Just so we are all on the same page, here is what Wikipedia says about what a university is and what it does:
“A university is an institution of higher education and research, which grants academic degrees in a variety of subjects. A university is an organisation that provides both undergraduate education and postgraduate education. The word university is derived from the Latin universitas magistrorum et scholarium, which roughly means “community of teachers and scholars…”
In 1963, the Robbins Report on universities in the United Kingdom concluded that such institutions should have four main “objectives essential to any properly balanced system: instruction in skills; the promotion of the general powers of the mind so as to produce not mere specialists but rather cultivated men and women; to maintain research in balance with teaching, since teaching should not be separated from the advancement of learning and the search for truth; and to transmit a common culture and common standards of citizenship.” ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University)
We will come back to this in a while.
You may not know, but there is a organization called National Campus Life Network which assists and supports 28 pro-life clubs in Universities across Canada, fourteen of these clubs are in Ontario. In the last three years 9 of these clubs across Canada have been under attack from their campus students’ union where both they and other clubs actually expect help.
The most recent problems have occurred at Carleton University where the university website message from the President states in part; “Students are truly VIPs on the Carleton campus” Message from the President; http://www1.carleton.ca/about/
Before we go any further we would appreciate it if you would watch the following video:
Well if that is being treated like a VIP – I would rather be neglected! The following is the recent press release from Carleton Lifeline.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Student Trespass Charges Withdrawn in Carleton University Free Expression Case
OTTAWA, ON. November 1, 2011
Trespassing charges that were filed against members of Carleton Lifeline, the pro-life student club at Carleton University, were withdrawn by the Crown yesterday.
On October 4, 2010, members of Carleton Lifeline, a pro-life club at Carleton University, were arrested for attempting to peacefully display the Genocide Awareness Project, an exhibit which compares abortion to other forms of genocide. The University deemed the Genocide Awareness Project to be “offensive” and directed the Ottawa Police Service to arrest and charge four Carleton University tuition-paying students and a Queen’s University student with trespassing. The charges were scheduled to proceed to trial today and tomorrow (November 2nd, 2011).
The Crown stated that the basis for withdrawing the trespass charges is that the issues dealing with the relationship between a university and its students was already being dealt with in Lobo et al. v. Carleton University et al., the civil action brought by two Carleton Lifeline members, Ruth (Lobo) Shaw and John McLeod, against Carleton University and members of its administration.
In July, the Ontario Superior Court heard a motion brought by Carleton University which sought to strike Carleton Lifeline’s Statement of Claim, the document initiating the lawsuit. Had the university been successful, this would have ended the suit. In a split decision, Justice Toscano Roccamo ordered that the action could continue but ordered Carleton Lifeline to make several amendments to its Statement of Claim.
In a subsequent decision regarding costs of the motion to strike, Justice Toscano Roccamo ordered the students to pay Carleton University’s legal costs in the amount of $18,400.87 plus applicable taxes. Carleton University had asked that the students pay $21, 467.68 in legal fees.
“We are pleased that the Crown has decided to withdraw these unjust charges” said Ruth (Lobo) Shaw, former president of Carleton Lifeline. “We have always maintained that we had the right to exhibit the Genocide Awareness Project on campus and that our arrest was unlawful. The withdrawal of these unjust charges is confirmation of that fact.”
Despite the withdrawal of the charges, the civil action against Carleton University is ongoing. “Although we no longer need to defend ourselves against the trespassing charges, a lot of work still needs to be done to move our lawsuit against Carleton University along and to clarify the legal rights of students to campus free speech and expression,” said John McLeod, current president of Carleton Lifeline.
To support Carleton Lifeline’s Defense Fund, please visit www.carletonlifeline.wordpress.com.
For further information, please visit www.carletonlifeline.wordpress.com or contact Carleton Lifeline’s Legal Counsel, Albertos Polizogopoulos at (613) 241-2701.
Cases of Censorship and Discrimination from the Past Three Years (http://www.ncln.ca/campuses/discrimination-on-campus/)
Now let’s get back to the Robbins Report on the core objectives of “any properly balanced system”
“objectives essential to any properly balanced system: instruction in skills; the promotion of the general powers of the mind so as to produce not mere specialists but rather cultivated men and women; to maintain research in balance with teaching, since teaching should not be separated from the advancement of learning and the search for truth; and to transmit a common culture and common standards of citizenship.”…..
What skills are students learning when University administration’s sit back and watch some of their students being bullied by the very union which should be defending them?
What skills are students learning when administrations attack them because their world view and how they choose to show publically it, is deemed “offensive” or “politically incorrect”?
What skills are students learning when those in authority, with the money and the power wield the authority of a public institution to promote and defend private beliefs?
What skills are students learning when they watch censorship and discrimination actually dominating democracy in Canada?
How will our students ever be able to search or discern the truth if they are not allowed to hear the voices of all worldviews in an environment where they are being formed.
Founding Principles of the Federation (http://cfsontario.ca/en/section/10)
- To organise students on a democratic, co-operative basis in advancing our own interests and in advancing the interests of our community;
- To provide a common framework within which students can communicate, exchange information, and share experience, skills and ideas;
- To ensure the effective use and distribution of the resources of the student movement, while maintaining a balanced growth and development of student organisations that respond to students’ needs and desires;
- To bring students together to discuss and to achieve necessary educational, administrative or legislative change wherever decision-making affects students;
- To facilitate co-operation among students in organising services that supplement our academic experience, provide for our human needs and which develop a sense of community with our peers and other members of society;
- To articulate the real desire of students to fulfill the duties, and be accorded the rights of citizens in our society and in the international community;
- To achieve our ultimate goal – a system of post-secondary education that is accessible to all, which is of high quality, which is nationally planned, which recognises the legitimacy of student representation, and the validity of student rights, and whose role in society is clearly recognised and appreciated.
These are the Founding Principles of the Canadian Federation of Students and all member unions which are laudable to read.
However, if you are student with a pro-life worldview your interests are not served, you cannot share and exchange information, you are not granted effective distribution of resources, you can never develop a sense of community with your peers because you are treated differently because of your worldview. How are pro-life students’ desires articulated by a federation that not only appears to despise their beliefs but which openly lobbies agains their clubs? To add insult to injury, pro-life students have no choice to opt out of union fees even when those unions have declared themselves supportive of abortion.
If students are being taught that this kind of bullying is acceptable in an institution dedicated to higher learning then what kind of society will these students create?