By Don McHoull
Despite a firestorm of controversy, a campus anti-abortion group is pressing ahead with its plans to win official student group status.
Representatives of the Ryerson University Choose Life Association, met yesterday with Crystal Adair, RyeSAC’s vice-president student life and affairs.
“At this stage we are hoping for the best,” said group executive member Mike Nieznalski.
The group was strongly criticized last month for distributing pamphlets on campus that called abortion murder.
The first stage to becoming an official RyeSAC student group is winning the approval of the student group committee, of which Adair is a member.
Adair says approval by the committee is largely automatic, provided that groups meet RyeSAC’s criteria.
“We make sure that all of the paper work is in order,” said Adair. “I don’t think we’ve really turned anybody away, unless they’re duplicating the role of an existing group.”
Adair said the real debate about whether to approve the group comes during the second stage, where it goes before the RyeSAC Board of Directors.
“That’s where they would discuss how a group fits in with RyeSAC’s philosophy,” said Adair.
The anti-abortion group was thrust back into the spotlight at last week’s RyeSAC debate when it was revealed that presidential candidate Dave MacLean had signed a sheet supporting the group’s right to exist.
Vice-President Education Ken Marciniec, who is running for president, slammed the Choose Life Association for distributing anti-abortion literature.
“I think coming on campus to promote fearmongering and an anti-woman attitude isn’t activism, it’s hatred,” said Marciniec.
Nieznalski said he was a bit surprised by the hostile reaction his group had received, but that most students had been supportive.
“Even if there is any opposition to the issue, we have a right to express our views,” he said. “A lot of students are pro-life, and there is no group on campus that represents them.”
Nieznalski said his group now has about 30, 10 more than it needs to achieve official status.