by Elizabeth Jacobs
Students for Life club is working together with X2, the feminism club, to raise money for young families in Spokane. Their goal is to collect diapers and funds to donate to two local charities, Childbirth and Parenting Assistance and Inland Northwest Baby. The diaper drive will take place Nov. 1-20. Students can donate diapers or money that will go toward buying diapers, Ethan Alano, senior and Students for Life club secretary, said.
“Diapers are one of those fundamental things we don’t think about, and raising a child is incredibly expensive,” Alano said. “So we just want to do what we can and try to get the community involved as much as we can.”
Donated diapers will be divided evenly between There will be several events on campus for students to drop off diapers and donations, as well as a competition to see which dorm can raise the most money.
“Whether or not you are Pro-Life or Pro-Choice or just don’t want to approach the issue, you can agree that we need some diapers,” Trevor Volack, sophomore and Students for Life club president, said.
Abbey Cook, X2 club president, said the two clubs are currently working together on several campaigns, including the diaper drive.
“We are unashamedly feminist, but at the same time we have members who are completely pro-life, and we have members who are completely pro-choice and we try to be welcoming to both those types of ideologies,” Cook said.
Adrian Teo, Students for Life club adviser, said he is excited about the direction the club is taking. The club’s message is welcoming and conversational, not hostile, Teo said.
“One of the reasons I am willing to support this is because they see it much like sharing the gospel message,” Teo said. “They are not there to shove it down people’s throats, but that we see something that is really good, something that is true, and we want to share it with people.”
Volack said the club hopes to present a welcoming atmosphere on campus. Volack said he hopes to create more conversation rather than controversy on the pro-life message.
“What we want to do is be a resource on campus for men and women to come to when they have questions about the pro-life movement, and/or if they are confused about where they stand with it,” Volack said.
In the club’s effort to promote the pro-life message, they have encountered a substantial amount of opposition.
For example, a group of pro-life demonstrators, unaffiliated with the Whitworth Students for Life Club, rallied in the Loop with signs that read “Down with Mainstream Feminism,” soliciting numerous students’ political beliefs during the first week of school this semester. Any student that identified as a Republican to the demonstrators was given pro-life literature.
Teo said he was immediately confronted about the Students for Life club’s involvement in the demonstration. Teo said the people making the accusations affiliated the Students for Life Club with the demonstrations.
“It wasn’t the Students for Life group, and the group has no plans to do anything similar to this,” Teo said.
Alano said he was concerned that students still associate this incident with the club.
“I wasn’t aware that that had happened,” Alano said. “I cringed at first because we had been making some good headway on getting people interested,” Alano said.
Cook, said she took offense when she first saw the signs, but after X2 addressed the problem with the Students for Life club, the two clubs began working together.
“We’re working with them because I believe that they are progressive minded and that they are taking an approach to pregnancy care that is more Christ-Like,” Cook said.
Cook said she thinks that the Whitworth community needs to focus more on issues relating to pregnancy on campus. She said that students at Whitworth tend to shy away from the issue because it is so controversial.
“I think that in the Whitworth Community, the issue of choice and the issue of abortion is skated over,” Cook said. “Women’s issues in general are skated over. We don’t want to talk about it, and we don’t want to admit that unplanned pregnancy happens at Whitworth because it’s a dirty subject.”
In the past, pro-life issues have caused a considerable amount of controversy. Last spring, the Students for Life club received a wave of angry comments via Facebook. Alano said the comments were long and heated, and he saw no point in engaging in the argument.
“This is one of those issues where it seems like people talk past each other rather than with each other,” Alano said. “I guess that’s one of our underlying purposes, to get people to talk as people.”
In the effort to promote open conversation, the club members are excited about the diaper drive, and encourage all students to play any role they can, Volack said. Anything from asking businesses to support, to donating a few dollars would help, he said.
“This is totally non-political but still fully pro-life. It will help the broader campus community to understand that to be pro-life is not simply about banning abortions. That’s not the pro-life message. It’s about the dignity and worth of every human life,” Teo said.
Contact Elizabeth Jacobs at firstname.lastname@example.org