Is WWU censoring pro-life group’s chalk messages?

Jun 25, 2018, 3:42 PM
WWU, Washington universities...
Western Washington University in Bellingham ranked among the country's most liberal universities. (Nicole Jennings, KIRO Radio)
(Nicole Jennings, KIRO Radio)

Government censorship of free speech has been the subject of countless dystopian books and movies.

But a group of students at Bellingham’s Western Washington University — one of the state’s public universities — believes that for them, government censorship may be reality.

Karlie Lodjic, president of WWU Students for Life, told KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson that last week, the group chalked peaceful pro-life messages such as, “Love them both,” “Abortion hurts women,” “Adoption not abortion,” “We support pregnant students,” and, “We support parenting students” on the ground of Red Square, the university’s central hub.

Writing messages on the grounds of the university in chalk is commonplace at the school. Notes from different clubs and organizations can be seen on the brick walkways all around campus.

RELATED: UW professor discriminated against for Christian faith

In addition to the chalk writings, Students for Life stood in the square handing out information for pregnant and parenting students.

As shown in a video, another group of Western students took traffic cones, filled them with water, and dumped the water all over the chalk writings, washing away the messages. When confronted, the water-sprayers said that they found the messages offensive.

“They told us that anything that is associated with our club, even if it was a resource helping pregnant women, wouldn’t be good just because it was associated with us,” Lodjic said.

Students for Life waited until the campus hustle and bustle died down, and then, at 10:30 p.m., “came back and rechalked the entire campus,” Lodjic said.

These chalk writings did not last long either. This time, however, it was a university employee with a power washer who washed off the messages. He told Students for Life that WWU had ordered the messages to be wiped away, and guessed that the reason may be that they were “too provocative.”

Lodjic noted that no other club’s messages disappeared that night. She worries that if the university is singling out one group’s speech and limiting that speech, this could set a precedent of government oppressing free speech.

Lodjic emailed the WWU club coordinator, who said that the entire incident may have been a misunderstanding and another club’s messages may have been the target. She said that she would get back to Lodjic, but reportedly never did. Campus police have also not returned Lodjic’s emails.


Dori Monson on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM
  • listen to dori monsonTune in to KIRO Radio weekdays at 12 noon for The Dori Monson Show.

Dori Monson Show

Dori Monson

king county sheriff, deputy...
Dori Monson Show

No Honor Guard for King County deputy who died of COVID?

A 35-year-old deputy has died from complications due to COVID-19, according to the King County Sheriff's Office.
23 hours ago
emergency powers...
Dori Monson Show

‘Real world consequences’ to vaccine mandate terminations, says state lawmaker

Rep. Andrew Barkis points out that as a direct result of Gov. Inslee's emergency powers, 1,887 Washingtonians lost their jobs.
4 days ago
Dori Monson Show

Seattle homeowner sells rental, says he doesn’t want to ‘be a landlord here’

The owner of a West Seattle home describes why he doesn't want to be a landlord in the city and is selling his home with the tenants in it.
6 days ago
Seattle firefighters...
Dori Monson Show

Terminated Seattle firefighters turn in their boots

Seattle firefighters who lost their jobs over the COVID vaccine mandate dropped off their boots on Tuesday.
7 days ago
Dori Monson Show

Pierce County Sheriff Ed Troyer says he’ll fight AG’s misdemeanor charges

Pierce County Sheriff Ed Troyer is charged with one count of false reporting, and one count of making a false or misleading statement to a public servant.
7 days ago
scam, vaccine...
Dori Monson Show

Meet the firefighter and deckhand who won’t get vaccinated

Washington state’s COVID vaccine mandate for most government, healthcare, and education employees is set to take effect Oct. 18. Meet the state workers who are leaving their jobs.
11 days ago

Sponsored Articles


Medicare open enrollment for 2022 starts Oct. 15 and SHIBA can help!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]

How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for both lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.

Small, Minority-Owned Businesses in King County and Pierce County Can Now Apply For $10,000 Relief Grants Through Comcast RISE

Businesses in King County and Pierce County can apply beginning on October 1, 2021, at for a chance to receive a $10,000 relief grant.
Is WWU censoring pro-life group’s chalk messages?