Thursday, May 21, 2015

Marquette Student Government at Odds With Itself Over Cop Killer Mural

When this blog outed a mural, in the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center, honoring convicted cop killer Assata Shakur, the University had to take action. It ordered the mural painted over, and fired the Director of the center.

Some pundits, like Journal-Sentinel writer Karen Herzog, have suggested that painting over the mural was some sort of violation of academic freedom. This, of course, is silly. A mural in a Marquette office, approved by a Marquette official, is an official statement by Marquette. Top administrators have a right to tell lower level administrators (but not individual faculty members) what statements they can make. Endorsing a cop killer was not one that Marquette wanted to make.

But the politically correct lobby on campus has rallied behind Susannah Bartlow, the fired Center director.

There is, first, a petition demanding that Bartlow be restored. Here is the first version (a Google Doc) and here is the second (on ipetitions).

First Petition

It turns out that a posting a petition as an editable Google Doc is a bad idea. Somebody has edited the first petition to say “This petition is for Dr. Bartlow, whose presence at Marquette is greatly needed to help show people how to love cop killers.” Since this will doubtlessly be removed from the document linked to above, here is a cached version.

Diversity Activist

Of course, support for Bartlow has come from the “diversity” crowd. According to the Journal-Sentinel:
A student government leader who coordinates a [Marquette University Student Government] Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Justice Committee said Wednesday that students and others within the Milwaukee community were mobilizing to protest the university’s “actions against its Gender and Sexuality Resource Center” because they view the actions as “taking a step back on its initiatives surrounding inclusion.”

“This center, and its staff, have been responsible and successful in creating a campus environment of inclusivity, respect, and acceptance,” said the leader, Joshua-Paul Miles.
Miles has the politically correct rhetoric down pat. Miles was a recent winner of an LGBT leadership award.

Student Government

While Miles heads a Student Government committee, Student Government itself endorsed the actions of Marquette’s administration. A statement from the organization said:
Marquette University Student Government has been actively engaged in recent developments regarding the mural in the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center. With the best interest of the Marquette student body as our top priority, we have been in collaboration with University leadership to address the situation.

MUSG stands with Marquette University and believes recent decisions were made through a thoughtful process and in accordance with the University’s Guiding Values. In order to effectively address the needs and concerns of every student, MUSG will continue to work in a collaborative and respectful manner with all parties involved.

MUSG will be working with University leadership to hire a new Director of the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center as soon as possible. We are committed to protecting the initiatives of the GSRC and supporting its role on campus.
Marquette President Michael Lovell responded with a Tweet that said:
@MUSG Thank you for your support as we continue the important work around diversity and inclusion.


Everybody involved in this fiasco looks silly. This includes Miles and the petition signers who are desperate for an organization on campus that is committed to the idea that Catholic teaching on sexuality is bunk and should be ignored.

Then there is Michael Lovell, who having been stung badly by an excess of political correctness continues to pay pious obeisance to the rhetoric of “diversity” and “inclusion.”

And finally there is Marquette University Student Government, which having approved a Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Justice Committee now sides with the university while being opposed by the head of a committee it recently established.

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