Today was a historic day on campus at Brandon University (MB). It’s been over a decade of attempts at Brandon University for a ratified pro-life club engaging and educating students in a logical, and compassionate way. This has not been for a want of trying.
Thus, this Wednesday, September 11th, 2013, at 10:00 am marked the beginning of the first official pro-life campus event at BU. All three Executive Members—Catherine Dubois (President), Andrew Madill (Secretary), and Caroline Dubois (Treasurer)—were able to kick-off the school year as a fully ratified university club. Exercising their rights as a club with official status—gained only recently on August 30th after a year of frustrating dealings with the university’s Students Union—Brandon University Students for Life (BUSL) members set up in a prime spot in the Mingling Area along with the other campus groups. Although at first glance none could see a difference between the BUSL display and that of other clubs, it was the energy and enthusiasm of BUSL club members that set the display apart. This first event as an official club was enormously important in the hearts of BU pro-lifers past and present.
Hundreds of students passed by the table throughout the day, with many of them stopping to ask questions and to chat with BUSL members. There were even visits from BU faculty, some of whom, although not necessarily agreeing wholeheartedly with all aspects of the pro-life message, expressed support for BUSL’s presence on campus.
The air at the recruitment table escalated as the day went on, and spirits were high by the end as BUSL engaged in many encouraging and open discussions with interested students and faculty. Representatives of the Students Union were on-hand to assist BUSL members with set-up, and Administration even popped by to talk to BUSL President, Catherine Dubois, about the campus environment.
The students that visited the table were each unique, with different histories and different goals in life; but they all shared in the desire to learn more, they wanted to engage. One student directly approached the table with the affirmation, “Oh, I’m fully pro-life!” Other students had honest desires for intellectual debate, and some, having very little knowledge of anything pro-life, just wanted to know more. “We met so many more students this morning than I ever expected to even glance at our display. After years of pro-life recruitment, education and promotion, I’ve never been in a more positive atmosphere,” one pro-life veteran stated.
BU alumni previously involved with attempts to start up campus pro-life groups were elated only one week ago when BUSL officially announced that the prolonged battle for club status had been a victory. Some had not only experienced discrimination and censorship by their own Students Union firsthand, but had also watched younger and older siblings struggle through the same seemingly endless cycle of maltreatment. The success of today’s event sent another wave of excitement and joy through pro-life alumni and supporters everywhere as that cycle is no longer a reality at BU.
There were no accusations, no harsh words or name-calling, no shouting matches or physical altercations. Judgement and discrimination were nowhere to be found. Not everyone agreed, but no parties were silence because of it. There was just honest discussion of the facts on both sides. Doesn’t that sound like an ideal atmosphere on a university campus? Sure does.