A student pro-life society has been banned from campus because it would violate the university’s safe space policy.
Strathclyde Life Action, an anti-abortion group based at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, was stopped from becoming a university society by the students’ union.
Officials at the University of Strathclyde Students’ Association said they banned the group preemptively because they believe they will “harass students”.
A statement continued: “This in turn violates their safe space.”
Members of the banned society hit back, telling Heat Street that proscribing them proves the university has no respect for free speech.
In another example of identity politics invading campus life, student officials could also not bring themselves to term the abortion debate a women’s issue – instead referring to “those with uteruses on campus”.
The USSA refused requests by Heat Street for comment, but a minute of a meeting held by the union suggested that “allowing an anti – choice group to form would be a barrier to freedom, equality and body – autonomy for those with uteruses on campus”.
And in a statement to Glasgow newspaper The Herald, USSA President and person without a uterus Raj Jayaraj railed “if a society’s beliefs contradicts association policy then it is not allowed to affiliate.”
“If a society representing the British National Party came on campus then we would not allow them to affiliate.”
Jamie McGowan, a law student at Strathclyde and a member of Strathclyde Life Action, spoke of his disappointment at the decision.
He told Heat Street: “I think there is a changing attitude to pro–life ethics in society. We are ready and able to open discussion and dialogue on the issue, but the union will not facilitate any challenge or suggestion that they might be wrong.”
“This is part of a fight for freedom not just in our universities, but in wider society.”
The decision comes just weeks after a petition was launched at Liverpool University to ban a pro–life society before it had had the chance to hold any meetings.
In that instance, the Guild of Students eventually supported the society’s right to exist, and Mcgowan added “that [decision] created an opportunity for rational discussion.”
“Let’s hope for the same thing at Strathclyde.”