TU Pro-Choice officially a student organization

The club aims to provide a safe space for people who need pro-choice resources or want to become more involved

You may have convinced yourself that you imagined the presence of a pro-choice club on campus, who made a brief appearance in 2019 then quietly faded away. TU Pro-Choice is back as a newly officially recognized student organization this semester.

President Meg McDonald, sophomore Ancient Greek major, decided to petition to officially register the club after noticing that there was no organized group representing reproductive rights and the pro-choice movement.

“Even just from discussions with people, I knew we had that presence on campus but not organized so I felt the call to make that happen, personally,” said McDonald.

The club’s mission includes educating people on the choices available to them, spreading scientifically sound information regarding reproductive rights, and advocating for bodily autonomy.

Though the club has been somewhat active in the past, it was not until December 2020 that semester that the club became officially affiliated with Trinity simply due to deadline oversights during the petitioning process, which is overseen by staff in the Student Involvement Office.

Shannon Twumasi, Coordinator for Student Programs, explained that this ended up working in TU Pro-Choice’s favor since their documents had been complete and revised in the meantime, allowing for a more clear picture of the club’s mission.

“It’s just something different about being recognized and being able to have resources, support, and further the mission of the student organization. So I think it’s definitely very valuable to have [TU] Pro-Choice on campus as an outlet for students who are passionate, who support the mission and cause, to have a place where they can formally gather where there’s resources to support them,” says Twumasi.

According to McDonald, starting the club partly stems from having followed the pro-choice movement from participating in the Women’s March to keeping up with local and national court decisions regarding reproductive justice.

“I want people to know that they’re not alone, and that they’re not in danger and be aware that they have a community of people on campus who do support their rights and don’t want [them] to be put in a position they don’t want to be in and just really that [they] shouldn’t have to feel attacked on their own campus is really the goal of our organization,” said McDonald.

According to Twumasi, students were familiar with a campus club representing pro-life values (Tigers for Life), and wanted to represent a contrasting viewpoint.

“There was obviously a gap [that existed on campus] that they so eloquently were able to explain in their interview as something that was needed by a lot of students on campus,” said Twumasi. According to her, the Student Involvement Staff looks for petitioning clubs to be prepared, further the mission of Trinity University as a whole, and fill in gaps that student life has a demand for.

Sophomore William Turner, Ancient Mediterranean Studies major and TU Pro-Choice’s secretary, got involved with the club because he wanted the pro-choice movement to have a presence on campus to offer students more variety in viewpoints than what was available before.

“It’s still kind of a taboo subject so there might be pushback from some of the members of the community,” said Turner. “Honestly, as long as there’s not anything they can do about it, I’m not worried. People can be upset if they want but there’s nothing I can do to stop them, and that’s their right.”

Still, the club is focused on getting operations running, with events such as fundraisers, educational meetings, and outreach as part of their goals. Though the organization has not formally created relationships with other on-campus resources, they hope to collaborate with Health Services and Counseling Services to provide information and connect people to confidential support.

“If this is something you care about, this is the club for you. This is a safe place for people.
We’re hoping to give the movement a prominent voice on campus, so people can be informed and know that there are resources and that you don’t have to be ashamed,” said Turner.

Students interested in learning more about TU Pro-Choice can visit the club’s Instragram page, @trinityprochoice, and fill out the form accessed through the link in their bio to be added to the club’s email list.

Though the process for petitioning clubs has already begun this spring, students hoping to create a new club on campus can learn more about the process by visiting trinity.edu and visiting the Student Involvement webpage to get a head start for petitioning in the fall.