Letter to the Editor, 10/12/2015

By Brieanna Shawver / Senior Emergency Medicine Major at Pitt

I have been proud to call myself a member of the University of Pittsburgh community since I accepted my admission in November of 2011. Ever since, I have been hailing to Pitt every chance I get. Thursday, however, I was extremely disappointed and embarrassed by my fellow classmates. During the educational display held by Choose Life at Pitt, of which I am the president, my members and colleagues were harassed, verbally abused and our display was vandalized. We were hosting the Planned Parenthood Project with Students for Life of America, which is an educational display about the business model of Planned Parenthood. Abortion can be a heated topic, but when did grown adults at a high-ranking academic institution decide that shouting obscenities and being disrespectful was a better option than an intelligent, peaceful conversation? When did running up to a display you disagreed with and rubbing your private parts on them in a lewd fashion become socially acceptable?

It was assumed that my group and I were “privileged” and “entitled” as well as “racists,” “anti-gay” and all “white.” I personally was offended by the number of people who attacked me by calling me “anti-woman” and a “woman hater.” It is appalling to me that my fellow scholars at a diverse, prestigious university would presume to know someone’s background and spew hateful speech at them. I was expecting a lot more tolerance than that. I would never treat my fellow classmates with such disrespect, no matter how much I disagreed with them. In the future, we would like to receive the same respect that we showed to everyone we interacted with.

Brieanna Shawver

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