Make Students For Life at GMU Accountable for Racially Damaging Protest.

Make Students For Life at GMU Accountable for Racially Damaging Protest.

September 16, 2022
Petition to
Director of Student Engagement for Racial Justice
Signatures: 70Next Goal: 100
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Why this petition matters

Started by E L M

This is a petition to make Students For Life at GMU acciuntable for their event on September 7th by Southside Dining in which they put up slave caricatures on a poster to promote their anti-abortion agenda, and further denied responsibility for their impacts on the black community at GMU following their recent statement. Students For Life commonly hosts events by Southside Dining and additionally causes struggles for students who are just trying to eat on campus. The recent actions by SFL have broken the Mason Code of Student Conduct. 

We demand that SFL be suspended and Mason releases a statement to the student body until they can accept accountability and carry out their protests appropriately in a way that will not harm any demographic on campus. 

You can see full images of the posters here.

The poster uses the Wedgeworth Anti-Slavery Medallion as part of their agenda, which became an icon in the British movement for the abolition of the slave trade in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Following this, the poster mentions Jim Crow laws, segregation, slavery, and Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes. “INJUSTICE ANYWHERE IS A THREAT TO JUSTICE EVERYWHERE. -MLK Jr…Preborn human beings are discarded because they are more dependent and vulnerable.” This poster was interpreted as an equation of slavery issues to abortion based on the structure of their signs to bypassing students.

BLACC at GMU released a statement describing it as such.

“We, The Black, African Heritage, and Caribbean Coalition (BLACC), comprised of over 20 organizations, have been informed of the recent activities involving student organization, Students for Life (SFL) and their “‘Abortion is Not Right’ Tour” held outside of Southside Dining Hall the afternoon of September 7, 2022. At this event, offensive insinuations and oppressive implications were made attempting to connect the immoral institution of slavery and establishment of repressive Jim Crow laws to the anti-abortion belief.”

The Black Student Alliance at GMU also released a statement.

“This is demoralizing and blatantly disrespectful towards the Black community at George Mason, but also to women, those with disabilities and other marginalized communities.”

While students reserve the right to celebrate personal viewpoints on campus, SFL has failed to accept that they greatly impacted the black community at Mason.

Instead, Students For Life at GMU released a two sentence statement in response and further equated slavery to abortion.

”Students For Life at GMU is dedicated to advancing human dignity and fighting human rights violations. We are working on clarifying recent absurd accusations privately and professionally.

On September 7, 2022, our group was publicly shamed as racist because we were conducting pro-life outreach and discussing past social rights injustices, along with abortion, a current social rights injustice. Each injustice is different; each is wrong; each injustice needs to end.”

Students for life has violated the Mason Code of Student Conduct due to their neglect in their events and posters. We demand that Mason reprimands this organization and additionally releases a statement to the student body overseeing that they carry out their operations respectfully. No student should have to see slavery depicted on their way to the dining hall.

According to the Mason Code of Student Conduct, a Student Organization is responsible for the CSC and “Student organization shall be responsible for the actions or inactions of its members if one or more of the following apply: Such action or inaction was done on behalf of the student organization;”

The CSC outrules “Bias related incidents including, but not limited to, any violation of the CSC motivated by a consideration of race, sex (including gender identity), color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, or sexual orientation may subject the Student to the imposition of a sanction more severe than would be imposed in the absence of such motivation;”

Additionally, all RSOs at Mason are required to include this clause in their constitution to adhere to the CSC. “Membership in this organization will not be restricted on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, marital status, pregnancy status or genetic information.”

Following SFL’s neglect and refusal to accept responsibility this petition serves as a medium for the student body to broadcast the harm they have suffered following the actions of Students For Life at GMU which have broken the Mason Code of Student Conduct.

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Signatures: 70Next Goal: 100
Support now