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Right to Life crosses reappear

Teresa Fralish | Thursday, November 11, 2004

In response to vandalism directed at the Right to Life Club’s white cross demonstration in October, the group has chosen to display the crosses on South Quad again, from Wednesday to Friday.

Right to Life co-president Janel Daufenbach said the club decided to repeat the cross demonstration to bring the issue of abortion to prominence on campus.

“We put them up to remind people of the truth of abortion,” said Daufenbach. “The cemetery got torn down, and we don’t think people can hide from the truth.”

When the club organized the first demonstration in early October, about 900 of 1,200 crosses were knocked down during the night.

This display marks the first year the cross demonstration has taken place more than once during a school year. Previously, Right to Life set up the crosses for one day during Respect Life Week in October, but Daufenbach said multiple cross demonstrations per year could become the norm.

In contrast to the October display, a Notre Dame Security/Police officer will be present during the night hours of this week’s demonstration to guard against possible vandalism.

Officer A. Bridges said NDSP officers stationed near the South Quad entrance to Hurley Hall would take shifts from evening to sunrise Wednesday and Thursday nights.

“[We’d do] what we do normally – get students names and IDs,” said Bridges about any possible vandalism attempts.

Daufenbach said that during the approval for the current display the group approached associate vice president for student affairs Bill Kirk with a request for some type of security.

“We raised the concern because the cemetery was destroyed last time,” she said.

In addition to the NDSP presence, Daufenbach said Right to Life members would also be present during the night hours.

“From 12 to 6 a.m. there will be club members praying around the crosses,” she said.

Daufenbach said the club chose this week for the display because of the home football game.

Daufenbach and Cathy Provenzale, an organizer for both demonstrations, said the vandalism directed at the first demonstration prompted a strong response from club members in favor of another display.

Provenzale said when the crosses were torn down in October, many people stopped throughout the day to help set the crosses back up.

“I felt that, even more than doing the crosses again, this was just a testament to the pro-life sentiment on-campus,” she said.