15 Jun If I Can Do It, So Can You.
How can we expect others to be actively involved in the pro-life movement if we can barely commit ourselves to the movement? Being the President of Loyola Students for Life (LSFL) while trying to balance endless schoolwork and a social life is not an easy task.
At times it made me question if my involvement was worth it. But, every time I asked myself this, I would always quickly remember the passion that motivated my involvement to the movement in the first place.
Motivating others is a leadership skill which empowers others to get involved in something important. It is the motivation of others through which we see the most change in our society. During my past few years of being a part of LSFL, I have learned the importance of motivating others. I was able to get many of my pro-life friends to step up and take on a role in LSFL’s Executive Board.
After spending some time reflecting on my success with getting my friends to step up, I came up with a list of ways to get people involved and excited to be in the pro-life movement.
1. Constant invites and reminders
My Freshman year, I gathered the courage to go to my friend’s room before a General Body meeting and invited her to join me for a meeting. Though this took courage and there was a big chance that I would get shut down, I still went and asked.
It took some convincing her to come, but eventually, she and her friend tagged along with me for a meeting. I mean really, one meeting can’t be too bad, right? One meeting turned into two meetings and two meetings turned into a small position as the March for Life Coordinator, a March for Life Coordinator turned into a spot in the Vice President position, and now Sarah Storto is thriving as an SFLI summer intern.
What a difference one invite can make!
2. Know their “Why”
Oftentimes, we tend to get caught up in the small things. We often can forget what brought us into this movement in the first place. We begin to prioritize other events happening in our lives or on our campus and we forget the importance of our job as pro-life leaders.
My friend is very pro-life. Throughout high school, he and his sisters attended all pro-life club meetings and the March for Life in DC each year. He was very strong in his pro-life beliefs and his Catholic faith. Coming to college, he still held these strong beliefs but didn’t really have much commitment to the pro-life movement. Every now and then, I would invite him to come to the special events that LSFL or SFLI would host but he still wasn’t a consistent member.
It wasn’t until our “Dialogue in the Den” event that LSFL hosted between pro-life and pro-choice views where I started to see my friend’s priorities changed. I invited him to the dialogue event previously, but he gave me the excuse that he had too much homework and he promised to watch it over Facebook Live. During the Dialogue, my friend heard a harsh comment made by the pro-choice panel which caused him to drop everything, sprint across campus, and come to the event.
It was this event that challenged my friend to be more active in the movement. After this event, his attendance to the club became more important and regular. A few months later, Eddie Laviste is now fully committed to LSFL and has stepped up to be the Secretary during the upcoming fall semester.
3. Partnering roles to their strengths and skills
One of my friend’s greatest passions is taking pictures. Knowing this helped me find a way for him to do something that he loves, while also getting him more involved in LSFL by inviting him to bring his talents to the table.
This past semester, I would invite him to come and take pictures for our group during our General Body meetings. By doing this, he felt included and committed. Not only was he doing something he loved, he was also listening to the different speakers that were brought in and learning more about the topics.
After almost a year of involvement, Cameron Casey is now going to take on the role of being LSFL’s activism chair during the upcoming fall semester.
4. Lead by Example
Throughout my Sophomore year at Loyola, I was heavily involved in LSFL. I was constantly running from meeting to meeting throughout each week. I spent a lot of time and energy planning for meetings or figuring out creative ways to get more people involved and educated.
It was the endless running around that caught the attention of many of my friends, specifically my roommates. One of my roommates, in particular, was really interested in my role in the group. She would always attend General Body meetings, not only because she was a very supportive friend, but because she was passionate about creating a culture of life on campus.
Each week, my two roommates and I would take a trip to the Well of Mercy, which is a shelter in Chicago for women who chose life during a difficult situation. Every Friday, we would go babysit for these single mothers for two to four hours.
It was through this experience that my roommate realized her love for service and life. She later joined Service Committee, which is part of LSFL, and now next semester Laura Reichardt is stepping up and taking over the leader of the Service Committee.
Figuring out how to be involved in this movement wasn’t easy for me, and it is difficult helping others to find their place in the movement.
However, that is the reality of this movement: it is not easy to be pro-life. This movement is all about sacrifice. We are constantly sacrificing to serve the men, women, and children who are most affected by the tragedy of abortion and it is our job to lead those who have been affected to healing hope.
Carina Greico is a summer intern with Students for Life of Illinois. She is entering her junior year at Loyola University of Chicago with a double major in Psychology and Theology and a minor in Catholic Studies.