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1. Choose a date and location and notify the school and campus security. Reserve a big lawn in a high traffic area on campus. Try to do your display crosses/flags during good weather. If your group is not allowed to use a lawn, get creative! For example, you could use a sidewalk and chalk 3,000 hearts along with the words “abortion stops a beating heart”. Notify the campus security of your event and ask them what you can do if you witness somebody vandalizing your display. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that vandalism and violence won’t happen on your campus. Make sure to have their number on hand, so that you can call quickly if anything happens. Keep cameras handy, and always have club members there to watch the display.
2. Decide what you want your display to represent. There are many possibilities: the number of babies killed by abortion each day in America or in your state, the number of women killed by abortion, the number of babies killed since Roe. V. Wade, etc. A good source of statistics is the Guttmacher Institute. The GI is a research institute that is associated with Planned Parenthood. Few pro-aborts will try to dispute statistics from the GI. Remember that you can have each grave marker represent 10 or 100 etc.
3. Gather your materials. Choose your grave markers. Most groups use white crosses, baby shoes, or flags. You can usually borrow these grave markers from a local church or pro-life organization that does the cemetery display, or you can build or purchase your own. For flags try sites such as www.americanflags4less.com. A cheap way to make crosses is to cut them out of styrofoam board. If you are using flags or crosses you will also need measuring tape, twine and stakes to space out the rows. Fliers and posters that explain the display are essential. You can download these from the SFLA website. It will be most effective to give a flier explaining the display to each student who walks by.
4. Prepare a volunteer schedule. You need volunteers in the morning to help set up the grave markers. As soon as you decide to do the cemetery display, start recruiting members to take shifts during setup, take down, through the whole day to guard the display, and talk with passersby and to hand out fliers. Make sure everybody gets a copy of the schedule and have at least two people scheduled at all times.
5. Set up and get to work! Several volunteers should set up the display early in the morning before classes start. To achieve a well laid out, orderly cemetery, start at one end of the lawn, let’s say it’s the north end. Put the stakes into the ground, one at the northeast corner and one at the northwest corner and tie a line of twine tight between them (this if your starting line). Use the measuring tape to space out the markers evenly along that line. When the first line is complete, pull up the stakes and move them back a few feet to mark the next line. Stagger the rows. Once set up is complete start passing out flyers to all who pass by the display. Talk with people and sign up new members.
© Students for Life of America 2007