Headliners: Feb. 7-11

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UVic pro-life club censured

Students’ society says club’s event posters violated harassment policy

Gemma Karstens-Smith — The Martlet (University of Victoria)

VICTORIA (CUP) — The University of Victoria’s pro-life club is facing consequences for an event they hosted almost four months ago.

On Feb. 7, the students’ society voted to censure the club for violating the society’s harassment policy when they promoted guest speaker Jose Ruba’s presentation “Echoes of the Holocaust,” which compares abortion to genocide.

The students’ society also voted to mediate a solution with the club to “help prevent further issues,” engage legal counsel to look in to how policy can be changed to address concerns regarding off-campus speakers and groups, and hold a restorative justice event.

Several complaints were filed against the pro-life club after Ruba’s presentation on Oct. 26. A complaints committee determined that the event’s name “allowed for people to be misled about the nature of the event” and that doing so was in violation of the students’ society harassment policy.

“This is not about the content of the presentation at all,” society chairperson James Coccola said during the meeting. “This is simply about how the event was marketed.”

But pro-life club president Anastasia Pearse says it’s unclear what, precisely, the decision was about.

“It didn’t actually say … what [it was] about the advertising. It was just that the way we advertised constituted harassment,” she said after the meeting. “Judging from the discussion, it was because we used the terms holocaust and abortion, or genocide and abortion together in our advertising.”

Pearse says that there is nothing preventing the use of such terms.

U of M bans party buses

University will charge offending vehicles with trespassing

Talia Joundi — The Manitoban (University of Manitoba)

WINNIPEG (CUP) — The University of Manitoba has banned party buses from entering campus as a response to safety concerns. But, many students feel the new regulations will encourage risky behavior.

On Jan. 12, a memo was sent to student groups across campus asking them to stop using bus convoys to transport students to and from the bar, stating that the university is in the midst of revising its alcohol policy “in light of recent incidents that have been the direct result of bus trips organized by local nightclubs.”

The memo was also sent out to local Winnipeg bars and bus companies.

As an interim step, the university will charge such buses that come onto campus property with trespassing.

Students caught in MBA tuition dispute

Quebec suspends bursaries after McGill hikes program’s tuition

Jacob Serebrin — CUP Quebec Bureau Chief

MONTREAL (CUP) — Students entering into McGill University’s MBA program knew they were going to be paying a lot more than their predecessors, but those eligible for financial aid from the province of Quebec didn’t know just how much more.

This fall, tuition in the program rose dramatically, to $29,500 a year from $3,400 for Quebec residents. In an effort to get the increase around Quebec’s tuition freeze the university “privatized” the program, funding it completely from tuition fees without provincial support.

In October, students who had been approved for student aid from the Quebec government found out that their bursaries would not be coming. Because the program was now funded privately students could only receive loans.

For some students the loss was considerable. Students normally can receive up to $2,440 in loans, with any additional funding coming in the form of bursaries.

Pat Tenneriello, president of the MBA student association, was one of those students; he had been expecting to receive over $6,000 in bursaries. Tenneriello said he thinks students are caught in the middle of a dispute between McGill and the provincial government over the tuition increase.

Last winter Quebec’s then-education minister, Michelle Courchesne, criticized the planned increase, sending a letter to McGill principal Heather Munroe-Blum informing her that the increase couldn’t go ahead without the ministry’s approval. She also threatened to cut funding from McGill if the increase went ahead.

In an August cabinet shuffle, Courchesne was moved to the presidency of the treasury board. Her successor, Line Beauchamp, has not taken action against the school.

“McGill and the government have issues that need to be worked out. But the students need to stay out of that,” said Tenneriello.

Content courtesy of the Canadian University Press

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