Today is LifeChoice Sydney’s one week anniversary since our affiliation with the USU!
And what a week it has been! Our membership and online presence have grown immensely; we now have over 500 likes on Facebook, and launched our new website on Wednesday – just in time for our every own policy discussion forum. That’s not to mention the dozen national and international articles which have featured LifeChoice and the discussion of free speech on campus. Check out our blog for the links to most of those articles. My particular favourite was the engaging discussion around free speech on Triple K’s The Hack- be sure to have a listen here (starts around the 5 min. mark).
As mentioned, the USU policy forum took place on Wednesday in order to give students a chance to express their views on the continued affiliation of LifeChoice Sydney. The discussion was based around the question of ideological clubs at the University, particularly the existence of LifeChoice as a viable USU society. Nearly 100 people showed up, indicating how important this is to students, and we were very pleased with the opportunity to discuss these issues in a fair and open environment.
A motion was put forward that the USU strip LifeChoice Sydney of its affiliation on the basis we are ‘intrinsically discriminatory towards women’. This motion was debated for some time, with some excellent speakers both for and against. A vote was taken and the motion was narrowly defeated 36-34.
This was a symbolic victory, but an important one nonetheless because it was made possible by the broad range of students who supported our right to free speech on campus. Students from all views – prolife, prochoice, and undecided – argued in favour of our club’s continued existence, as a way of providing informed and rational discussion.
LifeChoice Sydney unequivocally rejects any idea that we seek to vilify or discriminate against women, which would be intolerable considering that over half our members and our Executive, not to mention myself, are women.
Sincere thanks must go out to all those members, as well as students from the wider campus community, who came to show their support on Wednesday for the rights of free speech and association on campus. We are committed to student discourse, and we’re here to stay. Moreover, thanks for all the support over the past week.
It’s been an interesting ride but we continue to stand for our right to be treated equally on our campus.
On behalf of the club, I wish you all the best in the upcoming exams. And most importantly, let’s look forward to a great second semester with LifeChoice Sydney!
President, LifeChoice Sydney