ROMNEY WORDSWORTH – Marquette University is located in the center of Milwaukee Wisconsin, with a campus that straddles both sides of Wisconsin Avenue, a broad street that neatly bisects the city and goes in a straight line from the lake front all the way west to Waukesha, where the Milwaukee Brewers play in Miller Stadium. Marquette primarily caters to catholic families from Wisconsin and Illinois, but takes pains to attract foreign students. For some reason, Marquette’s Dental School has a monopoly on Dental graduates from Guam.
I have some intimate, albeit a bit dated, knowledge about Marquette University. I am a Marquette Alumni, Class of ’85. I stayed for two years at West Hall, a converted Holiday Inn that was a dozen blocks west of the rest of the campus, but had larger rooms. West Hall was where Marquette put all the “foreign students”: We had students from Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Honduras, Guam, Puerto Rico, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Jersey. Yeah, all the foreigners. Even back when I was attending Marquette in the early 1980’s, Political Correctness was starting to ensnare the school in its inexorable tentacles. Before I got there, the old mascot of the Marquette Warriors was a cartoon Indian character by the name of Willie Wampum.
But, in the heat of zero calls to do so from students and alumni, the Marquette administration decided that Willie Wampum was “offensive” to Native Americans, who had not raised any objections. In Willie’s place Marquette installed an actual Native American, nicknamed the First Warrior, decked out in full warrior regalia, where he did traditional native dances on the sidelines of basketball games.
But that would not suffice to appease the forces of political correctness, who next deemed that the name “Warriors” was also too offensive. The administration then replaced the Marquette sports name of “Warriors” with the name “Golden Eagles”, a meaningless name with not history that fell flat with students and alumni. But to be fair, it’s hard to soar high when you are only flying with one Left Wing. So out of concern for the feelings of Native Americans, Marquette put a Native American out of a job. I remember attending Marquette ball games when they were out on the road in my neck of the woods, and the alumni would still be chanting “Let’s Go, Warriors!” to puzzled onlookers. Hey, screw you, PC Police.
The truth is that the actual administration of Marquette University is the usual secular, communist aligned leftwing intelligentsia that you find everywhere in American Academia these days. The Jesuits are still allowed to teach some humanities courses, but they do not run the university. They are used as window dressing to trick conservative catholic parents into thinking they are sending their children to a catholic institution for a catholic education. Marquette is no longer such an institution.
Exhibit “A” on the indictment of Marquette is Professor John McAdams, who is under an “Academic Investigation” that would do the Inquisition proud in terms of the political dogma being applied. McAdams’ great heresy is that he blogged about an episode that occurred at Marquette in the fall of 2014 where a Teaching Assistant in the Philosophy Department, by the name of Cheryl Abbate, reprimanded a student in her ethics class for defending the idea of traditional marriage between one man, and one woman. This is, by the way, in accordance with current catholic teaching. Not only would Abbate not tolerate Catholic views on marriage being discussed by the student, she went further and said: ““You can have whatever opinions you want but I can tell you right now, in this class homophobic comments, racist comments, and sexist comments will not be tolerated.” And then she told the student he should drop the class. I am able to quote exactly what Abbate said, because the student whose views were suppressed was smart enough to have secretly recorded what was said in this philosophy class. Doubtless the student had already heard plenty of other anti-Catholic pronouncements that prompted the audio recording. All conservative students being actively oppressed for their views by the Marxist professoriate should arm themselves with recording devices, even when Universities retaliate by prohibiting recording. The only way to defeat the Marxist Reign of Terror is to shine the light of day on it by giving it public scrutiny.
Professor McAdams did just that, by publicizing the incident on his popular blog and opined that the teaching assistant was “using a tactic typical among liberals now. Opinions with which they disagree are not merely wrong, and are not to be argued against on their merits, but are deemed ‘offensive’ and need to be shut up.”
Abbate, who is no longer even employed by Marquette, was never cited during the investigation with having done anything wrong, even though it was a clear cut example of viewpoint suppression, and a virulently anti-Catholic one at that. Where is the “Safe Space” for Catholics at Marquette University?
Marquette’s administration announced this week that a “diverse” faculty committee recommended to the university president that McAdams be suspended without pay from April 1 through the fall of 2016 and that he lose his job unless he admits “guilt” and apologized “within the next two weeks.” Specifically, Marquette is demanding of Professor McAdams that: “Your acknowledgement that your November 9, 2014, blog post was reckless and incompatible with the mission and values of Marquette University and you express deep regret for the harm suffered by our former graduate student and instructor, Ms. Abbate.”
So, just to be clear here, the Marquette University Administration is backing up the viewpoint suppression of its Philosophy Department, and presumably continues to view the Catholic teaching that marriage was created by God to be between one man and one woman, as “racist, sexist, and homophobic”. Funny how I missed that announcement in the Alumni Newsletter. I bet Catholic parents visiting Marquette this Spring with their children who are Juniors in High School, and deciding which schools to apply to next year, aren’t being told about this either. There’s a word for this: FRAUD. Misrepresentation of who the seller is and what you are really selling in order to mislead a buyer.
Professor McAdams, for his part, is hanging tough, likening the whole proceeding to the Inquisition, including the demand to admit guilt and for the target to recant his views. McAdams has lawyered up, and vows to fight this assault on academic freedom. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, (F.I.R.E.) an academic freedom watchdog group that has litigated numerous cases like this, ranks Marquette as one of the worst colleges for free speech in the nation.
I predict all of this is going to catch up with Marquette’s tyrants. As the middle class is destroyed, and college tuition becomes unaffordable, there is going to be a Great Culling where mediocre liberal arts colleges go out of business for lack of students. Marquette University is the Poster Child for colleges that are out of step with their customer base, and they will either curb their ideological excesses or suffer extinction.
My wife and I are currently looking at schools with our eldest son. We never considered sending any of our children to Marquette. Not for even a millisecond.