The community speaks

To the Editor:

At 5:30 a.m. on the chilly morning of Jan 22, 2004, 21 peopleboarded the bus that would take them down to Washington D.C. forthe day to represent St. John’s University at the 31st annual MarchFor Life. This is a national event that takes place every year onthe anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, the Supreme Court decision thatlegalized abortion in the United States. Tens of thousands ofcitizens who believe in the inviolable sanctity of human lifegather together to voice their opinions. The March begins with arally at the Washington Monument and then proceeds up ConstitutionAvenue to the Supreme Court, behind the Capitol Building.

What is always surprising about this day is the media coverageit gets (or rather the lack thereof). If you watched the eveningnews you might not have even been aware of the massivedemonstration that occurred in our nation’s capital that day. Or ifthere was coverage you might see an angry old man holding a pictureof a dead baby. This is not what we saw at the March. We saw aninspiring number of young people. The youth easily outnumbered theadults this year. It’s encouraging for those who are willing tostand up and speak out to know that they are not alone. At the endof the March anyone who wants to has the option of visiting theirstate senator to let them know where they stand on the issue, whichwe did. Overall it was a wonderful day in which we participated inthe freedom of speech our constitution affords us.

The Students For Life sponsored this trip and invited anyone whowanted to participate through flyers, emails, and word ofmouth.

Thankfully, 21 people, nearly doubling the number we had lastyear, responded and were willing to give up an entire day, face thecold and join us. We would like to thank SGI, Mary Pelkowski andStudent Life, Pam Shea-Byrnes and Campus Ministry, for all theirhelp. Also, last but not least we must thank our moderator, PatTracy, who guides us and supports us in all that we do.

Deidre M. Shea
Class of 2004
Students For Life


To the Editor:

I recently had the privilege to accompany a group of HEOP(Higher Education Opportunity Program) students on a trip to Albanyto participate in the annual “Independent Sector Student LobbyDay.” HEOP enables economically and academically disadvantagedstudents to receive the additional support that they need to earn acollege degree.

The small group of students who made the day-long trip werehigh-quality ambassadors of the greater University community andshould be commended for their lobbying efforts. While meetingpersonally with members of the New York State Legislature, thestudents were both articulate and passionate in expressing thecritical importance of state funding for higher educationopportunity programs and voicing their opposition to proposed cutsto the TAP Program. The students, administrators and staff of theHEOP office should be commended. HEOP truly works!

Brian Browne
St. John’s University
Director of Government Relations