Marquette Bans ‘The Vagina Monologues’ Performance on Campus

Marquette Bans ‘The Vagina Monologues’ Performance on Campus

MILWAUKEE

      Marquette University officials are blocking “The Vagina Monologues” from being performed on campus, calling the play too distracting.

      Marquette joins six other Roman Catholic schools not allowing the production.

      Critics say restricting free speech compromises the university’s academic integrity.

      “This makes us look exceedingly silly,” says Dr. John McAdams, a political science professor and vocal conservative. “Basically their policy is that if they allow something on campus, it means they’re endorsing it.”

      The Eve Ensler play is based on discussions with 200 girls and women about their anatomy, including sections about homosexuality, orgasms and rape. The play is being put on by students from about 20 Roman Catholic schools this year, including DePaul University and Boston College.

      The Cardinal Newman Society, a Manassas, Va., organization, is seeking to enforce what it sees as the Catholic identity of Catholic universities. Three years ago, the organization took out a full-page ad in USA Today attacking universities that allowed the play on campus.

      Patrick Reilly, the group’s president, says the play does not belong on Catholic college campuses because it depicts female sexuality independent of marriage and men.

      The Rev. Father Andy Thon, Marquette’s vice president of student affairs, says the short lead time in which students asked to produce the play raised questions about the production’s quality. He says there were better ways to address issues of violence that weren’t as “distractive,” according to the statement given to the group.

      He’s remained noncommittal on another request to perform the play in the future.

      “I couldn’t say,” Thon says. “You deal with each case as it arises.”

      President Robert Wild’s office, however, has offered another answer to the Cardinal Newman Society.

      In a Jan. 11 written response to a letter from the society, Wild’s assistant, Steven Frieder, told the Cardinal Newman Society 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.”

Associated Press



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