Carleton Lifeline Constitution:
Carleton Lifeline Constitution
At the beginning of the summer of 2010, Carleton University students filled out the appropriate paper work to use a large outdoor area on campus to display graphic images of abortion beside other atrocities such as the Holocaust and Rwanda. This display, GAP (Genocide Awareness Project), has been found to be educational and effective for helping women and saving babies (http://www.unmaskingchoice.ca/gap.html).
After many months of waiting for the University Administration to respond, Carleton Lifeline, the pro-life club on campus, received notice from the Head of Housing and Conference Services that GAP was considered to be “disturbing and offensive to some” and therefore could not be shown in public (Please see “Correspondence” for official letter from Univ.). The University then offered Lifeline a closed room on campus where they could set up their display and invite members of the public to see it.
Upon being told this, Carleton Lifeline’s lawyer, Albertos Polizogopolous, informed Carleton University that this was an infringement on the rights of the students, a violation of the University’s own policies, and content based discrimination. Lifeline did not hear back from the University for an extended period of time, and when they did, the answer was the same: Carleton Lifeline may not display the Genocide Awareness Project anywhere on campus but Porter Hall (the closed room).
As such, Carleton Lifeline decided to procede with their event and informed the University that they would be staging a National Protest against Canadian Universities that
restrict freedom of speech and as part of their protest, they would erect the Genocide Awa
reness Project in the public space they originally sought.
On Monday October 4th 2010, Carleton Lifeline arrived on campus to find 9 Ottawa Police Officers waiting for them as well as Campus Security. After reading the University Policies to all authorities present, 4 Carleton students and one student from Queens were arrested and charged with trespassing.
In effect, the University violated the right of the students to express themselves freely without fear of persecution or detention. Further, the University has discriminated against its own students on the basis of content.The actions of the University mirror closely the actions of authorities who lived during the time of the Civil Rights Movement. Imagine if Martin Luther King Jr had been told he could protest racism as long as he does so in his segregated Church where he may invite white people to come and see it?
Under the guise of comprimise, Carleton Univeristy violated their own polices of:
1) Freedom of Assembly/Protest
2) Freedom of Speech
3) Freedom of discussion
4) Freedom to criticize the University in a public way
5) Academic Freedom
Sections from Carleton Universities Policies relevant to the arrest can be found here:
On November 11th, Carleton University’s Student Association informed Carleton Lifeline that they were being denied club status on the basis that CUSA is a pro-choice organization that does not support pro-life groups.
The Student Union invited Lifeline to change their Constitution to reflect pro-choice values otherwise they would not be certified. Further, the Union cited their Discrimination Policy that can be read below. As a result of CUSA’s violation of their own internal policies as well as the blantent discrimination against pro-life groups found in the Discrimination Policy, Carleton Lifeline will legally defend their right to exist on campus. Please see “Correspondence” and ” Press Release” for full story.
Here are the relevant polices regarding Carleton University’s Student Association:
CUSA’S Constitution: http://cusaonline.com/Downloads/cusa_constitution_09.pdf
CUSA’s Certification/Recertification/Decertification By-Laws (section IX): http://cusaonline.com/Downloads/bylaw_dec_09.pdf
CUSA’s Discrimination Policy (pg 33 Section 6) http://cusaonline.com/Downloads/cusa_policies_2010.pdf
This blog exists as a form of documentation of all that has happened in regards to the arrests, decertification and constant bullying towards Carleton Lifeline.