National Campus Life Network > Blog > Campus Pro-Life

Back-to-School Activism Ideas

We know that planning a semester of pro-life activism can be overwhelming – especially as you see your course-load for the semester! But ensuring that your campus hears the pro-life message doesn’t have to be difficult. So long as you plan ahead, cooperate with your team and make your club a priority, educating your peers will be effective, impactful – and even fun!

Need some ideas on how to spread the pro-life message on your campus? Here’s a list of events you can host on your campus:

Formation:  Instill within your club members a sense of mission (why it’s critical to be actively pro-life on campus), a sense of belonging (why they are needed in this particular club), and provide them with opportunities to be formed as pro-life activists. KeepCalm

  • Offer an apologetics workshop (don’t forget NCLN staff are available to offer workshops on how to defend the pro-life position).
  • Share and watch great teaching videos from the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform.

Clubs Days/101 Weeks/Clubs Fairs/Frosh Week: Whatever your school calls it, these tables are great opportunities for recruitment and outreach. Download our Clubs Days and Tabling Guide to learn more about how to have a great and effective table!

Leaflet-ing/Distributing Resources: Our Right to Know brochures are great for distributing on campus.  Leaflet-ing is as simple as organizing a small group of students to offer resources and dialogue with your peers in busy places on campus. Contact NCLN to order brochures for your campus!

Surveying: All you need are clipboards, pens and surveys.  This is a great event to engage your peers in dialogue as you ask them to complete a short survey on life issues. Like leaflet-ing, it is low-cost and easy to organize.  Contact NCLN for sample surveys you can use!

Movie Night: This can be a great way to get to know your peers in a social setting, while being inspired by an impactful movie. Check out films like October Baby, Bella and It’s a Girl!

Chalking: A fun activity that can be done to advertise for a particular event or used to educate on abortion statistics.  This can be a great social activity for after a club meeting!

“Choice” Chain: A project by the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform.  Contact them for more information on how to bring this to your campus.

Guest Speakers/Debates: A large event is a great way to engage your campus, but they do take time, organization and effort.  Make sure you have enough time to organize an event like this properly and be in touch with NCLN.  Our strategy workshops can help your club organize a high-impact event.

Do not hesitate to contact NCLN for advice on executing these plans and for more ideas! Remember: NCLN is here to help YOU! We are always just a phone call, email or Facebook message away!

Share Button

Free Speech Victory

Last fall, we wrote about ‘the Pridgen Precedent’, or the ruling made by Madam Justice J. Strekaf in Pridgen v. University of Calgary.  John Carpay’s recent article gives a good refresher on the case.  This ruling was not about pro-life students or even abortion at all, but the ruling would, we wrote, set a positive precedent for our pro-life students.  Why?  Because the ruling stated that the Charter of Rights and Freedoms DOES, in fact, apply to universities.  And this means that the freedom of speech of students is protected on campus.

The University of Calgary appealed the decision but, last week, the Alberta Court of Appeal upheld the ruling.

John Carpay, who is also the lawyer for the University of Calgary’s Campus Pro-Life group, wrote a column in the National Post regarding the decision.  He wrote:

If universities were private, they would not be engaging in “government action” so as to invite the Charter’s application. But when the University of Calgary obtains over $600 million from taxpayers each year by claiming to be a forum for free expression for all people and for all views, it forfeits its right to censor speech it dislikes. Holding the U of C to account, as this court ruling does, is good news for students and for taxpayers.

In particular, this precedent will help the students in Ontario and Alberta who have taken Carleton University and the University of Calgary to court in regard to the censorship of pro-life viewpoints. But that is a subject for another column.

This is certainly a victory for not just the Pridgens, but also for students nationwide.

Share Button

Press Release: Calgary students take university to court over free speech

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Students take university to court over free speech

CALGARY: The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF) today announced that members of Campus Pro-Life at the University of Calgary have gone to court to assert their campus free speech rights.

JCCF President John Carpay has defended the University of Calgary students’ free speech rights since 2007, and also defends the campus free speech rights of students at other universities.

The students and their lawyer will be available for media comment at the Courthouse in downtown Calgary at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday April 13, 2011.

Seven students are Applicants in an Originating Notice filed at the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench today.  Their application for judicial review asks the court to quash a University of Calgary decision that the students are guilty of “non-academic misconduct.”

In May of 2010, eight students were found guilty of “non-academic misconduct” for having set up a pro-life display on campus while refusing to comply with the university’s demand that their signs be set up in a circle facing inwards, such that people walking by could not see the signs.  This finding of guilt was upheld in January of 2011 by the university’s Board of Governors, which rendered its decision without scheduling a hearing to listen to the students’ appeal.

“The right to free expression simply cannot exist if citizens enjoy a legal right not to be disturbed or offended by speech – including images – that they do not wish to see.  The University of Calgary’s patronizing and paternalistic approach – trying to decide on behalf of students what they can and cannot see – has no place in a free society, especially not at a public university that is funded by Alberta taxpayers,” stated John Carpay.

The group’s display has been held on the University of Calgary grounds without incident eleven times since 2006, for two consecutive days each of those eleven times.  In 2009, the University charged six students with trespassing, but the Crown Prosecutors’ Office stayed these charges prior to trial, as the University of Calgary was not able to explain what rule, policy, regulation or by-law the students had violated.

The U of C has no objection to other graphic photos on campus.  For example, posters on campus from a pro-seatbelt group show a mutilated face that has gone through a windshield; the caption states “Without a seatbelt, things can get real ugly.”  Gory, disturbing photos of Falun Gong members tortured by the Chinese government are also tolerated on campus.

U of C President Dr. Elizabeth Cannon has continued her predecessor’s policy of suppressing free speech on campus.  The U of C claims that nobody should be “forced” to look at disturbing visual images, but this standard is not applied to photos of windshield-scarred faces, or torture victims.

The U of C boasts an annual budget of $1.09 billion, of which 60% comes from taxpayers.

For further information, contact: John Carpay, President, Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, (403) 619-8014.

 

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (www.jccf.ca) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to protecting constitutional freedoms through education and litigation.  The JCCF relies on voluntary donations from Canadians to provide citizens with pro bono legal representation in defence of free speech, and other constitutional freedoms.

Share Button

Youth Protecting Youth: Silent No More Awareness Campaign coming to UVic

This post was written for Youth Protecting Youth by ypyinfoofficer. It does not necessarily represent the views of NCLN.

March 28th, 2:15 PM, Student Union Building, UVic

 

In my experience, one of the most powerful ways that I have come to know and accept certain ideas or messages into my own life is through personal testimony. Learning through the personal testimony of others can be a powerful way to learn how to deal with a personal situation. As a club that seeks to uphold the dignity of all human beings, it is important for us to remember that not only does abortion kill pre-born human beings, but also that it may deeply hurt the people who make that choice.

 

YPY invites you to come hear a group of speakers from the Silent No More Awareness Campaign as they share their personal stories: how abortion affected their lives, and how they have healed. They speak from experience and their stories are very powerful. They will be speaking outside the Student Union Building at around 2:15 on Monday March 28th.


Read the comments at the Youth Protecting Youth website.

Youth Protecting Youth: Pro-life club sues Carleton University

This post was written for Youth Protecting Youth by ypyinfoofficer. It does not necessarily represent the views of NCLN.

 

Yesterday, the pro-life club Carleton Lifeline officially sued the University of Carleton for their discriminatory treatment of the club this year. These actions primarily involve the university’s response to Carleton Lifeline seeking to display a controversial display that the administration of the university deemed offensive.

Youth Protecting Youth, having experienced discriminatory treatment from the University of Victoria’s Student Society in the past and present, stands in solidarity with Carleton Lifeline and other pro-life clubs on campuses across Canada, as we are all seeking to share this unpopular message that life should be protected from conception to natural death. For the full press release from Carleton Lifeline, visit their blog here.


Read the comments at the Youth Protecting Youth website.

Youth Protecting Youth: YPY Member Interviewed on “The Koala Bear Writer”

This post was written for Youth Protecting Youth by ypyinfoofficer. It does not necessarily represent the views of NCLN.

As part of National Sanctity of Life month, Youth Protecting Youth’s current vice-president, Catherine Shenton, was interviewed by Bonnie Way, writer of the Koala Bear Writer blog. In the interview, Catherine shared some of her experiences from working in the pro-life field, as well as gives some insight into what YPY does on the campus of UVic. The interview can be read here.

Read the comments at the Youth Protecting Youth website.

Youth Protecting Youth: Reflection on support for mothers

This post was written for Youth Protecting Youth by ypyinfoofficer. It does not necessarily represent the views of NCLN.

An article recently appeared on Fox News, reporting on an organization called Students for Life of America investigating the University of North Carolina’s student health plan. Another organization known as Feminists for Life also offered its reflection on the UNC health plan and the actions of Students for Life of America. In their reflection, Feminists for Life president, Serrin Foster, points out that “the issue is not just the school’s insurance coverage”, but that “it is also common for students to have no maternity coverage in their health insurance” In other words, not only is it a sad reality that abortion is covered by many student health care plans and health packages offered by employers in both the United States and Canada, but there is also commonly very little support for student mothers in general, such as no maternity coverage for students in the health insurance plans. In British Columbia, all abortions are tax-funded. According to the University of Victoria’s Housing website, there are 181 housing units designated as “Family Housing Units” with reasonable rent costs, although in order to be eligible, parents must be taking a full load of courses. In addition, it is recommended that mothers apply a year in advance due to the high demand for these units. The reality for many women is that the prospect of no health insurance coverage and minimal financial support services to help off-set the cost of raising a child can be a significant factor in pushing a woman to decide to abort her child. Women who are pregnant should feel that they have the support to be able to give birth to and raise a child while still being able to pursue her education. As a society, we need to better support women in this regard. Women need to know that there are services and support available to help them to choose life for their child, rather than feeling that abortion is the only option.

 In the meantime, we are very excited to announce that Youth Protecting Youth will be offering an annual bursary for single mothers on campus. This bursary exists to support mothers and help enable them to pursue a university education while still supporting a child.  This bursary can be applied for by completing a General Bursary Application. We hope that this bursary will be a building block in the effort to change the culture and the way society views children in the context of education. It can never be acceptable to kill a born child for the reason that the child would interfere with the education of the parents. We will continue to work towards the day when this will also be true for the pre-born child. For more information about services in the Victoria area, see the “Need Help” section of the YPY blog.


Read the comments at the Youth Protecting Youth website.

Youth Protecting Youth: Carleton Lifeline Aftermath

This post was written for Youth Protecting Youth by ypyinfoofficer. It does not necessarily represent the views of NCLN.

Earlier in the term, we reported on an event at Carleton University, in which 5 students were arrested for trespassing while attempting a peaceful pro-life display on campus. That post can be found here. Since then, a number of further events have occurred as a result. The club had it’s club status and funding revoked by the Carleton University Students Association (CUSA), resulting from a disagreement over statements in the club’s Constitution. A series of letters have been sent back and forth between the CUSA and Carleton Lifeline, which can be found at the Carleton Lifeline blog. Most recently, Carleton Lifeline has threatened to take legal action against the CUSA regarding the de-certification of Carleton Lifeline and the manner in which it was done. A press release regarding this matter can be found here. Youth Protecting Youth stands in solidarity with Carleton Lifeline and will continue to oppose discrimination based on political and ideological values.


Read the comments at the Youth Protecting Youth website.