Student reproductive health is a conversation worth having

By Kyleigh Brunotte
September 28, 2022

People stand with sign at pro-choice rally in front of a government building
Women's right protest. Photo by CreativeCommons.
A small university is ideal for having meaningful conversations, especially on important issues such as student reproductive health. When Roe v. Wade was overturned this summer, leaving the decision of whether or not women can have access to an abortion up to individual states, it left many on Cabrini’s campus wondering, “Are these conversations happening?”

Students left in limbo

Kendall Trumbore, a junior graphic design and design management major and president of Cabrini’s LGBTQIA+ Spectrum Club, is shocked by the university’s silence on such an important decision.

“For initiatives on campus, I have honestly been surprised by the lack of response beyond, I think, an email [that] possibly went out,” Trumbore said. “I am surprised by it, especially since we have such a focus on social justice and human rights initiatives.”

Students enrolled at Cabrini before the Roe v. Wade decision feel left in the dark about how the university plans to protect student reproductive health, along with safe sex initiatives in the future. 

“Cabrini could facilitate more conversations,” Gia Rebilas, freshman business management major, said.

Cabrini’s behind-the-scenes work for students

For the last two years, Cabrini has had a partnership with Penn Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine to help give students as many health resources as they need.

A Cabrini University sign hanging from a lamp post in the sun.
Cabrini University, whose mission is to give students an “Education of the Heart.” Photo by Kyleigh Brunotte.

Following new conversations happening throughout campus, Interim President Helen Drinan says changes are underway. “It was cumbersome that there wasn’t somebody here right on the premises who could give early triage and advice.”

To meet this need, Drinan revealed on Oct. 18, 2022, that a regular head of the health center will be working on campus.

“That’s why we decided to bring the resource back on campus,” Drinan said. “Students weren’t getting what they said they really wanted, which is ready access to somebody who could give them first-round advice and referral.”

Currently, Drinan is doing preparatory work on these issues with the leadership of Student Life. Drinan said a formal announcement of the new head of the health center’s arrival and responsibilities is coming soon.

Cabrini is a place for active communication and conversations

Having conversations about these topics has been far from easy for students.

Drinan said, “Even if there are opposing sides [to the outcome of the case], as long as they are respectful of one another … these are important conversations.”

Student reproductive health and safe sex initiatives are a concern of the university population.

“This is a human issue,” Trumbore said, and explained abortion access is not exclusive to women’s rights. “With Spectrum and LGBTQIA+ communities, it is anyone that has these anatomical parts is going to be affected.”

As the new academic year gets underway, Trumbore noted that Spectrum is looking to host events on campus and in the Radnor area to serve the LGBTQIA+ community and inform people on social media of other milestone cases that may be overturned by the same Supreme Court.

While Nurse Elizabeth Grove, interim director of health services may have been willing to discuss these issues, Dean of Students Dr. Stephen Rupprecht told her, “As a rule of thumb, we never do interviews with the student newspaper.”

However, Interim President Drinan strongly disagrees with that rule of thumb. “We’re all available to talk to student newspaper reporters,” she said.

“It’s difficult for me to conceive of a situation where a good answer would be [we never do interviews with the student reporters], but I don’t know everything there is to know about everything. If there is such a situation, I’d love to hear from them.”

 

Kyleigh Brunotte

I am a sophomore digital communications and social media major, and business management minor at Cabrini University. I grew up in Brick, NJ with my mom, dad, younger sister, and my Oma. Outside of school, I am a kickboxing instructor at 9Round Brick, NJ, a youth soccer coach, a campus captain of Cabrini's chapter of The Hidden Opponent, and a guest speaker for the NAMI Bucks County organization. Additionally, I am the co-president of the National Society of Leadership and Success and a former member of the Cabrini University women's soccer team. Today, I am an avid fitness and sports enthusiast, as well as a strong advocate for mental health awareness in students and athletes alike. I am a firm believer of always being proud of what you are doing and I hope to use my writing skills to make my corner of the world a better place to be.

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