CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI, October 12, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) - Pro-life messages written in chalk on sidewalks at the University of Prince Edward Island by the school’s pro-life club have been washed away by order of the UPEI administration.
According to the school’s student paper, The Cadre, students coming to classes on Tuesday morning were greeted with messages such as “Life is Beautiful,” “Right to Life,” “I am happy you were born!” and “Your Mother Was Pro-Life!”
UPEI Students for Life President Shannon Moore said the messages were respectful and “a way to encourage dialogue among students on campus, and get people talking about this prominent issue on the Island, and in particular on campus.”
“The goal of UPEI Students For Life was to promote our society on campus, to let other students know who we are, with a welcoming message and contact information if they wanted to join our society,” said Moore.
However, Greg Clayton, the director of facilities management, took exception to the artwork and issued an order to have the pro-life sidewalk chalk messages washed off.
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Although Clayton said his decision was not based on the content of the messages nor on the very few complaints about them, he stated, “Nobody had any authorization to use the walkways for that purpose; it’s just not what they’re there for.”
Shannon Moore, however, said UPEI Students For Life were under the impression that sidewalk chalk art messages were permitted because the medium has been used to promote other school activities, such as “Shinerama.”
Christian Lacroix, UPEI’s Interim VP of Academics, said that the messages were washed away because the school has a policy that displays are limited to certain areas, and not because the messages were pro-life.
“The policies are that we have specific areas to display material and these areas are monitored,” Lacroix told the CBC. “My office is planning to meet with the students and it’s not a disciplinary thing. It’s just to talk about what their intent was.”
Moore said the student pro-life group doesn’t plan doing another sidewalk chalk campaign, but that the publicity that developed following the sidewalk campaign has been successful in raising awareness about pro-life issues.
“Evidently, our goal for ‘chalking’ the campus was successful, with even more word on the streets than expected,” said Moore.
University of Prince Edward Island
Dr. Alaa Abd-El-Aziz, President
550 University Avenue, Charlottetown, PE Canada C1A 4P3
Phone: (902) 566-0400
Fax: (902) 628-4311
E-mail via website contact form at http://president.upei.ca/contact