February 5, 2010

Faithful Lines / Shirley Vogler Meister

Pro-Life Activism Contest offers Campus Impact Awards

Shirley Vogler MeisterRecently, a notice from Christian Newswire caught my attention about the second annual Pro-Life Activism Contest.

The Human Life Alliance (HLA) and Students for Life of America (SFLA) announced the Campus Impact Award challenge, which offers $1,000 in prizes to student clubs promoting pro-life activities during February and March.

How different the challenges are now compared to my years of campus life.

The most worrisome problem we protested was unladylike or immodest formal gowns being manufactured for proms. In order to ensure modesty, one company manufactured “Mary-like” dresses in honor of the Blessed Mother. For my first prom, I wore a secondhand gown that my paternal grandmother altered for modesty.

Today’s students are focused on much more critical issues. Students now are concerned with serious situations that are detrimental to modern society.

Among the most extensive interests for students are pro-life issues. Students are to be applauded and praised for their pro-life volunteer service and activism to promote respect for life.

According to Christian Newswire, “The current Campus Impact Award encourages students to act upon their pro-life beliefs. Marches for Life and other student “walks’ fuel their sparks of enthusiasm. Young people in the tens of thousands turn out for these local and national events.”

“We’re asking students to step up and be a catalyst for pro-life action,” said Joe Langfeld, the HLA deputy director. “When young people return from these powerful events, they’re inspired to stand up for life. The Campus Impact Award helps young people show their peers that pro-life values are alive and well on campuses.”

Students are asked to distribute pro-life literature and display educational posters on campus and even at sports events. However, for an extra incentive this second year, cash prizes will be awarded to the top three clubs that succeed in producing creative and extensive pro-life projects.

“This is the type of encouragement that students need to cultivate a pro-life presence on campus,” said Kristan Hawkins, SFLA executive director. “In turn, the new opportunities developed through the challenge will launch pro-life clubs to a whole new level of activism.”

Last year’s Campus Impact Award winners were Purdue [University] Students for Life, first place; University of New Mexico Students for Life, second place; and the Carnegie Mellon University Respect Life Club, third place.

Through networking efforts, the New Mexico students were able to increase their club size by 79 percent.

Students are encouraged to contact Human Life Alliance or Students for Life of America for the official rules for the contest that runs through February and March. Students must document “Campus Impact” projects and submit presentation information for final judging by midnight on March 31. “YouTube” videos, digital photos and reports sent by e-mail will be accepted. More information is available at www.humanlife.org.

(Shirley Vogler Meister, a member of Christ the King Parish in Indianapolis, is a regular columnist for The Criterion.)

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