Saturday, March 11, 2006

“The Vagina Monologues:” Marquette Can’t Get Its Story Straight

The recent Journal-Sentinel article on the refusal of Marquette to allow “The Vagina Monologues” to be performed on campus contained some interesting nuggets of information, notwithstanding that it was run literally weeks after the story broke right here.

The interesting and disturbing thing is the timeline.

According to the Journal-Sentinel:

In a Jan. 11 written response, Wild’s assistant Steven Frieder told the Cardinal Newman Society said the play would never be performed.

“Our Division of Student Affairs recently denied approval to a student who wanted to stage a reading of the play, and, as has been the case here, is not prepared to give anyone approval to do so in the future,” Frieder said in a letter to the organization, which was excerpted on its Web site as a sign of victory.

The statement, which was highlighted on a Marquette student’s blog called, inspired a mix response.
Yet on January 17 Dominique George, President of JUSTICE talked to the Office of Student Affairs about performing the play.

On the basis of that conversation, on January 19 she submitted an official Event Registration form, and on January 26, a letter to Dean McCarthy, pleading the case.

Only after considerable back-and-forth, on February 14, was the request rejected, in a meeting between Fr. Andrew Thon and JUSTICE members.

JUSTICE President Dominique George told the Marquette Warrior Blog that the whole time she “had the impression that it might happen.”

So, if the University had decided by January 11 that the play would not be allowed on campus, why was JUSTICE allowed to believe that it was being given serious consideration?

On February 13, we sent the following e-mail to Brigid Miller, Director of University Communication.
Hi, Brigid,

Since your office sent out the following link as part of “News Clips” I assumed the information is correct, and that “The Vagina Monologues” can’t be performed on campus.

But a question or two?

Who exactly made this determination?

When and how did the issue come up?

I wasn’t aware that the issue arose at Marquette, so I would appreciate a little background.

Thanks, and take care.


We never got a reply.

Daniel Suhr, of the GOP3.COM blog apparently sent a similar inquiry, and also got no reply.

So the question is simple: why was JUSTICE being given the idea that their proposal was being given serious consideration when in fact the issue had been decided?

And who was the “student” who wanted to give a reading, since at the time the letter was written, JUSTICE had not even applied to do such a thing?

It appears that either: (1.) there was an absurd lack of communication between the Fr. Wild’s office and the Office of Student Development, or (2.) for difficult to fathom reasons, OSD was unwilling to tell JUSTICE that their proposal never stood a chance.

George was given the impression that the Frieder statement, of which she was aware, was somehow not definitive, and had not gone through “proper channels.” Given that Frieder is Wild’s right-hand man, that would not be plausible.

Perhaps the University will now be forthcoming.


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