Trinity Groups Rally for Life in Austin

Memorializing the 49th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade, thousands of pro-lifers from all over the state of Texas gathered Saturday, January 22nd, for the Rally for Life at the State Capitol. Governor Abbott, Bishop Joe Vásquez, and State Representative Giovanni Capriglione were among the speakers who energized the passionate crowd. 

Trinity was represented by its own Pro-Life group, Tigers for Life, and its Conservative group, the Young Conservatives of Texas. Other YCT groups from all over the state came to the Rally as well.  

President of Tigers for Life Karina Treviño, Class of 23’, explained the group’s reason for attending the Rally. 

“We went to the Texas Rally for Life because we want to publicly demonstrate our belief that all human life has dignity and is worth protecting. By peacefully marching alongside hundreds of Texans, we showed those watching that we will not remain silent to the greatest injustice of our time: abortion, an injustice that ends the lives of the most innocent and the most vulnerable in our society, the pre-born.”

Treviño also noted the lack of counter-protesters at the Rally.

 “From the conversations with the other members of Tigers for Life and other pro-life groups attending the march, I’d say the overall feeling of the rally was positive, inspiring, charitable, and peaceful. Unlike other events I’ve attended, there was almost no counter-protesting from the pro-abortion side nor any crazy pro-lifers with triggering signs. In my view, the rally was an opportunity for pro-lifers to peacefully speak up for the right to life of the pre-born and unite in our efforts to make abortion unnecessary and unimaginable.” 

Trinity’s Pro-Life Club Tigers for Life

One main focus of the speakers was the victory of getting the Texas Heart Act through the Legislature and signed into law by Governor Abbott. The Act prohibits abortions after a heartbeat is detected in an unborn child, which can be heard as early as six weeks. 

The Texas Heartbeat Act has been in effect since September; despite numerous failed attempts to have it struck down or enjoined, it has saved an estimated 10,000-13,000 lives, according to Texas Right to Life. Already states like Alabama, Florida, Missouri, and Ohio are working to replicate the Texas Heartbeat Act. 

Just last month, The U.S. Supreme Court declined to send a case dealing with the act, Whole Woman’s Health v. Jackson, back to a judge who was hostile to the Act. Additionally, the 5th Circuit Court of the United States sent the case back to the Texas Supreme Court, which is not required to act on it immediately. 

Another case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, also has invigorated the pro-life movement as we get ever close to the 50th anniversary of Roe. Dobbs deals with Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban and firmly attacks Roe in its argument for the ban. A decision will likely come from the US Supreme Court in the Summer, but until then, the whole pro-life movement will hold its breath. 

In Loving Memory

Trinity University students share stories about Tyler Colvin and Rebekah Wendt, two young students taken from this world too soon.

I am heartbroken to report that two Trinity University students died in a car crash on Friday, July 10. The pair were driving back to their hotel when they were hit by a truck around 6pm that night. 

Rebekah Wendt and Tyler Colvin, both members of the Class of 2023, were volunteering for Jon Francis’ campaign for state representative of Texas HD 60 for the summer with several other YCT members from various universities in Texas.

“Please join us in lifting up the families in prayer over the weeks to come. As a Believer, I know that we were never meant to experience death. Today is a painful reminder that until the Resurrection, we will still see death come far too soon for many. Hold your loved ones close. I know I am today,” said Francis.

“I am at a loss for words, this is completely heartbreaking across our entire organization. Life is very fragile and we must treasure the time we are granted. Our organization and chapters are extending our thoughts, prayers, and condolences to both families during this time” said William Dominguez, State Chair of YCT.

Tyler was an active member in the Catholic Student Group. He also joined Alpha Kappa Psi, a co-ed business fraternity in Fall 2019 and planned to serve as the Risk Management chair in the 2020-2021 school year. Tyler also joined Phi Sigma Pi in Spring 2020 and was slated to serve the organization as the Service Chair this fall. Tyler was also an active member of the Young Conservatives of Texas (YCT).

Rebekah was an active member of the YCT chapter of Trinity University. In Spring 2020, she served as the Secretary and was planning on taking over as the Vice-chairman of the organization in the fall. She was also an active member of the Swing Bums, and participated in their Momentum show. Rebekah also volunteered her time and talent as a writer and photographer for The Tower, and all of us at the publication loved her deeply. 

“We are truly devastated at the loss of these two bright stars – and we are praying for their families – including at Trinity and YCT. I know I speak for our whole team when I say we will devote ourselves to the task of honoring their demonstrated love of America and their commitment to faith in the Almighty as we move forward shaken, but undeterred in our shared purpose. God bless them and their families,” said Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX-21)

We at the Tower have compiled some anecdotes and reflections about Tyler and Rebekah from Trinity students who knew and loved them. We remember both of them as being wonderful individuals whom we loved very much.

“Rebekah had a way of lighting up the room that I’ve never really seen anyone else have. We first became good friends when she helped me cook Thanksgiving dinner for the members of YCT. We sat together in a tiny, kind of gross kitchen peeling and chopping vegetables for hours. She never even signed up to be a volunteer for that event. But when I texted her asking if she had any measuring cups, she immediately rushed over to help. Rebekah could have dropped off the supplies and gone on with her day until everything was done and ready. But…she stayed and helped. I hadn’t known Rebekah all that well back then, but she went out of her way to help me anyways. She had a beautiful soul, and we’re all going to miss her very much.” -Victoria Ydens, Class of 2022

“Tyler was a great friend. We were study partners for Business Stats and were both members of the Catholic Student Group. Tyler would frequent adoration and I remember being surprised when I saw him kneeling devotely before the Blessed Sacrament. But, not only did he practice his faith, he would also show me the face of Christ by being one of the most cheerful persons I know. One of the dearest memories I have of him is when we bumped into each other after a very exhausting day for me. He listened to me as I explained to him what I was struggling with at the time, cheered me up, and afterwards I felt so much better because he made me laugh a lot. I will always remember him with the smile he had that night.” -Karina Trevino, Class of 2023

“Rebekah was in Swing Bums with me and she was always such a fun dance partner. So happy and funny and full of life. Even if I made a mistake on a step or a turn she would just laugh it off and we’d keep dancing. She was so kind, and Trinity has lost a beautiful soul.” -Madison Poljan, Class of 2022

“Tyler was easily one of the most charismatic individuals I met my first year at Trinity. He was witty, attentive, and he always managed to make me laugh no matter the situation. He was involved in a wide range of extracurriculars, and he managed to give his undivided time and attention to each and every one. Tyler and I were in the same Pledge Class of Alpha Kappa Psi, a Professional Business Fraternity, and my experience in the process would not have been the same without him. I offer my deepest condolences to the Colvin Family, Tyler was a great friend and he will be sincerely missed.” -Andrea Tamez, Class of 2023

“I only met Rebekah because of Manfred. The whole first day I spent with her we joked (often at Fred’s expense), bonded, and genuinely just spilled secrets. I was instantly at peace whenever Rebekah was around. She was great with makeup. Every time I saw her for an event she was dressed for the occasion. Especially when she helped me put together a murder mystery party. I think Rebekah knew me better than I knew her which makes writing this hard. Also, she made these adorable snowmen macaroons that tasted so good. She was talented from makeup to cooking, to singing, and oh my goodness was she good at history. She loved it so much. I enjoyed how many times she would be in my suite with friends. It was always good for her to randomly appear in my room or my phone to light up and inform me about a cool baking trick. She was by no means one of my closest friends, but this past year solidified the fact I wanted her in my life for a long time. I saw her three weeks ago for a vacation and I can’t express how blessed I was to sit on the lake next to her and just chill. Also, she totally caught me trying to paddle down a hill on an inflatable duck. This is going to be hard for a long time. I loved Rebekah and her presence in my life.” -Bella Peters, Class of 2021

“I didn’t know Tyler well at all. Tyler frequented Eucharistic adoration, and because of this, I know Tyler’s faith was strong. As Catholics, we believe that Jesus Christ, the incarnate Son of God, is truly and substantially present in the Eucharist in his body, blood, soul, and divinity. Tyler was a member of that small, faithful fraction. He truly believed in and adored Jesus Christ, and for that reason, I have great hope for him. I hope that he can now see Christ’s face not merely hidden under the appearance of bread, but exposed in all his glory and love, as he truly is.” -Alex Jacobs, Class of 2020

“Her enthusiasm was completely infectious. She would start talking about things I had never cared for, but I always found myself engaged and excited about it. She dragged me to a late-night showing of The Alamo starring John Wayne, at the Alamo, on the anniversary of the Battle of the Alamo. We had an absolute blast. She brought her very own coonskin cap and we shivered outside for the full three hours movie until 11 or so on a Friday night. Just a few teenagers among a squadron of elderly and  two young families.
While the unique and fun stories mean a lot, our friendship was based on all the little things we did together. Going to Mabee late at night, playing hangman on a chalkboard during a study break, going out for movie nights or Super Bowl parties, complaining about how hard classes were, and then motivating each other to do well in those classes and so much more. Rebekah was my mom-friend and my sister-friend and my best friend rolled into one. We only knew each other for 10 months, and 3 of them were under quarantine, but she was one of the best people I ever had the pleasure of meeting.” -Maggie Pritchett, Class of 2023

“Kind, thoughtful, and openly compassionate. A few out of many words to describe Rebekah Wendt. She was a source of joy for many people who were fortunate enough to be acquainted with her. Every time I saw her, she was always happy. A bright smile to warm even the coldest of hearts, and a laughter that could spark amusement even in the most solemn of crowds. But what I found most enduring about Rebekah was her strength of character. Without fear, she was open about her values and beliefs, proudly bearing the image of a conservative and Christian. The weight of her convictions did not deter her; it emboldened her. She embodied goodness in every word and action, an emblem of light in an ever-darkening world. Rebekah, we will miss you.” -Isaac Ogbo, Class of 2020

“Tyler was a fun, good-natured kid with a really great spirit. Although not the best bowler, or poker player, he was a legend at Wii baseball and an even better person and friend. Thanks for letting me to be your friend, Tyler, may you rest in peace.

“Rebekah was a beautiful soul with a down-to-earth laugh to match. Her positivity was infectious, her intelligence was beyond her years, and her willingness to help others was unrivaled. Thank you for being a light in the world, may you rest in peace.” -Kevin Crusius, Class of 2021

“Tyler was an incredible friend. I only met him toward the end of the semester at Trinity, but he was a kind, outgoing, enthusiastic, sporadic, and all around incredible person. Even after we left for the virus, he made an effort to keep in touch with me that took me by surprise because we were really only acquaintances before. But everyday and up until his passing he texted and spoke with me and was there for me like few people are, and I can only hope he knew how much I valued the conversations I had with him, and the impact he’s had on my life. I only regret never getting to spend another moment in person with such an amazing, friendly, caring, valuable human being, and I know I will miss him greatly. I hope to carry on his outgoing, unhesitatingly passionate personality in my own life now. In the few months I’ve known him, I’ve learned and grown a lot because of him, and I’m going to miss him greatly.” -Sonja Lisowski, Class of 2023

“Although I primarily knew Rebekah through my times with YCT and our friend group, the most fond memory I have of her is when she would come to the Bible study I led early on in her freshman year. Even though Rebekah was not Catholic and it was a CSG Bible study, she still came and was excited every time I saw her. She would make jokes about what we were discussing and keep conversation light and fun, drawing everyone in. Although most of the other girls in the room were fellow freshman strangers to her, she listened to what they said with deep kindness and responded lovingly. She lit up the room and was always a fast and true friend to those who had the pleasure of knowing her.

“Rebekah reminded me a lot of myself in the way that during her freshman year she was just coming into herself. Like many college students, she was learning who she was as an adult as she gained all of these new experiences and friends. I saw her grow immensely in those months we spent together at Trinity, as she figured out who she was just as I and many others did during our first years. I remember always thinking of Rebekah as someone with this incredible potential to become someone great. Her passion and curiosity were so genuine that it was impossible not to love her, as she was one of the easiest persons to talk to and have fun with. I will forever remember Rebekah as this incredible young woman who was just starting out and finding herself, becoming a confident and radiant woman who we all truly loved.” -Madison D’Iorio, Class of 2021

“Though I was only able to get to know Tyler over the course of his year at Trinity I can be happy to know that I was able to meet and become friends with him. His excitement when working with YCT inspired me and everyone around him to continue working despite the obstacles in our paths. Every time Tyler met a challenge he was able to face it with a happy heart and a smile. Tyler was the type of guy who was so warmhearted and funny that he could become the life of any party he went to, but chose not to out of his own humility. The world lost a very kind soul on Friday and I’ll miss being able to talk and joke with him but thank you for letting me be your friend Tyler, may you rest in peace.

“Rebekah is one of the strongest and most loving people I have ever met. Someone who looked after those around her even if she had just met them and always looking to do right by others. She was a very happy person who faced the challenges in her life with an infectious laugh as if taunting the universe with ‘is that the best you can do?’ Her courage to be unafraid of who she is and her beliefs is an inspiration to all and I am glad to have been her friend. Thank you for being you and thank you for being a great friend, may you rest in peace.” -Nathan Darsch, Class of 2022 

An Interview with Dr. David Crockett

“It is a complicated history, but the values that it has become soaked in, in terms of how the culture perceives it, I think are certainly worthy values to try to emulate.”

Do you think it’s important to remember the Battle of the Alamo?

Yeah, I mean, it’s important on a variety of levels. It’s important because we should remember our history. It’s important for Texans for sure to learn their history because it’s obviously a major event in the state’s history. You know, why we are what we are today. So, in that sense, there’s a lot of mythology about the Alamo. And the fact that there’s mythology about it, or the fact that people have certain perceptions of it in terms of why you would remember it: courage, valor, self-sacrifice, stuff like that. Even if history is more complicated, the general understanding of what happened serves the purposes of civic virtue and binding citizens together with some common understanding of our heritage. It is a complicated history, but the values that it has become soaked in, in terms of how the culture perceives it, I think are certainly worthy values to try to emulate.

How do you feel about the restoration plan for the Alamo?

I notice that Proposition Seven on the Republican ballot has something to do with preserving the Alamo as it is with no changes, which I think is nuts. It’s crazy. And why this becomes a liberal-conservative issue just boggles my mind. It’s this testament to how everything becomes tainted by these partisan perceptions. 

So, I will admit, I like going to battlefields. I have an interest in military history. And when I go to a battlefield, I like it when the battlefield is as close to what it was like back then as possible. 

I have done numerous tours of the Alamo with friends and family members. I took Charles Krauthammer on a tour of the Alamo. I took Milo Yiannopoulos on a tour of the Alamo. I took Chip Roy on a tour of the Alamo. So, every once in a while someone comes here and Crockett’s the guy to take him on a tour of the Alamo. And I always have to explain stuff to them because when you go down there, it’s rather underwhelming. People who know it and love it, of course, wouldn’t say that. But if you’re driving by there as an out of town visitor and you see this adobe fixture, you think ‘So, okay, it all happened in that building?’ 

Virtually nothing happened in that building! People just have a completely disoriented sense of what happened, the space involved, the challenge for the defenders… Just facts of the battle itself. 

If I had my way, I would remove the federal buildings on the north side, the buildings on the left side, I’d move that cenotaph and try to recreate the walls as close as we can. Now, I can’t do that. We’re not going to destroy the federal buildings. And I’m not saying we should get rid of the buildings on the west side. I think we should get rid of the obscene businesses that are there, because it taints what should be an important battlefield. So, I’d give them a lot of money to move somewhere else and whether you destroy the buildings and do something else or preserve the buildings and make it a museum—there are all sorts of things you can do—but I have no problem with major renovations. 

By the time we have the bicentennial of the battle of the Alamo in 2036, people will be down there and they’ll see how big this Alamo plaza was and how impossible it was for 200 people with single-shot flint locks to defend themselves against 5,000 trained Mexican soldiers. And you’d have sensible stuff in that area to try to orient people, instead of trying to explain ‘Oh, where this road is is this thing, and that little bit over there is where the cannon was.’ I don’t mind doing that because it’s kind of fun to orient people. It just becomes underwhelming for a lot of visitors. 

There’s nothing about the businesses across the street that are sacred. The cenotaph is fine, but there’s nothing sacred about the location. It’s not where they burned all the bodies, and it’s not a tomb or where any remains are kept. So, if you move it 500 feet down outside the Alamo grounds as a sort of entryway to the Alamo, I think that’s perfectly fine. 

Get that plaza back where people can walk up there and realize, ‘Oh, this is where the walls were, there would have been a well right here’ and things like that. So you can have all sorts of signs and stuff to educate people about what was going on. 

I actually am a big fan of the plan. Now, if it becomes politicized in stupid politically correct ways, then I would probably be annoyed. My father thinks that nothing should be done and he doesn’t want anything other than the Battle of the Alamo to be represented there. I have no problem with the history of the Alamo as a mission being depicted, everything from when it was founded in the 1700s up through the Battle of the Alamo to the fight to preserve the Alamo structure that took place at the turn of the 20th century. So, there are all sorts of ways you can do that without taking away from what happened on March the 6th, 1836. I am actually not opposed to lots of radical work being done. I’m kind of passionate about it.

Now, that all seems long-term. Is there anything you think should be done right now for the grounds of the Alamo to preserve it and educate people on the history?

They’ve done a little bit of that. So along the long barracks they have these little steel dioramas that depict what the Alamo looked like at different phases. So that kind of thing is nice and educational. They have those pictographs that give you a vision of what the Alamo would have looked like in 1836 if you were standing right there. That kind of stuff they have spread out in different locations, so that’s a start. 

Until you actually make the move to do something with the plaza itself, move the cenotaph and get the hucksters off of there, I guess I would have no problem with regrading the whole property to make sure that there aren’t steps there. So if that means lowering the whole property a few inches that’s fine. If we stop vehicular traffic, I have no problem with that. I’m a little bit agnostic about exactly what should be done. I’m willing to be briefed on that. But I do think that lots of interesting things could be done without ruining anything. 

I mean, the cenotaph has been there since the 1930’s, so I guess we had no cenotaph for a hundred years. And it’s not like bad things happened because of it. The idea that there’s something holy and sacred and untouchable about these things, I think, is just silly. I have never been to Gettysburg, but my understanding is that the Gettysburg Battlefield is really, really good on this idea. You go there and you see what it looked like in 1863. So, I look forward to going to Gettysburg someday. But that’s the kind of thing I like. 

You know, I went to Verdun when I was in Germany. We went to the battlefield at Hastings and Bannockburn when I was up in Scotland. I like seeing the land and walking the land where these things happen. It’s very difficult to do that without any sense of understanding unless you have someone like me saying, ‘See the Ripley’s? Believe it or not, that’s where Travis’ headquarters was.’

So, there are other things like the Woolworth Building down there on the corner is where they had some Civil Rights sit-ins back in the day. I have no problem keeping that structure there as part of the larger history of Alamo Plaza and telling that story too. It’s a good thing.”

You mentioned the politicization of the restoration plan. Can you say a bit more about the politicization of the Alamo’s history?

I don’t know where it started, but I suspect what has happened is that people in the state who are conservative distrust people they believe are liberal, for obvious reasons. Especially as polarization gets worse, we cease to think of our partisan opponent as our opponents and instead see them as our enemy. They’re bad, they’re probably morally bad or even evil. We think what they want to do is also bad. 

The fact that mayors in San Antonio have typically been center-left—certainly Ron Nirenburg is—means that conservatives in the city are predisposed to distrusting anything that comes out of that group of people. And so, that taints anything that’s recommended. 

So people see elites working on an Alamo project to do some big things down there, and they think, ‘You’re moving the cenotaph because you don’t want to recognize the sacrifice of Texans. And you think that all white males are imperialistic, just the patriarchy, and all that kind of stuff. And they’re white-washing history and trying to make it more politically correct by having less of a focus on Jefferson and more of a focus on Cesar Chavez.’ You know, that kind of stuff. 

Some people have interpreted these things because it comes from political leaders. Even though the mayorship in San Antonio is not a partisan position—they don’t run as Democrats and Republicans. But everyone knows that Ron Nirenberg is a Democrat. And so, they simply assume that if you want to do light-rail that’s wrong because that’s Democrats. Or the land-bridge where I live out where the land bridge is going to go over between two halves of the Hardberger Park. It’s a big $25 million operation. Most of my friends are opposed to the land ridge because they’re conservative and think it’s a waste of money. I like the land bridge myself because I think it’s kind of cool and half of it was raised by Phil Hardberger, so that’s fine. But I think that’s what’s going on. People who are predisposed to distrust anything that comes out of city hall because most of them are ‘lefties.’ And people that want to do something to Alamo Plaza probably can’t be trusted because, rather than focus on the battle, they’ll focus on what we did to Native Americans or who we had as slaves, or that all the people who defended the Alamo wanted to have slaves in the Republic of Texas. So, it’s impossible to have a sane conversation when discourse degenerates to that point. 

I actually got called on the phone several weeks ago by someone who was working with an organization trying to stop any of this from happening. So, I just had some fun with him, saying that I actually approve of doing some things in Alamo Plaza. He gave me the standard lines about destroying the cenotaph, or damaging it, or this and that and the other. Finally, he just had to hang up because obviously he wasn’t going to get anywhere with me. Part of this, I think, is knee-jerk fear-mongering, and as a conservative who takes second place to no one in terms of my conservativeness, I don’t understand why that has to be that way. It’s possible to do some really interesting things down there, and to honor completely the sacrifice my namesake made and other people without it being some sort of ‘Liberal Agenda.’ 

I think polarization and the cynicism about politics and the automatic distrust of anyone from the other side feeds some of this. Of course, this means that elected leaders, who are more often than not somewhat cowardly by nature—especially members of the House, who get every two years. And so it’s very easy to have a vote on something that they’re not going to like. And so if a Republican member of the House from San Antonio were to support what they’re doing, I’m sure they would draw a primary challenge. So it probably shouldn’t be a big surprise at the pressure on members of Congress who have a say in what’s going on, or at least have an opinion about what’s going on in San Antonio. They tend to be in favor of this ‘the sky is falling and it hit us on the head’ kind of argument. But I’m not.