Well, by now all the freshers’ fairs have happened, and the pro-life societies across England, Wales, and Scotland are gearing up for their first few events of the term!
Here’s a quick report from some of the unis about how their Freshers’ fairs went:
“Our Freshers’ Fair went well this year. The team set up an attractive stall and we got a good number of people putting their names on our mailing list. There was a free cookie or two (baked by our Treasurer and Secretary) for people who became members; they were very tasty! Reactions to the society ranged from enthusiasm to disgust, but most simply expressed vague and mild interest – it is this indifference that is the great issue for pro-lifers. One high note was a conversation with a Chemistry PhD student who was inclined towards the pro-choice position. He was open-minded and sincerely interested in hearing the pro-life case. Hopefully, he’ll be back next year declaring a change of mind!”
Will, Life Society Edinburgh President
Their next event is: “Women and Post Abortive Mental Health”. See the facebook event page for more info by clicking here.
“Despite having to overcome a few hurdles and experiencing some hostility at the beginning, our day at the fresher’s fair was incredibly positive. We were able to engage in fruitful and interesting conversations with students from a huge variety of cultures and backgrounds. We talked with many students who shared our pro-life stance and expressed their gratitude for our presence. We also talked with some students who had never heard of the pro-life movement but were intrigued and fascinated to learn more. As this was our first time having a stall, we were unsure of how much interest there would be – but we were amazed to have received more than 40 sign ups!”
Alanis, Liverpool University Pro-Life Society President
See their facebook page for details of their next events!
“We had a really promising freshers’ fayre at King’s Life Soc! We got people interested by asking them whether they were interested in philosophy or ethics (thanks for the great tip Emily!) and then spoke to them about our first event, which was on the abortion referendum in Ireland. It was encouraging to see that, on the whole people were open to the topic. What was really exciting is that lots of other societies expressed interest in collaborating with us, so we hope that we will be able to reach a wider audience by working with them. Our speaker for the first event, Clara Campbell from Life Charity, gave a wonderful talk and presented the ideas sensitively and coherently and we were really pleased with the questions following the talk. Our next two events are an APS workshop by Emily Milne, and a talk on the concept that western abortion funding is neo-colonization, given by Kelechi Anionwu|”
Jacinta, King’s College Life Ethics Society President
See details of their next event on Facebook, here.
“The unofficial Oxford Students for Life motto is never more appropriate than at Freshers’ Fair. We’re totally upfront about being the University Pro-Life society and what we stand for, but we’re also keen to emphasise that we welcome people of all views on abortion, assisted dying etc. to our events. We almost never get anyone actively hostile (the worst is usually a “not interested” or a grumpy look), and several times someone who initially seemed sceptical ended up enthusiastically signing up. I had a great chat this year with someone about our shared appreciation for CS Lewis, while another person offered to help the society fundraise. Interactions can sometimes get weird: during my first shift this year one guy left our stand only to come back with a bunch of flowers for my stand partner and fellow committee member before vanishing again. Our first event this term will be a talk by Ryan Day of Alliance Defending Freedom on the theme “Whose Life Is Worth Living” discussing, among other things, some of the ethical issues raised by the tragic Charlie Gard case. That’s an issue that doesn’t cut along standard pro-life and pro-choice lines, and we had a lot of interest in it from people of all persuasions on the stand. Later on in the term, we have a discussion of conscientious objection for medics that will also draw interest.”
Ben, Oxford Students for Life
Keep an eye on their facebook page for their next event.
St Andrew’s Life Society:
“The Fayre went well, all the usual people popped by to say hello and pay for membership. Most people would either glance at our society name and quickly look away or come up and ask questions about what we do. We found ourselves positioned right opposite a new society called Her Choice, all the committee dressed up in bright pink, so they attracted a lot of attention and often looked surprised when people actually signed up to our mailing list! They came over to chat and we went over to them just to get to know each other; we agreed on having a collaborative event sometime. We managed to have a boy and a girl behind the table at all times which helped keep the conversations less aggressive. A lesson we learnt from last year….! Overall, people either ignore us or have a LOT to say!”
Charlotte, Students For Life St Andrew’s President
Their next event is: ‘The Assisted Dying Debate – what is it all about?” See details of their event on facebook.
So that’s the roundup! We’re incredibly proud of all the student leaders who are bringing the pro-life conversation to their campuses, they are doing invaluable work! #prolifegen
If you’d like to get involved, or if you’re at university and would like some advice on anything both studenty and pro-life, do email Emily Milne (our Student Support Officer) at firstname.lastname@example.org and she’ll be more than happy to chat!
Until the next time!