Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, responds today to the latest remarks by University of Oregon President Dave Frohnmayer:

“The website,, is currently featuring a story based on our news release yesterday regarding the Insurgent, a University of Oregon student newspaper; the March edition ran cartoons of Jesus that are vulgar beyond belief.  I had no intention of doing anything more about this matter than what I did yesterday (which was to send a letter criticizing Dave Frohnmayer, the school’s president, to Oregon lawmakers and others—along with a copy of the two worst depictions), until I read Frohnmayer’s reply to the publicity.  But now that he is being dishonest, it is time for further action.

“Frohnmayer is now saying that the reason he didn’t do anything about this matter, save for issuing a lame criticism of the Insurgent, is because the student newspaper ‘is not owned, controlled or published by the University of Oregon and is funded with student fees.’

“The fact is that the University of Oregon forces all students to pay $191 per term in student fees, and that these fees are a condition of class enrollment.  The Student Government awarded the Insurgent $18,349 in student fees this academic year to pay for its costs, without which the newspaper could not function.  The newspaper’s offices are not located off-campus—they are given space by the university on campus.  And for at least the last four years, the newspaper has been allowed to use the university’s non-profit bulk-mail permit (school officials got nervous when the March edition appeared and only then did they stop the Insurgent from using its mailing permit).

“Given all this, it is so disingenuous for President Frohnmayer to claim that he is impotent to act.  He didn’t even have the moral decency to publicly condemn the decision by David Goward, Program Director of the Associated Students of the University of Oregon, who—after meeting with a university attorney—said the Insurgent need not apologize nor refrain from Catholic bashing again.”

Contact Frohnmayer at

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