by Geoff Larcom, Published April 24, 2013
YPSILANTI – Student Government leaders at Eastern Michigan University have decided to fund the appearance of The Genocide Awareness Project Exhibit, which visited the EMU campus April 11-12. The project was sponsored by EMU Students for Life, a student group at Eastern. The appearance of the project was approved months ago by EMU's Office of Event Planning in a process similar to numerous other approvals it issues during the year. The group's right to have the display on campus was never denied nor challenged.
EMU Students for Life requested funding in the amount of $4,954 from Student Government to support the traveling exhibit. The request was initially denied. A recent lawsuit by the Alliance Defense Fund prompted an internal review of the EMU Student Government's procedures for funding student organizations. The decision was made to fund this student organization.
The exhibit compares what the project calls the contemporary genocide of abortion to historically recognized forms of genocide. The exhibit visits university campuses around the country in an effort to get people to think about abortion in the broader historical context outlined by the group.
"Student Government is purposed with 'amplifying the voice of students,' and, to that end, we aim to broaden the conversation at EMU rather than restrict it," said Student Body President R. Matthew Norfleet of the decision to fund the exhibit.
Benjamin Harrington, director of business and finance for EMU Student Government, said, "The concerns raised by Students for Life regarding our allocation process give us pause as an organization and prompt us to consider alternative policies that are clearly articulated and equitable for all students."
"EMU Student Government is composed of outstanding college students who commit a great deal of time and energy to EMU," said Glenna Frank Miller, EMU assistant vice president for student life, and staff advisor to the leadership group. "Part of the experience in assuming such key leadership roles is learning and growth in making a wide variety of new and sometimes complex decisions."