Pro-Life club wins battle against AUSA discrimination

Auckland Students for Choice spokeswoman Justine Rose,said the Pro-Life club were an embarrassment

AUSA’s third attempt in five years to disaffiliate the Auckland University Pro-Life group has failed.

Auckland University Club ProLife Auckland celebrates their continued right to be an affiliated club with the Auckland University Students Association (AUSA) after it was confirmed that the AUSA will be declaring the referendum null and void due to it’s legally problematic nature.

The AUSA’s lawyers found the question could be considered biased or leading, making the  question procedurally improper and in breach of the spirit of the AUSA Constitution.

“We’re pleased that AUSA has followed university policy in providing a non-discriminatory “safe, inclusive and equitable environment” for all students on campus. This is a major victory for students who face discrimination”, says Jelena Middleton, co-president of Prolife Auckland.

“From the beginning we objected that the referendum question was legally contentious. We are glad that this attempt to punish us for holding legitimate ethical views has been prevented.

“The fact that the AUSA went ahead with this referendum without first clarifying the legality of their actions is troubling, and it raises serious questions about their impartiality throughout this entire process”, says Middleton.

Censure of this kind against a student club is only warranted by legitimate complaints of misbehaviour. Principles of natural justice and proper practice demand there be such a documented incident.

“Prolife Auckland has always maintained a peaceful and respectful presence on campus. We are clear about our ethical views, but we always engage in a civil and courteous manner when presenting those views at Auckland University.

Prolife Auckland has been informed by the AUSA that the club will not be releasing the full legal advice they received.

“We believe that the AUSA has an obligation to release the full legal advice, and we have already contacted them and asked them to do so. As our elected representatives, they have a duty to be transparent in their proceedings”, says Middleton.

Throughout the process the club received massive support both from students and from many others around the country.

“We are encouraged that there is still a strong movement towards facilitating a more progressive culture of healthy academic debate on campus”, Middleton concluded.

 


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