Campus Chalk Shocks: Pro-life club creates conflict on campus

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Photo by Morgan Connelly

On Tuesday, Oct. 25, members of the Students For Life Club wrote pro-life messages in chalk around the Albany LBCC campus.

Right by Forum 222 was a lengthy commentary on Exodus 21:22 scrawled on the cement by Protestant-Reformation theologian John Calvin.

“For the fetus, though enclosed in the womb of its mother, is already a human being, and it is a monstrous crime to rob it of the life which it has not yet begun to enjoy.  If it seems more horrible to kill a man in his own house than in a field, because a man’s house is his place of most secure refuge, it ought surely to be deemed more atrocious to destroy a fetus in the womb before it has come to light.”

The message was written in bright orange Crayola chalk. It wasn’t the only message chalked on the pavement.

More Students For Life Club chalk ads appeared by the SLC office and in front of the Library.

“We are the Pro-Life Club. We’re anti-abortion, and meet at 2:00 on Fridays in the library and this is our way of getting the message out,” said student James Tow. “We just believe it’s wrong; we don’t want to hurt anyone. It’s also important to speak your mind.”

To the right of him was Jenny Smucker, a new member of the Students For Life Club.

“I’m new to the club and joined because it represents my beliefs. I believe together, we can make a change,” said Smucker. “I’m not fully aware of what we do, but I know we do a diaper drive and provide mothers with free diapers and formula, and we also provide resources for student mothers.”

Heather Morijah, Club Coordinator and DAC Coordinator discussed whether these messages are regulated by the SLC’s bylaws.

“It’s okay to chalk on the stairs and around the campus, as you can see right now, but flyers must be stamped by the SLC. I also edit the slides on the TV’s, because each slide only gets seven seconds of screentime,” said Morijah. “The messages cannot be overly hateful.”

While some students had mixed reviews about the ads, some hadn’t seen them. Others just glanced for a moment, then walked away.

LBCC student Reginald Jackson had a pro-choice stance, and lots of reasoning behind it.

“These are women’s rights!” said Jackson. “I have no thoughts on it, and I have no time for it. It’s more of an issue of understanding. It’s a propaganda attack on women’s rights, and there’s this big history behind it.”

In lavender and yellow chalk, another statement read: “Terminating the lives of our pre born DAUGHTERS is not protecting their rights as WOMEN.”  

Benton Center Coordinator Sophia Metzler eventually went around removing the comments with water and a rag.

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Sophia Metzler cleaning up after the Students for Life Club chalked up the campus with pro-life messages on Tuesday, Oct. 26. Photo by Morgan Connelly

“We had a lot of complaints come into the office, but more than anything, at Linn-Benton, you’re not allowed to do chalk in areas where it won’t rain… They [also] didn’t get permission,” said Metzler. “It’s not about trying to oppress anyone’s freedom of speech or anything, but a lot of students took offense to it. We had emails coming in, and it’s just not allowed unless you get permission and it’s in an area that rains.”

Article by Morgan Connelly and Alyssa Campbell