.By Katie Vasquez
LENOX HILL — Student members of the Catholic Student Association at the City University of New York’s Hunter College are optimistic about their pro-life advocacy opportunities this fall semester.
They have faith that what happened to them last semester won’t ever happen again.
They came under attack by a professor after setting up a pro-life information table at the school back in May.
Professor Shellyn Rodriguez can be seen screaming and cursing at the students and swatting the pamphlets off the table, knocking them to the floor in a viral video.
Rodriguez could even be seen on video questioning club member Patrick Rubi on whether he could even have an opinion on abortion because he’s a man.
“Abortion is a women’s issue,” Rubi said. “But it’s also a man’s issue, and it’s a family issue.”
Although the junior was anxious about returning to campus, he said he felt that he was called to continue sharing his pro-life views.
“We want to have conversations with people that touch the matter of the heart like we’re speaking to people’s hearts to people with sufferings and different problems in their lives,” Rubi said. “We’re not just debating issues.”
Since then the college has taken steps to ensure these young Catholics feel safe.
“Now we have the option of adding security,” said Sol De Leon Cruz, president of the Hunter College Catholic Student Association. “So, we make a note that we believe that the topic that we’re tabling about is going to be one where we need campus safety present.”
The incident hasn’t slowed the club’s efforts to inform students.
Club Vice President Jorge Tavares plans to be out on campus this fall with other members.
“There’s still a chance the students will yell at us,” Tavares said. “But I’m determined that we can get across the message. Maybe a few people can change their minds.”
As for that professor, at first she was allowed to continue teaching, but then when a New York Post reporter attempted to interview her, she allegedly threatened him with a machete and it was caught on camera.
When that came to light Hunter College fired her. Rodriguez was charged in the machete incident and is due back in court in October.
But these students say they don’t harbor any bad feelings toward her.
“I sympathize. Actually, I pray for Shellyn, that somehow she encounters the love of Christ.”