Pro-life chalk messages at Georgetown University were vandalized Wednesday, according to members of the university’s pro-life organization.
The messages were written in celebration of Pro-Life Chalk Day, a national event intended to spread pro-life messages on college campuses across the country.
Members of Georgetown University Right to Life discovered early Wednesday morning that their chalk display had been defaced. Many of the messages were edited or erased. The words “end abortion” were changed to “end patriarchy” and “end hate.” The slogan “choose life” was changed to “choose women.”
“Messages such as ‘stop hating women’ were also added,” said Lindsay Caprio, the organization’s on-campus service chair, “and drawings of baby feet were edited.”
Amelia Irvine, the president of Georgetown University Right to Life, expressed her disappointment with those who committed the vandalism.
“We were disheartened at the misperception of our message,” said Irvine. “There was nothing but love in our message, and it’s disappointing to be accused of hatred.”
Despite the vandalism, the organization plans to reach out to campus pro-choice groups to establish a more cordial relationship.
“It’s far more productive to have a conversation rather than destroy and distort our efforts,” Irvine added.
On Wednesday evening, members of the group met with representatives from the university’s student government (GUSA) to discuss the incident. Both parties agreed that the actions were in clear violation of the university’s Speech and Expression Policy.
According to the university, actions that violate the policy include disrupting events, removing flyers or “otherwise limiting another’s ability to express a view or perspective.”
D.J. Angelini, GUSA’s Free Speech Policy Chair, stated that campus leaders could be active in promoting a more vibrant free speech environment by educating the community about these issues.
“We can clearly highlight negative examples of infringed speech as well as highlight great examples of utilizing free speech to enhance our university community.”
The university has not indicated whether the vandalism is being investigated at this time.