November 15, 2005

New Union Policies… Hmmm…

I got an email through this morning about voting for some Union policies, and a couple of things seemed off to me – if I've got any facts wrong, please let me know, and if you're gonna comment with your views, please be respectful of the fact that people will believe differently to you.

The first point being the smoking ban in the union. I'm personally against this to start with, but then I saw this included in what the Union will resolve to do with this new policy:

_"4.That cuts to Union services, as a result of this policy, will begin with the following: –
· The least commercially successful events (possibly including Vapour, Crash, Pressure, Coalition, Heat and live music events);

· Society funding;

· Opening hours;

· Computing and support facilities for clubs and societies."_

Crash and Pressure to be closed due to them being "less commercially successful"?! The times I've been, they have been extremely successful! And Crash is one of the few, if not only, alternative nights the Union holds! Plus all this crap about cutting down on society funding. Societies are the best way for people to meet others with the same views/tastes/interestes/etc; a great way of making friends and making the most of your time at uni. Are they fuckin' crazy?!

The other point was that they want to adopt a policy of ‘No Stance’ on the issue of abortion.

At the moment, the Union is Pro-Choice – this means that it fully supports any member if they decide to have an abortion, and they also fully support those who think abortion is wrong and want to keept their little sprog.

This is in the current Union policy:

_"This Union Believes:
1. That no individual group has the right to impose pressure on a woman to choose whether or not to have an abortion.
2. That the violent and distressing tactics of anti-abortion groups such as Operation Rescue, who have stormed clinics whilst abortions were taking place, should be condemned.
3. That the tactics of the Society for the Protection of the Unborn Child (SPUC), such as taking out an injunction to stop a woman having an abortion in 1996, should be condemned.
4. That Life provides biased counselling and information, which emotionally blackmails women and does not provide them with any necessary information which they could not have got from pro-Choice organisations such as the British Pregnancy Advisory Service.
5. That having a pro-Choice policy does not dictate what individual students’ views should be on abortion, but simply reaffirms freedom of choice."_

Now, I'm having a lot of trouble seeing what the trouble with this is. The argument from a lot of people is that as the Union are Pro-Choice, they are forcing those who believe abortion is wrong to look elsewhere for support. What bullshit! That's not what Pro-Choice is about. It's about respecting an individual's views and giving them the advice and support they need for whatever action they choose to take. Had the Union adopted a Pro-Life policy, you can bet your arse the same coutesy would not have been shown to those who believe women have the right to choose! (As can be seen in point 4 above).

And with the past actions of SPUC (1996: taking out an injunction to stop a woman having an abortion) and Operation Rescue (stormed an abortion clinic whilst the abortions were taking place), is it any wonder they are going to opt for taking the stance they have where people are encouraged to make decisions based on their own morals?

When will people learn that their views aren't the correct ones just because they're theirs?


- 7 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

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  1. Unfortunately, of course, it's not really as simple as all that is it? At some point (and it's almost impossible to say exactly when), you are taking the life of another person who has no choice in the matter. It's not simply about women's choice, however much some people will try and claim it is.

    15 Nov 2005, 17:42

  2. whats the difference between pro-choice and no stance – very little as far as i can see. i mean pro-choice is supporting a woman if she wants to abort and supporting a woman if she actually wants the kid whereas no stance just means it takes no view but the uni will still support the students and so support will be there for women whether they want the kid or not…..the difference?

    with regard to the smoking thing, i would love for them to ban it but not sure if its worth all the cuts. i know i hate to come home reaking of smoke and if its done that to my clothes i hate to think of what its doing to my lungs:S however as you pointed out – we still need societys and funding for all the events in the union etc so i guess it depends to what extent cuts will need to be made (i guess i'll have to read it all properly before i decide).

    15 Nov 2005, 17:43

  3. At Rich's uni the Union is non-smoking before 5pm. Think this is quite good – makes coffee etc nicer but keeps 'club nights' as they are?

    15 Nov 2005, 18:31

  4. On the whole the union isn't too bad for smoking anyway, though the graduate is hell for anyone with clean lungs so I don't tend to go in there. I don't smell horrendously after a shift working all night. However the union needing to cut things to compensate for lost income? I'd look more closely at the number of ways in which the union WASTES money because it won't spend money to make things better so it costs more. But that's just my own opinion.

    15 Nov 2005, 19:05

  5. Edward: As a woman, I cannot express to you enough that it is number one priority to be the boss of your own body – if you can't control what goes on there, what can you control? I think it is so hugely unfair to expect a woman to go through such enormous, and sometimes depressing, life changes just for a bundle of cells that doesn't even know/think/feel/etc. Nothing can prove when a foetus officially becomes an independant human, so it isn't "murder" at all. A lot of the time existing families can be torn apart by the arrival of an unwanted pregnancy. Plus, children's homes are full of enough unwanted kids. In my view, it's a better choice than many others.

    Penny: As I understand it, if the Union takes 'No Stance', it cannot offer it's full advice and support to someone wishing to have an abortion, because then it is taking a stance. It also cannot offer that same help to someone who wishes to keep it, because that is also taking a stance. There is a huge difference between accepting everyone's right to their own views and giving them the ability to handle it in the way they want, and fobbing people off in fear of breaking their policy by offering too much support in favour of one group of beliefs. Taking a Pro-Choice stance means that pro- and anti-abortionists get all the help they want/need, where as Pro-Life and No Stance options drastically limits it.

    Christopher: I hear ya! I'm sure the Union is guilty of spending where it doesnt have to – I hope the cuts it suggests won't take place!

    16 Nov 2005, 00:40

  6. Abortion- this is one of the tough subjects. Personally, from a christian perspective, all life is important, and should be cared for. But that means the life of the mother as well. I would love to say that, making the choice to keep an unborn child, "everything will turn out OK in the end", but it doesn't always, cos this is the real world. In the end, it should be down to the mother to have her own choice. She should be given unbiased advice, but not pressurised. If you are pressurised into any decision, its not really your own surely?
    I think its easy to make a stance for "what is right and wrong", but when it happens to you, its entirely different. Follow your heart, thats what I think. Anyway, I've rambled on long enough…

    16 Nov 2005, 23:54

  7. Murs

    Lottie, why is it whenever you speak and endless stream of $hit pours out.

    Nobody has told me more dead baby 'jokes' than you.

    To be honest ive lost my point, and i didnt read the whole post…

    oh well

    16 Jan 2006, 01:06


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