By The Newswire Editorial Board
In the past two years, our university has claimed to promote difficult dialogue on campus. They have invested heavily in the Take it On initiative, which aims to embrace difficult conversations. They say, “It’s through challenging conversations that we learn to better understand our own positions and engage with those who hold different views.” While Xavier claims to value challenging dialogue, the university’s administration has continually tried to silence certain voices on certain topics. This was once again made clear two weeks ago, when a pro-life display was vandalized on campus.
A pattern has emerged the past three years around the on-campus abortion debate. Pro-life students erect demonstrations, and whether they take the form of chalk drawings, keynote speakers or LED signs, there are always counter-demonstrations. In the case of displays on-campus, these counter demonstrations often take the form of vandalism against the original pro-life presentation.
Frankly, this action results, in part, from the lack of an organized and constructive outlet through which pro-choice students can voice their opinions. Seeing their efforts vandalized makes pro-life students feel powerless, leading the group to create new demonstrations, which once again become targets of vandalism. This cycle isn’t productive for either side, leaving both sides resentful of the other and leaving both pro-life and pro-choice students feeling like their view is silenced on campus.
The root of the problem is that the university has a chapter of Students for Life, which advocates for pro-life postitions on campus. However, there is no explicitly pro-choice organization. If the university truly prioritizes creating meaningful and productive dialogue on difficult issues, they should also prioritize allowing the creation of a pro-choice club on campus. It’s not that students haven’t tried; it’s that the administrators denied their proposal two years ago. Students feel the university has been unwilling to allow the creation of the club on the premise of upholding Catholic values.
We believe that — in the interest of productive dialogue on campus — the creation of a pro-choice club would be a beneficial solution, not only for pro-choice students, but also for pro-life students.