Campus Media Response: Abortion, Wallpaper and the Right to Property

Campus Pro-Life returns
The Gauntlet
The University of Calgary


The issue at stake is not the right to free speech, but rather, the right to property. Just as one can set the terms by which a guest can use one’s living room, the University of Calgary, as an independent institution, can set the terms by which students use its facilities. Apparently, the university felt that the “Campus Pro-Life” signs were disturbing enough to warrant limiting their visibility. Using the authority it has to govern the use of its own property, the university set particular terms for the display to be allowed on campus. These terms were then ignored. The “pro-life” group operated with a false sense of entitlement, believing that being a student organization was license enough to disregard the rights of the university. Certainly, there is no question that “Campus Pro-Life” members can hold their own opinions, however absurd these may be. Yet, this does not deny the fact that the University of Calgary has the right to decorate its campus as it sees fit. If the administration decides that smearing the campus with images comparing genocide with fetal-abortions is unacceptable, then such is their prerogative—and hiding under the false vale of free speech isn’t going to change matters. After all—is the university’s choice any different in principle to my own choice not to allow similar pictures in my living room?

Sorry, anti-abortion groups—nothing personal—just not my type of wallpaper.

Brian Cassin

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