Photos C/O Kyle West

The McMaster Students Union recognizes over 350 clubs. According to the MSU Clubs page, the purpose of these clubs is to “provide an insightful and meaningful contribution to the McMaster and Hamilton community.”

Being a MSU recognized club affords certain privileges including being eligible for funding from the MSU. This funding comes directly from the MSU organizational fee, a $130.26 fee that all full-time undergraduate students pay. Within this fee, $8.02 are collected per student to support MSU clubs.

As students are paying for the operations of these clubs, the MSU has a responsibility to ensure that these clubs are not deliberately sharing and promoting misinformation that can be harmful to students.

McMaster Lifeline is the pro-life group on campus. Their mission statement is “to advocate with loving care the legal rights and social support of pregnant women and their unborn children.”

While the presence of a pro-life group on campus is already cause for controversy, the issue at hand is not solely the groups’ existence but that they use student space and resources to share information that is factually incorrect.

The group can often be found at a table in the McMaster University Student Centre, a privilege of being a MSU club, spreading scientifically false information on abortions and reproductive health. In addition to misinformation, the group is known for distributing graphic and potentially triggering images.

Groups like McMaster Lifeline should not be given a platform by the MSU to disseminate false information about individuals’ health.

Namely, the group fails to state that abortions are safe, medical procedures that are fully legal in Canada. Instead, they spread the false rhetoric that “abortions are never medically necessary”, which is simply a lie.  

In fact, any student-run group on campus does not really have the credentials to provide healthcare information or advice to students. Abortion is a serious topic that should be discussed with a healthcare professional who can provide factual, non-judgemental information, not with students who some of which have “no experience engaging with people on the topic.”

The MSU should be cautious in ratifying clubs that provide this type of information, as the results can be extremely harmful to students.

With over 350 clubs, it can be difficult for the MSU to ensure that operations of each of their clubs are aligned with the core goal of supporting students. However, that is not an excuse for allowing this behaviour to occur.

Multiple students have on many occasions voiced their concerns against these clubs’ actions. The MSU failing to take action blatantly goes against their responsibility towards their student constituents.

The MSU Clubs Operating Policy states that the MSU “will not attempt to censor, control or interfere with any existing MSU club on the basis of its philosophy, beliefs, interests or opinions expressed until these lead to activities which are illegal or which infringe upon the rights and freedoms of others”.

Due to this policy, on March 22, pro-choice students who were protesting McMaster Lifeline’s table in MUSC were removed and not allowed to distribute pro-choice pamphlets. A claimed “victory for free speech on campus” by the MSU only served to help promote the misinformation on campus.

While the actions of McMaster Lifeline may not be illegal, they certainly are harmful to students and may actually be violating the Clubs Judicial Policy, stated under the MSU Clubs Operating Policy.

Specifically, their actions may be considered to “unnecessarily cause a significant nuisance for an individual or group” (5.1.1.3), have “conduct unbecoming of an MSU club” (5.1.2.7) and most importantly, actions that “unnecessarily jeopardize the safety or security of any person or property” (5.1.3.3).

If the MSU truly wishes to provide a meaningful contribution to the McMaster and Hamilton community, it can begin with properly investigating clubs that may be found guilty of any offences described by the Clubs Judicial Policy. Only then can they truly ensure that their clubs support and protect McMaster students.

If students do wish to learn about their options with respect to their reproductive health, the Student Wellness Centre offers birth control counselling. If a student wishes to speak in a more informal setting, the MSU Student Health Education Centre offers relevant literature, referrals and peer support.

 

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Dear baby,

Welcome. This is the Earth. It’s a big, big place with little, little people. I’m on it. And now so are you.

None of this makes sense to you, of course. Right now you’re just a rubbery jumble of Jello wrapped up in human flesh. What else can I expect from you besides the occasional burp and belch and bumbling bellow?

Don’t think of that as an insult, baby. It isn’t. Most of the time, I can’t understand these words myself. Imagine that. I look back on these clunky sentences like tombstones and I wonder who the heck wrote all this because I definitely wouldn’t. I’d be more careful, more caring, and less self-indulgent. There would be flow. No fragments. Things wouldn’t run on and on and on and I’d ensure that in each sentence, from the first to the last to every awkward middle bit, I’d be less exhausting. And I wouldn’t bridge my thoughts with worn colloquialisms like and so on.

And so on.

One day you’ll have these thoughts of inadequacies too, baby. It’s inevitable. You see – this is a funny circle you have plopped yourself onto. We don’t know much about much despite waffling around for some thousand of years. Of course, we don’t admit this to anyone, ourselves included. Though we’re wrong more often than we’re right, and we’re probably wrong about that too, we live every day as though we were a godsend. The world is our oyster and goddammit if we aren’t the shining pearl at the center.

But this, baby, is wrong. Know this. Besides that some are allergic to shellfish, we’re all pretty much the same, no one person better than the other, and we’re all just sifting around trying to make sense of the world. Some of us are better than others. Some of us have opportunities to do so that others don’t have. And some of us forget that we have either.

That leads me to the one truth that I have learned, baby. It isn’t much, but it’s enough. In fact, it’s all we have after everything.

Try. Really – that’s it. Try, try, try in that order. Again and again and again, get up, do your best, and see what happens. Even if you fail. Especially if you do.

Because if you do else wise, you’re going to keep moving, doing, and wearing hats like you always do, and you’re life is going to clop, clop, clop away, and then you’re going to wake up and maybe you’re thirty which is eons away for you now, baby, and maybe you’re eating cereal and you’re wondering where time went and what did you do with it and you’re going to look back and see a place tickled by sunshine, a place where you used to be happy. You’ll ask yourself if that place is still like that, all rosy and beautiful, but then you’ll recall with a laugh that you aren’t like that anymore and the swing is too small and the jungle-gym is actually a man-made construction and you forgot how to fly a kite. The cereal will be soggy by the end of it.

But you still have a lifetime left to live, baby. Don’t get bogged down. Make mistakes. Have success. And do both as much or as little as you want to do. You, and only you, make your fate. It's yours after all.

And don’t listen to people telling you otherwise. Especially to people who give you advice. They know nothing.

Warm regards,

Kacper

A late interception by cornerback Steven Ventresca all but closed the curtain on the 105th Yates Cup on Saturday. For the second straight season, the McMaster Marauders are provincial champions. The victory also marks the first time that the trophy has been lifted at Ron Joyce stadium. The final score was 30-13, bringing Mac's record on the season to 10-0.

In addition to the OUA title repeat, Mac also set a CIS record for consecutive victories with 20, a mark previously held by the 2004-2005 Laval Rouge et Or.

Defense was the story for the Maroon and Grey as they picked off Guelph’s second-year sensation, quarterback Jazz Lindsey, three times.

Receiver Michael DiCroce continued to impress, as McMaster’s leading receiver in the game. Tailback Kasean Davis made his return to the field from injury, sharing carries with Tanner Forsyth for a strong team rushing performance.

Mac will now move on to the Mitchell Bowl, where they'll play the University of Calgary Dinos, who beat Regina in Saturday's Hardy Cup game out west.

In what has been a record-breaking season for the Marauders, there is room for even more history.

The sell-out crowd of 5,427 at Ron Joyce made sure to honor their team, rushing the field as the clock wound down. A large crowd congregated at centre field after the game as fireworks were set off atop Hedden Hall.

The celebration must be short lived, as the Vanier Cup is once again within arms reach.

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