The student-run "Observer" has published an editorial essentially in defense of SMC's pro-Planned Parenthood demonstration. Predictably, it invoked the importance of "academic freedom", "multiple viewpoints", and "exciting conversation".
It's a strawman argument. Nobody to my knowledge has suggested that Planned Parenthood and abortion should not be studied, discussed, and debated on campus with full intellectual freedom and mutual respect for those of differing opinion.
That's not the issue! The issue is whether the display of thousands of flags and promotional literature advocating and celebrating Planned Parenthood -as did the Feminists United event- constitutes an unacceptable endorsement of an organization that actively promotes and defends the grave evil of elective abortion. On a Catholic campus, the answer should be an emphatic Yes!
On November 4, 2015, Karen Johnson, SMC Vice-President of Student Affairs, affirmed: "It is inappropriate for Saint Mary’s College student clubs and organizations to advocate for or support organizations, agencies or groups that act contrary to Church teachings or to sponsor events that advocate positions contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church."
What part of this policy is unclear? And why is the SMC administration unable or unwilling to acknowledge that the Feminists United event clearly violated that policy?
The dissonance between between the school's mission, action, and statements is jarring. It needs to be rectified.