To whom it may concern,
(first paragraph is out as it just says "this is me as a student not in my professional capacity).
On Feb 28th, outside Tim Hortons, Lifelink sponsored the 'Silent no More Campaign' an anti-abortion (pro-life) group to students. Money was spent by the SRC for this event. I am opposed, appalled and discouraged by the group's location and use of microphones to subject their views on other people. I am also angry with the SRC's financial contribution as they state that they do not associate themselves with any one religious group. Lifelink and Silentnomore.com are both religious in nature. I do not believe my SRC fee's should go to something like that and it was a callous decision.
The speakers mentioned triggers that induce emotional and/or physical pain from people who have had an abortion - there was at least one woman who was not ready to deal with this topic and left in tears from her class. There were more people who just wanted to get their coffee without hearing about these traumatic experiences.
I don't agree with pro-life being slammed in my face like this - even as someone who is pro-life. There is freedom of speech but there is also a place for it. This affects women who do not want to recall their personal experience, or feel as though they should regret their abortion and don't. A university is not the venue to make people feel guilty.
Since the use of the PA system made it possible to hear the presentation in class, I would also consider this a violation under the Student Disciplinary Code Appendix A, Section B:
"In accordance with the commitment set out in the University's Mission Statement to provide an environment conducive to the development of the whole person, all members of the University community - staff, faculty, students and administrators - have the right to work and/or study in an environment which affords them respect and dignity, and is free from danger, discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and behavior which is destructive, disruptive, or unlawful."
Students being able to hear the presentation in their classrooms is disruptive. The lack of available study space in the Tim Horton's area and Alumni lounge is also disruptive.
Abortion is a controversial topic and draws at emotions on both sides. I find this disgraceful that LifeLink was so unbelievably insensitive to the topic and held it in such a public venue. I also find that this sort of behavior is what gives people who are personally pro-life a bad name. I should not have to explain that although I am pro-life I refuse to affiliate myself with the groups because of this sort of behavior. It is not acceptable to make people feel guilty in their school. It is unacceptable to have such a controversial and moral issue in such a public venue.