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Support academic freedom

Letter to the Editor | Tuesday, April 1, 2008

While I personally wish the Vagina Monologues were not performed at Notre Dame (or anywhere for that matter), I fully support Fr. Jenkins’ decision to allow the performances this year, consistent with the guidelines on academic freedom he articulated two years ago.

I have been criticized by fellow alumni in my local region for that support. One member of our alumni club removed me from her e-mail list, stating that Satan is clearly at work here because our friendship has been affected. I don’t understand this. We have a different understanding of academic freedom; that in no way affects how I feel about her as a friend and fellow alum.

One thing keeps coming to mind that I wish she and Bishop D’Arcy and others would realize. At Notre Dame, unlike most if not all other campuses, there are real choices. Such choices, it seems to me, are only to be expected in an environment where both Catholic character and true academic freedom are vibrant. In addition to the performance of “The Vagina Monologues,” students at Notre Dame last weekend hosted the Edith Stein Conference for the third consecutive year. Notre Dame students have also developed a Notre Dame-specific alternative play. There are just so many examples of God’s work on campus and among the alumni. Once again let it be said, “Only At Notre Dame.”

Jack Fremeau


Class of 1971

Mar. 28