at: email@example.com
- Write to the Ryerson student union executive members and ask them politely to reverse their decision and give our club equal treatment to other groups on campus.
- Write to Sheldon Levy, the university president, and ask him to protect our right to freedom of expression by allowing our club to book space on campus. firstname.lastname@example.org
- Like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @SFLryerson. Use social media to share our story and tweet at the student union and administration.
- Contact us at email@example.com to get involved with the club.
- Submit a complaint to the president of the Student Union, Rajean Hoilettpresident@rsuonline.ca, about how their decision impacts you as a student, prospective student, or alumnus.
- Contact the president of the university, Sheldon Levy firstname.lastname@example.org, and ask him to protect the reputation of the university and stand up for students by allowing the club to book space on campus.
- Write a letter to the campus newspapers explaining your concerns. email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
NCLN is accepting applications for internships in our Langley and Toronto offices! If you are a post-secondary student passionate about bringing the pro-life message to your campus and eager to grow as a leader, this opportunity is for you!
Application deadline: March 31st.
Canadian universities and colleges are in desperate need of the pro-life message. Not only is the university the place where the ideas, values and culture of our society take root, but it is also the demographic most vulnerable to abortion. Since 1997, National Campus Life Network (NCLN) has existed to support the pro-life message on Canadian campuses by educating, equipping, and empowering young men and women to build and sustain strong pro-life presences on campus and engage their student body as effectively as possible.
NCLN’s staff members are passionate and dynamic young adults who teach, support and connect pro-life university students across the country. Staff members support raise their own salaries in order to do this work by securing a support team of monthly donors. Training and guidance is provided to assist new staff in the support raising process.
If you are interested in an exciting, challenging and fulfilling career that is dedicated to ending abortion and upholding the value of all human life, from conception to natural death, please consider the difference you could make in Canada through a position with NCLN. For more information, please contact us at email@example.com
Pro-Life students at the University of Alberta have taken postering to the next level. To advertise for their recent Information Meeting the club posted hundreds of posters around campus. However, not all students approved of the club or their event, and so took to ripping these posters down. The pro-life student’s response? “For each poster’s demise, two more will arise.”
In the days leading up to their meeting, the club posted over one thousand posters. They witnessed first hand the students, as well as faculty, who tore down the posters and sent video clips to security. Security has yet to respond to these acts of censorship against the pro-life students.
For more info about the situation click here.
Image by Carolyn Tiry, CC 2.0
Rebecca Richmond, Executive Director
We all know that time management and organization are critical life skills. What we also should remember is that they can also be critical life-saving skills, because they allow us to have a successful pro-life presence on campus.
Different strategies and tools work for different people (and we’d love to hear about your best tips and tricks), but the staff of NCLN have a few favourite online tools that help our team members stay on track individually and (though we’re separated by 3 provinces) collaborate and get projects done together.
And did we mention that these are all FREE online tools?
Great for keeping organized class notes or club notes or any kind of notes. These notebooks are your new best friend. Download the app for your laptop, tablet, and smartphone (or log in online) and your synchronized notebooks are available wherever you need it. New features include being able to share notebooks and send chats within the app.
You’ve probably heard us recommend Doodle before. It’s an incredibly simple scheduling tool that allows you to find the best time for your team to meet up. We use it for board, committee, and student meetings and we know of student groups using it across the nation.
(3) Worklogs/Pomodoro Technique
Okay, this isn’t technically an online tool, but we have our worklogs as spreadsheets online so…we’re going to include it on the list. Our worklogs are formatted so that our time is divided up by 30 minute segments to allow for 15 minute power work sessions, with recap and review (the Pomodoro technique). We can easily schedule how we want to spend our time in a day, and then update the schedule as we go along to reflect how the time actually was spent. This is helpful for maintaining focus, getting tasks done, and staying on top of projects. Click here for a schedule template!
(2) Google docs, calendars, hangouts
More and more, our staff team using Google docs to collaborate on documents and other apps to stay organized or talk/message each other about projects. It’s an easy way to comment on documents, suggest changes, or just brainstorm together. You can also use a shared folder to keep track of meeting minutes and important club documents that all of the executive members need to access.
A project management tool, Asana has been very helpful for our team. You can have separate workspaces on personal projects and for your organization or group’s projects. We use it to create timelines for projects and campaigns, assign tasks to specific team members, comment and collaborate on particular issues, and check tasks off as they get done. (And doesn’t it feel great to check things off?!) There’s a lot of functionality in this tool you might enjoy using for your team – check it out.
All in all…
none of these tools will magically turn you into super-disciplined productive machines, and not every day will be as productive as we had hoped (and there is a time and a place for Netflix). But our team has found them helpful and we hope you and your team does too.
Image by Brian Smith, CC 2.0
National Campus Life Network (NCLN) is very disappointed with the decision of the BC Supreme Court yesterday, which decided against the petition of Cameron Cote (the former president of the pro-life club Youth Protecting Youth at the University of Victoria) and the BC Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA). The case was in response to ongoing censorship from the student society and university administration and sought to have a confirmation that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms should be considered to apply to universities.
The University of Victoria has had a history of discrimination and censorship against pro-lifers. Anastasia Pearse, then president of the pro-life club Youth Protecting Youth, sued the student society with the help of the BCCLA in 2010. The lawsuit was settled out of court on the club’s terms, but unfortunately the student society and university administration has continued to bully the club over the past several years, censuring them for their activities.
Over the years the club has had their funding and status denied, they have had restrictions placed on their club booking and postering privileges, and has had stink bombs and smoke bombs set off during their activities. Recently, in the fall of 2014, the club faced vandalism and theft when two women threw used cat litter all over the table and stole fetal models. The current case focuses on events of 2013, when the university administration suddenly revoked their approval for space for a club event and admonished Cameron Cote, then club president, when the event went ahead despite the university’s attempted censorship.
Chief Justice Hinkson’s ruling found that the Charter did not apply in this case.
“I am very disappointed that the BC Supreme Court has ruled that the University of Victoria can silence an unpopular message at a moment’s notice without being held accountable to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms,” commented Cameron Cote. “If a university can pick and choose who is allowed to express their views in common areas on campus, then it is not only those who hold the pro-life view that should be concerned, but all students and indeed all Canadians.”
“This is another blow to the reputation of Canadian universities,” states Anastasia Pearse, alumnus of the University of Victoria and NCLN’s Western Campus Coordinator. “Universities claim to value free speech in their policies on the one hand and then repeatedly act against it when the peaceful expression and activities of some students is controversial or offensive to some.”
National Campus Life Network is Canada’s national pro-life student organization.