The newly approved Students for Bio-Ethical Reform club are now seeking applications for leadership positions beginning in the current semester.
The organization, whose mission is to “advocate through education for justice and the right to life for the preborn, the disabled, the infirm, the aged, and all vulnerable people,” according to Tech’s website, received official approval from Student Affairs as a club in April 2017 and is now seeking to fill the positions of president, vice-president, secretary and treasurer.
“Students for Bio-Ethical Reform wants to be known for fighting for life in all circumstances, not just abortion,” Justin Brown, founder and current president of the organization, said. This could include those born with disabilities, comatose patients or the elderly. “We still want to fight for life in all circumstances,” Brown said.
Brown said one of the club’s main goals is to unite organizations on campus through the support of common principles. “In the future I’d love for a lot of different campus organizations to all feed into one… all those have different minor beliefs as far as religion goes, but they can all connect on a pro-life message. If all those [organization] members came together and talked about the importance of the sanctity of life, and the importance of that message, I think that would be really huge here in the city of Cookeville,” Brown said.
SBR also plans to partner with the Cookeville Crisis Pregnancy Center as a liaison on campus. According to Brown, the Crisis Pregnancy Center plans to hold more on-campus outreach.
“Our organization will be a direct connection between them and the student body,” he said.
While the organization volunteers with the Genocide Awareness Project’s outreach and abortion awareness posters seen on Tech’s campus, they are not directly linked or funded by the GAP’s parent organization, the Center for Bio-Ethical Research. “Even if they’re [viewed] in a negative light, at least it’s something that gets people talking,” Brown said.
One of the first responsibilities of the newly recruited officers will be to spread awareness of the club’s debut open-discussion forum. “Exhale: Voices on Abortion,” is scheduled for Feb. 22 from 7-9 p.m. in the Oakley STEM center. The talk features the director of the Cookeville Crisis Pregnancy Center among other female professionals, all of whom plan to share their experiences of abortion with the audience.
Brown describes the name Students for Bio-Ethical Reform as a “reform of mind.” Club advisor Michael Phillips expanded on this definition: “I think people look at this, bio-ethical reform [and assume] we’re just talking about abortions, or the killing of pre-born fetuses. But it’s not just even that. We’re talking about the aged, the elderly and people who have a hard time caring for themselves.”
“The reason why I wanted to start an organization like this was because I believe there was a need. There are TTU College Democrats, TTU College Republicans … but there’s no one particular group dedicated to the pro-life movement. Our organization is not exclusive to one political party, or one religious organization or anything like that,” Brown said.
“It’s just more about educating people, more than anything,” Phillips said. “I don’t think we’re necessarily trying to slam our opinions down people’s throats. It’s just about informing people.”