The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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October 13, 2011

SFU students, faculty lead reading of Goodman’s works

LORETTO — Talk about irony.

First, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ellen Goodman abruptly was disinvited last month from speaking at St. Francis University – on civility in public discourse, no less.

Now, the university had to swallow the public reading of one of her pro-choice essays, when Goodman’s abortion views were what prompted her disinvitation in the first place.

Nearly 100 people, including about 15 faculty, attended a public reading of Goodman’s works Wednesday evening.

It was a student- and faculty-led alternative to the scheduled Furlong Lecture she was to have delivered on that same date.

“In a way, I suppose, yes, it’s a bit of a protest, and also to encourage discussion and compromise,” student organizer Eric Horell said in a telephone interview.

He said he expected the university administration to oppose the campus event, and was pleasantly surprised when they didn’t.

Not only did administrators not ask about the contents of the readings, they actually gave Community Enrichment Series credits to freshmen involved with the evening, Horell said.

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