Thanks for the information – I received my Master’s in International Business at USD in December, 1996. I never thought such activities would ever take place at USD. I am embarrassed by such activities taking place at USD – this is totally unacceptable behavior in my book.
My co-worker also received his Master’s in Business at USD and I am certain that he does not approve-of “Drag-shows” taking place at USD. Keep us informed of your actions.
I am sorry that I am sending another email, but I have read the University’s defense of the drag queen show and the “USD for Everyone” webpage. I have two comments. (1) California law does not mandate support for homosexuals and transgender people; it mandates tolerance. Tolerance is passive not active support. Defending proactive support as tolerance is disingenuous at worst, uncourageous at best. (2) Even if California law mandated this support, since when does a true Catholic institution bend-to the-will of state action that is not consistent with Church teaching? Sts. Thomas More and Thomas Beckett both died resisting this kind of state action. It’s a shame we have so little courage in our modern “Catholic” institutions to follow the lead of our saints. I don’t care if others want to provide a forum for these lifestyles, but a Catholic institution should not be providing it; it’s not Catholic. Whatever one thinks about the rightness, wrongness, or indifference of these lifestyles, there is no doubt they are unCatholic. So, stop calling USD Catholic if it won’t be Catholic and lack the courage of those Catholics who died defending its teachings.
Thanks heavens there are people like you to spread the word about USD compromising the reason why my parents and I selected this school to go to. I will do what I can to assist you in bringing USD back to its Catholic roots.
President Lyons and Charles Bass,
As you have received numerous emails, phone calls, faxes, etc. regarding the Drag Queen Competition at USD, this email is no different.
I literally gave my blood, sweat, and tears to USD as a Soccer Player between the years of 1998-2001. I was a Psychology major, and prided myself on the education I received and the professors that helped me attain this degree.
As a Christian man, I am an absolutely huge advocate of an Agape love, the Christ loves us. However, it is completely indecent to celebrate issues and beliefs that lie in direct conflict to what the University was founded upon.
Your (lack of) action on this matter forces me to no longer support the University in or the Athletics Program.
Being in a position of leadership is nothing that should be looked upon lightly. Leadership requires that leaders make decisions that are all too often unpopular. The lack of decisions that were made on your part(s) signifies poor leadership.
I trust that you will act swiftly and promptly to rectify this situation. Thanks,
Dear President Lyons and Mr. Bass,
I was deeply troubled and saddened to recently learn of the Drag Show that took place at USD on April 11, and the subsequent news reports to make this an annual event.
As an alumni (Class of 88), I have always held USD in the highest regard and enjoyed the integrity and prestige that came with my degree from such an esteemed university. However in recent months every student and family member I have referred to USD has come away with a bad taste of it not truly being a Catholic university. I now know why.
I am also an educator, I teach Ethics in Texas for CPA’s. I cannot fathom the ethics and teachings that current students are receiving – tolerance is one thing, but promotion of non-Catholic beliefs is quite another. As an ethics teacher I share with my students the “Ten Myth’s of Ethics”
What are the 10 myths of ethics?
1. It’s ethical if it’s legal and permissible. Loopholes, lax enforcement, and/or personal moral judgment do not outweigh what’s right or lawful.
2. It’s ethical if it’s part of the job. Separating personal ethics from work ethics can cause decent people to justify actions at work that they would never do at home. Everyone’s first job is to be a good person.
3. It’s ethical if it’s for a good cause. People can be vulnerable to rationalizations when advancing a noble aim. This can lead to, deception, concealment, conflicts of interest, favoritism, or other departmental violations.
4. It’s ethical if no one’s hurt. Ethical values are not factors to be considered in decision-making; they are ground rules.
5. It’s ethical if everyone does it. Treating questionable behaviors as ethical norms under the guise of “safety in numbers” is a false rationale.
6. It’s ethical if I don’t gain personally. Improper conduct done for others or for institutional purposes is wrong. Personal gain is not the only test of impropriety.
7. It’s ethical if I’ve got it coming. Being overworked or underpaid doesn’t justify accepting favors, discounts, or gratuities. Nor is abusing sick time, insurance claims, or personal use of office equipment fair compensation for one’s services or underappreciated efforts.
8. It’s ethical if I’m objective. By definition, if you’ve lost your objectivity, you don’t know you’ve lost it. Gratitude, friendship, or anticipation of future favors can subtly affect one’s judgment.
9. It’s ethical if I fight fire with fire. Promise-breaking, lying, or other misconduct is unacceptable even if others routinely engage in them.
10. It’s ethical if I do it for you. Committing white lies or withholding information in professional relationships (such as performance reviews) disregards the fact that most people would rather know unpleasant information than soothing falsehoods.
© 2009 Josephson Institute. Reprinted with permission from the Josephson Institute. www.CharacterCounts.org
In my opinion, your administration has fallen prey to at least seven of these myths!
I pray that you will both consider the future of USD and our Catholic teachings. While I am not a large donor, I am a consistent donor, but now find myself unable to continue such support. I know Msgr. Bell at my local church will appreciate the increase in my donations there.
I graduated from USD School of Law in 2000. One of the reasons I attended USD was its Catholic Heritage. The beautiful church on campus symbolizes this tradition. It’s sad that you have permitted the school to devolve into a forum for anti-Catholic sentiment and belief – like permitting and supporting a so very unCatholic drag queen show. Blame it on others, but you are the boss, and if you chose to be courageous and not join the Goth-less rabbles of the world, you could. It’s frankly embarrassing-when the intro to the university on the website celebrates its Catholic tradition and in practice celebrates lifestyles and beliefs that could not be any more anti-Catholic. (I have to wonder how many unsuspecting parents are fooled by this deception?) St. Bernard used to weep when he used to think of all the Catholics that would go to hell because of their lukewarm dedication to God. People in leadership roles, like yours, need to lead and make tough decisions that are not easy or popular but the right thing to do. And until you do, I withdraw my financial support.
I am shocked and disappointed to read that you have allowed activities that are offensive to Catholics at a university that used to be catholic. I proudly lived above Founders chapel, the sacred Heart nuns were there in spirit guiding us through our studies, and we were encouraged to give to our community.
If you’d like to admit gays and lesbians to provide them an education please do so without placing their beliefs ahead of those that actually attend-the-university for its Catholic roots. I selected USD because it was a catholic university. while I am not a perfect catholic, my grandparents were. Just as my grandparents were my role models, so too was the university there to guide and grow my faith. Now, you are removing all semblance of Catholicism and allowing GAY PRIDE banners and drag shows on campus. Are you bulldozing Founders chapel and the immaculata next?
No one held a gun to the head of gays and lesbians and forced them to attend a catholic university. If they attend a catholic university they should be respectful of the Catholics there. I won’t pretend to know what the role of a President is but I would imagine that you should be protecting the values that the university was founded on. If you do not show respect for Catholicism how will your student body?
Back when the sex scandals were taking place I used to tease my grandmother that all of her tithing was supporting the legal funds for priests. While they were a small percentage of the catholic church their actions negated all of the 9ood that others were doing. I questioned calling myself catholic at a time when the religion’s leaders were harming innocent children. NOW I question why I would support a university that is robbing their catholic students of a catholic upbringing; and honoring the immoral acts that the predators participated in. I hope that the future will allow me to look at USD differently than I do at this moment.
Good morning President Lyons,
I am a graduate of the University of San Diego. While I was at the University, I was very active in student life through my sorority and serving on the Panhellenic Board. As the VP of Public Relations and Programming for Panhellenic, I had the opportunity to interact with other student organizations on behalf of the Greek community. The USD community, from my experiences, is inclusive but there has to be a balance of student life at a Catholic institution.
At a time when mandates are being placed on the Catholic community, it worries me to see USD become another Catholic institution to bend its morals and doctrine to succumb to popular culture like Notre Dame and Georgetown. I can remember a few times, while I was involved with student activities, that the Greek system was pinged for behavior not becoming a Catholic institution. I have a difficult time understanding how hosting a drag show on campus respects the Catholic institution I know and love.
I hope you can shed light on the recent activities on campus. I live in Washington DC and do not have a pulse on the institution but recently received an email from a fellow alumni about this incident. I am always proud to share that I went to a Catholic institution with members of Congress and Senators. I have had many discussions with members, like Speaker Boehner, about how USD still adheres to the Catholic faith unlike some of our East Coast counterparts. I look forward to hearing from you and learning why this event was permitted on campus and what direction the University plans to take for its future.
As a 1983 graduate and a Catholic single man, I firmly support your views!! USD was founded on Catholic teaching and should remain this way. It is a prestigious university, mostly because of its roots in moral and religious teaching. It is sadly true that students and professors have some sort of alternative agenda. Unfortunately also, there are many families and students who are denied admission for less than stellar grades and $ but would probable support our view of keeping USD a Catholic-based institution. It’s a shame. There is no place for drag shows. Events lie that should be held OFF campus. Shame on those who let this happen. If students want this kind of activity UCSD and SDSU are “fine places” to consider. As a sign of my protest, I will refuse to send any funds to USD, and I encourage other folks to do the same. In fact, I am considering removing my donor brick and donor plaque from the campus.
Hello President Lyons & Mr. Charles Bass-
I cannot believe you allowed this type of event to take place on MY USD campus. I am a proud Catholic and an Alum from the class of 1980. I chose to transfer to USD in 1978 to complete my college degree with a great academic institution and to find my religious roots. I succeeded. I got my degree and I found my Catholic roots. A gay drag show has NO business taking place on our Catholic Campus. It didn’t back in the late ’70’s and sure doesn’t belong there now. And the fact that you allowed it to take place and supported it -leaves me wondering if your priorities aren’t so screwed up that you should both be dismissed from your positions immediately. USD is a Catholic University FIRST & FOREMOST. This issue is not about freedom of expression or the first amendment right. A private learning institution with a specific, Catholic doctrine such as USD needs to communicate that strongly and adhere to it strictly. IF students & faculty can’t accept it- they should talk with a priest or go to some other college or go teach at some other school.
I don’t know if it’s the educators you hire; department heads or the Deans of the various colleges themselves, but to allow faculty to participate along with students, well, it sends the WRONG message. And you condone this behavior? Hey, it all runs downhill from the top and you two have disappointed me and many of the alumni. I will no longer support USD as long as you allow this type of anti-Catholic activity to take place on my campus. Not with my wallet and not in any other capacity, either.
Religious freedom in our country is in jeopardy -thanks to the liberal/socialist/marxist administration in Wa. DC- and this type of permitted gay activity on my Catholic Campus only helps their cause and at the same damages the reputation of MY Alma Mater.
I am so disappointed in you both. And disappointed that you allowed this event to take place. What happened to MY USD?
I will however, keep you both in my prayers with the hope God will open your eyes and you will see the light. Keep USD CATHOLIC…. or get out. now.
Dear Mr. LiMandri,
Thank you for letting me know about this issue. It both upsets and saddens me to hear about it. I am proud of my Catholic faith and my USD undergraduate degree. Has the Bishop of San Diego expressed any opinion on this?
I will take action as you said. Thank you again for contacting me.
Dear President Lyons,
I am writing to express my concern about recent events that have been allowed to take place at the University of San Diego. An Alumna from the class of 2007, I have always prided myself on the fact that I received not only a world class, but also a Christ-centered education. Now I read that the university has allowed a drag show to take place on campus and is promoting a pro-homosexual agenda when this behavior is expressly forbidden in the Bible, and I have to say that it disappoints me and makes me sad. when these actions are condoned by the university they undermine the very values USD was founded upon and deplete the value of my degree. I will withhold all contributions to USD until the university returns to its catholic values and, in addition, I have contacted the administration and faculty members at my former high school to encourage them to share this story with the parents of current high school students so that they can make an informed decision about the type of University they are sending their children to. I cannot believe that faithful catholic parents would want to support the mission of a University that so blatantly ignores the values of the catholic church. I am praying that all those involved in this error in judgment will ask for forgiveness and return USD to its former state as an outstanding catholic school.
Thanks for your effort on this important issue. Below I have copied the message I sent to Ms. Lyons.
I find it particularly disturbing that in the midst of the overwhelming turmoil and threat to traditional conservative values in this country, that our catholic university condones this type of activity. with my children enrolled in the Parochial school system in San Diego in an effort to provide them a solid catholic foundation, I especially find it difficult to feel confident in the views expressed at our church, school and what I view as a logical progression for our children’s education.
It is for these reasons that USD will not be supported in our future without upholding our catholic teaching and morals. I hope that your faith with help you choose to uphold catholic values in our schools including elementary, high school, and university. USD must retain and uphold catholic values and discontinue these drag shows and values associated with these ideas.
Thank you for your attention.
President Lyons & Mr. Bass,
I’m an alumnus of USD, Class of 1980.
My husband and I are active, practicing Catholics. We serve in music ministries in the Diocese of San Bernardino, and my husband has a vocation to the diaconate.
I raised my two daughters Catholic, and they continue to practice and serve the faith. My younger daughter graduated Mount Holyoke College ’11, summa cum laude. My oldest is graduating from Fordham Law School next month, and has secured a law clerk position with the NY Supreme Court. She graduated magna cup laude 2005 from Barnard College, Columbia University.
I am shocked and appalled by the most recent events on the USD campus.
I recognize that not everyone in attendance at the university is a Catholic. However, the institution itself is Catholic and sponsored events should not be in direct conflict with the core values and moral teachings of the Catholic Church.
Both my daughters attended all women colleges. I was vigilant of activities which involved LGBT community. However, no events were scheduled to the magnitude of USD’s most recent. Professional WISE guidelines were in place at all times that reflected well on the university.
I am very disappointed at the Office of the President. Please enact policies that reflect good and wise Catholic values that will guide the students to become moral people.
Dear Dr. Lyons:
As an alumna of USD’s graduate program, I was saddened to hear of the drag show that was allowed to take place on campus earlier this month. It may have seemed a harmless activity, but it holds no place in a Catholic institution.
With so many cultural forces working against the moral teachings of the Church, it is imperative that Catholic universities continue to adhere to their Catholic heritage and uphold the beautiful and important guidelines that we Catholics have been given. It is not enough to say we are Catholic; we must live lives that demonstrate our Catholicity for the world to see. This is why allowing (and, if faculty participated in the show, supporting) a show that celebrates a lifestyle that the Church teaches is morally damaging is deeply disheartening.
Please note that the position of those who are writing in opposition to the show is not one of hatred or intolerance, and not one that is contrary to your laudable goal to reinforce your students’ respect for the individual. Love of neighbor is at the core of our Faith, but remember that as Catholics, we are taught to love the sinner and hate the sin – and this goes for everyone. We are all sinners, and all in need of grace and mercy. . . but giving credence to sin is not something that we can do. Jesus demonstrated the attitude we are to have when he was brought the woman caught in adultery; He sent those who would stone her away, but He also told the woman to go and sin no more. He forgave her sin, but gave her clear instructions on what to do next. We as Catholics must follow this example and not cast dispersions on others, but also not facilitate sinful behavior. This is particularly important for those of you who are in authority over Catholics and are trusted with forming young Catholics.
I hope that you will guide the University in upholding the traditions and teachings of the Church. We Catholics have a rich and beautiful Faith to share with others. I pray that you will ensure that this Faith remains intact as you impart it to the young students at USD.
Dear Mr. LiMandri,
Firstly, let me thank you for bringing this grave issue to the attention of so many, including myself. Through many forwards, I received your previous email before the event occurred and I emailed my concerns to Dr. Lyons and Mr. Bass. Below is the copy of the email I sent. Please feel free to use it as you would like.
Secondly, please let me know if I can be of any further help to you. In completing my theology minor, I attended many theology classes at USD and was very disappointed in the education I received in this department Unfortunately; I had to adopt the mindset of “regurgitate what they want to hear, get your degree, and get out”. It took a great deal of soul searching and many discussions with my father, a very faithful man, to come to this mentality and it is painful to hear that the theological education has deteriorated even further. Fortunately, I never had to endure heresy or blasphemy but the true faith was never taught. I am also a member of Theta Alpha Kappa, the theology honor society, and Phi Beta Kappa, so perhaps my opinions and experience may be of use to you as you pursue a truly Catholic USD.
Thank you again for your dedication to USD and, more importantly, our Holy Mother Church.
Dear President Lyons,
As a USD graduate, I am appalled at the manner in which the USD PRIDE Group has been allowed to “educate” the student community about the LGBT issues. Allowing a DRAG Show on campus is not much different than allowing heterosexual-students to host a lingerie-fashion show-where students-flaunt their bodies in scantily clad, provocative attire. Certainly as Catholics, we are to love and accept our neighbor for who they are. This does not mean that we are to condone provocative events on campus–regardless of whether the students are homosexual, bisexual, transgendered, OR heterosexual. Certainly the LGBT community could have just as easily organized a “fashion show” with LGBT models in more edgy–rather than trashy–attire. Why would you allow ANY group of students on campus to hold such a provocative event? I condemn your judgment–NOT for allowing the PRIDE group to hold an educational event on campus–but rather for allowing them to organize a PROVOCATIVE event that belongs on a PUBLIC campus, not a Catholic one. It does not really matter if other Catholic Campuses have allowed a Drag Show on their campuses. It only matters what happens on YOUR campus. Twill certainly withhold my annual donation to the University until the University acknowledges the grave error in judgment on HOW the PRIDE students are encouraged and allowed to educate and spread acceptance of their issues on campus. In addition, I will anxiously await a statement from the University regarding the liberal and political agenda being pushed by Its professors, particularly in the Theology department. These professors have every right to espouse their positions at a PUBLIC university. Students come to USD well aware that it is a Catholic Institution with Catholic Values. If that is not what the students and the professors you hire are looking for, they have every option to select another University.
Thanks for the info.
I had no idea this was going on.
Although, already I’ve stopped reading the Alumni magazine and don’t make any contributions to USD. It just seems to have gone in a direction that’s somehow not including my values, view point. I’m very happy that I went there. The education and overall experience was excellent. But, today . . . (?)
USD seems to be making the news for the wrong reasons
To Mary Lyons and Charles Bass:
I am an alumni of USD and it is with great sadness and a heavy heart that I am writing you this e-mail. I went to USD and graduated in 1999 because I was craving to know more about the Catholic social teachings. I was seeking a school that would teach me to get closer to God and find a greater love of God within its community. This is why I chose USD over secular universities. It has come to my attention of an event held at USD grounds hosted on 4/11/12 for a drag show that involved over 200 students and faculty.
What greatly pains my heart is that we already live in a world where God is being pushed out of our society and our lives. Our world is upside down, where doing something good is considered bad and doing bad things are considered good. We are living in crucial times and personally feel that we are living and doing worse things than during the times of Sodom and Gomorrah. Doing the right thing now in days isn’t easy because you may lose students and even faculty however we must hold true to our convictions and follow God’s laws and commandments. If Jesus Christ was to come and want to know all about what is happening at USD would you feel proud or ashamed of showing Him everything that is happening on your campus?
As a Catholic university, please live up to modeling what a true Catholic teaching is all about. You must stand up and go against the grain of society and teach our young adults to follow what is right and just in God’s eyes and not to conform to the pressures of society and man. I will pray for the USD community so you can all find true discernment and that you will be true ambassadors of Christ Jesus. Now is not the time to fall asleep, USD should be an example to the secular world of modeling God’s teachings especially to our young adults. My heart is grieving for you and I hope that our younger generations can find true Catholic teaching within your walls of higher education. The goal is to bring young people closer to Jesus Christ and not veer them even further away from our Lord.
I am a 1971 graduate of USD- from the era of the old College of Women days.
Not living in the San Diego area, I had not heard of the Drag Queen event until I received the email from Mr. Limandri. This type of event ( and the professors who espouse this type of behavior) do not belong on USD. There are lots of opportunities for individuals to learn about cross dressing and it shouldn’t be on the campus of USD. And I think USD could have remained within laws for non-discrimination without hosting such an event on campus. Don’t you have a great law school that could have counseled the university and fought for the principles the university used to uphold? To me, the university showed pure cowardice by saying the reason for the event was to not be in violation of non-discrimination laws.
Does the USD allow and actively support beauty contests- with women in bikinis and with faculty judges? Or Muscle men contests on campus with faculty support and judges? I seriously doubt it! So why are you pandering to a small and obviously vocal minority that want to tear down what you profess to teach and to live by?
I have supported USD for many years. It won’t ever build a new library or a wing on a building, but it is what I can afford to give. If such activities continue to be promoted on USD, or I don’t feel that the current administration takes seriously the outrage of its alum, then I will have to voice my opinion in the only way I can- quit my contributions. Having been a scholarship student at USD, I have always felt that I “owed” the school for the education and the environment of learning that it once represented, It would be painful for me to quit contributing- but it may be the only resource I have to express my profound disapproval with the direction that USD is taking. Please show me that USD can once again be considered an institution of learning and not a tawdry sideshow that is humiliating for its alum. I feel a deep sense of betrayal by the university that this event was allowed to be held on campus, and that faculty participated in the event. This is just so totally wrong on so many different levels, There is a huge chasm between accepting people of diversity and allowing them to take over the moral compass of a once great university,
I believe that the University OWES its alumni an apology for allowing this event to be sanctioned on campus, and a promise that it will not happen again.
Thank you Charles for taking the initiative on this. I was appalled when I heard about the event. I was on campus for another event and I wanted to see what was going on and I was not allowed to enter the auditorium.
“For evil to win, Christians just need not do anything”. You are initiating a movement that I am sure God will bless. We have to stand up to this indoctrination.
God bless you and I will do as you requested.