Pregnant on Campus initiative progresses: Campus culture change to come through call to action

By Felicia Smolen

News Editor

President of USA, Amelia Greenan ‘18, has been working hard on an ongoing initiative to create a more inclusive educational experience here at Canisius. Through the Pregnant on Campus Initiative, a partnership with Catholic Health was created, and as a result, a resource guide has been developed and is continually being improved and updated.

“The resource guide is now 40 pages. After forming the partnership with Catholic Health and over the winter break, lists of resources came pouring in,” Greenan said.

The guide contains an accumulation of resources not only through Canisius College, but from Catholic Health as well. Some of the resources can include but are not limited to free pregnancy tests, possible daycares, social workers and many more.

“It’s nice because Sister’s Hospital is only a three minute walk away. Even if you’re not from the area or you’re a commuter, the guide has resources all throughout the western New York area,” Greenan explained.

When the guide has officially been printed and released, it will be made available to students on a variety of platforms including but not limited to: a Pregnancy on Campus website, the USA website and griff page, the Students for Life griff page, the Counseling Center webpage  and the Catholic Health System’s website. The resource guide would be made available in hard copy as well in an effort to make it accessible wherever a needing student might search.

In the process of the plan’s development,  issues such as support, continuity and sustainability of the program have been acknowledged and are being addressed. One of the most important features of this initiative would be its continuation and further development in years to come. In order for this, the program will need support. While Greenan has been speaking to the Canisius Counseling Center, she is also seeking out students to help her carry out this plan beyond her graduation in May. Student support for this plan and its sustainability is also critical to creating a change in culture around the idea of pregnancy on campus.

Greenan is actively trying to improve the campus culture surrounding pregnancies or student families on campus so that students do not have to feel that they need to choose between a child and an education.  

Students do not hear about or discuss pregnancy on campus all too often, and do not realize that it is an issue unless they, or somebody they know, has been through it. The next big step to making this initiative successful would be raising awareness of the issue and showing students that pregnancy on campus does in fact happen perhaps more often than recognized and that those students should still have access to an education. Greenan encourages anybody who has been in this situation, previously or currently, to share testimonies and experiences with her in order to raise awareness, encourage support, and to create improvements to the guide and program alike based on real life experiences.

Canisius college has a population of roughly 2100 students. A survey about pregnancy on campus conducted by Students for Life received 300 responses. Out of the responses, 19 people answered that they were pregnant, and 22 people said they were parenting, totalling at 41 students or about 13.7% of students facing this difficulty. With such a large number of students already facing this challenge, and because every student has the potential to become a parent during their college career, Greenan is pushing for students to get involved to support their classmates because this is a very relevant issue, and all students deserve support from the college and the campus community.

“This is for students to know they can begin, continue and finish their education here at Canisius. It’s for current and prospective students alike. This is a key to making education more accessible and the environment to be more inclusive” she says.

Students need to feel comfortable to take advantage of these resources and choose to continue their education even in a difficult time.

“We are supposed to lead with passion, mercy and love and respond to these students who are in these situations and showing them that they can do this,” Greenan said.

Any student wishing to become a part of the initiative and its ongoing success or share their personal testimonies in confidence can email Amelia Greenan at

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