Diversity comes in many shades and faiths

Temple is more diverse than students may realize, though perhaps not in the way many think. Temple’s Newman Center is sponsoring a bus trip to Washington, D.C., to join an anti-abortion protest. Even in a largely liberal campus, there are pockets of conservatism.

With a crippling economy and the Iraq war, abortion is one of the many issues dominating politics. In an effort to raise more attention about abortion, Temple University Newman Center is busing approximately 20 students to Washington, D.C., for the 36th annual “March for Life,” a anti-abortion protest that assembles people from all over the country every Jan. 22, the anniversary of the Supreme Court Case Roe v. Wade.

Since the Supreme Court’s 1973 decision, an estimated 50 million legal abortions have taken place.
Alex Gibbs, a senior geology major, is among thousands leaving Philadelphia at 6 a.m. to arrive at our nation’s capital by noon.

Gibbs said he is attending the rally to “show solidarity with everyone who is pro-life and to champion life from conception to natural death.”

Upon entering Temple, many students think, “OK, now I can stop going to church.”

Students often neglect traditional standards and practices that were once common and even deem them as an eccentric way of life, such as those Jesus-believing, Communion-receiving and nun-schooled Catholic students on Temple’s liberal campus.

Junior tourism and hospitality management major Courtney Clarahan said she feels Temple does not know Catholics exist, and some of her friends do not understand her beliefs.

“It’s not easy telling your friends that you’re going to pick going to church over going out and partying,” she said.

Prior to attending Temple, sophomore biology and religion major Elizabeth Gordon had been receiving a Catholic education since first grade. Looking forward to an open atmosphere for the first time, Gordon came to Temple to voice her opinions and listen to others’ as well.

After trying to start an anti-abortion group to protest legalized abortion, Gordon said Temple made it difficult for her to get it off the ground.

“They didn’t like the club name, Temple Students for Life [and] didn’t give us a place to meet. I felt as if they didn’t want the group on campus,” she said.

There is no doubt that many Catholic students live in a counter-culture society that embraces temptation because of an increased effort to obtain moral freedom.

“Liberal students see injustice everywhere and are quick to pick up on hypocrisy, but due to a surface level approach, they often fail to discern what the contexts of various situations are,” Gibbs said.

Being conservative in a sea of liberal students is a different kind of minority people frequently overlook.
Diversity is a great way for people to step out of their comfort zones and open up their minds, but because we go to a liberal school, students sometimes fall victim to close-mindedness by assuming we are all liberal.

Matt Petrillo can be reached at mattp@temple.edu.

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