A Message from Interim President Mary Ellen Gevelinger, O.P.

  • Friday, Dec 6, 2019

Madison, Wis. (December 6, 2019) – The following message from Interim President Mary Ellen Gevelinger, O.P.  was shared via email in the afternoon of Thursday, December 5, 2019.

“Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff:

We thank you for your feedback on an important issue that arose yesterday. In early October, several of us on campus began to receive emails and voicemails from people associated with TFP Student Action, a group that has aggressively targeted colleges and universities in pursuit of their own political agenda. They called out the presence of a document, hosted on one of the College’s web pages, that provides Off-Campus Wellness Resources. One of the 33 resources listed in that document is Planned Parenthood.

By early November, our approach of non-response to this organization was proving unworkable; the inquiries increased, and the organization elevated its efforts by creating what they called a ‘petition drive.’ In an effort to reduce Edgewood College’s value as a weapon as this organization continues to attack institutions, I made the decision – in consult with the President’s Council and others – to remove the document from the web page. As has been the case for several years, that document is available to our students in printed form at The Wellness Center, electronically upon request, and from Wellness Center staff when consulting.

TFP Student Action claimed ‘victory,’ and another organization, The College Fix, wrote a story claiming the same. Breitbart ran the story that appeared on The College Fix. None of these organizations share our values. They have a specific political agenda that is made clear by their actions, and by their product. They are, however, legally-protected to claim that “a few days and 15,231 petitions later, Planned Parenthood was removed from the college’s website.” No one in leadership at Edgewood College has seen, or signed, any petition related to this group.

We continue to refer students to off-campus wellness resources that they may access as students in Madison. We care about our students and want to make sure they can access all the health care they need.

This coordinated and practiced assault on our community by these hateful organizations has been especially hurtful to our LGBTQ+ students and colleagues. These organizations hold positions and espouse actions that are diametrically opposed to Edgewood College, and the Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa. Each and every student, and every colleague, is valued here. We do no not tolerate intolerance. And when one of us feels threatened or unsafe, it is up to each of us, in community, to reach out and address it.

This afternoon (12-5) I met with students to make sure we share accurate information. Let’s continue to work as a community to ensure our students, faculty, and staff pursue our mission, and reject organizations that do not share our values."


Mary Ellen Gevelinger, O.P., Ed.D., Interim President