Arts & Entertainment
UPDATE: Corvino cancelled indefinitely
Aquinas president issues statement regarding upcoming policy on 'controversial issues'
by Jessica Carreras
Originally printed 04/10/2008 (Issue 1615 - Between The Lines News)
Earlier today, Aquinas College President C. Edward Balog confirmed that John Corvino's visit to the college has been officially cancelled, according to a statement issued by Balog. Corvino was originally scheduled to come to the college on April 3, but the event was postponed because of the school's inability to secure anyone who could present an opposing viewpoint.
The decision came after Balog met with members of the school's Programming Board, students and other administration members this morning.
"The policy has been in place where when we have a particular speaker addressing a topic and whose content generally opposes the teachings of the Catholic Church, typically the organization hosting the event has a responsibility to provide a balanced discussion," said Director of College Relations Marty Fahey. "That was not done in this case."
In fact, Fahey acknowledged that Aquinas administration was not even aware of the event until several days before it was supposed to happen. It was only when concerned members of the local Catholic community began to make calls to the school that Balog and others realized that the issue had to be addressed.
"Advocacy of homosexuality or comments regarding homosexuality are such that they are in direct opposition to Catholic church teaching and therefore, it (Corvino's event) should have required an individual or individuals on a panel to debate the topic," Fahey continued.
However, no such policy was ever put in place previously at Aquinas. Instead, it was an understanding between administration and students regarding controversial topics that oppose the Catholic Church, such as homosexuality. President Balog contended that the permanent cancellation is due to the fact that a comprehensive policy regarding that very issue needed to be in place before Corvino or similar events or speeches could occur. Balog said in his statement released to the campus this afternoon, that given the fact that the school year is ending soon, there was simply not enough time to form the policy and bring Corvino back.
The policy will be developed by a committee comprised of Aquinas faculty and students who are expected to meet soon.
Fahey, however, did disclose that the local bishop was opposed to the event and suggested that the school cancel it, as did several community members.
It is unclear at this time whether or not Corvino will be asked back to the college next fall. "Whether it comes back next year will be entirely up to the students," said Fahey. Representatives for the Programming Board, Tree Top Productions, were unavailable for comment.