Does the St. Mary’s Frosh Week Scandal Have Something to Teach Us?

By Rebecca Richmond

In case anyone wasn’t yet aware that Canadian campus culture is in need of some change, Frosh Week at St. Mary’s University in Halifax recently provided a graphic case-in-point.

The shocking Instagram video of the university’s frosh event is a PR nightmare for the institution, making national headlines thanks to the orientation officials championing of underage, non-consensual sex.  Or that’s what the Canadian Press called it.  Last time I checked, ‘non-consensual sex’ was the definition of rape.


The troupe of chanting boys yelled gleefully:  “SMU boys we like them YOUNG! Y is for your sister. O is for oh so tight. U is for underage. N is for no consent. G is for grab that ass.”

The girls seemed to be giggling awkwardly and someone, obviously, found it entertaining enough to post on Instagram.

The St. Mary’s administration is, understandably, upset and the student leaders will be receiving sensitivity training.  Personally, I think something a little more intensive is in order.  Perhaps a complete psych workup to find out how their critical thinking, reasonable thinking, and thinking in general went completely out the window…

But the broader question for all of us is how did they get an entire group singing along? Unless something has radically changed in a couple years, these students would have, like me, grown up in our politically-correct school system with comprehensive sex-ed, teachers who were very sensitive to gender neutral pronouns, self-defence gym classes, and a heck of lot of quasi-feminist rhetoric.  So…how does this chant happen?  And how did everyone in the video go along with it?

Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that our society still accepts and even applauds, at times, an objectification of women.  From TV to magazines to storefront displays, marketers play on human insecurities and promote a  sexed up ideal that will somehow, they suggest, fulfill us.  Porn is now a staple of many a man’s browsing history – and increasingly younger and younger boys are exposed to and becoming addicted to porn.  And for us girls there’s Fifty Shades of emotional abuse and an ever-expanding industry of such wasted paper.  (There’s much more that could be listed but this is supposed to be an article and not the introduction to a ten volume book.)

And so, as we enter a new school year, we should be aware that human worth and human respect is under attack in our world, our country, and our campuses.  We must be willing to challenge our culture and insist upon the value of all human beings, none of whom should be spoken of as the SMU boys did.

In our work, we start with the very basic principle: that all human beings deserve human rights.  We reaffirm that all of us are fundamentally equal, no matter our gender, our race, or our age.  And we proclaim boldly that women and men deserve better than abortion and a culture that callously discards the most vulnerable of the human family.

The Instagram video is embarrassing to St. Mary’s University, but it should embarrass Canadian society in general.  It’s time that we realized that healing our culture will take more than decades of ‘no means no’ campaigns.  Pro-lifers realize this.  So welcome to  another school year.  We have work to do.


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M408 Won’t be Appealed, but Education on Gendercide will Continue

Today MP Mark Warawa announced  that he will not be appealing Motion 408 any further, but will instead be introducing a new bill. However, Mr. Warawa intends to continue raising awareness on the issue of gendercide.

Anastasia and Kathleen with Warawa
NCLN’s Anastasia and Kathleen with MP Mark Warawa at Trinity Western University’s screening of ‘It’s a Girl.’


“It’s unfortunate that Motion 408 will not be going forward because of the PROC committee’s disregard for parliamentary procedure,” says Rebecca Richmond, Executive Director of National Campus Life Network (NCLN). “We are truly grateful for Mr. Warawa’s efforts in addressing this issue and are glad to see that he will continue to champion the cause.”

Pro-life students across Canada joined Mr. Warawa in raising awareness about the issue of gendercide as they took part in the Defend Girls campaign, which was brought to campus by NCLN. This campaign involved distributing over 10,000 resources educating students about the issue abroad and in Canada, and screening the award-winning documentary, ‘It’s a Girl’.

“Our government and other party leaders may not be willing to condemn this discrimination against girls,” states Miss Richmond, “But polling has shown that Canadians condemn the practice of sex-selective pregnancy termination. Motion 408 may not go forward but educational efforts must continue.” 

On May 9th Canadians across the country will be marching in solidarity for the annual March for Life.  The event theme for the B.C. March and National March is that of female gendercide.

NCLN’s Defend Girls resources are still available and still relevant if you would like to use them to educate on this important issue. 

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Life Link Statement in Response to Misleading Comments Made by the UFV

UFV Life Link Statement: April 9, 2013

Response to Misleading Comments Made by the University of the Fraser Valley

This statement is in response to misleading comment made by the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) concerning the cancellation of the Life Link event on Wednesday April 10th.

UFV alleges that the LifeLink event was merely postponed and not cancelled.  However, in correspondence with the club leaders, UFV stated that the “room booking for the 10th of April has been cancelled and we would request that you remove your posters advertising this event.  We also request that you remove the event posting that is located on the weneedaLaw website.”  The university did state that the event could continue on the date booked, but only if it was off campus. 

Life Link was told, in the email from Friday April 5th, that “if you wish for your Life Link event to happen at UFV the date will have to be postponed.” Considering, however, that the campus is entering exams and the semester is ending, this still means, in effect, that the event has been completely shut down – at least until the next school year starts in September. 

The cancellation also failed to address why a risk management plan could not have been discussed when the event was booked three weeks ago or even in the last few days, after the university became concerned about potential protesters.  Comments made in the  University’s April 5th email to Life Link such as having the event off campus and the need to ensure “an event that provides a balanced view of the issue at hand” also demonstrates the university’s desire to censor the pro-life message.

The university also claims that it does not object to anti-gendercide materials on campus.  Why then were club resources restricted to a classroom? The university has stated to the media that graphic or potentially upsetting/offensive resources may be subject to ‘alternative arrangements for display’ out of public space.  This indicates that UFV considers the resources in question, which show a pregnant women’s belly and state facts on gendercide and which have been used on other Canadian universities, to be ‘graphic’ and, as such, subject to university censorship. 

The University’s Friday April 5th email sent to Life Link can be viewed here

The resources in question can be viewed here.

UFV Life Link banner

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ABBOTSFORD, BC (April 8 2013) – Students at the University of the Fraser Valley in Abbotsford BC are calling on their university administration to reverse the cancellation of a pro-life presentation scheduled for Wednesday, and to reverse their decision to censor the club’s anti-gendercide resources.  The University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) Life Link club has secured legal counsel from the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF), which issued a letter to the university on Monday April 8th with the demand.

“Our club has distributed resources, held a debate and organized other presentations on abortion,” states Ashley Bulthuis, Life Link’s president.  “A documentary on gendercide has even been screened on campus this year.  Why has the university suddenly disregarded its commitment to free speech in regards to the gendercide and abortion issues?”

The administration, citing security concerns, told the UFV Life Link club that the event was cancelled due to the possible presence of protestors. The presentation by Mike Schouten, Campaign Director of WeNeedALaw.ca, concerns the current legal status of abortion in Canada.

Club members of UFV Life Link wearing their DefendGirls t-shirts.
Club members of UFV Life Link wearing their DefendGirls t-shirts.

Earlier in the semester the administration had banned the students from distributing anti-gendercide resources that highlighted the missing women worldwide and the fact that this practice is occurring in Canada.  The university told the students they would only be able to distribute such resources in a closed room.

“The university ought to safeguard free speech on campus especially when there is a possibility of others – like the possible protesters – who might try to suppress it,” states Anastasia Pearse, Western Campus Coordinator for National Campus Life Network (NCLN), an organization that supports pro-life students. A recent study found that “87% of Canadians oppose sex-selective abortion and 25% say it is occurring in their own communities. Why won’t the university allow students to raise awareness about this horrific practice?”

The anti-gendercide resources were created by NCLN and have been distributed on campuses across Canada. They provide facts on sex-selective abortions and its global consequences, stating that “‘It’s a Girl’ should not be a death sentence.” No other university has been censored for distributing these resources.

UFV Life Link eagerly awaits the university’s response, refuses to allow the university to censor them, and will continue to share their pro-life message on campus.


For media requests, please contact:

Ashley Bulthuis, President, UFV Life Link, ufvlifelink@gmail.com, 778-549-8233
Anastasia Pearse, Western Campus Coordinator for the National Campus Life Network, westerncanada@ncln.ca, 604 365 3484

To view the censored resources and the letter from the JCCF, please visit: http://ufvlifelink.ncln.ca/2013/04/08/censorship/

For statements from the JCCF and WeNeedALaw, please visit their respective websites: www.jccf.ca and www.weneedalaw.ca

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Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms Asks University of Waterloo to Safeguard Free Speech on Campus

Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms


The President of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF), John Carpay, called on the University of Waterloo to safeguard free speech on campus after yesterday evening’s incident.


In a letter to Dr. Hamdullahpur, president of the university, Mr. Carpay reminded him of the similar incident in November 2010 when journalist and author Christie Blatchford was prevented from speaking by raucous protesters.  He reminded Dr. Hamdullahpur that the university apologized to Ms. Blatchford the following day stating:

The University of Waterloo was disappointed that a guest invited to share a particular perspective on a topic of importance to Canadians was silenced by protesters….

 The university considers Friday’s events as an attack on its presence as a place where issues are explored, discussed and at times debated.  The freedom to speak and to learn is fundamental to the institution.  Waterloo’s ethical behaviour policy states: ‘The University is an autonomous community which exists to further the pursuit and dissemination of knowledge and understanding through scholarship and teaching.  The University aims to ensure an environment of tolerance and respect and believes that the right of individuals to advance their views openly must be upheld throughout the University.’  To ensure there is no doubt of the university’s convictions, Waterloo President Feridun Hamdullahpur apologized to Ms. Blatchford, on behalf of the university community, for Friday night’s disruption. He has asked the community to begin planning for a safe, open and respectful dialogue featuring Ms. Blatchford and her book.”

Mr. Carpay took issue with the manner in which security would not intervene to allow the event to continue and made the following request to the university:

I request that you uphold the free expression rights of those who have planned and organized the screening of “It’s a Girl” on your campus at 7:00 p.m. this evening, as well as the free expression rights of audience members who wish to listen and to participate in thoughtful discussion and debate.

I also request that you apologize to Mr. Woodworth for what happened.  I ask you to express your commitment to campus free speech by re-scheduling another speaking opportunity for Mr. Woodworth at the University of Waterloo, and providing proper security at the next event to ensure it is not shut down by those who disagree.

The full text of the letter can be accessed here.

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Video: Protesters Disrupt Event with MP Stephen Woodworth

Footage of protesters at a presentation by MP Stephen Woodworth at the University of Waterloo on March 13th.

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Press Release: Protesters Prevent MP from Speaking at University of Waterloo

Press Release


WATERLOO, ON (March 14 2013) – An event with MP Stephen Woodworth at the University of Waterloo yesterday was derailed as protestors shouted down the speaker, preventing Mr. Woodworth from continuing his presentation to the students assembled.

“We understand that there are strong opinions when it comes to an issue like abortion,” says Hannah Bailey, President of Waterloo Students for Life, which had organized the presentation. “But we expected better from our peers at the university. Their behaviour was an embarrassment to the entire university community.”

Mr. Woodworth, MP for the Kitchener Centre riding, had brought forward Motion 312 at the House of Commons last year, which called for a re-examination of the 400 year-old definition of a human being in the Canadian Criminal Code. His presentation on Wednesday was to address that topic as well as to take questions from the audience. Mr. Woodworth was only able to get through one third of the presentation before the chanting and yelling prevented him from being heard.

Although campus security was present, they failed to take any kind of action to allow Mr. Woodworth to continue his presentation. When asked to intervene they declined to do so, stating that unless the protesters became violent, they could not step in.

“This is an elected member of our government speaking at an institution that is supposed to have a high value for free speech,” states Clarissa Luluquisin who was in attendance and is the Central Campus Coordinator of the National Campus Life Network, which supports pro-life groups across Canada. “Instead of respectfully listening and then asking questions, we see that the protestors preferred to cling to a few pieces of rhetoric rather than listening to anything Mr. Woodworth might say.”

Despite the disruptions to this event, Waterloo Students for Life will be going ahead with a screening of the award winning documentary ‘It’s a Girl’ tonight in room 308 of the J.R. Coutts Engineering Lecture Hall (RCH) at 7:00 p.m.


A video clip of the incident can be found at: http://www.ncln.ca/blog/uwvideo/

For further comment, please contact: Hannah Bailey, President of Waterloo Students for Life, uwstudentsforlife@gmail.com.

Clarissa Luluquisin, Central Campus Coordinator of NCLN, central@ncln.ca, 416 970 3059.

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Press Release: Canadian Students Raise Awareness on Sex-Selection

Press Release


 TORONTO, ON (March 12 2013) – This semester, university students across Canada are raising awareness about sex-selection through the DefendGirls campaign, brought to campuses through National Campus Life Network (NCLN). Through resources, activities and events, including the screening of the award winning documentary ‘It’s a Girl’, thousands of students are being reached with the message that “’It’s a girl’ should not be a death sentence”.  This week, events in BC will also feature MP Mark Warawa speaking about Motion 408 following screenings of the documentary.

 “The goal is to raise awareness on campus as well as to build support for the condemnation of this practice by the Canadian parliament,” states Rebecca Richmond, Executive Director of NCLN, which has coordinated the efforts of these students and produced the resources being distributed. 

 Although sex-selective abortion has garnered attention because of the severe sex ratio imbalances in China and India, recent evidence has shown that the practice is occurring in Canada as well.  A 2012 CBC investigation found that many ultrasound clinics will disclose preborn children’s sex early on, knowing that sex-selective abortion may be procured as a result.[1]  Research has also demonstrated that there are sex ratio discrepancies in certain Canadian communities.[2]

 “This is an issue that resonates with the youth,” comments Anastasia Pearse, Western Campus Coordinator of NCLN.  “Gender equality is an important value to Canadians and sex-selection is completely opposed to that value. We are pleased to see students taking up this campaign with so much enthusiasm.”

 Along with 17 screenings of the ‘It’s a Girl’ documentary, thousands of DefendGirls info cards and drop cards have been distributed and thousands more will be in the weeks to come.  Laptop stickers and t-shirts have been used to increase awareness on campus; the message has also reached thousands more via social media campaigns on Facebook

 “Killing girls because of their gender really is the ultimate war on women,” continues Richmond.  “By bringing this campaign and the documentary to campus we hope to move students to defend girls at all stages of life. ‘It’s a girl’ should not be a death sentence.”


More information on these resources, produced by National Campus Life Network, can be found at: www.ncln.ca/resources/defendgirls

 For a listing of ‘It’s a Girl’ screenings, please visit: www.ncln.ca/blog/defendgirlsoncampus

 For further comment please contact:

 Rebecca Richmond, Executive Director of the National Campus Life Network, director@ncln.ca, 416 388 0461.

 Anastasia Pearse, Western Campus Coordinator of the National Campus Life Network,westerncanada@ncln.ca, 604 365 3484.


 1CBC, “Fetal gender testing offered at private clinics,” June 12 2012, <www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2012/06/12/ultrasound-gender-testing.html>.

 2 Dr. Rajendra Kale, “ ‘It’s a girl!’ – could be a death sentence.”Canadian Medical Association Journal March 6, 2012 vol. 184 no. 4. First published January 16, 2012, <www.cmaj.ca/content/184/4/387.full?sid=9e06cf2c-765f-46b6-a23d-ce829ad37c79>.

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