The need for Pro-Life work does not disappear just because of a pandemic, and the Crusaders for Life (CFL) at the University of Dallas (UD) forged ahead in their mission amidst the COVID-19 confusion. University of Dallas students continued their education through a mix of in-person and online classes for the fall 2020 semester. A significant amount of the student population was on campus, and many were eager to begin or continue their involvement in Crusaders for Life, the most populous and active club. As a result, CFL faced the challenge of continuing to educate and serve under the restrictions of COVID-19 regulations put in place to keep the students, staff, and faculty safe.
Crusaders for Life is proud to draw a sizable crowd and host dynamic and educational speakers on a regular basis, but the new regulations required a change of plans, as the club was not allowed to host speakers from off campus. Street Activism Officer Hailey Guth noted, “difficult to organize events for large gatherings because of social distancing and room capacities,” and “for a while we were unable to pray outside of abortion clinics as a club,” but these logistical bumps didn’t stop CFL’s officers from planning an interesting and impactful semester. Their solution was to adapt and to look for resources on campus, where they were able to find a larger meeting space and a handful of professors who were willing and able to speak to the club on Pro-Life issues. One of these was the UD’s President Hibbs, who has previously spoken at Texas Right to Life’s Boots on the Ground conference surrounding the March and Rally for Life in Austin.
Though the COVID-19 restrictions originally appeared to be an obstacle, they offered an opportunity to club members to discover previously unexplored ways to spread the Pro-Life message. When asked which of CFL’s accomplishments gives the club’s president Kateri Remmes the most pride, she referenced “Crusaders for Life’s weekly dialogue training hosted by our Street Activism Officer, Hailey Guth.” These trainings “had a team of 30+ students consistently show up and eagerly learn” the skills needed to encounter others through conversation and change hearts and minds. This semester’s dialogue training prepared students to venture out and converse with people, particularly their fellow students, about Pro-Life issues. CFL hosted a record amount of tabling this semester, which allowed for numerous conversations with people who may not have otherwise even thought about the importance of Pro-Life issues, and some of whom even changed their mind about abortion!
The members of Crusaders for Life had a successful and educational semester despite their limitations. In a time of uncertainty where many lives are put at risk, students realize a greater urgency to not forget the lives of those who have no voice. Officer Hailey Guth summarized this well when she stated, “Now, more than ever—when it is easiest to give in to fear, despair, or laziness, when there seem to be infinite excuses for doing nothing, staying home, or putting ‘nonessential’ work on hold—now is the time for us to act, to continue the most essential work of defending human life!”