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Welcome to the challenging world of the college right-to life movement. It can be said that one's college years are among the most personally rewarding of one's life. But to make these years equally rewarding to others - to your country and to your countrymen - is a challenge of which many of today's students are unaware. You, in your interest in the college right-to-life movement, have accepted this challenge and undertaken to join the most important, most altruistic cause being advanced today on college campuses across the country. This book was written by a college pro-lifer expressly for the college pro-lifer, so read on, and do your best to help bring an end to the scourge of abortion, infanticide, and euthanasia.
Pro-life college students have brought new meaning to the word "underprivileged". Most of us are pretty poor, and in many ways the college right-to-life movement is in the ghetto of the pro-life movement (which is itself from the wrong side of the tracks). College students are new in the pro-life neighborhood. Funding for college right-to-life groups is next to non-existent. Publicity about the efforts of college pro-lifers is non-existent. Few people are even aware we exist. In short, we need all the help we can get.
This College Right-to-Life Handbook is intended to serve as a resource for college students working to bring the right-to-life movement to their campuses. It is meant to be a practical, working manual - with a smattering of pro-life theory for good measure. I'm not sure it will help you climb out of the ghetto, but at the very least, I hope that it will help you, the college student, surmount some of the obstacles before you as you set out to do your bit to defend the right to life.
It is important to realize that the college right-to-life movement is indeed a movement, not a club. Clubs stay the same, they keep traditions or customs the purpose of which is to maintain the status quo. A moral or political movement seeks to change that which already is, and an active movement cannot cling to one fixed way of doing things. It must change as the times change and yet still seek to accomplish the same objective. I hope this handbook will provide a base from which college pro-lifers can reach out to change their campuses and their world.
Several chapters may appear superfluous. The earlier chapters on beginning a college right-to-life group will be of little interest to those students in groups already well established. Hopefully, the later chapters, containing ideas for programs, and the chapter on leadership will be of service to all.
This handbook cannot pretend to be exhaustive; there are, no doubt, entire facets of college right-to-life work which I have missed or glossed over. This handbook presents my view of how a college right-to-life group can be organized. I don't claim that there can't be other, better models for pro-lifers working on the college campus. As there was almost no information available on college right-to-life groups, I have had to rely primarily upon my own experiences with the Carnegie-Mellon University Association For Life in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and the Pennsylvania Intercollegiate Federation for Life in the compilation of this text. The limitations of my experience are all too apparent at times.
I would, however, like to acknowledge the influence of Don Adams and Deb Dilliard of Pennsylvania State University Students for Life and Jeannie Wallace and Rebecca Marshall of University of Pittsburgh Students for Life on the preparation of this text. Jeannie Wallace first brought me into the college right-to-life movement, and Don Adams was the first to suggest that college pro-lifers might need a comprehensive handbook for their work. Encouragement from Deborah Dilliard and Rebecca Marshall has been the chief reason I ever managed to complete this text - Rebecca's help with the editing was beyond value and her criticism of early drafts had a great influence on the final form of this text. Deb has done a marvelous job in building the college right-to-life movement in Pennsylvania and her insights have proven to be invaluable. And there are numerous others who have read various rough drafts, offered helpful comments, and contributed stories to the text. I would hope that they realize that they have my thanks, too, even though I do not have room here to recognize each of them individually.
Andrew A. Siicree
April 3, 1985,
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© Copyright Andrew A. Siicree, 1985, 1997.
Permission is granted to any pro-life group or pro-life individual to copy this handbook provided that proper attribution is given.