GUEST POST: As the 2023 fall semester concludes, Students for Life of America (SFLA) is proud to announce our December 2023 Group of the Month: The Students for Life at ETSU!
Based at East Tennessee State University, this pro-life group is full of cheerful and hard-working students who are determined to build a culture of life in their local community. In the final few weeks of the semester, the group pulled off an impressive calendar of events and demonstrated in the process how a positive attitude, a little bit of planning, and a passion for the pro-life cause is all it takes to make a real impact at your school!
The Students for Life at ETSU group was founded just last year in the fall semester of 2022, but they have quickly established their presence on campus. Although the group has dealt with some pro-abortion hate and vandalism (they even caught a student on camera washing away their witty chalk art: “Abortion Clinics = Just a Clump of Bricks” during National Pro-Life Chalk Day), the group leaders of Students for Life at ETSU remain undeterred, always looking for ways to make abortion unthinkable and to strengthen the pro-life presence at their school.
One of the tools that this group utilizes exceptionally well are the Five Pillars of Pro-Life Activism, which include Effective Education, Rapid Response, Industry Impact, Public Policy, and Supportive Services. These pillars, taught to student activists by SFLA, represent a well-rounded, strategic, and effective approach to abolishing abortion.
Read below to see how the Students for Life at ETSU group recently put some of them into action:
Students for Life at ETSU hosted SFLA’s What Is A Person? Fall 2023 Display Tour, which centered around the humanity and personhood of preborn human beings. In preparation for hosting the tour, the group also hosted me — their SFLA Appalachian Regional Coordinator — for a training session where they learned pro-life apologetics and dialogue tips to more effectively change the hearts and minds of their peers on campus.
During the tour display the next day, Students for Life at ETSU talked to a combined total of 80 peers, recruited nearly a dozen new members to join their group, and successfully changed several students’ minds about when human rights (i.e. the right to life) should begin.
One conversation stood out to us because a student admitted that she had passed us earlier in the day, and, in her own words, said: “I seriously judged you guys. But you’re actually so nice, and your argument makes a lot of sense.” All we did was point out that the logical consistency of the pro-life position which posits that because of the scientific fact that human life begins at fertilization (conception), human rights should consequently begin then, as well. She changed her vote on when human rights begin from protection at Week 12 of gestation to Day One after chatting with us!
Students for Life at ETSU also joined in the SFLA Heartbeat or Better War Room efforts by filming a video message to encourage their fellow pro-life advocates to email their U.S. Senators and demand “Heartbeat or Better” legislation at the federal level (instead of settling for a 15-week “compromise” that would allow more than 90% of all abortions in the United States to continue).
The group additionally participated in protesting and chalking messages outside of their local Walgreens as part of the national “Halt Pharmacy Abortions” campaign. Even in a state that protects preborn lives in the first trimester — the stage in which most babies are victimized by abortion — these students still showed up to send a message to these national corporations that the Pro-Life Generation will NOT tolerate them entering the abortion business by dispensing these deadly pills, whether in Tennessee or anywhere else.
Throughout the Fall 2023 semester, Students for Life at ETSU routinely placed Standing With You (SWY) tear-off flyers around campus and even used up an entire sticker roll containing 100 QR-code stickers that direct people to free and confidential pregnancy/parenting resources available on the SWY database. In the final week of the semester, they also co-hosted an Unplanned movie showing on campus with fellow student organization Turning Point at ETSU and collected baby items to donate to their local pregnancy resource center.
SFLA is so proud of the Students for Life at ETSU for their positivity and perseverance in paving the way for more pro-life students to get involved on their campus. We cannot wait to see them in January 2024 at the National Pro-Life Summit as they embark on their first-ever group trip to Washington D.C.
Keep up the awesome work and congratulations again on winning December 2023 Group of the Month!
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