EXCLUSIVE: Christian college administrator calls pro-life students ‘antagonizers’
The administrator told the pro-life chapter they could not counsel abortion clinic patrons on the sidewalk off campus, because their work could be seen as ‘antagonizing.’
Campus Reform obtained a video of the private meeting between administrator and the pro-life student leader.
Editor's Note: An earlier draft of this article was accidentally published the morning of Sept. 7. While the copy was accurate it contained outdated information. This article has now been updated to include the most recent information.
In a video obtained by Campus Reform, a Campbell University administrator accused its pro-life group of ‘antagonizing’ abortion clinic patrons after allegedly telling the group that they could not counsel at an off-campus clinic as a group activity.
Campbell University is located in North Carolina and is “a Christian university affiliated with the Baptist tradition.”
“I don’t want to use the word…‘antagonistic,’ but it could be perceived as that,” Chris O’Connor, Director of Student Activities, told Student for Life (SFL) chapter President Lydia Taylor.
“You’re going there to target that business,” he argued. He further explained that any conflict that happened could get the university in trouble.
Taylor then explained that the group counsels in a “lega[l], peacefu[l], loving way,” to which O’Connor responded that pro-abortion patrons may “not perceive it as loving.”
“[He] continued to assert that we were causing conflict by going there, which is completely false,” she told Campus Reform. “[It] just seemed like an excuse to avoid it.”
At the end of the video, O’Connor flipped the blame on the pro-life students and alleged that the faculty has hesitations about permitting a pro-life group on campus because of the conflict that their presence could cause.
“When the club was founded there was some concern that there would be some things like this happening,” O’Connor told Taylor. “The committee was reassured that the club wasn’t going to put the university in a tough spot like this.”
O’Connor offered a compromise by asserting the students could counsel in their individual capacity, but could not use their official group name.
Haven Hottel, Assistant Vice President for Communications & Marketing, responded to Campus Reform's request for comment, stating that the "travel request... remains under review."
"Requests by recognized student organizations must meet certain approval criteria, including a commitment to abide by all conduct requirements as outlined within the Student Handbook to ensure student safety," Hottel explained." "The Office of Student Life is committed to an equitable review of all student organization travel requests, as per our published policies."
Taylor told Campus Reform that O'Connor's origireasoning was an act of discrimination.
“Campbell provided buses to [the school LGBTQ club] to take a trip to DC to participate in the Pride parade over the summer,” she explained. “So I assumed since Campbell was allowing [that] controversial event… they would certainly allow for us to hold a small and peaceful event just 30 minutes away.”
Taylor reported that student fees were used to pay for the buses that the chapter, Common Ground, took to participate in the parade. By denying the group’s request, the university is also barring SFL from using available funds.
“We would not be able to use Campbell funding to go to [these] events off campus,” she explained.
Taylor said that the realization that the administration leaned pro-abortion was unsurprising but disappointing.
“It’s just very sad to me that Christianity is being misrepresented at our university as supportive of abortion,” she said.
Her allegation points to a broader problem brewing on American college campuses, specifically America’s so-called Christian campuses.
Campus Reform has reported on a slew of Christian colleges that have retained ties to the abortion industry, despite their religious affiliation.
In 2021, Students for Life of America investigated 700 universities affiliated with Christianity and found that 100 had some sort of relationship with Planned Parenthood, which is notorious for being the leading abortion clinic in the industry.
Similarly, a Fresno State University (FSU) Associate Professor of Biblical & Theological Studies alleged that the Bible is “neutral” concerning abortion.
“It’s very discouraging to see this happening all over Christian universities everywhere,” Taylor admitted. “But it’s only motivated me to not back down and keep fighting.”
Regardless, Taylor said her chapter is poised to overcome obstacles placed in their way by the administration and will continue to support pregnant women on and off campus, and advocate for the unborn.
“I would love to be able to [hold events] as [a] Campbell club, because that should be our right as a club on campus,” she said. “But until then, we will continue to fight on our own.”
Campus Reform contacted Campbell University and O’Connor for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.
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