The Students' Union provides response to recent society suspension.
Members will be aware that the Union took action recently to suspend the recently affiliated Catholic Society.
Understandably, the new society’s activity generated a great deal of attention from students, alumni and members of the public. We understand that many of our members disagree with the society and want to see us take action, but it is not within the legal reach of the Students’ Union to prevent their activities.
While we have democratic mandate in favour of the Safe Access (Abortion Services) Scotland Bill, as a Students’ Union for all, we note their right to free speech and freedom of thought to disagree.
The Union recognises its commitments to equality legislation and will be working with the society to ensure any activity they undertake is risk assessed and carries a commitment to ensuring it is undertaken without harassment and intimidation whilst ensuring their legal rights.
We recognise that permitting engagement in this activity may disappoint some members, particularly in light of the Union’s stated support for buffer zones but they should know that we remain committed to working with our members to ensure we can move the debate forward in a respectful manner.
Vice President Jess Reid commented, ‘This decision will ensure that the Union meets its legal obligations in supporting freedom of speech on campus. Above all, this situation highlights the need for legislation to ensure buffer zones are in place to remove any ambiguity for those seeking reproductive freedom.’
The Union’s priority remains ensuring that all of our members feel safe and supported. We are committed to ensuring that any students in need is able to access the right advice about their reproductive health.
Any student who has any questions can contact the Union: firstname.lastname@example.org