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Symposium Speaker Interview: Maaike Rosendal!

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Maaike Rosendal is a lovely lady that everyone needs to meet. Married to Nick Rosendal, they have two of the cutest boys you could ever see and a new baby girl (!!!). Just as she is patient and compassionate with her own children, she communicates to people on campus with a listening heart and a gentle voice while powerfully bringing the pro-life message to the people of Canada. As Campus Outreach Director for the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform (CCBR), Maaike has been influential in changing campus culture across the nation. We are so excited that she will be speaking at the Symposium this fall because now you CAN meet her. We asked her some questions so you can become just as excited as us.

1. Can you pinpoint an event or time in your life when you became extensively involved in the Pro-Life Movement? What convicted you?

It’s hard to think of something in particular since I was raised in an actively pro-life home, but there are two events that stand out for me. The first one was a silent pro-life demonstration which I attended as a teenager, outside of the Parliament buildings in the Hague in my native country of the Netherlands. I remember looking at the crowd around me and thinking, “What if we all stood up for life, every single day?” The second was a prayer vigil outside an abortion clinic, which I went to with my dad and sisters. The commitment of the few doing outreach there and the steady stream of women entering and leaving the clinic left me shaken and more resolved to do whatever I could to stop abortion.

2. What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned working for CCBR?

I’ve truly learned the meaning of the saying by Augustine: “Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you.” My amazing colleagues and I have seen that when either one of those two components are missing, we are out of balance and things soon go wrong. On the flip side, when we do everything in our power to make a difference while realizing that we are entirely dependent on God and His blessing on our work, amazing things start to happen. It’s a lesson I need to be reminded of on a regular basis!

3. What is the most inspiring conversation you’ve had while talking to a pro-choice student on campus?

The most inspiring conversation I’ve had took place while doing the Genocide Awareness Project(GAP) at the University of Lethbridge. I stood in front of a large display with abortion victim photography when a female student walked past. I asked her what she thought about abortion and she responded angrily, “I will suck a fetus out of my uterus if I want to!” We engaged in discussion about what the pre-born really are. 15 minutes later she said, “Okay, you’ve convinced me that embryos and fetuses are human beings, but why should they have more rights than adult women?” When she had to go, I thanked her for taking the time to talk. She said, “I came here expecting to be yelled at by a bunch of bigots with terrible pictures. Instead, you guys listened and explained humanity and personhood.” And after a long pause: “I’m not sure I can accept the implications yet because that would make me pro-life, but really appreciate the discussion.” It’s humbling, exciting, and inspiring to be part of a change like that!

4. What is your favourite thing to do on a family outing?

We are privileged to have a large conservation area close to our house; Nick and I love to go there with our kids to walk, bike, or picnic, and still plan to camp by the river at some point. One of the things I enjoy the most about it is discovering nature through the eyes of a child; it’s a beautiful experience!

5. Why are you excited to speak at the Symposium?

If you’re a pro-life student wanting to make a difference on your campus, the NCLN Symposium is without a doubt the best place to start. In 2008, attending the Symposium provided me with skills, knowledge, confidence, and connections that helped me run our campus club and engage with fellow students about abortion. I’m excited to now return to the Symposium as a speaker for the second year in a row to provide attendees with pro-life apologetics and practical tips and, of course, to have a good time together!

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Symposium Testimony: Swimming in the Deep End

Meagan Nijenhuis, Summer Intern

I was thrown into the deep end, finding myself vice president of Life Choice at the University of Guelph before I even had time to put on my swimming goggles. My parents raised me to respect all human life but until university, the extent of my involvement had been showing up at 40 Days for Life once a year. I had been to a maximum of four meetings and suddenly I was on the executive. I needed to orient myself in the pro-life world. And fast. I had a pro-life club to help run. The NCLN Symposium gave me the water wings to survive the plunge into campus activism.

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The Symposium introduced me to other student leaders from across the country, giving me a glimpse of the magnitude of the movement. I was surrounded by so many others who were also in the “deep end”, bringing the message of life to a campus shrouded with a culture of death. Sometimes life brings you together with people for an instant and then you go your separate ways. In the Pro-Life Movement, it has to be different. We need to stand shoulder to shoulder with each other and continue onward together, no matter the distance that separates us. We are a team. I’ve been able to keep in contact, bounce ideas off and team up with students from across Canada because of relationships fostered at the Symposium.
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As a newbie to the pro-life front, I wasn’t aware of the army of organizations that fight for preborn human rights. At the Symposium I was able to not only learn from many of them in sessions and workshops, but also to have one-on-one conversations with these renowned leaders throughout the weekend. The Symposium expanded my network of resources to include more experienced people I would be able to fall back on for advice while leading Life Choice through the fall and winter semesters.

The Symposium saturated us with helpful information from a wide range of disciplines. Over the course of the weekend talks were given on the psychology of those you talk to on the street, the current state of abortion law in Canada and different projects you can run on your campus like the Silent No More Awareness Campaign or “Choice” Chain among others. They were pumping more and more air into my water wings.

This introduction to the Pro-Life Movement fueled a zeal to protect all human life and gave me both the tools and the connections I needed to tread the waters of campus activism. I was set for life in the “deep end.”

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Apply Online Today!

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True patriot love.

We sing the words in our anthem, yet the word ‘patriot’ rarely seems to enter our vocabulary (unless we’re referring to Americans, of course). But in a society that has euthanasia knocking down the door and fully funds abortion-on-demand, true patriot love is sorely needed.

If we want to end abortion in Canada and build a Culture of Life, we need to start by transforming our own campuses. Our universities not only contain the age demographic most vulnerable to undergoing abortions, but also are responsible for forming and shaping young leaders who, in turn, shape the culture and the policies of our nation. To move our nation we must first must move our own wounded generation from a place of apathy to one of action.

We need a generation of patriots.

The Symposium is an intensive pro-life leadership training program, designed to equip and empower students to respond to and engage with the challenges of the university environment.

The program includes:

  • Training from the experts on the issues and effective campus strategies;
  • Skill development through interactive sessions and workshops;
  • Leadership formation;
  • Networking with student leaders from across Canada as well as leading members of the Pro-Life Movement.

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For regular updates, check out our Facebook event.

Location: Toronto, ON
Date: Friday September 26 , 2:30pm – Sunday September 28th, 1:00pm
The weekend includes overnight accommodations for Friday and Saturday night as well as meals.


  If your organization is interested in sponsoring this year’s Symposium,

please contact our Central Coordinator, Clarissa at central@ncln.ca for more information!

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Transitioning Your Club Leadership

Leadership transitions are about more than having elections and then moving all of the club materials from the corner of your bedroom to the corner of someone else’s! A successful transition is key to helping the new leaders build off of your successes. The following are a few important items to go over with the new club leaders:

RELATIONSHIPS

Connect new club leaders to:

  • The local community pro-life organizations and leaders (A simple email or a quick visit can go a long way to ensuring they maintain those relationships and know where to go for support.);
  • NCLN’s local Campus Coordinator;
  • Other clubs that are sympathetic and supportive;
  • Any donors who have regularly assisted the club;
  • The rest of your club exec!

A Club Executive outing is a great way to build connections (and take a well-needed break from studying for exams!).

HOW-TO’S OF THE SCHOOL

Ensure new leaders know how to:

  • Re-apply for club status;
  • Create a budget, submit receipts to the student society and receive reimbursements;
  • Get posters approved;
  • Book tables and events.

Distribute these tasks throughout the club executive. Ideally these types of transitions are done throughout the school year as more experienced club members mentor other students who will take on leadership roles.  

HOW-TO’S OF CLUB MANAGEMENT

Ensure new leaders:

  • Know how to chair a club meeting (from sending out a club agenda, to keeping the meeting on task, delegating responsibilities, and taking meeting minutes); (President & VP)
  • Know how to run the club email account (and discuss email etiquette! For example, always bcc: your contacts when sending a mass email.) (Club secretary + president/VP)
  • Review the club constitution and bylaws; (all leaders!)
  • Have had the signing authority for the bank account transferred to them and understand the ins and outs about dealing with the bank account. (Club treasurer + either VP or president).

PLANNING

Upcoming events:

  • March for Life: Who’s going? How are you going to get there? And who’s registered for the NCLN Student Dinner?!
  • Summer: What should the leaders be doing to prepare for the fall? (club meeting, workshops with NCLN, fundraising letters, pro-life reading)
  • Fall semester: What worked well in the past? What are some ideas for next year and how will you accomplish them?
  • Club days, university welcome BBQ’s/orientation days: How will you have a pro-life presence at these events?
  • NCLN Symposium: Who will you send?

Remember: NCLN and your local Campus Coordinators are here to help with the transition! Be sure to be in touch! We can set up a phone call with you, Skype into a meeting and might even be able to come by in person. 

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NCLN is here for YOU!

Whether you’re returning to university for another year, starting university for the first time, or watching kids, grandkids or relatives begin their year, it’s an exciting time.  Remember that NCLN is here to support the pro-life message on universities and colleges by supporting the amazing students who are leaders for life on campus.

 Here’s a reminder of what we can do for you:

  •  Personalized Support: Interested in starting a club or nervous about taking on a leadership role? Our Campus Coordinators will meet up for you in-person or by phone/Skype to help you go through the process of starting or running a club. We’re available on Skype, Facebook, Twitter, text message, email and smoke signals. (Okay, maybe not the smoke signals…) KeepCalm
  •  Training: Have you booked an NCLN staff member to provide your club with training this fall?  We will come to your campus to offer presentations on how to dialogue and defend the pro-life position as well as on effective strategies for on-campus activism.
  • Our Annual National Symposium: This is THE essential training event for pro-life students in Canada.  All clubs should be sending leaders to bring back training, resources, connections and inspiration to their campuses.  For more information, check out our website: www.ncln.ca/symposium
  • Resources designed for campus: Need amazing pro-life resources to distribute to your peers?  Take a look at what we offer and let us know what you need.
  • Guides and Manuals: Wondering how to lead your pro-life club or how to run effective activities? Email your campus coordinator to get a copy of our club manual as well as guides such as:

-Hosting Silent No More Awareness Campaign on campus

-Hosting a Guest Speaker or Debate

-Running Clubs Days/Tabling

-and more!

  • Encouragement and Connections: Don’t forget to connect with us on social media so as to stay up to date on events and news and to be connected with the broader Campus Student Movement in Canada and internationally.

 

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Don’t hesitate to contact us!:

Rebecca Richmond, Executive Director – director@ncln.ca – Skype: rebecca.grace.richmond

Sara Hall, Maritime Campus Coordinator – maritimes@ncln.ca – Skype: sara.nhall

Anastasia Pearse, Western Campus Coordinatorwesterncanada@ncln.ca – Skype: anastasia.pearse

Clarissa Luluquisin, Central Campus Coordinator – central@ncln.ca – Skype: clar.lulu

Kathleen Dunn, Director of Digital Media and Promotions – kathleen@ncln.ca – Skype: kathleen_dunn

We are here for YOU!

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Back-to-School Activism Ideas

We know that planning a semester of pro-life activism can be overwhelming – especially as you see your course-load for the semester! But ensuring that your campus hears the pro-life message doesn’t have to be difficult. So long as you plan ahead, cooperate with your team and make your club a priority, educating your peers will be effective, impactful – and even fun!

Need some ideas on how to spread the pro-life message on your campus? Here’s a list of events you can host on your campus:

Formation:  Instill within your club members a sense of mission (why it’s critical to be actively pro-life on campus), a sense of belonging (why they are needed in this particular club), and provide them with opportunities to be formed as pro-life activists. KeepCalm

  • Offer an apologetics workshop (don’t forget NCLN staff are available to offer workshops on how to defend the pro-life position).
  • Share and watch great teaching videos from the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform.

Clubs Days/101 Weeks/Clubs Fairs/Frosh Week: Whatever your school calls it, these tables are great opportunities for recruitment and outreach. Download our Clubs Days and Tabling Guide to learn more about how to have a great and effective table!

Leaflet-ing/Distributing Resources: Our Right to Know brochures are great for distributing on campus.  Leaflet-ing is as simple as organizing a small group of students to offer resources and dialogue with your peers in busy places on campus. Contact NCLN to order brochures for your campus!

Surveying: All you need are clipboards, pens and surveys.  This is a great event to engage your peers in dialogue as you ask them to complete a short survey on life issues. Like leaflet-ing, it is low-cost and easy to organize.  Contact NCLN for sample surveys you can use!

Movie Night: This can be a great way to get to know your peers in a social setting, while being inspired by an impactful movie. Check out films like October Baby, Bella and It’s a Girl!

Chalking: A fun activity that can be done to advertise for a particular event or used to educate on abortion statistics.  This can be a great social activity for after a club meeting!

“Choice” Chain: A project by the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform.  Contact them for more information on how to bring this to your campus.

Guest Speakers/Debates: A large event is a great way to engage your campus, but they do take time, organization and effort.  Make sure you have enough time to organize an event like this properly and be in touch with NCLN.  Our strategy workshops can help your club organize a high-impact event.

Do not hesitate to contact NCLN for advice on executing these plans and for more ideas! Remember: NCLN is here to help YOU! We are always just a phone call, email or Facebook message away!

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2013 NCLN Symposium: Out of the Shadows

 

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“The Symposium exposed me to many different pro-life networks in Canada. It enabled me to connect with other pro-life students across Canada, sharing ideas and strategies for future work.” – Student Feedback 2011

This January, Canada marked a shameful anniversary: the 25th anniversary of the R. v. Morgentaler Supreme Court decision that struck down all abortion laws in our country, allowing abortion for any reason or no reason, and at any stage of pregnancy.  Since this time, no restrictions and no legislation has ever been enacted to remedy this destructive status quo. 

Henry Morgentaler, whose Supreme Court case forever changed Canada, passed away this spring at 90 years of age.  Much discussion has followed on what his legacy was. The history of abortion is much broader than the life of one iconic abortionist, but we can see that in the quarter century since the R. v. Morgentaler decision, a quarter of our generation has been wiped out.  Our family, neighbours, siblings and our own children have lost their lives to abortion.  

We are the survivors and we have the opportunity and the obligation to speak up for them and spare the next generation from the same fate that ours suffered.  

It starts with you. It starts with your campus.

Ending Abortion, the NCLN Symposium

If we want to end abortion in Canada, we need to start by transforming our own campuses.  It is our peers who belong to the age demographic that undergoes the most abortions and it is our peers who are and will be the leaders of our nation.  But transforming our campuses for life is no easy task.  There are many obstacles and barriers to contend with, both in the classroom and out.48183_482480978450676_595626359_o  

The Symposium equips and empowers students to be leaders for life on their campuses.  The Symposium is much more than a conference. This annual gathering of pro-life student leaders from across Canada is a weekend of learning, skill development; networking and motivation; a potent combination of taking in the knowledge of experts in the Pro-Life Movement and learning practical skills and strategies in order to have an impact on campus. More information on this year’s speakers can be found here.

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For many students, the Symposium is a key moment in their pro-life journeys.  As one student commented, “The Symposium changed the way I approached pro-life campus activism.  It was a pivotal moment.”  A number of Pro-Life leaders in Canada have told us the Symposium was an important moment that spurred them to take on leadership roles within the movement.

This year our Symposium focuses in on the anniversary of the Morgentaler decision and what it has meant for our country, but, more importantly, how we, as students, can emerge out of the shadows to secure a brighter future for our country.

If you are a post-secondary student (university or college) who is involved with a pro-life campus club or interested in becoming involved, this is the training event for you!  

To register for this year’s Symposium, click here.

For regular updates, check out our Facebook event.

Location:  Toronto, ON 

Date: Friday September 27 , 2:30pm –  Sunday September 29th, 1:00pm

Registration opens: July 2nd, 2013

The weekend includes overnight accommodations for Friday and Saturday night as well as meals. 

 

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University of Toronto Students for Life: Become a Pro-Life Jedi Master: Advanced Apologetics Training Available Online

This post was written for University of Toronto Students for Life by Blaise Alleyne. It does not necessarily represent the views of NCLN.

Brett Kunkle says it better than I could:

Last week Alan posted an excellent resource on answering pro-life objections.  This week Scott Klusendorf, founder and president of Life Training Institute and pro-life Jedi Master, makes available a 2569 page PDF of his teaching notes on abortion.  Read it and you’ll be prepared to make an intelligent case for life.

Advanced pro-life apologetics training from Scott Klusendorf is something you don’t want to miss. As a side note, Toronto Right to Life is bringing him to town in the Spring as part of its lecture series. I’ll be sure to spread the word.


Read the comments at the University of Toronto Students for Life website.