Fix Features

Jennifer Kabbany - Associate Editor

The student government at the University of Utah has voted to change the “Utah Man” fight song, which a majority of its members deemed sexist, oppressive and racist.

The resolution, passed Tuesday night, states the phrase “Utah Man” – the song’s title and a mantra repeated throughout the cheer – “can reasonably be interpreted as (a) reminder of a status given to male students or men as representatives of all students, even though many students … do not identify as men or being a man.”

The students also voted to change a stanza in that song that proclaims “our coeds are the fairest.”

“This phrase can be reasonably interpreted as objectifying women on campus while also supporting a hierarchy built on complexion and skin tone, privileging a light or ‘fair’ appearance,” the resolution states.

It goes on to say that, as it stands, “Utah Man” hurts some students’ feelings and makes them feel excluded from campus events. The fight song, written in 1904, is performed at commencement as well as at sporting events.

“It did not represent me when I identified as a woman, and it does not represent me now as a genderqueer individual,” student government representative Allison Boyer told the Daily Utah Chronicle campus newspaper.

“We face serious issues of racism and sexism,” said student government President Sam Ortiz. “The fight song is not the cause, but it is parallel to the seriousness of those issues.”

Possible replacements would be “I am a Utah fan” and “our students are the brightest,” reports the Deseret News.

The non-binding vote will now go before President David Pershing for approval.

Not everyone supports the proposed changes.

“Singing Utah Man after a touchdown and after the games makes me feel like I’m a part of the team, not just a fan,” Kimberly Esparza wrote on the student government’s Facebook wall.

And Rich Ingleby opined: ” … this just seems like PC-pandering driven by a very small minority of students just looking for a cause. Further, keep in mind that this happened without a poll/vote of the student body or alumns. Quit looking for reasons to be offended.”

On Twitter, #SaveUtahMan began to trend, with some calling for alumni to contact Pershing and voice their disapproval over the decision.

Currently, the fight song’s lyrics include:

VERSE
I am a Utah man, sir, and I live across the green.
Our gang, it is the jolliest that you have ever seen.
Our coeds are the fairest and each one’s a shining star.
Our yell, you hear it ringing through the mountains near and far.

CHORUS
Who am I, sir? A Utah man am I A Utah man, sir, and will be till I die; Ki!Yi!
We’re up to snuff; we never bluff,
We’re game for any fuss,
No other gang of college men
dare meet us in the muss.

Listen to the song:

Jennifer Kabbany is associate editor of The College Fix. ( @JenniferKabbany )

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IMAGE: Facebook- University of Utah

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Harvard University has combined the Sex Week college tradition with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer advocacy.

On Saturday, Harvard students were treated to a talk titled “GET WET: The Orgasm Seminar,” hosted by Ignacio Rivera, “a Two-Spirit, Black-Boricua Taíno, queer performance artist, activist, filmmaker, lecturer and sex educator who prefers the gender neutral pronoun ‘they.’ “PreferredGenderPronoun.Harvard

The Harvard “Sex Weekend” event was described on its official website as “people with vaginas learning about awesome things related to their vaginas.”

The College Fix had to do a little digging, but it turns out it’s been reported that Rivera was born with a vagina, so ‘they’ could speak to the subject with some authority.

But more than that, Harvard’s Office of BGLTQ Student Life points out, “sex educator Ignacio Rivera—a two-Spirit, Black-Boricua Taíno—(led) a discussion about female-bodied orgasms through the lens of intersectionality and bodies of many genders.”

The event was part of an expansion of Harvard’s “Pride” observance – which has now been lengthened from Pride Week to Pride Month – all of April, the Harvard Crimson reports. With that, Harvard’s springtime Sex Weekend, a precursor to fall’s Sex Week, took a decidedly queer turn.

“In this vein, ‘Get Wet: An Orgasm Seminar,’ an event on Saturday which featured discussions on vaginal orgasms and free sex toys, was part of both Harvard Pride ’14 and Sex Weekend,” the Crimson reported.

And on April 17, a Sex Weekend talk/Q&A explained the ins-and-outs of “queer sex,” at which: “All are welcome and no identities are assumed.”

Jennifer Kabbany is associate editor of The College Fix. ( @JenniferKabbany )

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IMAGE: Harvard University

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You know things are bad when even a supreme court justice is talking revolt.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, after delivering prepared remarks before a standing-room-only crowd at the University of Tennessee College of Law on Tuesday, was asked by a student about the constitutionality of the income tax.

Justice Scalia, according to the Knoxville News Sentinel, replied that the government has the right to take his money. “But if reaches certain point, perhaps you should revolt,” he reportedly told the young man. …

He talked about the time he joined with the majority in 1989 in declaring that flag-burning was constitutionally protected speech.

“You’re entitled to criticize the government, and you can use words, you can use symbols, you can use telegraph, you can use Morse code, you can burn a flag,” he said, according to the News Sentinel.

Clearly, there’s a mood in the country that Scalia and most Americans can feel resonating. Scalia talks of peaceful revolt. The folks at Bundy Ranch may have had their own take on the subject. But make no mistake – Americans are fed up.

And college students are no exception. While exorbitant taxes might not rile them up (yet), they have had it with their government.

Just look at a report The College Fix offered in Aug. 2013 in the wake of the NSA spying revelations:

The College Fix has identified college students from across the nation who agreed that if the U.S. government were to end its unconstitutional surveillance state and warrantless spy programs tomorrow – and the students were to die a month later in some sort of terrorist bombing – they would count their death as the justifiable price for freedom and liberty in America.

As far as tax revolts go, some 240 years ago, colonists fed up with an oppressive government and exorbitant taxation crept onto a ship and threw some tea overboard.

That act of defiance helped spark the American Revolution.

Today, hard-working Americans face similar circumstances: the state and federal government takes nearly half our paychecks plus taxes everything we buy; the Internal Revenue Service illegally stymies conservative activists; the feds spy on us in violation of the First and Fourth Amendments of the Constitution; President Obama flouts Congress and the rule of law at his discretion to implement collectivist policies, recently illustrated in his cherry-picked changes to Obamacare’s implementation.

Laissez-faire capitalism is on life support and the U.S. economy is crippled, perhaps beyond repair. The national debt is nearing $100 trillion dollars when factoring in future entitlement costs such as Medicare and social security. Free choice, economically and in our personal lives, is quickly becoming a thing of the past, if not already extinct by most accounts.

Making matters worse, the establishment Republican Party often appears more interested in appeasement, compromise and re-election than standing strong for their base constituents’ priorities.

Revolt, indeed.

Hey, I’m not the only one throwing it out there. I’m in good company.

Jennifer Kabbany is associate editor of The College Fix. ( @JenniferKabbany )

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IMAGE: Wally G. / Flickr

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A pro-life group at Yale University was denied campus support from the Ivy League institution’s campus-based, student-run service organization, a decision made by secret-ballot Wednesday after Choose Life At Yale was given exactly one minute to plead its case to the group’s leaders.

“In case anyone was wondering, Dwight Hall decided that helping mothers and their children wasn’t actually social justice tonight,” student Courtney McEachon, a past president of the group, wrote on Choose Life At Yale’s Facebook page after the vote’s outcome was made public.

Dwight Hall is the name of the social justice and service organization that denied CLAY an official membership into the organization, and with that all the perks that come with it: funds, access to loaner cars for service projects, printing services, a spot at freshmen recruiting events, and other benefits.YaleMeme1

“But most of all, (membership) would have affirmed the conviction of CLAY members that the cause they served, whether by marching in DC or volunteering at a crisis pregnancy center, was a legitimate component of social justice,” Matthew Gerken, a former president of Choose Life at Yale, stated in a column on First Things.

Christian Hernandez, the group’s current student president, told the Yale Daily News that “we are all obviously disappointed and frustrated with this decision, especially after having gone through this year-long provisional process.”

Dwight Hall has an annual budget of $800,000 and consists of more than 90 student-run member groups that tackle a variety of service projects and social justice causes, including tutoring, homeless outreach, environmentalism, homosexual advocacy, Palestinian statehood and more. Its mission is “to foster civic-minded student leaders and to promote service and activism in New Haven and around the world.”

It was the 90-member Dwight Hall Cabinet’s member group leaders who denied Choose Life At Yale membership.

“We don’t know why Dwight Hall denied membership to the pro-life group,” Gerken wrote. “The ballot was secret and the count unannounced, and the established procedure (perhaps ironically for a social justice organization) allotted only sixty seconds for CLAY to make their case while strictly banning any further discussion.”

“We know it couldn’t have been perceived religious differences, since Dwight Hall already contains Christian, Jewish, and secular groups,” he added. “We know it couldn’t be CLAY’s political advocacy, because Dwight Hall endorses advocacy—even legislative advocacy—as part of its mission and a core component of many of its groups’ activities. Perhaps it is because CLAY’s work cuts too close to the core. Perhaps it makes many of Dwight Hall’s leaders uncomfortable to be challenged by the witness of pro-lifers taking time from their week to serve women in need, whether in order to ease their choice for life or to help them heal after they have chosen otherwise.”

McEachon told the Yale Daily News that the female student who led the meeting that night chose to wear a “Yale feminists” T-shirt.

“It was an affront because the person wearing the t-shirt was leading the meeting,” she said. “It seemed like a shameless plug against CLAY.”

The decision by Dwight Hall leaders comes after CLAY hosted its inaugural pro-life conference on campus last fall. Called “Vita et Veritas: Promoting a Culture of Life and Truth,” CLAY members stated on the conference website that “too long have pro-life organizations on large liberal universities felt marginalized or condemned for a viewpoint that is hardly in vogue within society.”

CLAY had also applied twice to become a member of the campus’ Women’s Center, but was rejected both times because the group does not support “reproductive freedom,” the Yale Daily News reports.

Jennifer Kabbany is associate editor of The College Fix.

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IMAGE: Facebook screenshot

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On Thursday morning, The College Fix reported on a two-hour drag show hosted recently at the Catholic University of San Diego that ended with a devilish finale – its transvestite host came onstage in a long black robe and horned headdress and sung about how evil should triumph over good.

On Thursday afternoon, the nonprofit advocacy group that upholds and defends Catholic principles and that had detailed the drag-show dance number to The College Fix – Catholic Action for Faith and Family – released a video on its website of the actual stage performance.

Also on Thursday, a campus spokeswoman from the University of San Diego returned a media request from The College Fix about the controversy, saying the outfit was designed to replicate the outfit worn by Angelina Jolie in the upcoming Disney movie “Maleficent,” and that the song, “Good N Evil” is a song from the classic “Jekyll and Hyde.”deviloutfit

“I hate that critics have chosen to depict the costume and song in a nefarious, demonic manner, but clearly that was not the case,” Pamela Gray Payton, assistant vice president of public affairs, said in an email to The Fix.
And in fact the video released Thursday shows that when the black-robe donning performer first comes out on stage he does so to an apparent voice-over from the original “Sleeping Beauty” Disney soundtrack. Yet the transvestite performer quickly moves on to the “Good N Evil” song and takes off his robe, revealing a tight dress as he dances to the number.
Critics of the performance have said the long black robe and horned headdress and lyrics about how evil will triumph over good and “heaven must lose!” elicited notions of Satan, regardless of the original intent of the costume’s design. As for the song “Good N Evil” – here’s a taste of its lyrics:
The battle between good and evil
Goes back to the start -
Adam and Eve and the apple tore Eden apart!
The key thing about good ‘n’ evil -
Each man has to choose! -
Heaven ‘n’ hell
Is a helluva gamble to lose! -
But as I peruse
This world we abuse -
It’s hell that we choose -
And heaven must lose!Evil is everywhere -
Good doesn’t have a prayer!
Good is commendable -
Evil’s dependable!
Evil is viable
Good’s unreliable!
Good may be thankable!
Evil is bankable!
To watch the video, which cannot be embedded, scroll down to the bottom of the 2014 USD Drag Show Report.

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SAN DIEGO – A two-hour drag show hosted recently at the Catholic University of San Diego ended with a devilish finale – its transvestite host came onstage in a long black robe and horned headdress and sung about how evil should triumph over good.

“All of a sudden the stage is dark, and the lights come up behind a screen and you see a shadow outline of a demonic figure, with a head and two horns, and it gets closer and grows bigger,” said San Diego resident Thomas McKenna, 51, who witnessed the performance. “Then a person in a black robe comes out onstage and starts singing the song and doing all these antics.”

That person was “Tootie Nefertootie,” the emcee of the April 10 event, who took off the robe after a few minutes to reveal a skin-tight dress as he continued to dance onstage and sing about evil – specifically he lip-synced “Good N’ Evil” from the musical Jekyll and Hyde.

(At right: courtesy photo provided to The College Fix from USD drag show.) deviloutfit

McKenna, in an interview Wednesday with The College Fix, said some have likened the outfit not to the devil but rather to the evil character “Maleficent” from an upcoming Disney movie of the same name.

“Whatever – to see this person with horns on and singing about evil triumphing over good, I found it very strange and unsettling to see that onstage in a Catholic university,” McKenna said.

The lyrics of the song “Good N’ Evil” include the stanzas: “Evil is everywhere – Good doesn’t have a prayer; Good is commendable; Evil’s dependable; Evil is viable – Good’s unreliable; Good may be thankable – Evil is bankable.”

University of San Diego officials did not respond to phone calls, emails or a text Wednesday from The College Fix to speak on the content of this year’s drag show.

Now in its third year, the annual “Celebration of Gender Expression – Supreme Drag Superstar” at the university is organized by PRIDE, the private college’s LGBTQ campus group. The annual event prompts protests by students and local residents who call it an aberration to Catholicism’s values.

McKenna, founder and president of Catholic Action, a nonprofit advocacy group that upholds and defends Catholic principles, said he has attended the show every year since its inception to investigate its content and demand that it be put to a stop.

In fact, his group was successful in getting the Vatican’s Congregation for Education to write a letter in December 2013 calling the drag show a “scandal” and vowing to take administrative steps to end it.

None have been launched yet, McKenna said.

Numerous petitions from other organizations have also been started in opposition to the show, including one from TFP Student Action this year that has garnered nearly 15,000 signatures.

Charles LiMandri, president and chief counsel of the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund, said Wednesday in an interview with The College Fix that the drag show is bad enough, but this latest demonic-themed finale is inexcusable.

“People posting comments on Catholic Education Daily (which first reported the story) are saying that it’s a take off of Maleficent, which is a Disney character, but she is the personification of evil,” said LiMandri, who is an alumnus of the University of San Diego. “I don’t care what you want to call it – Satan or her – they’re glamorizing evil.”

McKenna said he attends the events and shares what he observes because “everyone keeps saying, ‘Oh, it couldn’t be that bad.’ This will give a taste of what is going on.”

Dr. Lori Watson, director of women’s and gender studies at the university, said in an interview with The College Fix last year that while protestors have every right to lodge their concerns, PRIDE has every right to host the event on campus.

She acknowledged the University of San Diego is a Catholic college, but she said dogma doesn’t trump all else.

“The university is not a church,” she said. “Its mission is not to indoctrinate students to a particular viewpoint. We have students of all faiths represented on this campus. … Our mission is primarily educational.”

She added the university’s mission statement “expresses a commitment to the value of inclusivity and respect for all humans.”

Jennifer Kabbany is associate editor of The College Fix.

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IMAGES: Top – “Legend” (Youtube screenshot); Inside: Courtesy photo provided to The College Fix from USD drag show April 10.

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