Student senator vandalizes pro-life cross display at Wisconsin university
Student Senator Roderick King
Student Senator Roderick King
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- A “cemetery” of crosses displayed at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (UWSP) to memorialize those killed by abortion has been publicly vandalized by a member of the student senate.

On May 1, at about 11 a.m., members of UWSP pro-life group Pointers for Life were repairing their “Cemetery of the Innocents” display, which had been defaced during the previous night.  A group of angry students, led by UWSP Student Senator Roderick King, began to walk through the rows, taking crosses from the ground and throwing them.

Part of the vandalism was recorded and posted to the video-sharing web site YouTube.

King reportedly complained that the pro-life group had “no right” to display the crosses, saying it was “his duty as a paying student” to take them down.

After a campus Protective Services officer arrived, most of the students who were vandalizing the display stopped. 

King, however, claimed “The freedom of speech does not cover these signs and symbols.”  When the officer warned King he could be made to pay for damages, the student senator stopped.

Bob Tomlinson, Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs at UWSP, apologized to Pointers for Life for the disrespect and vandalism inflicted by the opposing students.  Two student senators said the pro-life group had correctly reserved the space and were allowed to host the display.

In response to the vandalism, Pointers for Life filed a complaint with the Student Government Association asking for King to resign or be appropriately disciplined under the student government constitution.

In a letter to the Stevens Point Journal Newspaper, King explained his actions, saying he thought the display was “disrespectful” and that the university was “more than wrong” for allowing the display.  He said the Pointers for Life request for his resignation or discipline from the student senate supposes that he is “more than a mere student” who “should be held to different standards.”

According to King, the pro-life group’s grievance against him was that he did not represent the student body.  “On the contrary, many students agree with my actions,” he wrote.  He claimed their motive for seeking disciplinary action was in fact based upon their opposing views about abortion.

King insisted he did not act in the incident as a member of the UWSP Student Government Association, but as “an individual who believes one person's right to freedom of speech stops when it infringes on another person's right to a secular education.”

Jackie Kryzkowski, president of Pointers for Life, said, “Student Senators should be helping to defend our freedom of speech, not trying to take it away because of personal beliefs. If students had a problem with the display, they could exercise their freedom of speech maturely by protesting it peacefully, not by defacing our display.”

Kristan Hawkins, Executive Director of Students for Life of America (SFLA), said, “This is not the first time that a student group has had this same type of peaceful display vandalized or has faced discrimination on a college campus. SFLA is here to make sure all college pro-lifers are guaranteed their rights to demonstrate on behalf of those who have no voice.”

A video of the vandalism is viewable at  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5NeLyMZUYM

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Pope Francis in the Philippines: Manila Welcomes the Pope
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Highlights
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Interview with Cardinal Ranjith
Pope Francis in SriLanka: Inter-religious Faith Meeting
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day

Liturgical Calendar

January 30, 2015

Friday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mk 4:26-34


Daily Readings

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mk 4:26-34