Seton Hall United For Life, the university's student-run, pro-life organization, organized a "Pro-Life Day" on the university green yesterday.
''This day is a very good thing," University Chancellor the Rev. Thomas Peterson said. "The scourge of abortion is one of the greatest evils and Seton Hall is committed to working in any way to do away with this practice."
The highlight of the day was a speech by the Rev. Frank Pavone, national president of Priests for Life, on the green in front of President's Hall.
"No one can claim to be pro-life or pro-choice if they won't look at the evidence and ignore the literature," Pavone said, "Those who are willing to be in favor of abortion should see one."
Members of the College Republicans were also on the green with a table and a slogan that read "Vote Pro-Life, Vote Republican."
The day continued with a noon Mass in the Main Chapel. A recitation of the Rosary was led by Pavone after Mass. About 50 people joined Pavone in the recitation.
Members of SHUFL placed 155 candles on the green to be lit at 6:30 p.m. Each candle represented 200,000 abortions performed since 1973 when abortion was made legal in the landmark Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court ruling.
Sometime before 6:30 p.m., the candles were knocked over and the sand inside holding them down was emptied onto the green. Members of security were cleaning up the candles when members of SHUFL found out what happened.
"I was very upset to find that people could strike so low as to ruin what could have been the high-point of the day," SHUFL Director of Public Relations Brian Hyland said.
SHUFL President Wendy Murray said she felt the day went well and that SHUFL learned a lot for next year's ProLife Day.
"The day exceeded my expectations," Murray said. "Some pro-choice people listened to Father Pavone talk and that was one of our key goals."
Not all students who listened to Pavone were in favor of the exhibitors and the speakers.
'What would happen if there was a Pro-Choice Day'?" sophomore Kara Markham said. "No one has the right to tell anyone what to do with their body."
The idea for a pro-life day started three months ago. Hyland began to plan for a pro-life Mass and, in a last-minute decision, turned it into a day-long event.
"This day is long overdue," St. Andrew's college seminarian Jim Worth said. "We have celebrated just about every cause on this campus for the past couple of years. It's about time we celebrated life."
Peter Fritz, director of liturgy for Campus Ministry, said he was happy to see a demonstration of Catholic beliefs.
"It's good to see people stand up for what they believe in, the sanctity of life," Fritz said.
Murray said, "Once everyone wakes up and realizes what's going on, we'll have some support."