Feb 3rd, 2015
Pro-life group ignored following poster vandalism
It isn’t easy being a pro-life student, or anyone else with an unpopular, unconventional or politically incorrect opinion. The 2014 Campus Freedom Index records more than a dozen cases of pro-life clubs being targeted for censorship purely because of their views. For University of Alberta law student Cameron Wilson, it’s all too familiar. While at the University of Calgary, Wilson and six other students were charged with non-academic misconduct for having set up a pro-life display in a high-traffic area of campus. With legal assistance from the JCCF, Wilson and his peers were vindicated by the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench, which ruled in Wilson v. University of Calgary (2014 ABQB 190) that the U of C acted unreasonably in issuing a misconduct violation. Now it seems Wilson is facing the same unfair treatment from the University of Alberta.
Wilson is a member of Go Life: U of A Campus Pro-Life, which came up with a clever and provocative poster campaign to promote its upcoming information session. The poster stated “Are You Stuck in the Pro-Life Closet?” Between January 8th and 15th, Go Life members put up 1200 posters. By the day of the meeting, less than 12 remained. “We would poster nearly every day, and by the next day a large majority of the posters would have been pulled down,” stated Wilson.
Go Life members witnessed, and in some cases video-recorded, numerous individuals tearing down their posters. They promptly sent the video-footage to the University of Alberta’s Campus Security to intervene. But Campus Security has not responded to this student group’s request for action, nor taken any action to defend these students’ right to spread their message on university property. This amounts to a de facto endorsement by the University of Alberta of the actions taken by vandals to silence this student group’s message. Universities have an obligation to uphold the rule of law on campus, yet the University of Alberta is not acting.