When DePaul University College Republicans President Nicole Been submitted a poster design for administrative approval she had one goal in mind: spread the pro-life message. Closely following the University’s requirements, Been decided to use the terminology ‘Unborn Lives Matter’ with hopes that the play on words would catch the attention of more students. The design can be seen here:
The CR’s received notice that their poster would be sent to the University President, Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, for approval because the staff member who typically dealt with approvals was out of the office on that particular day. The poster was then denied. With the denial, the story began to change on who specifically made the request to ban the poster design, but it was denied.
The justification? According to the Depaul Administration, the poster uses, “Speech whose primary purpose is to wound/is inconsistent with our Vincentian and Catholic values.” Confused, Nicole Been told Carpe Freedom,
“We assumed that at the largest Catholic University in the country there wouldn’t be an issue making a pro life poster.”
Rather than supporting a message consistent with the Catholic Church on the right to life, the university assumed the club meant to mock Black Lives Matter.
Shortly after, the President sent out a formal email addressed to all DePaul students regarding the University’s unique stance on the First Amendment. The letter can be seen below:
In this letter, President Holtschneider states, “Some people will say that DePaul’s stance unfairly silences speech to appease a crowd. Nothing can be further from the truth.”
If the president’s reasoning for denying the College Republican poster was not for appeasement, then why are Black Lives Matter logos approved for display in the same building where Unborn Lives Matter would have been displayed?
Yet the most astonishing section of the letter states,
“…There will be times when some forms of speech challenge our grounding in Catholic and Vincentian values. When that happens, you will see us refuse to allow members of our community to be subjected to bigotry that occurs under the cover of free speech.“
So let me get this straight: a pro-life message is inconsistent with Catholic values, subjects students to bigotry, and cannot be considered free speech?
Please keep DePaul College Repubs in your prayers…we feel your pain.