Members of Protectores Vitae, a pro-life university club at Kwantlen Polytechnic University Campus in Langley, B.C, have announced that they will be taking the Kwantlen Student Association to court. The Student Association will not grant official club status to Protectores Vitae.
Oliver Capko, president of Protectores Vitae said: “It is unfortunate that we have to sue our own student representatives in order to secure equal and fair treatment on campus.”
The press release announcing the decision states:
“Legal representation for the Kwantlen Student Association did bring forward an offer to grant Protectores Vitae status as a ‘recognized group’ but not campus club status on par with 33 other clubs. Recognized group status is granted to religious and political party groups, or those who exist to support a specific external organization. Clubs, on the other hand, can be academic, athletic, social, cultural “or other purpose that seeks to enrich the extracurricular lives of students through their time at Kwantlen University,” according to the KSA Clubs package.”
“We are an autonomous group, without affiliation to any other external organization,” said Oliver Capko. “We are not religious, nor are we political. Our activities would lead to consideration of bioethical issues at Kwantlen, which would surely enrich the extracurricular experience of students. That is why we applied for club status and not for recognized group status.”
Following the rejection of his application for club status this fall, Mr. Capko remarked: “[The student union] pretty much… demanded that our club adhere to the Kwantlen Student Association’s policy that says they support a woman’s right to choose.”
Chairperson of the executive committee of the KSA, Christopher Girodat, admitted that the student union is a “pro-choice organization.”
The president of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, John Carpay representing Mr. Capko said:
“Student unions need to recognize and fund all student groups or none of them. The student union politicians have no legal authority to fund only groups that they like and agree with, while denying funding to groups they disagree with.”
Freedom of speech on university campuses for pro-life university clubs in Canada is increasingly hard to find as demonstrated by the number of pro-life students’ groups who have had to battle with student unions for their right to exist.