Dartmouth University: Vehicle Runs Over Pro-Life Display

State   |   Kristan Hawkins   |   Apr 23, 2012   |   5:05PM   |   Washington, DC

I just wanted to send you out a quick update on the situation at Western Kentucky University (WKU), where just last week, the pro-life student group’s (Hilltoppers for Life) Cemetery of the Innocents display was vandalized by an art student who put condoms on top of the group’s crosses that were there to remember those 3,300 killed each by legal abortion in the United States.

We were able to alert you right away and your calls and emails have been successful in reaching the school’s administration, alerting them to the fact that this desecration was not freedom of speech and that campus police should not have stood by and let this happen – but protected the student’s display and their crosses.

On Friday, the university sent out the following statement below in response to the outpouring:

WKU Hilltoppers for Life is an official student organization at Western Kentucky University and sought permission via proper University procedures to utilize the space for their Hilltoppers for Life display.

Free speech – all free speech – is valued by WKU administration. Interference with the expression of free speech is not condoned and is not supported by WKU.

We are looking into the facts of this situation and have no further comment at this time.

A few states north last week, the Dartmouth University pro-life group, Vita Clamantis, was also the victim of the same type of vandalism. Vita Clamantis set up a display of 546 American flags on campus to represent the 54.6 million abortions since 1973’s Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton decisions. While their display faced minor attacks all week with flags being knocked over and stolen, as well as some of their signs being defaced, nothing could have prepared them for what happened last Wednesday afternoon when a Toyota Camry drove up onto the curb and then across their display, plowing down a large swath of American flags, before continuing down the street.

Campus Police were summoned and went into action right away, along with Dartmouth’s administration, to make sure the Vita Clamantis group was safe and that the perpetrator would be caught. There is no news yet on if the driver of the vehicle has been found.

What is the difference between these two schools? When Vita Clamantis was faced with vandalism, their campus police stepped in immediately to help. And while we are glad to hear that WKU has said it is going to actively look into the desecration of the crosses, this is not the time to pat ourselves on the back and say “job well done.”

That’s why I need you to do two things for me right now:

1. Call or Email WKU Police Captain of Professional Standards, Joe Harbaugh, at his non-emergency number, 270-745-2543 or [email protected] to respectfully express your outrage and demand the university apologize to WKU Hilltoppers for Life and to train the campus police that putting condoms on someone else’s crosses is not art or freedom of expression, it is desecration and vandalization.

2. Log into our action website with your Facebook or Twitter account and Sign our Petition to have the campus police apologize to our students.

3. If you have already signed the petition and emailed and called WKU, please forward this alert to all of your pro-life and Christian friends and family via email and social media. We are mailing all of our petitions into the WKU Administration this Friday and need to make sure we have thousands signed onto our petition to make sure our point gets across loud and clear!

Thank you so much for all of your outpouring so far. I hope you will continue to stand with SFLA and Hilltoppers for Life until they receive a full apology from the WKU Campus Police!