In the midst of dark deliberations about a campus abortion drug mandate, there’s some good news out of California! Students for Life at Fresno State worked with their administration last semester and will be implementing special campus parking spaces just for expecting mothers.
Pregnancy is different levels of difficult for every mother. For some, the prospect of walking across a huge campus, with a backpack, while pregnant, is an insurmountable obstacle. And since universities are generally SUPER uptight about the parking situation, having special reserved spaces is huge.
The group had been trying to contact school administrators since last October regarding this project, but did not succeed in getting a response until March of this year when the school’s Vice President of Administration & CFO finally started working with them. Following all of the typical red tape that comes with these processes, the school’s board unanimously decided that this was a good venture.
Fresno has arranged for two completely reserved spaces, with signage, for expectant mothers. As of today, the signs are shipped and on their way to the school!
An administrator at the school noted, “We will work to create the two dedicated stalls that will be signed similar to what we see at local retail centers, and that will be on the honor system.”
Bernadette Tasy, former leader of the group, shared:
“Last summer, on the way back from a lobby day against SB-320, I was speaking with one of our parenting student members who was pregnant as she was attending Fresno State. She also happens to be the mother we helped save from abortion and is currently co-VP of the group.
She was talking about some of the things that were difficult for her as she got into the later stages of her pregnancy, and one of those was walking to her classrooms from her parking space. At Fresno State, a lot of the academic buildings are far away from the student parking spaces. There is a “SCOUT” service, in which you can call for someone in a cart to pick you up, but there can be long wait times, and she did not want to be late for class.
A couple of months later, I emailed the transportation department about the possibility of having designated pregnant parking spaces or parking passes, and I was told that it couldn’t be done. I was then passed off to three more departments on campus before I finally emailed President Castro directly in March of this year. He connected me with an individual on his administration, and she was very helpful. She expressed that she wanted to help us, especially since it was difficult for her towards the end of her pregnancy as well! She’d be proposing our idea to the school.
Then, just last week, I got word that the proposal was accepted and that we will be having pregnant parking spaces on campus very soon! The signs have been ordered, and they are on the way!
We have been working hard to find ways to support our pregnant students on campus. Oftentimes, they see no avenues of support, but when we are seen on campus running tables with Title IX rights information, bringing the Pregnancy Care Center mobile ultrasound bus unit on campus, making baby blankets for pregnant and newly parenting students, and now getting parking spaces for our pregnant students, we know we’re making a difference.
Also, I thought it was funny that the guy who said he’s handling the signs was the first person in the transportation to tell me “no.” Shows what a little persistence will get you!”
Not to mention, it’s refreshing to see such a positive attitude from a school that Students for Life has found conflict with in the past. This school is infamous in the pro-life realm after a professor harassed pro-life students who were sidewalk chalking (watch the video here). The group has also faced separate vandalizations of their flyers and other chalking events.
Thank you, Fresno State University, for your commitment to being accommodating to all students – including those who are pregnant!