“The professors and some of the professional staff really told me how refreshed they felt after what we have created because they felt like Catholic students wouldn't care on campus that this Planned Parenthood fundraiser was happening, but we proved them wrong,” she said.
Glaudini said that the students who took part in the rosary rally were “so thankful” that they found other people on campus with like-minded values.
After the on-campus fundraiser was originally announced, it triggered a petition drive by an organization called RenewLMU that called on University President Timothy Law Snyder to cancel the event, which he did not. The group describes itself as “an alliance of students, alumni, faculty, donors, and other LMU supporters who seek to strengthen LMU’s Catholic mission and identity.”
Loyola Marymount graduate Samantha Stephenson, who led the petition drive for RenewLMU, told CNA: “A Catholic university should honor and defend the principles of Catholic Social Teaching, at the heart of which is the principle of human dignity.”
The petition garnered approximately 1,800 people signatures as of Thursday afternoon.
The Catholic school’s fundraising event received a lot of media attention, to which the school responded on Friday before the event took place:
“The event being held this evening by Women in Politics, an independent student organization, is neither sponsored nor endorsed by LMU. The university does not support, nor does it fundraise, for Planned Parenthood. LMU regrets the concerns this situation has caused our community members and Catholic partners. The university remains firmly committed to its Catholic, Jesuit, and Marymount values. Moving forward, LMU is reexamining and revising its policies and practices regarding student-organized activities to ensure stronger alignment with our mission.”
In a statement published in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles newspaper, Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles responded to the event before it took place.
“I am deeply disappointed that this abortion fundraising event is going forward as scheduled, although I acknowledge the university’s statement that it does not support Planned Parenthood and its pledge to review its procedures for future events."
“As I expressed in my conversations with Loyola Marymount officials, respect for the sanctity and dignity of all human life is central to Catholic identity and must be a core commitment in Catholic higher education. I am hopeful that the conversation we have begun will continue,” the archbishop continued.
In addition to attending the Los Angeles March For Life Jan. 22, Glaudini told CNA that she is making plans for the VITA club to be more active on campus and is interested in hosting more rosaries in the future.
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Gualdini said she hopes to get a meeting with the President, Timothy Snyder, because she feels like “we're due for a conversation.”
“But we have been thinking about throwing our own fundraiser for emergency pregnancy centers and also adoption centers, so that's something that we've been talking about,” she said.
Joseph Bukuras is a journalist at the Catholic News Agency. Joe has prior experience working in state and federal government, in non-profits, and Catholic education. He has contributed to an array of publications and his reporting has been cited by leading news sources, including the New York Times and the Washington Post. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the Catholic University of America. He is based out of the Boston area.