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Editorial

Protesters lack respect, future action needed

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April 7, 2006

It was nearly impossible to miss the clusters of anti-abortion activists on campus April 5, strategically crowded around entrances to the Student Center and Davee Library where most student traffic occurs.

It was not uncommon for passersby to see arguments break out between students and group members, and it was difficult to stomach the horrific larger-than-life images of aborted fetuses.

The brochure that was handed out on campus by Missionaries to the Preborn, entitled “The American Holocaust Photo Display,” states, “We display these photographs because the media has censored the pre-born child from the ‘abortion debate.’”

The editorial staff of the Student Voice does not condone media censorship, and will not take a stance on abortion, but believes the tactics used by the anti-abortion group were disrespectful to the campus community.

As students who are paying thousands of dollars each semester to get an education at UW-River Falls, we should be provided a learning environment that allows us to get to classes without harm or heckling.

Being told that we’re murderers who are destined for hell while traveling the campus sidewalks is emotionally damaging, and can disrupt the concentration of students who are at school to focus on classes.

It also appeared the group targeted women in its efforts.

The distributed packet directs readers to related Web sites, including mercyseat.net. This site is host to the Mercy Seat Christian Church in West Allis, Wis., and the church catechism refers to a woman as her husband’s “helper-wife,” and says husbands have authority over their wives, according to the Bible.

To allow an organization on campus that boasts such ignorance is a shame for all those affiliated with the University.

Missionaries to the Preborn visit UW-RF annually, and we believe the administrators and student leaders on campus should take a stance to prohibit further disruption to student life.

We value freedom of expression and commend the activists for standing up for their beliefs, but feel that their tactics are not in the best interest of students.

As paying students, we deserve more protection on our own campus. Protesting peacefully is one thing, but verbally attacking passersby should not be acceptable at UW-RF or anywhere.

We urge Student Senate and the administration to take a stance on this issue to prevent future students from verbal assaults at UW-RF.