By Alyssa Louis
“Dear Brave Girl” was written on the tops of papers distributed to volunteers attending the Students For Life Club’s first meeting of the semester on Wednesday, Feb. 7. Embracing the power of the written word, participants gathered in the Social Sciences Building to write meaningful letters to support single mothers embarking on the wild adventure that is motherhood.
Students for Life paired with Embrace Grace, a non-profit organization that discourages women from getting abortions and provides them with support during and after their pregnancies.
Students for Life requested that students donate a baby item to join the optimistic and reassuring letters, so that Embrace Grace could make care packages for the brave mothers-to-be, explained Victoria Kiernan, a junior nursing major and the president of Students for Life.
Both members of Students For Life and fellow students wrote words of encouragement to single pregnant women. The intimate group that gathered for the meeting was comprised of pro-life students on campus.
“Even if it could help one girl, it would be worth it,” said Grace Gottschling, a senior English major and vice president of Students for Life.
While Students for Life’s roots were established on an anti-abortion platform, the club reformed its goals under the leadership of Kiernan.
Kiernan, a transfer student, saw a “choose life” sign when she visited the College and grew enthusiastic about becoming part of a community that was pro-life and pro-women.
Once Kiernan arrived on campus, she discovered that there had been a lack of interest in the club and that it was essentially dissolved, so she decided to revive it with Gottschling’s help.
Students for Life sometimes faces difficulty as a pro-life organization on a predominantly liberal campus.
“The group had written a message in chalk with contact information for those that are pregnant and in need of assistance (and) it had been washed away within a few hours,” said Peter Shenouda, a club member and sophomore political science and history double major. “How do we get our message out there when we are being silenced?”
The club’s association with pro-life values has hindered the progress of establishing a child care facility at the College. Gottschling has taken the issue to professors and Student Government, while petitioning to see if students and faculty are interested in it as a potential resource.
Development of a family service facility should appeal to all, “no matter what their viewpoint is or what identity they subscribe to,” Gottschling said.
According to Kiernan, Students for Life is responsible for collecting donations for organizations like Embrace Grace and Good Counsel, a home for single pregnant women, and they are looking to become involved with local crisis pregnancy centers.
Members of Students for Life made it clear that they are not a club focused on promoting a political agenda — the organization operates with the goal of assisting women and children.
“We are a group that advocates for the betterment of mothers and children, especially under difficult circumstances,” Shenouda said.