CSA apologizes for "Life Fair" held by former CSA-accedited anti-choice club
Wednesday, October 22, 200866 Comments
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
Guelph Resource Centre for Gender Empowerment and Diversity
University Centre Room 10
University of Guelph
Tel: 519-824-4120 x 58559