‘B*llikens for Choice’ offers balance to pro-life community

Being a pro-choice club at a Catholic University is like being an Alice Cooper fan at a Hilary Duff concert. B*llikens for Choice certainly doesn’t have it easy—they are up against anti-abortion fervor from students, and are up against the status quo of a university that typically hasn’t had any group run counter to Students for Life’s Rome-sanctioned mission.
That is part of why their voice is so important. Whether one is pro-choice, or pro-life, or pro-baseball, it is still easy to see the argument in favor of presenting both sides of an issue. Although Saint Louis University is Catholic, it is still a place of higher education, and its students and staff are all of various ideologies and cultures. To only represent one side of a political, social and religious issue as important in the United States as abortion is irresponsible, and ignores the beliefs of a large constituency.
Unsurprisingly, SLU typically doesn’t charter organizations they see as going against Catholic beliefs, and this group is no exception: B*llikens for Choice is independent from the University, which, while it allows them to operate without administrative control, also illustrates an interesting point: The fact that students had the initiative to form a group and maintain it without aid from the University shows just how important this issue is to them, and forces the University to pay attention to the number of students whose opinions may not fit in with their proclaimed Jesuit mission.
There is mounting diversity among the student body, and they feel the need to speak out and have a presence on campus. This begs the question: Whom is the University for? The students, or the administrators? The people, or the pope?
Despite being a Catholic institution, SLU is receiving money from non-Catholics. As evidenced by B*llikens for Choice, some of these students have created their own separate organization. But situations like these crop up quite often, like when the administration banned The Vagina Monologues from being performed on campus. And these issues will continue to arise as parts of the student body become more outspoken about their own non-Catholic beliefs.
Eventually, the University is going to have to deal with the disparity between an administration that adheres to Catholic doctrine and an increasingly diversifying student and faculty population. Right now, though, it is good that there are independent groups that can provide balance.