By LAURA TAYLOR
On Tuesday, Oct. 2, between 5:30 a.m. and 7:00 a.m., the University of Mary Washington Students for Life organization chalked pro-life messages on Campus Walk around Monroe Hall, Lee Hall, and Woodard.
“UMW Students for Life wrote the messages on Campus Walk in places that tend to have the most foot traffic,” said the president of UMW Students for Life, Aeriana Mann, in an email interview.
Some of the messages that were chalked on campus included “Pro-Science, Pro-Woman, Pro-Life,” “A person’s a person no matter how small,” “Pro-Love, Pro-Life,” “You are strong enough to choose life,” and “Life is a human right.” These messages were written to spread pro-life advocacy and provide resources for women who may want free counseling after an abortion.
UMW Students for Life is a club on campus that has been around for eight years and is affiliated with Students for Life of America, a national organization that exists to recruit, train, and mobilize the Pro-Life Generation to abolish abortion as the Students for Life of America website states in their mission statement. The national organization launches and supports Student for Life groups in colleges, high schools and medical schools throughout the United States to spread the word and create action for pro-life.
Annually, the UMW Students for Life participates in chalking pro-life messages across campus and every year, some of the messages get erased by students.
“Every year, the chalking that UMW Students for Life does gets erased with water, scuffed out, or crossed out by fellow students,” said Mann.
The chalk messages caught the attention of many and were met with mixed emotions from students.
“I personally don’t agree with the message behind them but they definitely did catch my eye,” said senior Emily Keehan. “I respect people’s right to share their beliefs.”
Junior marketing and women and gender studies double major Izzy Gettier is co-president of UMW’s Planned Parenthood Generation Action Club. She said she supports everyone’s right to express themselves on campus. “However, it was very unsettling to see chalking on campus that said ‘we are the pro-life generation’ and ‘we are a pro-life campus’ when I believe those ideas do not adequately represent the majority of the student body,” she said. “It could have been extremely difficult for people who have exercised their right to choose to walk through campus and see these messages. My heart goes out to them.”
“I do notice the sidewalk art on Campus Walk, but I honestly don’t pay much attention to it,” said senior Laura Makalondra. “I think it’s an interesting way for a group to reach students but I have also noticed some of the art has been marked through or crossed out.”
“I think they’re annoying and pointless,” said junior Sylvan Brier. “I don’t think it was effective to have them on campus since they don’t provide any information on why pro-life is a good belief.”
The next event for UMW Students for Life is called “October Baby” and it is a movie night open to all of campus on Monday, Oct. 29 at 6:00 p.m. in the HCC Digital Auditorium. This event is to show the power of adoption.