UB Students for Life March for Life in D.C.
Clothes wet and hair matted with rainwater, the UB Students for Life skipped class on Jan. 23 to take part in the march in the March for Life in Washington D.C.
Seven of approximately 15 members of the pro-life group, which is still a temporary club in the Student Association, joined 500,000 other pro-lifers in the Jan. 23 march. The students also attended the Students for Life of America Conference with 687 other Students for Life college groups in the nation on Sunday, where they received the award for best new group out of 80 new groups.
Christian Andzel, a sophomore history and political science major and the club's president, was overwhelmed by the responses he received about the award.
"One girl said to me that [she had] heard so much about UB through [our] newsletter, and [that she] never knew that such a group could have such determination, could have so much charisma going through everything [we] went through," Andzel said.
The UB Students for Life have faced opposition on campus, including an incident last May when vandals attacked their "Cemetery of the Innocents" display.
Group members said they spotted approximately 40 pro-choice advocates at the march, who shouted things at the marchers as they walked along.
One pro-choice advocate shouted to Andzel in particular, saying he is a man and has no right to voice his opinion on a woman's issue, Andzel said.
"That same claim was used by the Southern slave owners directed to the white abolitionists' movement," Andzel said.
Alexa Bernstein, a freshman undecided major, and Erica Menasse, a freshman speech and hearing science major, are both pro-choice, but they are not angry that UB Students for Life represented UB at the march.
"He can voice his opinion," Bernstein said about Andzel. "I find that cool."
Both said if they got pregnant, though, they would choose to get an abortion.
"I'm young and still have a full life ahead of me, and if I had a baby that wouldn't be possible. I wouldn't be able to be successful," Bernstein said.
Andzel said the impact that UB Students for Life made at the march affected how others now see UB.
"We wanted to be one of those 500,000 people who made it to the march and to represent UB, because everyone looks at UB and says, ‘oh very, very liberal,' which it is," Andzel said. "But there are pockets of conservative thinkers or people that just want to stand up for the human life."