Nearly 50 CSU students converged on the Lory Student Center Plaza this morning to protest a controversial anti-abortion exhibit, resulting in the promise of withholding the exhibit for at least one day next year to further relations between groups on both sides of the issue.
Justice For All, the organization presenting the exhibit, allowed the students to remain in the exhibit area, where the organization has been permitted to display since Monday, under the condition that there would be a dialogue between Director David Lee and the students.
Tammy Cook, director of field operations for J.F.A., said, “We’re excited when students show passion about an issue that is vital to our country. Fruitful dialogue is a necessary catalyst to further the rights and protect unborn children.”
Student protestors agreed.
“If we get a crowd of people to wake up at seven in the morning to make a statement says more than other ways,” junior sociology major Sam Bowersox-Daly said. “It sends a better message than vandalism and senseless verbage.”
Bowersox-Daly and junior political science major Melisa Panagakos brainstormed the idea of the protest, but did not want to take credit as the protest’s leaders.
The protest remained peaceful, as was planned by Bowersox-Daly and Panagakos.
The students passed out a letter stating the intentions of the protest and signed it from “Concerned Colorado State University Students”.
“Those who gathered today feel that [J.P.A.’s] display is intrusive, insensitive, overwhelming and therefore inappropriate on a college campus,” the letter said. It went on to read, “The pure magnitude of [J.P.A.’s] display keeps the voices of students who oppose the display from being heard.”
Panagakos said the display is inappropriate and offensive and that it is so prominent that you avoid it.
Cook justified the display, saying that its graphic nature fits the action it portrays.
“It does not match the official definition of obscene, but we do agree that [the images] are disturbing,” said Cook. “Most forms of injustice are very rarely visually appealing.”
Students were pleased with the dialogue resulting from the protest.
“We were looking to find a way to get those voices heard,” Panagakos said.