The NCLN erected a vigil display in front of Kensington Abortion Clinic in Calgary on May 4 as it takes up its pro-life advocacy after a long two pandemic years. Photo courtesy NCLN

National Campus Life Network returns to pre-pandemic roots

By 
  • May 18, 2022

National Campus Life Network (NCLN) is getting its face-to-face pro-life activism groove back.

The national youth-driven pro-life organization launched the Amazing Pro-Life Race on May 16, which encourages participants — all age groups welcome but the event is geared to youth ages 15-25 — to engage in different public pro-life advocacy activities each week until the competition’s conclusion on July 30.

Upon completing a challenge, each individual or team will submit multimedia proof of completion to the NCLN’s provincial coordinators who will convene to determine weekly winners for recognition on the organization’s social media channels.

Jake Klassen, provincial coordinator for Alberta and Saskatchewan, said this initiative allows NCLN to return to its roots after two years of pandemic-induced remoteness.

“For the past two years pro-life students have been stuck in front of their computer screens,” said Klassen. “They tried to remain engaged as much as they can, but it wasn’t really working. We had some success, especially earlier on in the pandemic, with the virtual side of things, but we realize people need to get out and want to get out.”

Klassen, 22, said the Amazing Pro-Life Race strikes a good balance in fostering outdoor fun, friendly competition and exemplifying NCLN’s core mission of encouraging young people to reject abortion.

Though Klassen, a computer science student at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, couldn’t reveal too many of the contest challenges to avoid spoiling the surprise factor, he did share the activities young pro-lifers are tackling from May 16 to 22. Contestants in B.C. are creating a sidewalk pro-life message, Albertans are tackling sticker activism, Saskatchewanians are crafting postcards and Ontarians are building a pro-life display.

It is possible for young people to register in the coming weeks, but still complete all the challenges by the July 30 deadline if they are game with playing catch up.

NCLN dives into hosting this competition fresh off staging a March for Life hype week from May 3 to 9 in Calgary, Regina, Guelph, Ottawa and Vancouver. While the itinerary slightly differed in each setting, the pump-up events featured activism, guest speakers, a picnic supper or social and a vigil for pre-born children aborted in the province. Among the notable guest speakers were Fr. Larry Lynn, the Archdiocese of Vancouver’s pro-life chaplain and a former professional filmmaker, and MP Harold Albrecht of the Kitchener-Conestoga riding.

Events like the March for Life itself on March 12 were injected with an extra dose of pulsating momentum because of the Supreme Court of the United States draft opinion leak revealing the likely overturn of Roe v. Wade over 49 years since it became law in 1973.

“We’re finding that there actually is a lot of interest,” said Klassen. “A lot of young people want to be involved in the pro-life fight. And we’re excited about going forward as everyone is enthusiastic about coming back together after a couple years of sitting, not knowing what to do.

“Younger students are especially excited about the (2022-23) school year so they can be involved in their (post-secondary) pro-life club and participate in on-campus events and projects.”

Currently, NCLN has pro-life clubs at 13 campuses in five provinces (New Brunswick along with the four aforementioned provinces).

For more information about the NCLN Amazing Pro-Life Race, visit ncln.ca.

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