This article was contributed by Amy Swenson. To request an article for your college, department or club, please fill out the Division of Communications and Marketing request form.
The Augusta University Pro-Life Jags student club hosted an on-campus baby shower on Friday, April 28. Taking place on the Summerville campus, the event was the first of its kind to be hosted on-campus and the group intends to make it an annual occurrence.
“Our goal is to show support for pregnant and parenting students,” said Rachel Visintainer, a freshman and member of Pro-Life Jags. “We wanted to show them that we value their presence and want to help create an inclusive environment for them.”
Pregnant and parenting students were encouraged to self-identify through campus advertising. Four student-parents chose to be honored as guests, joined by one faculty member, one staff member, and 10 students. Pregnant Choices, a medical clinic in Evans, also sent representatives and provided gifts. This participation helped students feel included by the university and the Greater Augusta community
“The shower made me feel accepted and not judged,” said Brandi Rauschuber, a participating mother. “You don’t see a lot of pregnant moms on campus since most people attending are right out of high school.”
Despite appearances, pregnant and parenting students are a growing demographic on college campuses throughout the nation. The Institute for Women’s Policy Research reported that there were 4.8 million parents attending college in a 2016 briefing paper. Group members say that those students shouldn’t have to choose between finishing college and having a baby, so they wanted to assist with a baby shower.
“As a group, we hold the position that women deserves resources and support during pregnancy and beyond,” said Kathryn Garner, a sophomore in the College of Science and Mathematics. “Historically, that hasn’t been a priority on college campuses. Things like baby showers can really help create a culture on campus that values every person, born and preborn.”
After snacks and gifts, the students had time to discuss their plans for the summer, final exams and share stories about their experiences on campus.
“I thought it was a great idea to do something special for the expecting moms,” Rauschuber said.
If you would like to participate in any upcoming events with Pro-Life Jags, or participate in upcoming on-campus showers, please email Kathryn Garner.