Students applying to form a pro-life club at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario were rejected by the Trent Central Student Association (TCSA) last week on grounds that such a club would be ‘exclusive'. Trent Lifeline has secured legal counsel and is demanding that the decision be reversed and club status granted.
"The purpose of Trent Lifeline is to engage with the student body regardless of what someone's position is on abortion," said Heather Anne Robertson, President of Trent Lifeline. "Anyone can bring their ideas and opinions to the discussion. To exclude us in the name of being inclusive is absurd."
In response to its application, Trent Lifeline received an email from the TCSA Club & Group Coordinator informing them that "campaigning for pro life or pro choice is not allowed on campus as well since there is [sic] so many opinions to this it can lead to a very exclusive group, while all clubs at Trent University must be inclusive." After requesting more information on the policies upon which this decision was based, Lifeline was informed that a policy could not be sent "as there is one working under way."
From a listing of student organizations at Trent University, it's rather clear there is no "inclusive" policy. A few organizations which would seem rather exclusive (especially if used the way the TCSA Coordinator does) include South Asians at Trent (SAAT), Trent African and Caribbean Students' Union, The Wiccan Rede, Trent Christian Fellowship, Trent Japanese Association, Trent Jewish Students Association, Trent Pagan Circle and Trent Muslim Students' Association.