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The New Guard

Gonzaga University Denies Liz Wheeler Pro-Life Lecture

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July 19, 2023

Gonzaga University has turned down a request by the school’s pro-life club to host Liz Wheeler for a campus lecture sponsored by Young America’s Foundation and refuses to explain the reasoning behind the decision.

I am not comfortable approving this request at [sic] for funding,” Luke Lavin, director of the Catholic institution’s Department of Mission and Ministry, stated in an email to leaders of the Zags for Life student organization. 

The administrator, who includes a list of his pronouns in his email signature, is also working to block the club’s efforts to secede from his control. 

Most student organizations at Gonzaga University fall under the oversight of the Center for Student Involvement. However, the pro-life club was told that their meetings and events require approval from the Mission and Ministry office, which claims on its website to support the university’s students, faculty, and staff in fulfilling its “Jesuit, Catholic, humanistic mission.”

Liz Wheeler is an outspokenly pro-life, practicing Catholic. By refusing to allow her to speak on campus, and putting roadblocks in place to derail the pro-life club’s efforts, Gonzaga’s administrators are doing precisely the opposite of supporting the institution’s stated Catholic mission.

Lavin did not respond to YAF’s multiple attempts to reach him for comment.

“It has been made clear to me at this point that the university is more concerned with pushing the Left’s ideology than they are with spreading the truth of the Gospel, let alone Catholic social teaching,” Grant Habersetzer, one of the student leaders of Zags for Life, told Young America’s Foundation. “Our club has consistently been suppressed by these administrators. They have canceled multiple events on us without providing any reasoning or notice, and now they are preventing a Catholic, pro-life speaker from even stepping foot on our campus,” he continued.

Earlier in the semester, the pro-life students were hoping to hold an open discussion on the topic of when life begins, but administrators quickly shut it down.  Instead of aiding faithful Catholics in practicing and living out their faiths, Habersetzer says, the ministry department is encouraging students to explore LGBTQ+ identities and other leftist nonsense. 

Unfortunately, modern Catholic–especially Jesuit–universities are embracing the Left’s agenda at full speed. Less than a month ago, a Jesuit university in Missouri hosted a drag show during which lap dances were performed on students, and multiple cross-dressed administrators took part in the show. 

Habersetzer noted that he and his club’s members will submit an appeal to the rejection in hopes of being able to host Liz Wheeler.

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