Relentless interruptions and vandalism attempts ensued as students at The George Washington University took offense with a pro-life display organized by their classmates on campus.
While students were heading to their classes Thursday morning, members of GWU’s Young America’s Foundation were busy placing 1,000 small crosses in the grass of Kogan Plaza– a popular campus spot with significant foot traffic between classes. A sign was placed among the crosses acknowledging that the display was “in honor of the lives lost each year by abortion.”
Although GW YAF obtained University approval to reserve the space for their memorial, many students were offended by the private, secular university’s permittance of a display involving religious symbols like crosses and they were quick to channel their disapproval through an assortment of infantile tactics.
For a university that prides itself on tolerance and diversity, those two elements were seemingly absent as its students repeatedly vandalized, trashed and mocked the display.
The series of disruptions kicked off with a student taping a piece of notebook paper over a portion of the display’s sign in order to change its message from honoring the “lives lost by abortion” to “the lives saved by abortion” (because terminating a baby is the best way to save it from what? Life?).
After remaining intact for about an hour, other passersbys took it upon themselves to remove the display’s sign altogether and dispose of it in a nearby trash can.
Though these students were incapable of respecting GW YAF’s freedom of expression, other students offended by the display were able to voice their concerns in a more civil manner.
One young man – who appeared to be patrolling the display nearly all day – scribbled a few bible verses on some papers and hammered them into the grass using pencils. Next to this triumphant attempt to vindicate pro-choice views using scripture, the student added a note encouraging students to “tell YAF how you feel.”
Some female students taped a sign to a bench near the display urging GW YAF to stop abortion by “advocating for comprehensive sex education and the distribution of contraceptives instead of shaming people for accidentally getting pregnant.”
According to the event’s organizers, the administration received multiple complaints from students who believed the display’s timing was insensitive due to a series of suicides that occurred recently on the University’s Mount Vernon campus. These students argued that the cross and memorial created a ‘graveyard’ image reminding students of those classmates who had recently passed away.
In responding to these concerns and the vandals, GW YAF reiterated that their display was intended to celebrate life.
“We are proud to have taken action today. Now, more than ever, it is important to be reminded of the sanctity of all human life.”
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