CSA apologizes for "Life Fair" held by former CSA-accedited anti-choice club

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Written by CSA Board of Directors

TO: University of Guelph Community
FROM: Central Student Association Board of Directors
DATE: Oct. 16th, 2008
RE: Life Fair Apology

To the University of Guelph Community,

The CSA’s Policy Manual states in Appendix F, 4.2 that women have the right to an educational environment free of advertisement, entertainment, programming and/or materials which promote violence against women, sexual stereotyping and discrimination. Furthermore, the fundamental right of all women to control their bodies by:

i) Access to safe, reliable birth control and family planning information and the right of choice in the method.

ii) Freedom of choice choosing one’s stance in the matter of abortion.

iii) Access to quality health services and counseling which meet the needs of women students and respect a woman’s control of her body.

iv) Freedom of expression of sexual orientation;

v) Freedom from sexual assault and all other forms of violence.

Based on this, the CSA must acknowledge that the Life Fair held by the CSA accredited club, Life Choice on March 7th, 2008 in the UC Courtyard, violated both CSA policy and created an unsafe environment for individuals at the University of Guelph. The CSA must also acknowledge that those students biologically capable of having an abortion are impacted by anti-choice campaigns to a greater extent then those who are not capable.

Because of this the CSA Board of Directors would like to issue a formal apology to students, workers and University of Guelph community members for the Life Fair put on by Life Choice, a club accredited by the CSA in 2007/2008. Though the CSA did accredit Life Choice, many of the speakers and organizations that were present at the Life Choice Fair were not affiliated with the CSA. Moreover, much of the information distributed at the Fair, both written and spoken was misinformed and/or misleading.

At its Oct. 1st, 2008 Board Meeting, the CSA Board of Directors voted unanimously to not grant Life Choice club status for the Fall semester. This decision was based on the Life Fair that broke CSA Policy and created the unsafe space mentioned above.

Clubs who are accredited are given CSA support for booking rooms on campus, having space to organize on the 2nd floor, access to phone and fax resources and the ability to receive mail on campus. This accreditation depends on the club’s ability to adhere to CSA policy. The unanimous vote on Oct. 1st demonstrates that the CSA Board of Directors has recognized that Life Choice broke with CSA policy on March 7th, 2008 when they held the Life Fair.

Life Choice has the right to appeal this decision through a process outlined in CSA Policy, Appendix G, 3.1.2.

It is important to note at this point that other student unions affiliated with the Canadian Federation of Students have decided not to support student clubs that have demonstrated anti-choice actions. The York Federation of Students as well as the Graduate Students’ Union of the University of Toronto have both taken this stance. At the Canadian Federation of Students’ Semi-Annual General Meeting on May 25th a motion served by the York Federation of Students was passed. The motion read as the following:

“Be it resolved that member locals that refuse to allow anti-choice organizations access to their resources and space be supported.”

Along with this formal apology, the CSA would also like to acknowledge that it will work towards being more aware of the use of student space and the actions of its clubs in the future.


The Central Student Association Board of Directors

For more information on pro-choice and abortion, visit:

Canadians for Choice


Tel: 613-789-9958


Planned Parenthood

Waterloo Region:


Business: 519-743-6710

Counselling: 519-743-6461

Email: .c

Guelph Resource Centre for Gender Empowerment and Diversity

University Centre Room 10

University of Guelph

Tel: 519-824-4120 x 58559


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  1. Posted by: George on Oct 24, 2008 @ 2:41pm

    My stance on abortion has no weight on my opinion in this matter.

    But, how does a club called Life Choice holding a Life Fair that provided material on their views on abortion/choice “promote violence against women, sexual stereotyping and discrimination”?

    The CSA, and a lot of student unions for that matter, like to think they have some moral superiority to everybody else.

    Did this Life Fair break any university policy? If not, I don’t see how the CSA can determine if their club status should be taken away.

  2. Posted by: Rena on Oct 25, 2008 @ 10:39am

    Not quite sure how this group constitutes a Anti-Choice group. Isn't having a child a choice?

    Pro Choice supporter that recognizes the need for justice for all views.

  3. Posted by: itshardtopost on Oct 25, 2008 @ 12:00pm

    I think it constitutes an anti-choice group since they only advocate the one choice and actively campaign against making the other choices illegal, and thus discriminate against women by wishing to remove their fundamental right to control their bodies.

    It's not as if we would expect the CSA to allow groups that discriminate racially to be accredited, why would we expect the CSA to allow groups that are engaged in discrimination against a gender? Good job on removing their accreditation, CSA.

  4. Posted by: Bob McBride on Oct 25, 2008 @ 2:01pm

    Good call, CSA. Pro-life groups' attempts to criminalize women's access to abortions is antithetical to the notion of choice. It is an attempt to manipulate emotions in order to marginalize women as a group, and therefore constitutes the promotion of actual and cultural violence against women. Do not mistake actions against hate speech for suppression of free speech. Had the group been one that argued for the marginalization of a race, ethnicity, or religion instead of women, the hate would be readily apparent. However, because Pro-lifers conflate our emotions about fetuses with the rights of women, their hate speech is less obvious. Do not be fooled by relativism. Pro-lifers clearly want to subjugate women, and that would be an injustice.

  5. Posted by: Kait on Oct 25, 2008 @ 11:49pm

    I would just like to point out that many of the people against the Life Choice club are jumping to conclusions about what the group truly stands for and that is to educate about resources that are available regarding abortions from a pro life stand point so that young women can make more informed decisions. Speaking from the perspective of a young female "biologically capable of having an abortion" before I exercise my right to free choice I would like to be able to be informed on BOTH SIDES of the subject. So much for freedom of expression. By shutting down this group you are taking away their freedoms. If you don't like what they have to say stop complaining and start a pro choice group. Really, way to be OPEN MINDED CSA *cough* *cough* *not*

  6. Posted by: Gen on Oct 26, 2008 @ 11:02pm

    The CSA violated it's own charter to by not following proper protical in this case. They are accusing the prolife group of violating thier charter so they take away the clubs status. The CSA seems to think they can dishonestly discredit a club and get away with it. The CSA seem to think that everyone has to follow thier charter except themselves. They also think that the CSA charter supersedes the candian charter of rights and freedoms. I think the CSA is hypicritical and pro abortion. The CSA is anti choice because it is preventing people from making an informed decision and choosing for themselves if they want to adopt, have a child or whatever.

  7. Posted by: Bob Wilson on Oct 26, 2008 @ 11:20pm

    I think that the club Lifechoice should take the CSA to the human rights commision if they lose the appeal. The club has no chance to talk during the appeal according to the CSA charter. Prolife groups have won cases exactly like this at various campuses across Canada. CApilano College is an example of a prolife club that won because the student government violated thier right to free speech and freedrom of expression. I believe that the CSA is low for what they did. This is not about the club's conduct at all. It's blatenly obvious that the CSA has ulterior motives and this case it really about suppressing the prolife voice which is a violation of the Canadian charter of rights and freedoms. Shame on the CSA.

  8. Posted by: Rachael on Oct 27, 2008 @ 1:11am

    Life Choice happens to be led by a young female who is "biologically capable of having an abortion". She would not organize an event promoting an attitude of violence or hatred towards herself.
    This ruling is totalitarian in nature and completely unjust.

  9. Posted by: George on Oct 27, 2008 @ 10:37am

    The CSA board is a bunch of hacks! Did they solicit any outside opinion before making a ruling at their board not to grant club status? What makes them the experts to decide? Shouldn’t they bring in a third-party to make an unbiased decision if CSA policies were broken? And if they consulted the CSA Human Rights Office, this DOES NOT count as outside consultation, this office is nothing more than a library of leftist literature, run by leftist activities. I went there once to ask a few questions and found it to be the LEAST inclusive space on this campus.

    Has the CSA forgotten about innocent until proven guilty? They slap a ruling on this club, remove their status, and then offer them the chance to appeal. It seems so backwards.

  10. Posted by: itshardtopost on Oct 27, 2008 @ 4:29pm

    I think everyone here is under the assumption that the CSA is some arm of the government and must grant freedom of expression, and innocent until proven guilty, and whatever. It's not.

    In any case, I'm glad the CSA removed your club. All you're trying to do is regress the rights of women and push us all into having to live by your religious and political morals. I've got a better idea, why don't you all go and find something better to do with your time, like getting a life?

  11. Posted by: itshardtopost on Oct 27, 2008 @ 8:50pm

    Katherine, the only thing I'm afraid of is your poor grammar and spelling and what that means about the calibre of student this university is pushing through.

  12. Posted by: csa_totalitarian? on Oct 28, 2008 @ 2:22am

    i love it! is this really how my student fees get spent? Life Choice should sue the CSA and destroy them for good. i don't need them to decide how best to spend my money, especially if it comes to litigating this charade. i want my money back and if that's not possible could you at least refrain from giving yourselves a 15% salary increase like you did last year?

  13. Posted by: George on Oct 28, 2008 @ 9:47am

    To itshardtopost – I wholeheartedly disagree with you. You say that WE’RE trying to “push (you) all into having to live by (our) religious and political morals”, but what do you think the CSA is doing each and everyday with all of their ridiculous campaigns, odd decisions they make at the board, and by being in bed with the Canadian Federation of Students? It is the CSA that is trying to conform us into some leftist/socialist/communist mold.

    And no, they are not the government, but I do think there is some responsibility on part of the CSA who represents all students (left, right, centre, gay, straight, communist, capitalist, BA, BSc, B.Comm, etc…) to ensure that clubs are allowed to form and express themselves without restraint.

  14. Posted by: JustAsking on Oct 28, 2008 @ 11:11am

    I am not posting a comment that is either for or against the accreditation of Life Choice but simply asking a question:

    Even if Life Choice does not receive accreditation from the CSA, they are still allowed to be a non-CSA club, right? They would not be supported by the CSA but they still have the right to gather, meet and express their views. I realize obviously that this club would like to be accredited, but even if they are not, the CSA is not necessarily infringing on their rights to speech since they are not prohibiting them from meeting.
    Like someone mentioned previously, the CSA is not the government... so maybe we are giving them too much stock and credit here? Being an accredited club is not the end-all-be-all of expression.

  15. Posted by: itshardtopost on Oct 28, 2008 @ 11:36am

    George: I'm not disagreeing with you there, I think the CSA is intensely politicized when it should not be so, and I don't believe that they work in the interests of the students most of the time.

    However, just because the CSA engages in this doesn't mean I agree with it, and likewise, I don't agree with what your club is doing.

  16. Posted by: Katherine Butters on Oct 28, 2008 @ 2:33pm

    This is about the CSA trying to impose their views on the student population and the denial of any other views on campus. This is wrong and an injustice. This is why their are a lot of pro abortion people and prolife people alike that are angry that that the anti choice CSA is denying people the right to chose for themselves. This is not about the abortion issue (Even though their are abortion connections here) as this is about the suppression of rights and freedoms and the failure of the CSA to follow due process thus they violated their own charter.

  17. Posted by: Mandy on Oct 28, 2008 @ 2:48pm

    If you want to make this into a pro abortion vs. pro life thing as it seems that you are, I suggest instead of basing your decision on emotions you should base it on facts by going out and educating yourself. Watch an actual abortion. Type it in on your browser and find out what you are really supporting. Some types of abortion are Dilation and extraction, Dilation and curettage, suction abortion, and partial birth abortion. Watch one on YouTube.

  18. Posted by: Matt Ryans on Oct 28, 2008 @ 2:51pm

    You might also want to check out fetal development. There are some good neutral medical textbooks out there and neutral websites. Get both sides of the issue. Look at the men’s perspectives who also want rights to their baby. It is half their genetic material that is in the baby so they should have a right to it as well. Suppressing men’s rights to their own offspring is wrong too.

  19. Posted by: Veronica Green on Oct 28, 2008 @ 2:53pm

    Watch on YouTube the number of videos showing women dying at abortion clinics and being injured. Get the facts before you formulate your argument. I am all for women’s rights but not for women’s right to kill a defenseless human being in the womb. You should be glad your mom chose life. You should also look at their options and not just believe that there is only one option.

  20. Posted by: Joy Cook on Oct 28, 2008 @ 3:12pm

    As a woman it’s hard for me to see someone like its hard to post trying to repress women’s rights (my rights) to other options. Instead of being ignorant of the facts and being rude to other posters I suggest you go out and educate yourself. As a woman to another woman please do not repress my rights.

  21. Posted by: Ash on Oct 28, 2008 @ 3:14pm

    The CSA is further violating its own charter by trying to force people to conform to a few CSA members’ pro-abortion agenda while in the charter it fully states that you must have the right to choose for yourself.

  22. Posted by: Joeblow on Oct 28, 2008 @ 3:16pm

    As a neutral party I think you should educate yourself before you formulate your opinion on this matter. Look at the Charter of the CSA. In it is tells you that you have the right to choose where you stand on abortion. This implies that you have to take responsibility to know the facts before you formulate your opinion.

  23. Posted by: Joy on Oct 28, 2008 @ 3:19pm

    I feel offended that my CSA is trying to take all my options away. I do not understand why you do not get this concept. Maybe you do and just are ignorant of the facts in this case. I have no authority to judge you and you have no authority to judge me.

  24. Posted by: Freedom to think on Oct 28, 2008 @ 3:22pm

    This issue is of the CSA violating their own charter and trying to suppress people’s views that are different from their own. They are manipulating the system to further their pro abortion agenda. So the CSA is actually suppressing women’s rights and the Women’s right to choose. Considering this club is all about the woman’s right to choose.

  25. Posted by: Joy on Oct 28, 2008 @ 3:24pm

    You seem to be assuming a lot of things here. This link to this discussion was in the Guelph Mercury so the whole city of Guelph has access to this and have been posting. Not all the people on here are actual students. You are assuming the club on your campus is anti choice. It is in reality pro choice because it is giving people prolife options to women and helping the woman, options such as adoption and having a child. I am pro responsibility; if you choose to have sex you should be responsible about it by using prescription birth control with a condom. It’s as simple as that. If more people just read the facts and were responsible then this issue would go away. I truly believe that with the advent of all our technology this whole issue with be resolved. You should stop assuming and trying to repress women’s rights.

  26. Posted by: itshardtopost on Oct 28, 2008 @ 3:26pm

    Wow, whole club's out in full force and it seems I've ruffled a few feathers. In any case, I don't intend to take the time to respond to everyone on their points about abortion, certainly not using this half-functional comment system. You can believe what you believe, and I'll believe what I believe. No one's about to have their minds changed over this and frankly we could argue for ages over this.

    but I will make this point, how is the CSA taking all of your options away? If you don't want to have an abortion... uh, well.. don't. That's what being pro-choice is about, having the choice to do what you wish with your body.

  27. Posted by: George on Oct 28, 2008 @ 3:27pm

    Respectfully, itshardtopost, I have to correct you and state that this is not my club and I don’t endorse or condemn the views of this club. I find it unsettling that you jumped to the conclusion that I was a member of this club because I was standing up for the rights of the club. I certainly hope you don’t believe that the only way for someone to stand up for something is to be involved with it…tisk tisk tisk if you do!

    Moving on, I agree fully with Katherine B., this isn’t about abortion issues; it’s about the CSA restricting a club from participating on campus because what the club believes in doesn’t align with the CSA.

    Thank 'non-denominational' God that the board isn't paid to be there debating this crap! Commissioner salaries are a lost cause the day they're elected, so I'm fine if they want to waste away their evenings debating this stuff.

  28. Posted by: Freedom to think on Oct 28, 2008 @ 3:29pm

    Good point Joy. I forgot to add that there is adoption and crisis pregnancy centers out there to help parent a baby by giving out free clothing and diapers, etc.... Crisis preganacy centers outnumber abortion clinics 3 to 1 in Canada. There is also no doctor in Guelph who will perform an abortion (due to personal reasons) according to the Guelph Mercury. Hopefully the CSA situation gets resolved quickly. I plan on attending the meeting.

  29. Posted by: itshardtopost on Oct 28, 2008 @ 3:34pm

    Sorry about that, George, I assumed that you were, I was wrong though.

    I must admit though, you make some good points and perhaps my own personal views on abortion have biased my perspective on this. After a bit of retrospection, I suppose the club should have the right to keep on, despite how distasteful I find their aims. I have always agreed with you on the role of the CSA however, I've always felt that they really need to put this stuff on the back burner and focus on the issues that affect undergrads directly and keep politics away from it.

  30. Posted by: itshardtopost on Oct 28, 2008 @ 3:36pm

    One more thing about assumptions though... why does everyone assume I'm a female?

  31. Posted by: George on Oct 28, 2008 @ 3:45pm


  32. Posted by: George on Oct 28, 2008 @ 3:50pm

    I don’t think everyone was assuming this, but a quick search does reveal that you stated…

    “…All you're trying to do is regress the rights of women and push us all into having to live…”

    Btw, George doesn't necessarily make me male, my parents could have been cruel people.

  33. Posted by: itshardtopost on Oct 28, 2008 @ 3:53pm

    Ahh... my mistake. I was referring to the 'ideal' societal conditions that social conservatives (not all pro-lifers, but there's a correlation) would have us in given the chance.

    and haha, good point. Though I don't ever recall calling you male!

  34. Posted by: George on Oct 28, 2008 @ 4:03pm

    I also have one additional comment to make...

    Don’t clubs have to go through a whole thing with SRM that approves events beforehand? If I’m not mistaken the CSA runs or has a hand in SRM approvals, so they would have at some point approved this club’s event. Isn’t this right?

    This makes it seem even more unfair if they approved the event in the first place and then removed their status afterwards.

    Why haven’t we heard any response from the CSA people, they’re in their offices all day, let’s hear one of them defend their actions.

  35. Posted by: Scott Gilbert on Oct 28, 2008 @ 9:21pm

    I am not on the CSA, but was in the past, so can comment to come extent. To get current CSA exec perspectives, please email them directly.

    CSA policy is developed over years and years by multiple elected student leaders. You the students elect these people, they vote on policy, and for a policy to come into place it takes a 2/3 majority at the board level. Any policy can also be removed with the same majority. If you have a problem with a policy, get a bunch of people together to petition your representative on the board. Any policy can be changed in 2 weeks so if you have a problem with one, and if most of your peers agree with you, then get it changed. Ranting about how the CSA does not represent you only means you don't care enough to do anything about. The CSA exec are bound by law to following the direction of their board so if their policy and by-law manual tells them to act a certain way they have to - it's their job and they are legally bound to do it whether they personally want to or not.

    The CSA is one of the most democratically run organizations in the world so if you want to change something, make use of this opportunity and stop complaining!


  36. Posted by: Gen on Oct 28, 2008 @ 11:09pm

    I am not in the club either but you cannot deny that the CSA is wrong by violating thier own charter and the Candaian constitution. YOu also cannot deny the right to free speech and expression and equality.

    Here is another blog if your interested in this subject:


  37. Posted by: Joel on Oct 29, 2008 @ 9:33am

    i think we can see who cuts the editor’s paycheque at the end of the day. to the “editor”, maybe you should concern yourself with getting more news articles on the cannon than defending the executives

    they aren’t puppets to their policies and bylaws, they are allowed to use discretion.

    i will be in attendance at the appeal.

  38. Posted by: scott on Oct 29, 2008 @ 11:56am

    why is everyone talking about the CSA "violating thier own charter" - what charter? what are you talking about? please provide a reference because this does not make any sense.

  39. Posted by: on Oct 29, 2008 @ 12:38pm

    One other thing they can work on are the summer bus passes so that students who really need them get them instead of only a select number getting them. An acceptable idea would be to take their salary and use that to buy student passes --- CSA positions should be without pay. Instead of spending money advocating issues (And before you say, "the CSA does not advocate", consider the fact that by removing Life Choice's status as a club, they are removing a voice pro-life advocates have on this campus, effectively siding with the pro-choice movement) like pro-choice over pro-life, they should be working on issues that affect ALL students, i.e. tuition fees, etc. I, for one, could care less whether a woman has the right to abort her unborn child or not --- leave that to the people who actually have to have an abortion. All the CSA should care for are the things that affect students directly, i.e. tuition, quality of education, transportation to school, etc.

  40. Posted by: cant stay quiet on Oct 29, 2008 @ 2:55pm


    careful there. my parents pay for my tuition. me and my parents could not care less how much tuition fees are, so that's not something that affects ALL students. but i'm willing to campaign and protest for students who don't have such luxury, and i do believe that tuition fees should be lowered by the government funding post-secondary institutions with larger grants.

    women students have abortions, and they have a right to have an abortion. as a male, abortions don't affect me, but as a human being, i'm concerned about human rights, including those of women students.

  41. Posted by: Gen on Oct 29, 2008 @ 3:06pm

    This is the CSA Charter that the CSA is violating several of its own policys.


  42. Posted by: Gen on Oct 29, 2008 @ 3:08pm

    I will be at the appeal as well

  43. Posted by: Luke on Oct 29, 2008 @ 6:03pm

    I've seen over a dozen claims that the CSA is violating its own charter, by which I assume people are referring to the bylaws. I have not seen any reference to the bylaw in question that is being violated.

    As a person who is fairly familiar with the CSA bylaws and policies, I'd be interested in seeing the section that is being referred to, rather than just the bald assertion that's being made and repeated.

  44. Posted by: csa_totalitarian? on Oct 30, 2008 @ 12:07am

    dear joel harnest,

    i was wondering what steps you took in order to ensure transparency on this issue when voting at the oct. 1st meeting.

    "at its Oct. 1st, 2008 Board Meeting, the CSA Board of Directors voted unanimously to not grant Life Choice club status for the Fall semester. This decision was based on the Life Fair that broke CSA Policy and created the unsafe space mentioned above."

    it seems to me that transparency was one of the key promises you made during your campaign last winter. but were any of the representatives from Pro Choice group contacted ahead of time? was it made known to them that the fate of their accreditation was on the line? don't you think this whole mess could have be mitigated just a bit by keeping them informed ahead of time?

  45. Posted by: Genevieve Hinton on Oct 30, 2008 @ 1:07am

    I would be glad to answer that Luke. The CSA does not realize how serious this really is. Since its so hard to post long responseson here I might have to post a number of times to show the number of times the CSA has violated the CAnadian Charter of rights and freedoms (Which is serious business) and thier own bylaws and policys. What I put up is only some of the numerous violations that the CSA has made.

  46. Posted by: Editor on Oct 30, 2008 @ 2:11am

    For the poster "Gen" and others, this forum is being moderated. You are welcome to make a posting or two at a time, but not 30. Postings will be removed at the discretion of the editor. I will not be removing postings based on views, but you must stay on point, and keep your comments short. No essays spread out over 30 postings. If you want to write something longer, please submit it to me at [email protected]

  47. Posted by: itshardtopost on Oct 30, 2008 @ 2:20am

    So what happened at the appeal? I wasn't able to go.

  48. Posted by: Gen on Oct 30, 2008 @ 2:21am

    Ok well editor Scott Gilbert. I was just trying to answer the question Luke asked and its not a an easy question to answer in shortness. I speant a lot of time researching and finding the information. I wish you would have left at least a couple of comments. Also, I understand your point but you should have warned me first and I would have told you what comments I wanted up which could one or two . I would have been happy and you would have been happy. There seems to be aspect of censorship here as well considering this is a CSA website. This on eyou can delete but my next one please do not. I look like a fool saying I am going to answer you and then I do not answer it. SO I would like to say something regarding sorry I cannot answer your question.

  49. Posted by: Gen on Oct 30, 2008 @ 2:28am

    Luke,I want to answer your question I really really do. I know the anwer but I am unable to answer that unless I talk to you in person. Sorry HOwever I encourage you to go to the next CSA meeting because the second half of the meeting that was tonight will be on then. You talk to members of life choice and the CSA about and they can tell you. Again sorry

  50. Posted by: Editor on Oct 30, 2008 @ 2:35am

    For those people posting personal details about individuals your postings will be removed. Posting someone's private email accounts and naming names that might put someone in danger are a serious violation of cannon policy and are inappropriate for obvious reasons. We would like this site to remain open for people of all views to post their opinion, but if this negative activity continues we will shut down the comments section and report the specific users to the appropriate oversight body. Lets all continue to respect the privacy of others and keep this site for back and forth banter. Hope you all agree and understand.

  51. Posted by: to Gen on Oct 30, 2008 @ 2:41am

    Hi Gen,
    Sorry for deleting them all, but they were coming in very quickly and I didn't know when they would end (I too could use a heads up when these things happen). Please accept my apology. That being said, I encourage you to take your point up with Luke directly or write an article detailing your point. This comments section is for short responses. I know some things warrant longer answers, but please use the appropriate channels for such discourse. Thanks.

    And lastly, it is my understanding that the final decision has been postponed and that the meeting ended. This may have been due to time constraints (it's almost 3am and it didn't end that long ago). Once more information becomes available it will get posted to this site. Thank you all for your contributions. Now I need some sleep.

  52. Posted by: Gen on Oct 30, 2008 @ 2:53am

    I accept your apology and I am sorry for putting them all up at once. Luckily, I managed to save some of my research. I would love to speak with Luke directly but I have no idea who he is or what he looks like so I just told him to talk to someone at the next meeting. I like your idea about the article though. I do appreciate your politeness and professionalism and now I need some sleep also.

  53. Posted by: Luke on Oct 30, 2008 @ 8:53am

    I think there's been a misinterpretation of my remarks.

    While I appreciate the work people put into assembling long arguments, I won't pretend I have the time of the legal expertise to evaluate a Charter of Rights and Freedoms argument.

    My request is that any of the many invididuals accusing the CSA of acting in contradiction of its bylaws and policies state the section that's being violated. This isn't hard to do - they're all numbered.

    Consider this example: if the Academic Commissioner wasn't running a lower-the-tuition-fees campaign, he or she could be accused of violating:
    Bylaw 1, s. (iv) "To work with the External Commissioner to coordinate campaigns on tuition and funding of Post-Secondary institutions."
    as well as
    Appendix F, s. 3.2.2 "For these reasons, the CSA is opposed to any increase in tuition fees for education, and we call for the progressive abolition of fees."

  54. Posted by: George on Oct 30, 2008 @ 9:25am

    To the Editor – I would be curious to know where in cannon policy exactly is says that you can delete messages at your discretion if they become too long. Furthermore, where is this “serious violation” of cannon of posting someone’s name? What you did to “Gen” was unfair, if she had comments to make, you should allow them to stay. It’s a response board, who cares if someone wants to give a lengthy response. Stop trying to censor things Editor. If your policy states you can delete spam, that’s fine, but even you should be able to distinguish between spam and a researched lengthy response. It’s called using the appropriate discretion, just as the Board should have done in the case with Life Choice.

    Gen, I would encourage you to repost, I would like to know what you had to say.

  55. Posted by: George on Oct 30, 2008 @ 9:42am

    There is no misinterpretation of your remarks, Luke. Students are upset because they feel fundamental rights are being trampled on and maybe they did say it was the "CSA Charter" that was violated, but what it comes down to is students are upset because they feel like the CSA is censoring a group on campus. The kicked this group off without transparency, without due diligence, and without consultation. Every year from what I have seen, the executive campaign on “talking with the students”, but every year decisions continue to be made and we hear about it after the fact. Look at this message board alone, not one executive has posted something.

    My final comments to Luke are – Move on, please move on! I heard from my older sister you were on the CSA when she was here, I was like in grade 9 or 10 at the time!

  56. Posted by: Luke on Oct 30, 2008 @ 12:21pm

    George, it's been claimed 7 times in this thread that the "CSA violated its own charter". This is a serious charge with both moral and legal implications. The people making it have an obligation to back it up.

    This is a separate issue from how people feel about the CSA's behaviour. Saying that people are upset (and I'll allow that there are reasons to be upset) isn't proof of the charge.

    As for your final comments, I don't make a point of visiting the cannon, but since I happened to notice people making allegations about bylaws and policy (one of my specialties), I chose to discuss the matter. If the time I spent working with the CSA constitutional documents doesn't give me the right to post on the CSA's own message board about those same documents, I certainly don't know what does.

  57. Posted by: Freedomfighter on Oct 30, 2008 @ 1:25pm

    13. The fundamental right of all women to control their bodies:
    ii) Freedom of choice choosing one’s stance in the matter of abortion.

    The CSA does not allow views that are different then there own. They are trying to censor people thus they are not giving people the right to an informed decision on thier stance on abortion.

  58. Posted by: Freedomfighter on Oct 30, 2008 @ 1:29pm

    3.3.2 If the CSA believes there is just cause to withdraw recognition of ASO status, the following measures will be taken:
    i) A letter of warning will be sent to the officers of the student club by the Clubs Coordinator,
    ii) One week will be given for the rectification of the situation.
    3.3.3 If one week passes without correction of the situation, the club deposit and any other monies in possession of the CSA on behalf of the club will not be remitted to the student group but held in trust by the CSA. The club loses its CSA accreditation and the rights and privileges associated with it. All rooms booked by the club will be canceled

    The CSA did not follow due process in this case. They did not notify the club until two days after the vote.

  59. Posted by: James F. on Oct 30, 2008 @ 2:29pm

    Also from the CSA policy manual..

    “The CSA believes that a curriculum that builds a quality post-secondary education is neither parochial nor tradition-bound. ..It must be both broad and innovative.” I take the term curriculum to mean the CSA’s view of education both inside and outside the classroom. Removing a club that doesn’t share their views is demonstrating a blatant disregard for this policy that supports an open-minded “education”.

    Luke, I think saying people are upset is grounds for a charge, in a sense. The CSA represents students, if a large majority of students are not happy then the CSA has lost their confidence. I think it is unacceptable if the CSA responds to concerns from students by saying “this is what our policy states, we can’t budge”, that is something large corporations say when faced with criticism. Governments and representative bodies listen to concern and address those concerns by using discretion, amending laws and policies, and ensuring confidence is restored.

    A government or representative body, like the CSA, that doesn’t respond to the cries of students has neglected its fundamental purpose and has failed.

  60. Posted by: Luke Weiler on Oct 30, 2008 @ 3:16pm

    Hi Freedomfighter
    Taking the strongest point first (3.3), I can see the confusion. I'll be the first to admit that some of the CSA's policies could be written more clearly.

    I think what this particular situation turns on is that at the beginning of the semester, none of the clubs have CSA status unless they applied for it over the summer (and none did this year). This is why the board passes a motion saying "Be it resolved organizations X, Y, Z be GRANTED AOP status as CSA clubs".

    The policy quoted in your post refers to the withdrawal of status, but because Lifechoice didn't have status at the beginning of this semester, there was really nothing to take away. Right now, they're just where they were at the beginning of the semester - under suspension (as was every other club at the time). It might seem like a trivial distinction, but the policy you quoted exists to take away status in the middle of a semester after having already granted it.

  61. Posted by: Luke on Oct 30, 2008 @ 3:16pm

    As to the other point (13 (ii)), there's no logical connection between a woman's right to choose and what clubs the CSA accredits. This policy is clearly aimed at declaring that women should not be bound by law or intimidation to follow a certain course as regards their bodies. There is no fair reading of this policy that could impute a duty to the CSA to ratify any club on the grounds that it provides some sort of information to women. This remark is doubly true in a context where the information in question is readily available from many other sources.

  62. Posted by: Luke on Oct 30, 2008 @ 3:21pm

    James F, I think the term "neither parochial nor tradition-bound" does not mean what you think it means.

    And let me just say: I am not and will not defend the CSA writ large. I am simply interested in discussing the particular claim made over and over again that the CSA isn't following its constitutional documents. I've been following the Lifechoice matter pretty closely and I think these are baseless claims made because people are not familiar enough with the CSA's bylaws and policy.

  63. Posted by: to George and others on Oct 30, 2008 @ 3:26pm


    Please read the "Terms" section of our website that you are obligated to follow when using this forum. An excerpt reads "While all points of view are welcome here, repeated attempts to provoke conflict, bait or taunt will not be tolerated. Offenders generally receive warnings before being suspended. Continued abuse could result in eventual or immediate suspension of posting privileges. Posters using multiple identities can be banned outright. Continued participation on these boards is at the sole discretion of the moderator(s) and staff of this site."

    Although I did remove the flurry of postings, I offered the author the opportunity to write an article on the subject that would get more exposure, and where more postings related to the topic can be read.
    The "terms" page is in the bottom right had corner of this page and everyone should read it. We want to continue allowing comments, but all participants must follow the rules. Fairly straight forward.

  64. Posted by: George on Oct 30, 2008 @ 4:58pm

    Wow! Way to kill the mood in here, next time I try to debate with other students on something, I will be sure not to do it where CSA/cannon have complete oversight.

    Luke, forget about the policies and bylaws for a second, we’re talking about fundamental rights and freedoms. And yes, perhaps it’s a bit off topic and out of scoop, but students are having a chance to exercise their brains a bit and maybe even having fun debating stuff. We’re not at a meeting so does it really matter if we’re making “baseless claims”, it’s just our chance to say what’s on our minds. Don't worry, next time I will be sure to use proper citation. No Wikipedia too, right??

    Editor, you just can’t not have your hand in this, possibly because people in here might be siding with Life Choice, which you don’t particularly agree with yourself….

    I’ll leave it there, I’m done, fun is over!

  65. Posted by: re:cant stay quiet on Nov 6, 2008 @ 1:42pm

    You misunderstand. I merely meant that the CSA is a STUDENT body and they should be campaigning primarily for STUDENT issues. I don't see how abortion is such an issue and should concern the CSA and as such they should remain neutral.

    You confuse me. You and your parents could NOT care less. That means you really DO care about tuition. Freudian slip? So which is it? Are you and your parents really that loaded or you only wish you were? My parents paid for my tuition too (at least for my first year) but I do care about how high tuition fees are because that is an issue that concerns me as a student. Abortion also concerns me, but it does not concern me in so far as I am a student.

  66. Posted by: Tak Silverspar on Nov 27, 2008 @ 12:32am

    The above arguments for "freedom of speech" are bunk.

    Freedom of speech in Canada, as in many countries, is subject to limitations. In Canada, for exmaple, we have the category "hate speech", which denotes expressions (both oral and behavioural) that infringe on an individual's rights through degradation and intimidation. (Remember Ernst Zundel? Or ever wonder why Fred Phelps ain't allowed in Canada?)

    LifeChoice seeks explicitly to infringe on a woman's right to choose what is best for her body. Through the use of graphic materials and the promotion of vitriolic rhetoric and misinformation (abortions cause breast cancer?!), LifeChoice intimidates passers-by. So the argument that the organization is entitled to freedom of expression does not hold.

    The CSA was right to drop them.

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