UTMSU is facing legal action by UTM Students for Life, a pro-life student group disputing the union’s refusal to renew their organization’s club status on campus.
The legal documents filed in the suit quote minutes from a UTMSU board meeting last August in which VP campus life Russ Adade said that the group “was not recognized for the upcoming school year due to their stance on abortion, in terms of being pro-life and using their platform to tell women what they should do in those situations.”
The group had been funded and recognized by UTMSU in the 2014/15 academic year, but allegedly had its renewal application rejected for the current academic year.
Among other demands, the group is calling on UTMSU to “give SFL club recognition” and acknowledge their “decision is contrary to fundamental common law values and the values of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, by failing to respect University of Toronto Mississauga students’ freedom of expression and freedom of association”.
According to the legal documents, SFL claims Adade told the group in an email, “You are telling folks especially women what to do with their bodies” and “you folks can’t put them down for making a decision that doesn’t fit with your mandate”.
The Medium has not independently verified any of the SFL’s claims and is following up with UTMSU for comment.
In an interview earlier today, Diane Zettel, one of the three applicants filing the legal action was unaware if the union had been served but did say she expects this to occur sometime this week. According to Zettel, the legal action was filed last Friday.
This story is developing and The Medium is following up for further details.