Students at Queen’s vote to uphold free expression for men’s issues group

Posted on Mar 23, 2014 in Justice Update, Latest Updates

Fiamengo

Student councillors at Queen’s University’s Alma Mater Society (AMS) voted last week to respect the right of its members to have equal access to AMS services regardless of their political views.

Queen’s University’s Men’s Issues Awareness Society (MIAS) is a registered student group and will be hosting a discussion on March 27 on campus, titled “What’s Equality Got To Do With it? Men’s Issues and Feminism’s Double Standards.” The event will include a presentation by University of Ottawa professor and author Dr. Janice Fiamengo who will discuss men’s issues.

On March 19, a Queen’s student and AMS member-at-large representing the un- registered student group “Opposition to the Misrepresentation of Men’s Issues and Feminism at Queen’s University” emailed members of AMS assembly to inform them that the group would be proposing a motion at the March 20 Assembly to de-ratify MIAS “because of the manner in which its members have chosen to publicly undermine feminism and anti-rape culture discourse on campus”.

Without ratified status, MIAS would not be able to book AMS space, participate in AMS Clubs Night, or gain access to other resources and funding for clubs. Its ability to raise awareness and discussion about issues of importance to them would be seriously undermined if it were not able to operate as a fully-registered club.

As JCCF reports in its 2013 Campus Freedom Index, men’s issues awareness groups are the target-du-jour of the politically correct on campus.  This tactic of banning such groups is unfortunately not uncommon at Canada’s student unions. The University of Toronto Students’ Union (UTSU) denied certification to its own Men’s Issues Awareness Society in December of 2012, stating that the student group had violated UTSU’s Discrimination on Campus Policy and the Ontario Human Rights Code, for “perpetuating harassment towards women.” On March 15, 2013, the Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) denied certification to a student men’s issues group because it was allegedly affiliated with two external organizations, A Voice for Men and the Canadian Association for Equality, which RSU deemed “hate groups.”