The Societies Guild at UCC has twice rejected applications to set up a pro-choice society on campus on the spurious grounds that this issue is already covered by other groups - including in their first rejection the ludicrous suggestion that this was done by the anti-choice "Students for Life".
Timeline of the political censorship of pro-choice views at UCC.
Monday 26 January – Societies Guild turn down application to set up pro-choice society:
"Your society application was brought before the Guild last evening. Unfortunately status was not approved. It is a decision that was ultimately made by a previous Guild and is being upheld. 'A society already exists which caters for debate in the area of abortion and choice'. Membership to this and all societies is open to all students in UCC. Thank you for your interest and I hope you join one of the many societies in UCC."
Friday 30 January – President of the Students Union says in an email that the application was rejected “due to flaws in the constitution.”
Tuesday 10 February –The Societies Guild confirms by email that the other society is the anti-choice “Students for Life who deal with many issues such as abortion, stem cell research etc.”
Thursday 12 February – Societies Guild suggest meeting up to discuss the failed application.
Wednesday 18 February – Stall at UCC by pro-choice activists for 2 hours collects over 100 signatures on a petition calling for overturning the decision.
Monday 2 March – Meeting with the Societies Guild indicates that a proposal for a broader-based society would be accepted.
Monday 9 March – Societies Guild turns down second application for a much more broadly based society:
"Thank you for your proposal which was discussed at last nights Guild meeting. Unfortunately it was decided not to grant status of the UCC Pro-Choice society at this time. Since the health promotion issues are covered by the UCC Slainte society and the debates on the topics are covered by the UCC Philosophical society it was thought that a society already exists that could cater for your needs. This would limit the remit of the UCC Pro-Choice society as well as the membership.
"Thank you for your interest in any case and I hope that you get involved in one of the eighty-four societies in UCC."
This is a clear and blatant case of political censorship and must be opposed. Send messages calling for this outrageous political censorship to be overturned to the Societies Guild at firstname.lastname@example.org with copies to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let us know, at email@example.com, if you want to help with making a big splash at UCC in Freshers Week in September – the pro-choice message will not be silenced!