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PRESS RELEASE: Ryerson Student Union Continues to Bar Pro-Life Student Club without Explanation

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, ryersonstudentsforlife@gmail.com, 647 213 4242.

Carol Crosson, Crosson Constitutional Law, ccrosson@crossonlaw.ca, 403 796 8110.

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

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Action Items

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: ryersonstudentsforlife@gmail.com

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From sflryerson.ncln.ca

Action Items: What you Can Do to Help

  1. 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.
  2. 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. pres@ryerson.ca
  3. 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.

If you are a Ryerson student (or a prospective student or alumnus!) and you want to help:

  1. Contact us at ryersonstudentsforlife@gmail.com to get involved with the club.
  2. 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.
  3. Contact the president of the university, Sheldon Levy pres@ryerson.ca, and ask him to protect the reputation of the university and stand up for students by allowing the club to book space on campus.
  4. Write a letter to the campus newspapers explaining your concerns. news@theeyeopener.com and sonian@ryerson.ca

 

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