Plaza protests follow ‘Students for Life’ tabling event


Protesters of the tabling event held by “Students for Life” Rylee (left; preferred not to share their last name; they/them) and Ava (preferred not to share their last name; any/all) pose for an image on May 4 in the SEC Plaza. The “Students for Life” club was tabling with resources in the SEC Plaza while protesters stood across from them.

Riley LeCocq and Lara Rivera, News Reporter and News Contributor

About a dozen students stood in the Student Experience Center plaza in the afternoon of Thursday May 4 to protest the Students for Life club’s presence on campus. 

Students for Life is an Oregon State University club who, according to the OSU clubs database, have a mission to; “Establish an active pro-life culture among the students of our community by educating our peers on life issues and by actively promoting the right to life for all persons from conception to natural death.”

Those who came in protest of the club’s tabling event on Thursday held signs with slogans like “I love abortion” and shared that they did not support the anti-abortion message that the club exists to share, according to Rylee, an Oregon State University demonstrating at the event who preferred not to share their last name.

Rylee also said the demonstration in the plaza was prompted by events of the club’s tabling and pink flag display in the Memorial Union Quad last week. 

“Last week they had a bunch of pink flags on the MU quad,” Rylee said. “My friends and I moved some flags so we could sit on the only shady spot available.”

According to Rylee, after they moved the flags members of the Students for Life club allegedly started filming Rylee and their friends and threatened to file a bias report against them. 

“[The Student for Life group] got very upset at us, started filming us and wouldn’t delete one of their videos, told us that they would file a bias report against us because we were sitting on the grass and we moved some of their flags,” Rylee said in regards to last week’s events. “After that we were sitting there for two hours, they called campus security on us, campus security … came up and talked to us, and it was a very uncomfortable experience for me, being filmed and everything like that.”

According to Students for Life member Caitlin Abbott, the group was out in the plaza to let women and students know about the resources they have on campus, such as diapers and wipes in the Valley Library. 

Abbott said the group felt threatened once the protestors of the club arrived and allegedly threw the club’s materials into the trash, prompting Abbott and others from the club who were tabling to call campus security. 

“I realized that this (protest) was happening, and I just came to show my support for women who need abortions and need those resources because these people do not have these resources,” Rylee said. “They have diapers and baby formula, and that’s about it.”

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