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Campus political groups face off on Facebook

By Kristy Koehler, June 18 2020—

The University of Calgary Conservatives (UCC) and the University of Calgary New Democrats (UCND) faced off on Facebook in late May over a past scandal involving the Wildrose on Campus club.

Photo courtesy of Facebook

Karan Dullat, president of the UCC, said that his club’s executive team found the post “to be in bad taste.”

“We are saddened by the misinformation the UCNDP are spreading,” said Dullat. “The fact of the matter is that we never sent those emails, we were not even a club at the time. […] They tried bringing up a controversial issue from almost half a decade ago and linked it to us which is factually wrong.”

The UCC made their own post in an attempt to counter the UCND’s claim. 

Photo courtesy of Facebook

Dullat says they reached out to the UCND on May 28, asking them to take down the post and correct the record. Their response, Dullat says, “is just ridiculous,” noting that the UCND amended their post by attempting to link the scandal to the UCC by highlighting the merger of the province’s right-wing political parties.

“They also did not take down the initial text from the original post,” he said.

Dullat says he doesn’t believe it’s useful to trade barbs on the internet, but felt that his club’s follow-up post was necessary to “stand up for the truth and the facts.” He says that the UCC have a good relationship with the other political organizations on campus and are planning to co-host some events with “the aim to bridge the political divide on campus and show that politics does not define us as human beings.”

Dullat says he wants to bury the hatchet with the UCND and work towards creating a healthy and safe environment on campus.

“I look forward to meeting the President of the UCNDP and talking about our parties shared interests, whether it be about protecting LGBTQ2IA+ rights at home and abroad, creating a strong long-lasting economy and how to help the most vulnerable in our society,” he said.

“At the end of the day, beyond our party colors, we are Dinos. It’s our responsibility to take the high road and ensure that there are safe, healthy and ethical discussions on campus regarding politics. I hope that all political clubs on campus can come together and move this forward.”

The Students’ Union offered a statement on the code of conduct for clubs:

“Registered SU Clubs operate as autonomous third-party entities to the SU. If a complaint were received, the SU Clubs Office would follow their established process for investigating the issue before taking action or referring the issue to the university’s student conduct office, if required.”

The UCND did not respond to a request for comment.

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