CWU community marches in support of Roe v. Wade


Morgana Carroll, Staff Reporter

Students and faculty marched down the sidewalk through the CWU campus protesting the potential overturning of Roe v. Wade, loudly chanting “My body, my choice,” in unison. 

The Roe v. Wade Teach-In was an event held at Brooks Library on Friday, May 13 in response to the leaked Supreme Court opinion draft. Students brought their own protest signs or used the supplies from a table outside the library to make signs. 

Some of the signs included phrases like, “Keep your politics out of my uterus,” “You can only ban safe abortions” and “I deserve more bodily autonomy than a dead body.”   

“There are many reasons why someone would choose to have an abortion,” sophomore in film and women’s gender and sexuality studies Olivia Cirillo said during a speech at the teach-in. “It should not be up to the state to decide a very private matter with one’s self.” 

According to Diversity and Equity Center (DEC) Director Jannette Chien, the march was a collaborative effort. Partners included the DEC, the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity, Brooks Library, Provost Fellows, the Wellness Center, the Student Leadership Involvement and Community Engagement Counseling Center and some of the departments in the College of Arts and Humanities. 

“It’s important for people to get together like this in community spaces to let people know they aren’t alone,” Cirillo said. “There’s only so much you can do by yourself.”

The march traveled from the library through campus, and then around south campus before returning to the library. Attendees such as Cirillo cheered as passing cars honked their horns in support.

“A lot more people got to see our message while they were driving by,” Cirillo said. 

The students attending the march, such as junior in English Sierra Moore, said they felt encouraged by the good attendance of the event and how it shows the community has each other’s backs.

“[This march] is showing people that they are heard and cared for. I know that when I heard the news it was an instant feeling of disgust and fear and I felt isolated,” Moore said. “So being able to come to an event like this where I know there’s an entire community that is not only fighting for themselves but for me and everyone else makes me feel empowered and comfortable and a lot safer in Ellensburg.”

Cirillo said advocates need to contact Washington senators Maria Cantwell, Patty Murray and state legislatures to voice where their constituents stand. 

Attendees said that going forward, it was important to continue community action. 

“It shows how many students can come out of the wings and show support for their bodies and their rights and it makes me really happy for the next generation,”  Savannah Walen, a senior in elementary education, said.  “We are not gonna take anybody’s shit and that is powerful.”

Moore said she was excited to visit the Planned Parenthood table that had been set up in front of the library after the march was finished. 

According to Planned Parenthood Director of Health Equity Cristal Alletoria, the table had some pre-made signs for attendees to use that read, “Protect legal abortion,” in case anyone wanted a sign but couldn’t make one. The table also provided condoms and resources about contraceptives. 

Alletoria said the most important resource she brought was herself, to answer any questions students had.