Students launch campaign to advocate for change

By Angelina Halas
October 4, 2021

Sprawled out, markers in hand, students created posters to be spread across the Wolfington Center.

Behind their initiative is the hope for people to be a part of something bigger and to get their voices heard.

The poster initiative is aimed at reminding students of all the issues they can stand behind, from advocating for immigration rights to finding ways to support victims of domestic violence.

On Sept. 14, freshman graphic design major, Jack Letterio, sat at a table covered in empty white signs and a box of markers for the taking.

“I was advocating for students to make posters about social issues they were passionate about to paste on the fence in the center of campus that was constructed for Border Mass,” Letterio said.

“In essence, Border Mass is a tradition at Cabrini that originates from the Pope’s mass held at the southern border in 2016. We celebrate the anniversary of this mass with a religious ceremony praying for and honoring immigrants at the southern border just as the Pope did.”

According to the Council on Foreign Relations, 77 percent of Americans believe immigration is a good thing for the United States. While President Trump was in office, immigration was restricted due to the pandemic, but some believed he was doing it to further his agenda.

Despite Border Mass being centered around immigration, the overall message was to focus on other social justice issues.

“We originally wanted to create a discussion about inclusion, and realized that having a discussion about inclusion without allowing students to fight for all forms of equality was slightly ironic,” Letterio said.

Students created posters for gun control, BLM, climate change, abortion, Asian hate and immigration.

Senior psychology major, Julie Lopez, sat across from Letterio at a table of her own trying to accomplish the same thing. Despite having to be a part of this for her job at the Wolfington Center, she enjoyed the experience.

“The topics I’m most passionate about are immigration and climate change, as well as women’s rights,” Lopez said. “I think these all hold a place in my heart because there is so much more I want to learn about in order to be a better advocator.”

Due to convincing from a friend, freshman psychology major, Aarin McMahon, took time in between classes to stick up for abortion, an issue she is passionate about.

“I was standing up for women,” McMahon said. “My poster was about pro-choice not pro-abortion. Pro-choice is about allowing women to choose what they do to their bodies.”

“I am extremely passionate about this because pro-choice means you can still be a mother, support adoption, never want to or have had an abortion. It simply means that women can do whatever they want to their own bodies.”

McMahon believes that this issue should be cared about and advocated for because of what happened in Texas.

According to the New York Times, Texas has become the first state to implement a law banning abortion after six weeks of pregnancy. It was a close vote but was ultimately passed.

“People should care about these issues because it is giving a voice to the voiceless or silenced. Right now, people, especially women, should care about women’s reproductive rights because of the current issue going on in Texas,” McMahon said.

“The new Texas abortion law is not pro-life because they want to force women to have children and then there is nothing to help those mothers or children after they carry out the pregnancy.”

Border Mass was held on Sept. 15 but “The Wolfington Center will begin a new initiative in which we have a monthly ‘theme’ where students can come make posters about this theme to inform others and hang them in a specific space in the Wolfington Center,” Letterio said.

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Angelina Halas

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