Words by Michelle Roylance

On Dit Magazine
3 min readMay 26, 2020
UofA Pro-Choice Club logo

Late last night, it was revealed that the UofA Pro-Choice Club’s application was rejected during in-camera session of the AUU board meeting a week ago.

This decisions comes after last year’s controversy when AUU granted funding and a platform to the pro-life club LifeChoice to ‘promote the dignity of human life from conception to natural death.’

The grounds for rejection, set out in the email from the Clubs Admin to the Pro-Choice Club, were that the proposed club was:

‘substantially similar to the Women’s Collective… according to their visions and purposes.’

Primarily citing provision 6.4.4 of the AUU Clubs Administration rules, the provision states that:

“The Clubs Committee shall deny provisional registration to: . . .

. . . 6.4.4. any club that is substantially similar to a currently funded service/s by Student Services and Amenities Fees (SSAF).”

A screenshot of the email sent to the Pro-Choice club.

As previously reported on, the Pro-Choice Club has faced numerous difficulties in gaining affiliation since its initial application in October of last year. Amidst a reported severe lack of communication from the Clubs Committee and AUU board, the Pro-Choice Club waited 5 months before receiving any word on their initial application, only to learn that a Clubs Committee meeting in April 2020 resulted in discussions to be further postponed. Once again, they were not granted an explanation, nor proper communication.

As the Women’s Collective is currently an ‘affiliate’ of the SRC it was deemed to be a SSAF funded service in line with 6.4.4 and thus, used as a tool to reject the Pro-Choice Club.

Despite the claims from the AUU, several students spoke with On Dit, highlighting inconsistency in their decisions. They raised concerns of multiple AUU affiliated clubs that could be considered similar that already exist. Students gave the example of several ‘games’ and ‘gaming’ clubs, as well as 6 separate Christian-focused groups.

On Dit wishes to note that in 2019, part 6.4.4 was not part of the Clubs Administration Rules, and was in fact added just a few months ago in March, well after the initial registration efforts of the Pro-Choice Club in October of last year.

Spokespeople from the UofA Pro-Choice Club and the Women’s Collective, provided comment on the recent rejection.

“Pro Choice Club founders, and every single supporter are disgusted by not only the complacency and incompetence of both the Clubs Committee and AUU Board, but also at the rejection and reasoning behind it.

In the long months leading up to this rejection, the Pro Choice club has been strung along, left in the dark, and disregarded. We have done nothing but try to advocate for women’s rights and bring equal representation to the university due to the presence of [LifeChoice].”

“The entire process has been drawn out and deliberately convoluted in an attempt to keep us out of the union space. The Women’s Collective can’t be an actual club and can’t be AUU affiliated, but the Pro-Choice club can’t be a club either because it’s too similar to the women’s collective club, which can’t be a club because it’s part of the SRC, which it can’t get out of.

This flawed justification from the AUU Board does not make it difficult for one to assume that their decision to reject Pro-Choice is more politically based then they wish to let on. Already words and statements such as ‘misogynistic AUU Board’, ‘right-wing AUU Board’ ‘attack on free speech’, ‘repressive’, and ‘lack of transparency’ are being circulated with regards to the matter. The presiding AUU Board and Clubs Committee have much to answer for and will continue to be called out if the maintain such poor reasoning and persist on making decisions in-camera.”

AUU President Stella Woo and Clubs Committee Chair Angela Qin, both of whom have been primarily responsible for this prolonged process have continued to make themselves unavailable for comment.

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