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AWS pulls support for 'Monologues'

This item originally appeared in the January 27, 2005 issue of The Tech Talk.

Dear Tech Students:

We, the members of the Executive Board of the Association for Women Students, have withdrawn our support for the "Vagina Monologues. "

It has come to our attention that the support of this production has caused much controversy throughout our university and community.

Our mission as a Board is to "promote social, professional and educational networking among women students."

The mission of the V-Day organization, the organization that supports the "Vagina Monologues," is stated as an "organized response against violence towards women" and to "see a world where women live safely and freely."

We viewed these goals of V-Day as complementary with our mission.

However, the controversy surrounding this production may compromise our ability to successfully implement other programs related to educating the community about violence against women.

Although we had to withdraw our support, we encourage everyone to continue to engage in efforts to promote awareness and education about prevention of violence against women in our community.


Members of AWS Executive


'Monologues' raises issues that need to be heard here

This item originally appeared in the January 27, 2005 issue of The Tech Talk.

This letter was originally sent to Dr. Dan Reneau. The Tech Talk was also sent a copy.

Dr. Reneau:

I have been a resident of Ruston for nearly three years, a student at Louisiana Tech University for just as long and a Tech fan for many before that. I adore Ruston, its people and the home I have made for myself here. I have considered and still do consider Ruston a place I could make my permanent residence long after graduation.

I love the small town feeling I get from Ruston and Tech. However, I do not love Ruston's speed in passing judgment. I do not adore their instant opposition to that which they do not know or understand.

I am writing out of concern due to rumors surrounding a scheduled production of "The Vagina Monologues," a benefit performance in conjunction with the V-Day organization. Weeks before any actual press has been released concerning the production, performance dates, or its intended goals, it has become a topic of hot debate.

Based on only a title or a second hand account of the script citizens are calling for censorship, and rumor has it that you are close to allowing that atrocity to take place on your campus.

To censor is to "to suppress or control something that may offend or harm others."

The goal of the "Vagina Monologues" is only to educate, inform and allow a safe forum for open, honest discussion of the truths of womanhood.

A few outspoken citizens have censoriously spoken against this production and its goals. This is their right, but as a student at Tech and as an American, I find the possibility of censorship in this country, in this day and age, outrageous.

How do you and the others so quick to censor suggest that one discuss rape? What about abuse, assault, murder? What about acid burning or female genital mutilation?

How do you tell those stories without making people uncomfortable? How do you prevent more of those horror stories if you cannot talk about the dreadful things that have already taken place?

Regardless of our choice to ignore it, rape, abuse, assault and murder take place. These things happen in our country, our state, our city and even our campus.

By allowing the production you are not encouraging promiscuity, obscenity, rape or any of the other countless accusations I am sure you have heard. You are only allowing your students the ability to be educated, informed and safe.

You are acknowledging that women face obstacles and dangers. You are allowing victims of these vicious crimes the support they desperately need. How could someone fault the president of any university for that?

As a double major in the College of Liberal Arts, I am taught everyday to question what I am told, search deeper for the truths and lastly to have opinions. But I have also been taught to accept the opinions of others. This is why I do not seek to offend or alienate any person who chooses not to view the "Vagina Monologues."

I only ask that before you (or anyone) pass it off as "pornography" you take the time to read the script in its entirety. Speak to the organizer and director. Ask questions and accept that you may not get the answers you want.

If you still feel the material is "objectionable," make your decision. At least it will be an informed decision.

I am Baptist born and small town raised. I have morals and manners. I am a conservatively liberal Republican, a feminist and a southern belle. I am involved in the monologues. Some monologues make me uncomfortable. I do not recommend the production to everyone. I do, however, know the monologues and the issues they raise need to be heard. It needs to be discussed. Even in Ruston, La.


Jena Sharpton


Speech/Graphic design

Reneau offers thanks to The Tech Talk staff

This item originally appeared in the January 27, 2005 issue of The Tech Talk.

Dear Editor:

I profoundly appreciated your editorial of January 21, 2005, "Building to Help Tech Compete Internationally." What a clear endorsement of a project that will benefit all our students for years to come.

I can't take credit for the building, but your reference to my connection with Tech Biomedical Engineering since 1972 is a treasure to me. It seems that Tech Talk editors, unlike many other college journalists, have long memories.

Personally, I want to thank you for sharing your experience with cancer (or the scare) in your column, "I'm Only 21." I was touched and so was my wife Linda.

Please know that I do not take Tech journalism for granted. I know how hard you work and the boot camp you have to endure to make editor. I have been particularly impressed with this group.

Please extend my thanks to Amber Miles, Nick Todaro, Julie Miller, and Josh Milton. I hope Josh knows the sports page is a must for me.

You have a great paper.


Dan Reneau

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