This item originally appeared in the January 27, 2005 issue of The Tech Talk.
By ADAM P. BARR
The Association of Women Students decided to pull its sponsorship of the "Vagina Monologues," after a heated debate erupted throughout campus and the community.
Katie Macionnaith, the organizer and director, said the outrage displayed by some students, and other voices heard from outside the walls of the university, are being heeded by the campus.
"Most of the opposition comes from ignorance," Macionnaith said.
"The majority of the complainants have not read the screenplay for the monologue. The graphic content of the monologue is documentary by documenting real cases and real occurrences."
Tech President Dr. Dan Reneau said a few individuals called to protest the performance on campus.
"It is not my job to make decisions for students; let the masses make an informed opinion," Reneau said.
Macionnaith said the campus can be educated on the emotional impact of violence against women.
"Opening a dialogue against sexual violence in the community is a must," Macionnaith said.
Macionnaith said Domestic Abuse Resistance Team has always stood with women's empowerment and continues support of the sexual abuse dialogue.
"We are not for or against it one way or another; however, we are for women's rights and empowerment and for keeping an open dialogue about sexual violence," Marie Scharwtz, a community advocate for D.A.R.T., said.
"The Association of Women Students needs to make an informed decision on whether or not to support 'Vagina Monologues'," Dr. James King, vice-president for Student Affairs, said.
"They need to decide if this is an appropriate way to open that dialogue."
Josh Shirley, a senior theater major, said females across campus can benefit from this dramatic display of abuse.
"This is a college campus and rape happens and I think that all the students can benefit by awareness," Shirley said.
Reneau said the generational gaps within the administration and the community have an effect on the opinion given about the "Vagina Monologues."
"Family violence is graphic in nature," Macionnaith said.
"Vagina Monologues' will be a cultural experience and though graphic will raise awareness to violence and rape against women," Macionnaith said.
Reneau said the students' growth in cultural ideas and knowledge are a necessity.
"Culture is inherent throughout campus in student organizations and is instilled in all classrooms."
The Association for Women Students held a meeting Monday and did not have the necessary attendance to take a vote on the sponsorship of "Vagina Monologues."
Faculty adviser to AWS and counselor Michelle Pride said, "To be fair to the women who want the "Vagina Monologues," we had to move expeditiously.
"We called all of the members of the executive board, gave them the information and they voted to withdraw the sponsorship."