Comments on the English Department
Below are comments from those who signed the now closed petition to reform the English Department. They refer to the "Common Text" selection of 2007-2008, The Handmaid's Tale.
“Thank you for taking the time to point out an important issue that needs to be addressed. Being an alum of UST and having a son who is currently enrolled I am concerned about the material UST is asking my son to read… I am disappointed in the lack of moral values displayed by both the English department and the leaders of UST. I hope UST is a wise enough institution to take the proper action by removing this book from the required reading list and select a book more beneficial to the students minds.”
“Thanks for what you are doing to try to make some changes to the common text at UST. We have had three of our children attend UST. They have held their noses when required to read the common texts they were assigned… If it were not for the Catholic Studies department, we would not be sending our children to UST…”
“My son is a junior and I remember the ridiculous book Abeng during his freshman year. Thank you for taking on this fight. I will try to support you in every way I can. Good luck.”
“Thank you for your efforts in getting the word out about these books. As parents who both work daily and have saved to make an investment in education @ St. Thomas, I will not contribute to any extra fund raising unless evidence is given regarding the reform of the English department.”
“Thank you so much for all your efforts and bringing this to my attention. I am shocked to hear of the irresponsibility of the school administration in this matter. I clearly do not see the point of including such material in the curriculum… I will additionally bring this situation to the attention of my bishop whom has identified UST as good choice for our seminarians.”
“What can I do to help beside writing letters if possible? I can't stand this place anymore and I want to help. I had to read Abeng (I didn't) but this is getting out of control... What can I do for you?”
"Thank you for your courage in calling out a serious issue at my alma mater."
"We need to stand up against these types of things and I am glad you are doing this.
"Keep up the good work."
"Way to go, you have my full support..."
"We just wanted to let you know that you are not alone in your attempt to get the Common Text program at UST cleaned up. My husband & I, along with a few other parents were outraged by the Common Text used in 2005 when our children were freshman at UST. The text that year was called Abeng. It was extremely vulgar and obscene, although it wasn't as blatantly anti-Catholic as the current text. I wrote to all of the people you mentioned at UST, and several other parents wrote to Archbishop Flynn and/or Fr. Dease. Nothing was changed."
"We are thrilled to see that you have a website and online petition, and we pray that you are able to meet with the board of trustees! Our son is no longer at UST, but this is still a huge concern to us. Required reading of these books is inexcusable and scandalous for a Roman Catholic University!!"
"May God bless you abundantly for you courage and taking the time to check into the problem at the U of St. Thomas and put together the web site. This is truly outrageous that any University would require this type of filthy reading, especially one that calls itself Catholic."
"I believe you are taking a wise course in pursuing the removal of this book from the required reading at St. Thomas... I am appalled that a college of St. Thomas's stature, reputation, and background would even consider using this book in its course work."
"In the past I have participated in demonstrating against book shops that sold such pornographic books and materials and the City of St. Paul was finally able to close those shops and upgrade the neighborhood. It is therefore most disconcerting to find that the Catholic Church is now one of the dispensers of such objectionable material and even recommends and requires our young people to partake of it ..." St. Thomas alumnus
"...though I do notwant to be lumped in with the "religious right," I do agree that a Catholic school should, if not toe the Vatican line in all aspects, at least not"undermine the credibility of the Church's position"... I've signed your petition. UST student
"I want to let you know how much I appreciate what you are doing for the students and their families at St. Thomas by your brave stand against The Handmaid's Tale....Thank you for being willing to "take a few arrows" by speaking out so boldly against this filth. I am the parent of a sophomore student at UST"
"There is no need for this type of material in a Catholic or for that matter non-Catholic school. Thank you"
"Thank you and God bless you for taking this on...!
"There is absolutely no justifiable reason for exposing our young people to sexual impurity...and the severe judgement of Almighty God, the Virgin Mary and all the Saints will be upon those who do so, because objectively, this is a grave mortal sin.
"Literature...art...as it reflects our times has sunk to the same depravity. Good literature that uplifts and encourages virtue is kept in hiding by many in established positions of authority in our schools.
"Our schools should be reflecting the truth of Christ about sexual purity and the holiness of sexuality...Sex is Sacred...and the Theology of the Body.
"Those who cannot do this or will not, should be removed from teaching.