The Catholic University of America

Jan. 24, 2014

Students Serve Overnight before the March


CUA March for Life Video – 2014

March Hospitality

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The entire floor was covered with shoes. Hundreds of snow-soaked pairs littered the lobby of the Raymond A. DuFour Athletic Center, where dozens of visitors were arriving by the minute by bus, train, or car.

They bore a variety of logos on their sweatshirts and varsity jackets, advertising schools that ranged from Memphis to Michigan.

Despite the miles between their hometowns, the students bonded over the common struggle of fitting their belongings in a space the width of their shoulders and tracking down the elusive power outlets to charge the phones that had been dead for hours.

This year, CUA hosted more than 1,200 of these young pilgrims on its campus the evening of Jan. 21, the night before the 41st Annual March for Life. The groups, made up of high school and college students, had traveled from around the country to attend the demonstration the next morning.

CUA welcomed the visitors with approximately 250 members of its own student body who volunteered to host the pilgrims, taking shifts during the day and throughout the night to register, set up, chaperone, and assist the visitors during their stay.

“It was inspiring to see all the young people who had traveled here,” said sophomore Carley Garttner, an accounting major who volunteered for overnight shifts at the DuFour Center.

The pilgrims were given the opportunity to attend Masses and rallies both on campus and around Washington, D.C. Afterward, they returned to campus and spent the night at the DuFour Center, chaperoned by a team of overnight volunteers who traded off in hourlong shifts.

The CUA student volunteers were directed by fellow students Schultz McLean and Nicole Michaud, who were appointed by Campus Ministry to run the overnight program at the athletic center.

This is the second year in a row juniors McLean, an international business major from Brentwood, Tenn., and Michaud, a nursing major from Dunbarton, N.H., have led the organization and execution of the hospitality program.

They both said the overnight experience was a powerful one.

“I had no idea what I’d agreed to until we were in the midst of hosting over 1,000 people, but I’m so happy I was asked,” said McLean. “I was able to meet people from all parts of the country and gain new perspectives about my faith and the pro-life movement.”

Student volunteers could also be found helping out on the other side of campus that same evening, ushering for the National Prayer Vigil for Life at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

“The amount of young people who traveled to attend the March just proves that the pro-life movement is driven by the youth,” said Garttner. “The passion that pours out of our generation makes me confident that the young people who are driving this cause are more pro-life than ever before.”




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