Fix Features

Jennifer Kabbany - Associate Editor

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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COLUMBUS – When Ohio State University graduating senior Mark Green checked online recently to see who’d been tapped as the guest speaker at his upcoming commencement ceremony, he said he was disappointed to learn it was the notoriously liberal pundit Chris Matthews.

“I saw it was him and I was like, ‘Why are they doing this?’” Green, a 26-year-old U.S. Marine Corps veteran who is earning his psychology degree, said in an interview with The College Fix. “I wouldn’t mind if it was a sitting politician, even if it was a liberal. But I don’t want to sit through a political commentator’s speech that I don’t agree with.”

Green is not alone. A lot of students have voiced disappointment over the selection of the MSNBC Hardball anchor as this May’s commencement speaker, a man who frequently bashes Republicans, has made comments suggesting people who oppose the Affordable Care Act are bigots and that those who scrutinize President Obama are racists, and who was brought to hysterics when Obama lost a presidential debate to Romney in 2012. matthewsinside.adamfagan

There was so much discontent, in fact, that it came to light there was no student input in the selection process this year – a situation blamed on a current leadership change underway the university. As an olive branch of sorts, administrators promised to ensure there’s student representatives on the commencement speaker committee from now on.

But the damage has been done, at least for the May 4 ceremony, at which an estimated 10,000 students are expected to graduate.

“I personally wish they had gone with someone politically neutral,” Ohio State junior Miranda Onnen said in an email to The College Fix. “Two years ago we had Speaker Boehner, and last year we had President Obama. Though both highly partisan, they are politicians of eminence, and a good choice by the university.”

“Matthews once had a job in politics, but now is a partisan pundit for a living,” adds Onnen, vice-chair of the campus College Republicans. “I’ve heard from many people, and not just conservatives, about their disappointment in this selection. I’m not a graduating senior, but I will be graduating next year. I can only hope that the selection will be less polarizing.”

Indeed, it appears plenty of students of all stripes are not thrilled with the pick.

When the campus newspaper The Lantern broke the news about the selection in mid-March, the article prompted 55 comments, many of which expressed angry sentiments about the choice, such as “a good reason to have diploma mailed” and “what a mistake OSU – tell me it isn’t true!”

Graduating senior Jake Bradley then wrote a letter to the editor stating “I am deeply disappointed in OSU for selecting Chris Matthews as the commencement speaker for my graduation. It is not because he is a hard line liberal, but rather because he is directly against open dialogue.”

In an interview with The College Fix, 21-year-old Cody Rizzuto, a University of Cincinnati student who represents conservative students across the state as vice-chair of the Ohio College Republican Federation, said the Matthews selection is a disservice to all students.

“To have someone who is that partisan … who has made a career out of pitting one part of the country against the other, is not who you want as a graduation speaker,” he said. “He is a talking head who makes points for the left.”

Jennifer Kabbany is associate editor of The College Fix.

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IMAGES: Main-Steve Bott (Flickr); Inside-Adam Fagan (Flickr)

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An Althouse blog post noted that columnist George Will on Fox News Sunday dismissed how college kids today cry “racism” this and “racist” that all the time:

“Look, liberalism has a kind of Tourette’s syndrome these days. It’s just constantly saying the word ‘racism’ and ‘racist.’ … You go to a campus where this kind of political correctness reins [sic], and some young person will say looks like it’s going to rain. The person listening says, you’re a racist. I mean it’s so inappropriate. The constant implication of this that it is, I think, becoming a national mirth.”

Based on hearing Will’s tone of voice, it’s clear — I think! — that Will meant it would work amongst today’s college kids to say “You’re a racist” as a punchline when somebody says something obviously race-neutral (such as “looks like it’s going to rain”). “You’re a racist” has been overused to the point where it’s not just boring or unbelievable, but a laugh line — a national mirth.

But frequently, The College Fix reports on these students and their claims of racism, and there is no mirth involved. These kids are angry. These students have huge chips on their shoulders. Students who attend one of the most prestigious university on the globe, Dartmouth, say they’re racially oppressed. At UCLA, a group of black students angrily growled into a camera and told the world they’re marginalized and victimized and abused. At the University of Michigan, black students claim exactly the same thing.

Three examples, but it’s everywhere. Every campus. Social science professors teach students to be angry. Not just minorities, women too. Telling them they’re victims. Distorting academics to create a sea of confused, bitter, vitriolic young people. Young people who vote. Young people who have become disillusioned with America.

During the height of the Trayvon Martin fervor, the young man in the hoodie was championed by professors and students as a martyr, an example of how things really are in America. White against black. Anger. Rage. Hatred. It was ugly. It still is.

No, the cries of racism are not mirthful. Not in the least.

Jennifer Kabbany is associate editor of The College Fix.

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IMAGE: YouTube screenshot

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GREENVILLE, N.C. – A U.S. district court judge on Tuesday ruled that the University of North Carolina-Wilmington must promote a conservative, Christian professor who had been denied full professorship because of his beliefs, and ordered administrators to pay the educator $50,000 in back-pay.

The ruling comes on the heels of a March 20 jury verdict which found that employees at the public university retaliated against the professor, Mike Adams, for his conservative, Christian views.

“The court hereby orders the defendants confer upon plaintiff full professorship as of the date of this order, with pay and benefits in the future to relate back to August 2007, when plaintiff’s 2006 promotion application would have gone into effect had it been successful,” states the ruling by Judge Malcolm Howard.

The four-day trial last month centered on Adams, a criminology professor and a former atheist who converted to Christianity and became a vocal proponent for his conservative views through books and a syndicated column. Those publicly espoused beliefs prompted peers and administrators at UNC-Wilmington to deny Dr. Adams a full professorship, despite his solid qualifications for the job, the jury found.

Alliance Defending Freedom, the conservative lawfirm that represented Adams, touted the jury’s decision as a huge victory for academic freedom and free speech at public universities.

“We are grateful that the jury … reaffirmed the fundamental principle that universities are a marketplace of ideas, not a place where professors face retaliation for having a different view than university officials,” attorney Travis Barham said at the time. “As the jury decided, disagreeing with an accomplished professor’s religious and political views is no grounds for denying him a promotion.”

Judge Howard denied Adams’ request for an additional $50,000 for the emotional and mental anguish he experienced as the result of the whole ordeal, saying in his ruling that “emotional distress damages must be proven and cannot be presumed for this type of action.”

It remains to be seen if the university will appeal the judgment. Adams could not be reached Tuesday for comment.

In a column he penned after the jury decision, he stated: ” … thank you all so much for your prayers and support. They have helped me make it through another year and to end it with an incredible victory. We serve a mighty God, indeed. It is a lesson we must pass on to future generations.”

Jennifer Kabbany is associate editor of The College Fix.

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