Aberdeen, Scotland, Apr 29, 2019 / 14:47 pm
With the University of Aberdeen's student association meeting one person short of a quorum last week, it will be at least five months before a pro-life group will have another chance to overturn a pro-choice policy it calls discriminatory.
In October the Aberdeen University Students' Association prevented the affiliation of the Aberdeen Life Ethics Society, citing its own pro-choice policy. The move limits Ale's access to funds and venues at the university.
After failing to have the policy changed, Ales filed a lawsuit April 12 against Ausa and the university, “alleging unlawful discrimination against the society and the violation of rights protected by UK law.”
According to Aberdeen daily The Press and Journal, Ales put a motion before Ausa to re-word the pro-choice policy at its April 23 meeting. “But while it required 38 members to form a quorum, only 37 attended – forcing the meeting to adjourn without any decisions made,” wrote James Wyllie.
Ausa will not meet again before September.
An Ales spokesman said that “while it is frustrating that student political engagement at Aberdeen is so anaemic that a minimum quorum can’t even be reached, the students don’t bear the sole blame here,” The Press and Journal reported. The pro-life group charged that had the student association's board of trustees repealed the policy, “no lawsuit would have been necessary and the discriminatory policy would have been relegated to the dustbin where it belongs.”
Ales announced the rejection of its application for affiliation Oct. 19, 2018, saying: “We were rejected because the Student Council passed a policy in November 2017 declaring AUSA to be 'pro-choice' and pledging to 'no-platform' any society that opposes abortion. Since our proposed society is unashamedly pro-life, we have been banned from affiliating.”
The pro-life group said that the pro-choice policy is “being used as political cover to ban student speech on campus, it also treats the student body as undivided on the issue of abortion.”