"I had always wanted to start a (pro-life) group. Now, as a senior, I know how things work and I'm able to put it all together," Olson said of the DePauw Students for Life group that meets every Thursday at 6:15 p.m. in the Spiritual Life Center.
Growing up Olson wouldn't have labeled himself as pro-life, but the sanctity of life was something he "always understood." His family was Lutheran and he attended St. Joseph Catholic High School in South Bend. It was there, during theology classes, that his views on faith and abortion began to crystallize.
"My sophomore, junior and senior years of high school we discussed Catholic social teaching which includes 'life issues.' I was debating these subjects over the summers with my Catholic friends," Olson said.
Armed with knowledge of church teaching, and filled with a love for it, Olson went to DePauw University, where he joined St. Paul the Apostle parish. Olsen began the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) program, eventually entering full communion with the Church during the 2008 Easter Vigil.
On campus, other than heading up the DePauw Students for Life group, Olson is currently involved with the Catholic Student Association, serving as vice president. He also joined the Delta Upsilon Fraternity and is the Winter Term In Service head Intern.
Olson, a political science and economics major with plans to enter the field of public policy as a researcher or consultant, also writes for The DePauw. He has explored such topics as abortion, creationism and the Catholic church and the Pope's teaching on condoms.
"I'm going to keep writing," Olson said.
Right now, Olson and his group are busy educating fellow students during the 40 Days for Life campaign, which concludes on Monday. He and his core group of pro-life students sit at tables during lunch in the Student Union and talk with their peers about the stages of pregnancy, abortion alternatives and their knowledge of scripture.
To kick off 40 Days for Life pro-life, speaker Rebecca Kiessling came to speak after Ash Wednesday services to DePauw students and parishioners. This 40 Days for Life campaign will also include movie nights, surveys, discussions and a final display during Holy Week.
"I'm joyful about this group. I want to let everyone know we're here," Olson said.