The University of Dayton is a Catholic school in the Marian tradition (the Society of Mary) located in Dayton, Ohio. As such, one would think the campus Students for Life group would be safe from the same sorts of discrimination and harassment students face at public schools. Sadly… no.
The first week of November, the group, Flyers for Life, informed their SFLA Regional Coordinator that they were receiving some hateful comments on a social media post (see below). This, unfortunately, is a massive national trend and Students for Life groups everywhere are facing unprecedented levels of online harassment from abortion supporters who feel entitled to treat those they disagree with like second-class citizens.
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Timothy Kawash, the president of Flyers for Life, and his group remained strong and steadfast, undeterred by their peers’ vitriol. But their bout of discrimination didn’t end there.
Around the same time, it came to Timothy’s attention that Flyers for Life literature was being removed from the dorms. The first assumption is immature student vandals. Little did they know (at first) that it was actually RAs, actual school-sanctioned Resident Assistants, who were responsible. Timothy was forced to draft the following emails to the school:
Subject: We have a problem with our literature
Hi Mr. Jackson,
I hope you are doing well. My name is Timothy Kawash, and I am the president of Flyers for Life, the pro-life group on campus here at the University of Dayton. I am reaching out to you to express that we have a problem, specifically with Housing and Residence Life. Last week, we sent flyers advertising the 40 Days for Life event, a virtual event that our organization hosted. The flyers were approved by CSI and therefore required to be displayed. The exact opposite happened in [dorm] as they were thrown away and in one case, taken off the only bulletin board that had it displayed in [dorm]. A similar thing happened with our March for Life signs as they were vandalized. We are still gathering facts, but I was hoping you could help us solve this problem.
Subject: Issue: Student Org Literature Being Discarded by RAs
Dear Mr. Jackson,
I hope you are doing well. My name is Timothy Kawash, and I am the president of Flyers for Life, the pro-life group on campus. I am reaching out to you to express concern because we believe there is a problem with our literature being discarded when it’s distributed to Housing and Residence Life.
On Oct. 13th, we sent flyers advertising the 40 Days for Life event, a virtual event that our organization hosted. The flyers were approved by CSI and therefore required to be displayed by RAs in their place of residence. However, the exact opposite happened in [dorm]. An RA that was unwilling to hang them up threw them away and in one case, took it off the only bulletin board that had it displayed in [dorm]. A similar incident happened last year with our March for Life signs as they were crumbled up and thrown away on video. That situation was discussed with that particular RA last year, however, we have encountered problems again this year and more RAs are involved. As an organization, it is unsettling to see this occurring again. We are still gathering facts, but I was hoping you could help us solve this problem.
Resident Assistants on Record Displaying Bias
It’s not always the case that marginalized pro-life students are able to access evidence of wrongdoing against them, but Flyers for Life has all the evidence they need. What follows is a group chat between freshman dorm RAs that highlights their bias against Flyers for Life and disrespect for free speech on their campus.
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It’s sad to see this happen on any campus – much less a Catholic one. At the time of writing, the university has not responded to the incident. We remain hopeful that the University of Dayton will respect the rights of Flyers for Life by reprimanding those responsible for the discrimination, not only because the group exemplifies Catholic values, but because it’s their free speech right as students.
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