Supporting student parents

It happens all the time. A friend, a cousin, that quiet girl who sat behind you in literature class sophomore year-everyone knows someone who has become pregnant while still in school, or who already balances a child and a full course load.

The Saint Louis University Students for Life philosophy states, “No student should ever have to choose between having a child and having an education.” This blanket statement, while ideal, is often not the case for students who face the prospect of starting a family earlier than they had planned.

“Babies having babies” is no phrase to take lightly. More often than not, when financial trouble kicks in, the hardships of parenting take over and students with children are forced to choose between the child and the degree-with the raising of the child rightfully coming out on top.

It’s easy to brush off couples who become pregnant during college, to look the other way, to talk about how horrible the situation must be for the parents while on the way to class, then forget that the conversation even happened. Often, if students are not directly involved with the situation, we don’t feel an obligation to help.

But we are directly involved. These couples and their children are part of the same SLU family to which we belong.

For those trying to balance parenthood and student life, Students for Life’s Virginia D. Murphy Pregnant and Parenting Student Assistance Fund is a great aid. For the greater community, it is a sincere demonstration of compassion and assistance.

As SLU students, we must support Students for Life in their efforts to fund this program. We must stand up for our own and fight to give our peers the same educational opportunities that we have had.

The decision to keep a child is already a difficult one; finances, reputation, beliefs, time, parenting skills and future plans are just a fraction of the worries that can creep into the minds of possible parents.

If the SLU community can take away even one worry from the hundreds that these parents will inevitably face during the decision-making process, it is our responsibility to make it so.

Student fundraisers are only $3,000 away from their initial funding goal of $25,000, thanks in large part to a mammoth donation from SLU faculty member David Murphy in honor of his late wife. Soon, a stipend will be available to support pregnant or parenting couples financially, not just emotionally.

This endowment has nothing to do with being pro-life or pro-choice. It’s simply about being pro-student. Let’s show what the SLU community is made of and support our members of all ages and circumstances.