The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Impromptu debate on abortion is sparked on campus

A Christian group not associated with CSUN, called Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust, held a rally in front of Oviatt Library Wednesday, sparking a debate.

The organization displayed cardboard posters with pictures of aborted fetuses.

CSUN administrators were not aware of the group’s plan to come on campus. The group stayed on the Sierra Quad from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“We’re a public institution, and organizations have the right to reach our students through freedom of speech,” said Tom Piernik, director of the Office of Student Development and International Programs. “The standards are voluntary to comply with. I did respectfully ask them to fill out the paperwork (to receive a permit), and they chose not to.”

Piernik said the school cannot force outside organizations to fill out the proper paperwork, but he and other employees of the Office of Student Development were present to keep an eye on things.

Two campus poice officers were also standing by.

Some members of CSUN’s Women’s Studies Department came out to oppose the group and offer a different point of view.

Shelby Stephan, director of the Women’s Resource and Research Center, and a senior women’s studies major, was among those handing out fliers.

“They have pictures of babies heads cut off,” Stephan said. “They have the right to free speech, but so do we.”

Jason Storms, a 26-year-old member of Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust, said he showed up at CSUN with about 12 other members in his group and brought several poster boards and fliers.

“We say, ‘Hey, don’t kill human life; we have a conscience to be against it,'” Storms said. “The reason we’re against abortion is because we’re Christians.”

Regarding the lack of permit or notification of the school about their arrival, Storms said this is how the group usually conducts business.

“Usually, we just show up to college campuses,” Storms said. “California law says universities have to provide a free speech area.”

Storms said they are a pro-life ministry and have young people go around and talk to other young people.

John and Laura Parra, junior philosophy and family and consumer sciences majors, are Christians who agreed with Storms and took down his information.

“We hope to find out how to bring more events like this to campus and spread the truth,” John said.

Vardui Khorikyou, sophomore liberal studies major, was handing out fliers for Mind, Body and Spirit week when she saw the rally, put on a pro-choice sign, and stood by all day.

Several members of the Women’s Studies Department came later, wearing pro-choice signs and balloons.

“I think most people avoided the rally because they don’t want anything to do with (the sensitive subject of abortion),” Khorikyou said.

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