fbpx
National Campus Life Network > Blog > University of Victoria

$1500 Grant for Pro-Life Clubs Offered Again this Year

It’s back! Last year, a new grant was created to support pro-life campus clubs in Canada. This $1500.00 grant is sponsored by The Interim and Niagara Region Right to Life, and facilitated by National Campus Life Network. We’re thrilled to announce that this grant is being offered again this year!

The purpose of this grant is to recognize the work of pro-life clubs and assist them in their efforts on campuses. The grant will be given to the group whose event proposal demonstrates:

  • Creativity
  • Planning
  • Leadership, and
  • Will have a substantial impact on the university culture.

The deadline for this year’s application is August 31st.

Last year’s winner was Youth Protecting Youth at the University of Victoria. The grant money made it possible for them to focus on activism, rather than fundraising, allowing them to organize effective events, including Choice Chain in November. Cam Côté, the Vice-President of Youth Protecting Youth, described this event as the most successful event he has seen since joining the club. Hundreds of conversations were had that day, and many more students were exposed to the pro-life message. Even more were reached through the media attention the club received, both on campus and in the community.

Cam Côté, reporting upon the impact the grant had on the club, stated,

“I cannot adequately express how successful our year was, despite the opposition and censorship, and how much the grant made our success possible. With it we have been able to train the largest group of people our club has had in recent memory … Though there will certainly be difficult times to come, the group that has come together has the desire and the basis to take an active part in making abortion unthinkable at UVic, and throughout the nation.”

Applications, which include the completed event proposal and a tentative budget, are to be submitted to NCLN by August 31st. The decision will be made by the Grant Sponsors, with recommendations from National Campus Life Network’s staff who work with the groups throughout the year. The grant of $1500.00 will be presented to representatives from the successful group during NCLN’s Annual National Symposium (Sept 28 – 30) in Toronto.

For an application contact Clarissa at central@ncln.ca  Applications are to be submitted to NCLN by August 31, 2012.

Share Button

PRESS RELEASE: Abortion Debate on B.C. Campuses

March 7th, 2012: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ABORTION DEBATE ON BC CAMPUSES

Vancouver, B.C. University pro-life clubs across British Columbia are bringing the abortion debate to their campuses in an unprecedented manner. Over the next week, six B.C. university campuses will be hosting multiple events, seeking to engage their peers on the issue of abortion.

“Our universities are places where ideas should be shared and contentious issues discussed,” states Anastasia Pearse, Western Campus Coordinator for the National Campus Life Network, a national pro-life student organization. “A recent CIHI report reveals that over a quarter of abortions are performed on university–aged students. If this is a choice young women are making, it is important that they consider what precisely they are choosing and know what abortion alternatives exist.”

Despite Prime Minister Harper’s repeated refusal to reopen the abortion debate in Parliament, pro-life student groups across the country have continued to be active on this issue, even amidst censorship and discrimination like that experienced most recently by Youth Protecting Youth at the University of Victoria.

Events include academic debates, resource distribution, information tables, and abortion imagery projects, all aimed at educating and engaging students in dialogue on the abortion issue. These clubs are also calling on their local politicians, asking them to bring the abortion debate to parliament.

Along with Canadian campus groups, others across the country are also working to raise awareness on the need to dialogue about abortion. Jakki Jeffs, director of Ontario’s We Want the Debate Campaign, has stated that, “the suppression of any debate in a democratic society is unacceptable.” The Alliance for Life of Ontario campaign is demanding that, “the current censorship of the debate around abortion be ended, and that an open and informed discussion be held in public.”

Abortion takes the lives of approximately 300 Canadian preborn human beings every day. Canadian pro-life students refuse to remain silent or be censored while such an injustice is occurring in our society.

Abortion Debates:
Capilano University: March 8th, 1:30 pm, Cedar Building Room 122
University of British Columbia: March 12th, 5:00pm, UBC-Woodward 1
University of the Fraser Valley: March 13th, 6:00pm, UFV Abbotsford Room B101
Simon Fraser University: March 14th, 6:00pm, SFU Burnaby, room TBA

For further information contact:
Anastasia Pearse Western Campus Coordinator, National Campus Life Network westerncanada@ncln.ca 604-365-3484

Share Button

University of Victoria Pro-Life Club Censored Once Again

February 7, 2012: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

University of Victoria Pro-Life Club Censored Once Again

Victoria B.C.-The University of Victoria Student’s Society (UVSS) Board of Directors passed two motions to publicly censure the pro-life club on campus, Youth Protecting Youth (YPY) last night, February 6th. The first motion was put forward in response to complaints stemming from an event the club held last November called “Choice” Chain and charged the students with violating the UVSS Harassment Policy. The second motion was passed in response to a poster the club put up on campus in October. As a result, YPY will be denied their ability to book public space on campus for their events and is forbidden to hold “Choice” Chain or other similar events. The club is also banned from putting up posters until a new policy is written by the UVSS to govern poster content. The board also ordered YPY to write a letter of apology to groups who were offended by the poster.

“Choice” Chain is a project developed by the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform (CCBR) and consists of volunteers holding three by four foot signs with graphic images of first trimester aborted fetuses. The volunteers engage passers-by in dialogue about abortion. More information about the project can be found here: http://www.unmaskingchoice.ca/projects/choicechain

“This is a disappointing development,” said Cameron Côté, YPY Vice-President and coordinator of the “Choice” Chain event. “People may have felt offended by the images but that in no way constitutes harassment. If you merely have to claim your feelings were hurt or you disliked someone’s message or way of expressing themselves to find that person guilty of harassment, freedom of speech ceases to exist. While we recognize that some people do not like our message, that doesn’t mean we should be censored.  ”

Campus Outreach Director for CCBR, Alanna Gomez, stated, “The charges of harassment have no grounds. There were no complaints made about the conduct of the students, because they acted respectfully and peacefully. The only complaints were based on the negative feelings people had because they didn’t like the pictures the students were holding. Just because someone doesn’t like a picture doesn’t mean they have been harassed, which is what the UVSS is trying to claim.”

The poster that resulted in the second motion was developed by National Campus Life Network (NCLN), and compares the current denial of legal personhood to the pre-born in Canada with similar treatment of other groups in the past. The poster can be viewed here: http://www.ncln.ca/resources/print-resources/person-poster/

“I thought the UVSS had moved past this type of discrimination and censorship since the settlement of YPY’s lawsuit in July 2010,” said Anastasia Pearse, former YPY president. Pearse currently works as the Western Campus Coordinator for NCLN. “Censorship of the abortion debate at a university is shameful and unacceptable.”

“YPY will not tolerate this ideological discrimination,” said Côté. “We must all demand that our   society be free of discrimination and censorship of minority or unpopular viewpoints. If there is a right not to be offended than we cannot have freedom of speech in this country or on campus.The legal killing of so many innocent human beings is a disturbing topic, but it is far too serious to suppress or ignore.”

###

For further information:

Cameron Côté (YPY Vice President) – 778-678-4275, youthprotectingyouth@gmail.com

Alanna Gomez (CCBR Campus Outreach Director) – 403-690-5217, acampbell@unmaskingchoice.ca

Anastasia Pearse (NCLN Western Coordinator) – 604-365-3484, westerncanada@ncln.ca

Share Button

A Warm Welcome to Anastasia Pearse, NCLN’s New Western Campus Coordinator

Anastasia is grateful to have this opportunity to continue to promote the pro-life cause. She is looking forward to using her experiences to help university pro-life clubs share the pro-life message, a message that is too important not to be heard.

Anastasia has always been pro-life, and what has most confirmed her position has been seeing the development of her siblings from the womb onwards. Being the eldest of 9, she has had plenty of opportunities to see this development. However, it wasn’t until university that she became actively involved in pro-life work. During her five years at the University of Victoria Anastasia was involved in the pro-life club, Youth Protecting Youth. As president she worked hard to maintain the club’s status amidst strong pro-choice opposition from their students’ society.

During this time she led the club through a lawsuit, which they filed against their students’ society who had denied Youth Protecting Youth club status because of their stance on abortion. Through her perseverance and support from fellow club members, the BC Civil Liberties Association, and NCLN, the case was settled out of court on the club’s terms, and Anastasia succeeded in keeping a vibrant pro-life presence on campus. Throughout the controversy Anastasia gained invaluable experience coordinating events, creating and presenting appeals, and interacting with the media. It was through encountering such strong opposition to her pro-life beliefs that she truly came to understand the vital importance of the cause, and the necessity of actively furthering it.

Throughout the five years of her university degree the most valuable lessons Anastasia learned were from working with the pro-life club. However, her degree in Recreation and Health Education also provided her with opportunities to promote the pro-life cause, as she spent two work terms with seniors and people with disabilities. Through these experiences she witnessed firsthand how all people have inherent value and beauty, regardless of age or ability.

As Anastasia steps into her role as NCLN’s Western Campus Coordinator, she encourages students to keep persevering in their pro-life efforts on campus; we cannot neglect our peers who need to be exposed to our life-affirming message, and we cannot afford to remain silent when so many lives are at stake.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

~Martin Luther King Jr.

Share Button

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.

uOttawa Students For Life: Struggle for Free Speech

This post was written for uOttawa Students For Life by uOttawa Students For Life. It does not necessarily represent the views of NCLN.

[Note: Today's post comes courtesy of our first guest-blogger, Anastasia Pierce, from University of Victoria's pro-life club, Youth Protecting Youth. We encourage you to visit their site.]

by Anastasia Pierce

As university students we are in the very environment that should encourage freedom of expression as students search for truth and knowledge. To quote one free speech advocate, “In order to get the truth, conflicting arguments and expression must be allowed. There can be no freedom without choice, no choice without knowledge.” We should be respectful of other’s ideas, and free to debate them. Unfortunately these concepts were recently overlooked at the University of Victoria (UVic).

Youth Protecting Youth (YPY), UVic’s pro-life club, has experienced two years of discrimination and censorship because some students felt offended by our message. During this time we were repeatedly denied club funding. This past spring the situation escalated to a point where we were denied club status and policy modifications were made that specifically targeted pro-life advocacy.

The controversy was triggered in spring 2008 when we posted some posters from an organization called Feminists for Life. We continued to distribute the posters, and have been denied funding ever since for having displayed them.

Because of the controversy we decided to host a debate where both sides could present their views on the abortion issue. In fall 2009 Stephanie Gray from the Canadian Centre of Bioethical Reform debated UVic’s philosophy professor, Dr. Eike Kluge. However, this debate stimulated further controversy, leading to a denial of club funding that fall and withdrawal of club status in Spring 2010. Despite multiple appeals to our student society, no changes were made. Therefore, this past May YPY filed a lawsuit against the UVic Student Society.

We are happy to say that after  two months of legal consultation, the case was recently settled out of court. The UVic Student’s Society now recognizes YPY as a club, has granted us funding for the summer semester, has repaid all funds wrongly withheld since fall 2008, and has eliminated the discriminatory policy. They have also agreed to an unusual condition that allows YPY to hold the petition in abeyance indefinitely, making the process required to reinitiate legal proceedings quicker and easier, should it become necessary.

This resolution is a great step forward for pro-life students. We are pleased that UVic once again recognizes the importance of free speech, and respects the varying ideologies that should be welcomed on a university campus. We hope this will set an example for other universities as they encourage dialogue amongst students in the pursuit of truth and knowledge.

YPY will continue to encourage respectful discussion on the abortion issue, and boldly proclaim our message. Inevitably there will be further challenges, but it will not stop us from proclaiming the truth.

In the words of Winston Churchill, “The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end; there it is.”

The truth we must share on our university campuses is that 300 innocent human beings die every day in our country from abortion, and many women and men are hurt by it. This unfortunate truth will not change unless we speak up and educate students about the reality of abortion, and support pregnant women with other life-affirming options.

No matter how much people dislike our message, and penalize us for sharing it, we must continue to proclaim the truth as we share our message with students and protect the most innocent and vulnerable in our society:  unborn children.


Read the comments at the uOttawa Students For Life website.