Campus Watch

Prom on the Ropes

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, Oct. 16 — The principal of Long Island's Kellenberg Memorial High School has written to the parents of seniors about plans to cancel this year's spring prom due to an acceleration in the event's “bacchanalian aspects,” that “each year … get worse.”

In addition to addressing “the sex/booze/drugs” problem, Marianist Brother Kenneth Hoagland took issue with “the flaunting of affluence, assuming exaggerated expenses, a pursuit of vanity for vanity's sake.”

Brother Hoagland began to object to the prom last spring after 46 seniors made a $10,000 down payment on a $20,000 rental in the Hamptons for a post-prom party in a deal that the school nixed.

Fraudulent Teacher Fired

SACRAMENTO BEE, Oct. 18 — Marie Bain, a drama teacher at the all-girls Loretto High School, was dismissed by Sacramento, Calif., Bishop William Wiegand after a parent brought him a picture showing Bain working as a part-time volunteer at a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic.

The photo showed Bain ushering a young woman into the clinic, past pro-life protesters outside.

Bishop Wiegand's affirmed that “public participation in the procurement of abortions is morally inappropriate and unacceptable.”

Granting Religion

NOTRE DAME UNIVERSITY, Oct. 17 — The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded a $1 million grant to the university for a new program dedicated to examining the role of religion in American public life.

Chosen from 36 applicants, Notre Dame was the only Catholic institution to receive the challenge grant, which will be administered over a three-year period.

The new “Religion in American Life” project is designed to elevate the level of public discourse on the role of religion in American life.

Careful Distinctions

ASSOCIATED PRESS, Oct. 19 — Judy Shepard, the mother of 1998 murder victim Matthew Shepard, spoke at Carroll College in Helena, Mon., at what has become an annual remembrance of Shepherd, a student at a nearby university.

The pro-homosexual Human Rights Network accused the college of “dancing around” the theory that Matthew Shepard was murdered because he was homosexual. Carroll administrators turned down a request by the organization to set up a “gay rights” table at the event.

A spokeswoman for the college said the “table request is where it gets difficult.” She said it would be “just asking for a confrontation” between an event designed to “promote tolerance” and the college's Catholic mission.

It was to avoid just that sort of contradiction that prompted Carroll to withdraw an invitation last month to Planned Parenthood to take part in a medical-ethics conference at Carroll.

No Stand — Yet

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, Oct. 20 — A similar kind of balancing act is going on at Pittsburgh's Duquesne University, where the president is asking a special panel to study the idea of permitting a student organization for homosexuals.

While Holy Ghost Father Charles Dougherty said he wanted to support students who feel “alienated,” he added, “We can't have any organization on campus whose activities are incompatible with Catholic teachings on human sexuality.”

However, the newspaper said, Father Dougherty “would not say where he stands on the issue,” pending the outcome of the committee's work.